Shapeshifter lovers--this interview is one to read! Today we caught up with fantasy author H.B. Lyne to talk about her heroine, Ariana, whose story will be included in the Daughters of Destiny boxed set.
Author Interview: H.B. Lyne
Ariana, aka Stalker-of-Night's-Shadow, is a feisty and independent young shapeshifter. She has a mysterious past, a turbulent present and an uncertain future. Something makes her different from all the other shifters, but she doesn't understand what or why... yet.
Although she lives and works in a pack of her kin, her determination to cling to her humanity, and her need for privacy, keeps her from fully embracing her shifter life and is the cause of all sorts of problems.
Waaaaay back, Ariana was a character I played in a roleplaying game! But she had a different name and abilities then. As I began writing she emerged on the page. I felt deeply connected to her and she is definitely a bit of an alter-ego for me.
I wanted to give her a rich back story and to explore that in these books. She is unusually independent for a shapeshifter in my world, who normally work very closely with their pack. She does have a remarkable bond with her pack mates, and a love life separate from them (in fact, secret from them!) and she feels things very deeply.
So she has these amazing connections with people. But she also really struggles to let go of her past, hence the title of my series, Echoes of the Past, and that is really the main source of conflict for her. She is constantly torn inside between the human she used to be, and the shifter she is now.
It's different. I have a male point-of-view character in this book too, Stalker's pack mate, Fights-Eyes-Open, and writing him is different. I think Stalker comes more easily to me, because in some ways she is me, but she is still a bit of a petulant teenager (she's 19). Eyes is more mature and carries very different burdens. I enjoy writing him because he is just as complex and deep but very different and a break from the teenage angst.
Well, what makes a strong heroic character? I don't think gender necessarily has that much to do with it. It's strength of conviction, flaws that they learn to overcome (the long way around), and the ability to inspire others. I think male and female heroic characters need those traits.
Of course, in a fantasy world with a similar society to ours, one steeped in patriarchy, the differences come in how that hero interacts with the world and the attitudes of those around them. In that case, a heroine needs to be able to overcome the obstacles that are placed in her way because of her gender. In my series, however, the society in which the shifters live, gender isn't a barrier. There is much more equality than in the real world.
Almost all of the female characters written by Joss Whedon have to come top.
J.K. Rowling, she really inspired me to become a writer. So of course, Hermione Granger has to get an honorable mention.
I also have tremendous admiration for Sia. I love how she has found a way to be successful doing what she loves, while protecting her identity and privacy.
In the music industry that is really bold; to not bow to what must be enormous pressure to conform to certain aesthetic standards and retain her integrity. That is real world heroism, in my opinion.
My website is a good place to start! http://hblyne.com
Thank you, H.B.! We look forward to some action-packed shapeshifting adventures with Ariana.
Readers, you can find this story in the upcoming "Daughters of Destiny Boxed Set" which will release in March 2017. To keep up with us and be among the first to be notified, make sure you're following us on Facebook.