Anonymous asked: Why was it important to you to mention to the reader in Raised By Wolves that Bryn saw Callum as an uncle or older brother instead of as a father-figure?
In Raised By Wolves, especially at the beginning, Bryn is still living with one foot in the human world. So when she’s describing her relationship to Callum, she tries to put it in human terms. He’s like an uncle… He’s like a big brother… and so on. But the thing is, you really can’t describe their relationship in human terms. He was her alpha. Eventually, Bryn will stop trying to fit that into neat little human boxes, but at the beginning of Wolves, she’s much more of a human, mentally, than she is at the end.
But that answers a different question (why does Bryn describe him like an uncle or a brother, when he’s really not that much like an uncle or a brother at all?). To answer the question as to why Bryn never refers to him as being like a father—in the very first draft I wrote, she did. But my editor, wise woman that she is, wrote back and said “but he’s really not a father figure, is he? He’s her alpha, and that’s a totally different thing.”
So I thought about it and decided that she was right. Ali is the one who raised Bryn. She’s her mother, in a way that Callum is absolutely not her father. Callum was this larger than life figure who swept into and out of Bryn’s life when she was younger. He was a very central figure, yes, but it was always very clear that Ali was the parent, and Callum was the alpha, and those are two very different things. In fact, if you look at the arguments that Ali and Callum have in Raised By Wolves, you’ll see that Ali wanted that to be very clear. Bryn was always her daughter, not Callum’s. Ali always, always puts Bryn first. But Callum? Like Bryn in later years, he has to play the long game.
Think of it this way: Callum’s relationship with Bryn has a lot of parallels to Bryn’s relationship with Lily in the later books. Callum rescued Bryn from a rabid werewolf when she was very young. Bryn rescued Lily from a rabid werewolf when she was very young. Callum was Bryn’s alpha, but Ali was the parent day-to-day. Bryn is Lily’s alpha, but if you read between the lines in the books, it’s really Ali who’s raising Lily, alongside the twins.
So imagine, ten years from now, that Lily is describing Bryn. The first term she’d go for is alpha, of course, because that comes loaded with meaning to werewolves and describes their relationship perfectly. They’re family. They’re pack. Bryn would do anything to protect Lily. And so on. But what if Lily were trying to put it in human terms?
She might describe Bryn as being like an older sister. Or maybe like an aunt. But can you imagine her describing Bryn as a mother-figure? For me, the answer to that question is no. Werewolves very much so have an “it takes a village to raise a child” perspective, but alpha and parent are still not interchangeable, even when the child in question is very young.