We’ve been lucky enough to have Stephanie Tyler here at The Book Pushers in the past, but this time around she is here to talk with us about her newest series from Penguin: The Eternal Wolf Clan. This series is Stephanie’s first solo paranormal series (she co-authored with Larissa Ione on the ACRO series), and follows a pack of Dire Wolf bikers. *melt*
The first book in the series – DIRE NEEDS – released yesterday.
Welcome back to The Book Pushers Stephanie!
Thanks so much for having me here again!
The Book Pushers: Where did the idea for sexy, immortal, Dire Wolf bikers come from? (we’re all melting here with that bad-boy badassness)
Stephanie: Rifter made me melt too the first time he walked on the scene
The Book Pushers: How many books do you have planned for this series?
Stephanie: Currently, I’m contracted for three but I’ve got ideas (and wolves) well past that, so I’m so hoping I get to tell all the stories in this world! Rifter’s is first, and then Dire Wants is Stray’s book (November 2012) and then Dire Desires is Jinx’s story (I think that’s Summer 2013, but it’s still tentative)
The Book Pushers: Paranormal and Suspense are two of MY favorite genres. How hard or easy was it for you to take the two and mash them together in this new series?
Stephanie: It was actually wonderfully easy! I didn’t think I’d have that much suspense in the paranormals and I was surprised at how the story turned out in the end. I really wanted a lot of romance and a lot of the wolves hanging out together, because those are some of my favorite kind of scenes to read in other author’s books, so I was so happy the way it all came together. And that’s what’s so great about suspense – it makes the stakes higher and makes everything, especially the romance, more intense.
The Book Pushers: This will be your first major series without military heroes — did you find that your Dire Wolves still have a lot of the same tendencies, ethics, morals and values as your military heroes?
Stephanie: Hey, all these Dires served in the military at one point or another! What? They’re warriors – they know battle so that was a perfect job for them throughout the centuries they’ve been around! But really, a warrior is a warrior, so they do have a lot of the same codes – they might walk the thin line between right and wrong and it may get crossed at time, but always for the greater good.
The Book Pushers: Will your Dire Wolves find someone to partner up with or will they continue to fight the bad guys alone and unafraid?
Stephanie: Well, Dires can only mate with other Dires, and since there were no female Dires wolves that survived the Extinction, it’s been challenging for these wolves. But I write love stories, so …
The Book Pushers: What makes your Dire Wolves different from the “run-of-the-mill” werewolves?
Stephanie: They’re bigger and badder – they have extra abilities that are sometimes a gift, sometimes a curse and they’ve got the burden of not only immortality, but immortality without mates, so they’ve got a really heavy burden to bear. Also, they live in harmony with their Brother Wolf – they actually co-exist, unlike my Weres, who, when the wolf comes out, the wolf is in total control. So the Dires are a bit more evolved, more powerful, which was actually their downfall in the first place, the reason they were made Extinct. Weres in my book are still very strong and powerful, btw – and for both Dires and Weres, they’re born, not made, so a bite from a wolf can’t turn you into one.
The Book Pushers: Do you plan on bringing in other supernaturals to your world?
Stephanie: Sure! I mean, they definitely don’t exist in a vacuum. Witches play a big role in the series, and along the way you’ll meet a vampire or two, but the main focus is on the Dires and their relationship with the Weres.
The Book Pushers: Are you able to give us a sneak peak of what to expect?
Stephanie: Sure! Chapter One is up on my website now – so here’s a sneak peek of a later chapter with Rifter, when he lets Brother Wolf take over:
Gwen was awake and Rifter’s connection to her was efficiently broken. As it should be.
There was a danger inherent in dreamwalking— not wanting to come out of the dream at all, because it was easier to live someone else’s dreams than his own life.
But this felt different, like she’d walked into his fantasy. Which wasn’t possible.
A growl from inside his head reminded him that he owed his wolf. Brother hadn’t gotten what he needed the night before, although he’d had fun. And so he gave the word to Brother to take over, let the shift begin.
It felt no different than it had every other time except the first three, which were by far the worst and most dangerous. Only half the Dires survived the intensity of those early changes, and Rifter had gone to a lot of funerals as a young boy.
Letting your Brother Wolf out was something to be revered and feared.Those who made it through the transition were stronger than they could have ever hoped to be.
The shift was a nearly indescribable combination of bones crunching and skin stretching, and an uncontrollable howl left his throat as an invisible weight pushed him hard to all fours. Brother Wolf whispered the ancient language in his ear to calm him as his breath caught and stopped for a moment during the worst of the change.
And then it was done. Less than thirty seconds from start to finish, and it felt at times like an eternity.
Rifter let his wolf travel into the deep darkness of the morning in the woods. He rushed past the life stirring, off the main paths, jumping and running and stretching muscles.These woods were not his natural hunting grounds, but reality— and his brothers— would interrupt him too soon if he ran closer to home.
Brother Wolf ran until Rifter stopped thinking, until they’d merged as one beautiful, primal beast, predatory and sleek, built for extremes— and for battle.The smell of pine and snow, the pull of the moon readying to give up her throne to daylight, all mixed in his nose as he sped along the slick forest floor, hunting for something he could never find.
But Brother Wolf would never give up.
It was nearly time to turn back. Brother Wolf sensed the incoming daylight, his signal, but instead of doing so, he suddenly stopped short and froze.
The Book Pushers: Is it hard to try and create unique werewolves that stand out from the other paranormal books?
Stephanie: You know, I don’t really read a lot of paranormals, so I didn’t go into writing this series thinking about that. I mean, I know there’s a lot out there, but I write what comes to me, what I see. The heroes tell me their stories and so that’s how they’re unique – because they’re mine and no one else can tell my stories. That’s why I always tell beginning writers not to worry – everything’s already been done, so just tell your story your way and that’s what’s going to make it different.
The Book Pushers: Who is the biggest and baddest werewolf of the Clan and why?
Stephanie: You know, I think it’s whichever Dire is the hero at the time – each one of them will get their time to break out and shine, to kick major ass and prove themselves.
Thanks so much Stephanie for being here today! Also, thanks to the wonderful folks at Penguin, we have a copy of DIRE NEEDS to giveaway to one lucky winner. Just leave Stephanie a question or comment below to be entered. The contest will be open internationally and ends March 14th. Good Luck!