Anonymous asked: When you first wrote Raised By Wolves did you always know (trying to say this w/o spoilers) what would happen with Chase in Taken By Storm?
I’m happy to answer this question, and give you a peak at my thought process, but two disclaimers up front:
1. As a reader, you have a right to feel however you feel about the books you read, including this one. You’re the one who invested time and emotion reading this series, and your reaction is yours. There is no right or wrong way to react, and nothing I say about my process will change that, nor is it meant to.
2. I’ve answered this question about my process by talking about my understanding of the characters. But the characters, as they exist in an author’s head, and the characters as they exist on the page are two different things. My interpretation is not the definitive interpretation. I can talk about what I was thinking, but the way you see things is just as valid.
And, now I will actually answer the question…
[HERE THERE BE SPOILERS. SPOILERS AHOY]
When I wrote the first Raised By Wolves book, I didn’t even know there was going to be a sequel. I hoped there was! But the book was sold as a standalone, and I didn’t know until a year later that I was going to get to write TRIAL BY FIRE. So I definitely was not thinking “two books from now, I AM GOING TO WREAK HAVOC ON READERS.” If you’d told me at the end of book one that it was going to happen, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.
[NUMFAR, DO THE DANCE OF SPOILERS] [SERIOUSLY, GUYS, I AM GOING TO SPOIL ALL THREE BOOKS HERE.]
I started to suspect, though, in book two. Becoming alpha changed Bryn (no pun intended).
When Bryn and Chase first fell for each other (very quickly and in emotionally heightened circumstances), she was just a human teenager in Callum’s pack. She wanted answers, she was on the verge of rebelling, and there he was. She was drawn to him, in large part,because they were the same. She’d never met another Resilient person before. More than that, though, they were both survivors. There was this whole part of her life that she never really talked about, that she tried pretty hard not to even think about, that no one in Callum’s pack would ever really get… and then all of a sudden, there was this person, and he’d been through the exact same thing. He had the same nightmares. They wanted—needed—the same thing. And just like Bryn was an oddity in Callum’s pack—human, raised by werewolves—so, too, was this boy who’d been born human, but Changed into a Were.
The two of them bonded. They, essentially, became this little pack of two. And if it had stayed that way, life would have turned out very differently for them both.
But things didn’t stay that way.
Bryn became alpha of a much larger pack. And Chase was more of a loner by nature. Throughout Trial By Fire, Bryn is struggling with that change, because whatever she was before, alpha, and the need to protect her pack, was quickly becoming perhaps her most defining feature.
There’s a part of Trial By Fire where Chase makes it very clear that if he has to pick between the pack and Bryn, he’d pick Bryn, hands down. He doesn’t resent the fact that she’d pick the pack over him. He loves her for it. But he will always, always pick her, and that bothers Bryn. And then it bothers her that it bothers her.
But then Chase puts his life on the line to save a member of Bryn’s pack, and when he’s explaining himself, he says something along the lines of (paraphrasing, because I do not have the book in front of me), “If I had to pick between you and the pack, it would be you, every time. But if I had to pick between the pack and my own life, I’d pick them. For you.”
And that was the moment when I first thought: this might not end well for Chase. Because here he is, at the eye of the storm, in this brutal, lethal world, and he’s just told the girl he loves that not only would he die for her, he would die for the people that she loves.
And because Bryn is Bryn, that list—of people she would die for—is always getting bigger. And in Taken By Storm, the stakes and the danger her enemies present just keep getting higher…
I was not certain, when I sat down to write Taken By Storm, how it would end. But ultimately, with the world I’d built and the characters I’d put in it… it all kept leading to one thing. With each of the three books, I had a moment when I thought “Do I really want to go there?”
With book 1, it was when Callum orders Bryn beaten.
With book 2, it was when Bryn kills Lucas.
And with book 3, it was Chase.
Ultimately, each time,as an author, I decided that the event would happen with the world I had built, and that pulling back would compromise the story. So each time, I did it.
So there you have my thought process! Or at least some part of it. As an author, I was trying to be true to the characters and world as I knew them.