One of the big thrills of writing a fantasy novel is creating a world that doesn’t exist. One of the challenges is letting the reader in on the new world without bogging down the story with oodles of unnecessary details.
It’s a balancing act.
In The Werewolf Whisperer, we had to get our reader up to speed quickly. We constructed a back-and-forth of past and present day chapters (more about our structure later) to help layer the world building, but we didn’t want to be oblique about the rules our world.
In the real world — if we’re all perfectly honest —if you need to find out something quickly, you look on Wikipedia. So, we thought, would people in our urban fantasy version of California. When it came to defining the trigger of the Werebeast epidemic, the Kyon Virus, we also turned to Wikipedia:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Kyon Virus (also known as KV, Wereflu, or The Affliction) is a sudden-onset viral infectious disease that attacks the entire body, transforming the muscular and skeletal structures of the host. Typically, the first signs of KV begin with extreme muscle and joint pain and a temporary loss of equilibrium, followed by the development of canine-like features. Symptoms include excessive body hair, unnaturally vibrant colored eyes, lupine snout, sharp fang-like teeth, over-developed musculature, clawed hands and feet and preternatural strength. There may be a loss of inhibitions in the Afflicted, and in some cases, KV may cause extreme aggressive behavior.
The Kyon Virus manifests in hosts in a variety of ways, leading to the three-tiered classification of the Were: Hound, Feral and Werebeast. For further classification information see Lucy Lowell. See TheWerewolf Whisperer. See Xochitl (Socheel) Magaña (Mah-gah-nyah).
No known cure for the Kyon Virus exists, nor can the symptoms be treated. It is estimated at the initial outbreak (see K-Day) one in twenty Californians contracted the disease.
But here’s the thing to keep in mind. Information fluctuates, changes, evolves. What is known one day can blow apart the next. At the beginning of book one, The Werewolf Whisperer, this is what the world knows about the cause of the “werewolf apocalypse.” Is it true? That remains to be seen . . .
If you are intrigued, Bonita and I have a little surprise for you. We are celebrating the 2nd anniversary of book 1, so this week (until 10/21), The Werewolf Whisperer is free on Amazon. Just click the link, download and enjoy. And if you want to help us out a little leave a review.