by L. K. Below
When planning that science fiction or fantasy story, every author has to take some form of world-building into account. Fantasy is the portrayal of the surreal, after all. Even when the story in question isn’t set in a high fantasy or science fiction world separate from Earth, the writer has to ask herself (or himself!) -- how does this work?
For science fiction, the answer often comes from science, or in some cases, by extrapolating known theorems. But fantasy can be written in a number of ways. It can come from the author’s imagination; it can be extrapolated from known science or pseudo-science -- or it can be a combination.
In my paranormal romance short story His Familiar Touch, Rikkita Martinez is a werecougar. When deciding her (and her family’s) behavior, I thought to myself: How would a cougar act? And thus, my complex community of werecougars sprouted. Rikki doesn’t often express emotion because she assumes the other party can smell them on her. Not to mention that even though she sees herself as handicapped, unable to shift, she disdains common humans for their narrow-mindedness in refusing to believe that her species exists -- let alone that they live alongside them in San Jose. Having never known her father, same as all werecougars, she approaches Derek with the same mate-and-bail attitude and is baffled when he suggests something more lasting.
All that, I created from a simple question to myself, one that multiplied, springing more questions and more research to be done. Thanks to those questions, it was selected to be one of ten stories included in Paramourtal.
L. K. Below writes romance and speculative fiction. Under her full name, Lindsay Below, she publishes young adult fiction. Visit her at http://lbelow.blogspot.com.
Want to win a signed copy of Paramourtal? Comment here or on any other of L. K. Below’s blog stops for the His Familiar Touch tour. Contest closes November 15th. Itinerary and winner announced at http://lbelow.blogspot.com.