As a child, I was fascinated by werewolves and vampires. I was never afraid of them. Instead I was sympathetic. Here were creatures who had weirdness thrust upon them, and who had no choice except to become raving lunatics at the behest of a full moon or each time they were hungry. Who were ultimately doomed to die.
My sympathy was always tinged with something else. Admiration. Shape shifters, to my eye, were gifted with wonderful powers and because of this, preternaturally sensuous and charismatic creatures.
These supernatural abilities were a gift to me as a writer. Inspiring worlds upon worlds of possibilities and imagination—of alternate reality, time travel and (most recently) steam punk.
As a writer, not all at once, mind you, but by degrees I picked the shape shifter apart, analyzing them. I began to imagine what if...? What if these marvelous abilities were under the shape shifter's control? What if these abilities came to symbolize the inner strength we all possess— if they used their powers to defend their planet...?
What if these creatures were Black? Native American? Latino? In short, all the colors that create the glorious rainbow of our reality.
And the Immortal Saga and The Switch II: Clockwork were born. My stories about unity, about coming together as we did during the beautiful, turbulent 1960s, about struggles with personal demons, and using sexuality either as a crutch, a means of control or as an expression of freedom. In my novels I've placed shape shifters— werewolves and vampires— squarely in the limelight. Not as villains but heroes, flawed and human heroes, but as heroes nevertheless.
So for those who think stories of werewolves and vampires are tired old tales that have been done to death, I humbly say but you haven't read mine... Wait until you read mine.
Valjeanne Jeffers is the author of Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds, and The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books I & II). Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase at a discount. Her novel are also available at Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.