Review of Torn by Erica O'Rourke
Genre: YA Fantasy
I'm a 32 year old wife and mother, and yet I write young adult paranormal romance. I'm not shy about it. Everyone who knows me knows that I've written Prince of Wolves, and most of them have gotten it; out of love, sympathy or because they are genuinely interested in the genre'. I do get asked on a regular basis, why werewolves?
My usual response is just- it's what I'm interested in, what I like to read. That of course is a pretty generic answer so here I will try to clarify, add a little color if you will.
Werewolves are the "bad boys" of the paranormal world. Not to say that vampires don't play their wicked part. But werewolves are the muscle, the outsiders with attitude. They never walk away from a fight, they always finish what they start and they have a forever kind of love. They have a presence when they walk into the room that makes people want to step back and take notice. They are aggressive, brave, dominant, protective, faithful and loyal to their family. I'm fascinated with the pack dynamics that can be incorporated into their stories. I think that often their characters are very redeemable because of their animal nature and I love the ability to stretch a character's boundaries with that animal nature.
Another concept that appeals to me and I think others tend to enjoy is the whole "true mate" concept, which in any werewolf book is a huge selling factor. The little girl in all of us wants to meet "the one", wants to fall madly in love and live happily ever after. There is something so romantic and inspiring about the idea of their being a perfect soul mate for you. The great thing about writing about werewolves is I get to shape that love, give life to the partnership and idea of soul mates.
For any of these ideas to work there has to be on simple ingredient...Magic. The reason I think a paranormal love story is picked over the non-paranormal is because of the magic and intrigue that is behind the paranormal world. Consider Disney, would they be near as successful had they not appealed to the imagination and curiosity of their viewers by incorporating magic into their movies? And believe it or not werewolves are the embodiment of magic. How else but through magic could a human's complete DNA change in order to make him also a wolf, a completely different species...magic.
All that said, there is still one more aspect that appeals to me and that's the ladies who love them. I think it takes a special female character to win the role of the mate. She has to be strong but vulnerable, beautiful but flawed. She has to be able to stand on her own two feet as a person, but not be complete without her werewolf mate. She needs to be able to understand his struggles and accept his alpha ways, but not be a door mat. It's a high calling. I think the female lead is one of the hardest to write. Usually she doesn't start out with many of these qualities but grows into them as the story unfolds. If she's too bold readers find her obnoxious if she isn't bold enough she is seen as weak and not worthy of a strong male. She definitely has big shoes to fill, but when you find a book with a female lead with those characteristics it's such a fun and exciting thing to watch.
So that's why werewolves. Maybe to all those who asked me before and received my polite short answer, this gives them a little more insight into me as an author.
With World Book Day having just passed, I thought I’d compile a list with the top ten reasons why we love books. Feel free to chime in.
1. Books enrich our lives. Reading is the perfect hobby; one that can be easily done anytime and anywhere, and doesn’t require much preparation.
2. They’re tangible records of our world. They hold knowledge and wisdom.
3. Books are a means to escape. No matter how much we love our lives, it’s nice to escape into another every now and then.
4. Books offer lots of new experiences. We get to be someone else for a while, visit new places, and experience events we might never get a chance to experience in real life.
5. Books are a constant source of inspiration and meditation, a way to relieve stress and forget about our problems and limitations.
6. Even fiction books often teach us something about other people and their perspectives.
7. Books show us what the opposite gender feels and thinks.
8. They challenge our views about the world and broaden our horizons.
9. They help us bond with other people with a similar taste in book clubs and reading groups. They help us bond with our children when we read a bedtime story to them, and with our friends when we discuss or recommend a good read.
10. Books offer a way to fall in love times and times again, both with new characters and new worlds.