Amanda of Wolf’s Lady
Over the past few years I’ve had some people ask me about how I come up with my characters. Well, the men are completely made up (but if anyone happens to run into a Taye or Shadow or Tracker or… Oh, heck, any of my heroes, let me know, okay?), but several of the heroines are based on friends and co-workers. A couple of people have emailed to ask specifically about Amanda, the heroine from Wolf’s Lady. How did I find a picture of a woman who looked so much like my heroine? One reviewer on Amazon even says she’s glad to see a real size woman on the cover. She’s a real size woman who looks amazingly like my heroine because she is that woman. Yes, make believe Amanda is based on real life Amanda! And that cover was a labor of love thanks to several people: Gary Lura of Gary Lura Photography, Lyn Taylor cover artist extraordinaire, and of course, a woman named Amanda.
I’ve wanted to write Rose and Sky’s story since I first wrote about them in Wolf’s Glory, but for a long time they were too young, and way too immature. I sent Sky off to Omaha to grow up. What does that have to do with Amanda? Well, hang on, I’ll get to that. LOL I needed to show readers how Sky became what he is. What on earth could keep him from returning to the den the minute Rose turned eighteen to claim her as his mate? In Omaha he found a world where women are only taxable goods the city politicians use to make themselves rich. No wolf warrior would accept that. He stayed in Omaha because he had a goal. It just took longer than he expected.
I decided to write a short story to introduce you to what life in Omaha is like and hopefully make you believe in the reason Sky stayed in Omaha. I had to build Omaha in my mind and create a new life for Sky there, one filled with places and people and rules. A woman who worked in the same place as I did was named Amanda. We didn’t hang out or go to lunch, but we chatted from time to time. I would see her walk past my desk in one of her peasant skirts, and I admired the gorgeous tattoo on her shoulder. It came to me that she would be a perfect basis for the heroine in the short story. Now of course, I didn’t want to put her (even fictionally) in the world’s oldest profession without her okay. I was a little worried about asking, but she was a good sport. She laughed and said, “Sure, you can use my name and appearance in your book. I don’t care if you make me a hooker. Anyone who knows me will know it’s as far from the truth as you can get.” Or something like that.
And so Wolf’s Lady was born. It was only supposed to be four or five chapters long, just a little doodle to post on my blog to get you and me into the alien world of Omaha. But it kept growing and growing until finally I decided to self publish it just for fun. That meant I needed cover art. I didn’t need to spend hours searching for the right image for my heroine; she was right there.
I contacted the artist who did the art for the rest of the series and asked if she was willing to work with an image I would send her. Lyn Taylor was willing, bless her. I asked a friend’s husband if he would take pictures for cheap. He was willing, provided we found an outdoor space. That way he wouldn’t charge us studio fees. We set up a day and met in the park, and the result is the cover you see here.
I love this cover. Amanda does, of course, really look like the Amanda in the story. The colors are lovely, and they fit the rest of the series. If you haven’t read it yet, you can only buy it from Amazon at the moment. But if you don’t want to buy from Amazon because you don’t have a kindle, go ahead and buy it anyway. Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and attach a copy of your Amazon receipt before Feb 28, 2015. I will email you a .pdf, an .epub or a .docx file of Wolf’s lady for whichever device you use.
Thank you for reading! I’m still working on Wolf’s Princess and I can’t wait for you to read it! Another Rose/Sky snip is coming for Tuesday, so check back in in a couple of days.