One of the things I loved about writing Winter’s Moons was the chance to get to know the main characters who are very different, but in such complementary ways. Cassidy Nolan (the young werewolf Alpha sister of a genetically-engineered supersoldier) has plenty of leadership qualities, but no experience. She’s also got a hefty case of impostor syndrome, one that keep her from bonding completely with her pack, for fear that they might figure out exactly how out of her depth she really is.
On the other side of things, Snow has been a werewolf for a long time. She has absolutely no leadership skills, but she has a deep knowledge of werewolf traditions and how healthy packs are supposed to function. At first, Snow judges Cassidy for slipping up in all sorts of ways, but as she comes to know the Alpha more closely, she realizes that Cassidy is doing the best she can. Sure, she’s failing a lot, but not so much that the situation is irretrievably broken. Best of all, Cassidy keeps trying. In Snow, Cassidy finds someone to talk to without fear of judgment. She comes to lean on the lone wolf’s perspective, and a bond begins to form.
Developing the characters for this story was easy in some ways. Cassidy came ready-made from Five Moons Rising. However, she made some choices there that some of readers found difficult to stomach. After all, it looked a lot like she turned her back on the sister who went through hell to keep her alive. Getting inside Cassidy’s head and reacquainting myself with her motives and her understanding of the world was a little challenging after so long away from the events of that first book. However, once I realized that Cassidy’s big problem was having impostor syndrome (and also being right about it), she got a lot easier to wrap my arms around.
It took some time to find Snow’s voice. I knew going into the story that I wanted the other main character to be a lone wolf. I also knew that I wanted her to be submissive. I had some ideas about submission versus dominance, and how the former is often equated to weakness. Snow is submissive, but she’s not a pushover. Her lack of dominance has led her to develop strategies that have nothing to do with brute force. She thrives on passing beneath notice, and on redirection. All of those were things I was prepared to deal with. It was a surprise to discover that Snow was asexual, specifically a homoromantic asexual who is pretty sex-averse. However, it made complete sense. Her inability to find a home in the sexually-charged atmosphere of most werewolf packs was bound to make her uncomfortable, and as someone who is on the submissive side of things, she wasn’t inclined to try to carve out a space for herself. When the space she did have got too tight, she simply moved on to the next one. Once I realized those things, Snow really revealed herself to me, and she’s become one of my favorite characters to write.
There is a romantic subplot to this story. This was my first time writing an ace character, and I made sure to run the story past a handful of ace sensitivity readers. Hopefully I’ve done their advice justice. I believe sex and romance are two different things, and it was incredibly rewarding to explore tender moments through this different lens.
This duo has become one of my favorites, and I’m so looking forward to readers getting to know Cassidy and Snow the way I have.
Winter’s Moons can still be preordered, and will be out from Bella Books on December 20th.
JUST FINISHED BOOK 3 /SIDE SEQUEL AND I ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT ACE CHARACTES WAS BIG BONUS TO AS ACE SPEC I BELIEVE U HANDLED IT WELL ! ALSO OMG THAT PLOTWIST AT THE END!
That’s such a relief to hear! I definitely wanted to get that right.