Hey y'all! Today's guest post is by Doug Solter, author of MY GIRLFRIEND BITES. I asked him about his inspiration for this story and I really like his answer! Just keep reading, you'll see, he speaks my language! ~Alli
Hi, Everyone! Alli was nice enough to let me come on her blog today to talk about what inspired me to write MY GIRLFRIEND BITES, a new young adult paranormal novel I released earlier this month.
This is an unusual sub-genre for me to write in. When I wrote screenplays years ago, not one of them was a romance. Sure, many had romantic sub-plots like most movies do. But for the most part, I wrote a lot of dramas, comedies, and a few action scripts. Even my first book, SKID, is more of a action-filled YA with the standard romantic sub-plot woven in. Writing “romance” stories didn't really appeal to me. But then I read TWILIGHT.
Yes, that TWILIGHT.
As a young adult author learning the ropes, I decided that I had to read it to analyze why teenage girls were pining for Edward or Jacob and why they could so emphasize with Bella. So I read the first two books. I did get a better understanding on why girls liked this book. However...I had a different reaction when it came to Bella's character.
I tend to write very strong female characters. I think it's because women fascinate me. The way they look at the world is always interesting to me. Plus, I'm always a sucker for the underdog. I'm not saying that as a put-down. I'm saying that historically, female characters either get shoved in the background, placed in only a supporting role, or there to give the hero something to do in between action sequences. One great thing about YA is that many of the heroes are girls and I see so much potential in young adult books for girls to really do some awesome things. I'm not talking about winning a boy's heart at school. I'm talking saving the world, blowing up the Death Star, leading a movement. Girls who are DOING something to affect the world around them. I love that stuff. Now don't get me wrong, I love the timeless brave-man-saves-the-world stories. But in this day and age, girls can be brave and we should show that in fiction.
Now let's get back to Bella. I think she's a nice girl. She's a quiet and thoughtful girl. Her heart is pure. And she just needs that special boy to give her life meaning. But, she needs Edward to save her...constantly. The poor girl can't tie her shoelaces without Edward making an appearance. Reading this actually made me a little mad. Don't girls want to feel empowered? Like they have choices? Do they want to feel like if they don't have a boy. then they can't function as people?
So that got me to thinking...
If I ever wrote a paranormal romance novel, I would swap the roles. My girl will be strong and it'll be the boy who will have to learn to be strong in order to be with her. She might save him a couple times and that would embarrass the boyfriend enough to change how he looks at himself. Then I thought, okay, the boy needs to be very weak. Like, maybe he's really a coward and needs to learn how to be brave. Then being around this girl will motivate him to be a boyfriend that's worthy of her. But what's so special about this girl? Why is she so strong? I wanted steer away from vampires for obvious reasons. Witches aren't physically strong so teaching the boy witchcraft didn't appeal to me. So what creature in a paranormal universe should the girl be?
Yes! I love werewolves! And she can be physically strong because even werewolves in human form have all that bone structure and mass build up deep inside them. That would be awesome! A normal teenage girl who packed a big, fury punch. When the boy falls in love, that love for her will motivate him to change and be that strong boyfriend she could count on.
Oh, and the werewolves would be the central focus of the story. They won't be manipulated or be treated like second-class paranormal citizens like on True Blood. I refuse to make them into biker-gang-white-trash werewolves. My wolves will be sophisticated.
Before I knew it, I had this story planted in my brain that began to grow and grow. Pieces of ripe fruit formed here and there. Vines connected the fruit together. Bree Mayflower and Aiden Jay came into existence. Suddenly, I found myself writing a paranormal romance.
Here is an excerpt from 'My Girlfriend Bites'
“Can I just take you home and we can talk about it later?” I ask. But my voice sounds more like I’m begging.
“No,” Bree says.
I stare at the glowing dashboard. “How do I ask this?”
Her voice softens. “Easy. Just ask.”
“You’ll think I’m crazy. I think I’m crazy.” I notice my hand twisting on the steering wheel, like Bree’s hand did when she picked me up that rainy afternoon. I can’t look her in the eyes. My stomach burns so bad the acid must be eating through the lining. A part of me doesn’t want to hear the answer to this question. But it’s too late to stop.
“Are you some kind of animal?” I throw it out there quickly, getting it over with.
“Yes,” Bree says.
I search her face for any sign of joking or sarcasm, any sign that this was one huge joke on me. But there’s none.
My brain goes numb.
“The light’s green,” she says.
I stick my eyes on the road and drive across the intersection.
“There’s a park up ahead. Make a right,” Bree says. “We need to have a talk.”
Is Bree planning to kill me now? Is that nip she gave me on the train going to be a full bite that rips my neck and throat out? Letting me bleed to death in some city park to be discovered by some hipster out on his morning jog? I think the stomach acid has seeped into my vital organs now.
I maneuver the truck into the parking lot and switch off the engine. One single street lamp casts a weak, hollow glow inside the cab. A dark shadow covers Bree’s face, disguising that cute girl at the restaurant. The silence inside the truck is the loudest I’ve ever heard.
We sit there for a moment.
“Up for a walk?” Bree opens her door and steps out.
I close my eyes. I have this awful feeling that I know something that I shouldn’t know about. Something dangerous. Something that will reveal its scary self and rip my body apart like Christmas wrapping paper. My door pops open without me touching it.
“Come. Walk with me.” Bree offers her hand.
“I won’t hurt you,” she whispers.
My shaky hand grasps hers and I climb out of the truck.
Bree then leads me into a dark grove of trees.
About MY GIRLFRIEND BITES:
A wimpy 16-year-old boy wants to find a girlfriend. When he falls for the perfect one, she shifts into a werewolf and throws his life upside down.
After his "dream" girl rejects him, 16-year-old Aiden tries to commit suicide. Yet he mysteriously survives. Now he feels like a loser with zero possibility of finding the perfect girlfriend. Enter Bree, the creepy girl with too much hair who's rumored to be cloned from a frozen prehistoric cave girl that scientists discovered in Canada. But when he accepts a ride from “Cave Girl” during a storm, Aiden discovers this weird girl not only has a kind heart. She's also cute.
Aiden offers to help Bree in Algebra and the two become friends. When Aiden pushes that friendship into a date, Bree accepts. On a romantic night at the zoo, Bree and Aiden fall in love as the animals watch. Unlike Aiden, they can smell what Bree really is.
Bree decides to tell him her deep, dark secret. Her family are werewolves hiding from the Demon Skins, a mysterious new enemy hunting down all the werewolf packs on earth. Aiden struggles with Bree's revelation, but chooses to stand by the girl he fell in love with. But standing by his new girlfriend will be the biggest test of his life.
Too bad Bree can't turn a coward into a fearless werewolf. That bite thing is only a myth.
You can get your copy of 'My Girlfriend Bites' here:
Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Doug went to college at nearby Oklahoma State where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/TV/Film production and worked in local television for 20 years. Doug began writing screenplays in 1998 and became a 2001 semi-finalist in The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. His script Father Figure was one of 129 scripts left from 5,489 entries. His tenth script, Rail Fan, became a quarter-finalist in 2009. Soon after, Doug made the switch to writing young adult novels in 2008. Skid, a young adult novel set in the world of Formula 1 racing, is his first.