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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guest Post/Giveaway: Nine Lives of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista

Nine Lives of an Urban Panther
Amanda Arista

Dear Diary,

With new supernatural creatures popping up at every turn (Ghouls?Really?), the city divided, and my long-lost cousin blazing into town, I've got a lot on my mind. Oh, not to mention I'm supposed to be planning a wedding. Chaz has got to be the best, most patient (and probably clinically insane) fiance around.

But defeating my sworn enemy in a battle for the souls of Dallas is going to require more than just my full attention. It means learning to depend on everyone—especially Chaz—if any of us are going to make it out of this alive. Because if Plan A doesn't work, I'm going to need them for Plan B. And Plan C . . .

How to create chaos
By Amanda Arista

            One day, as I was sharing my love of HBO’s True Blood, my friend started shaking his head. When I asked why, he said, “The world is too complicated, there is so much paranormal stuff going on, I can’t keep it all straight.”

Though I agreed with him at first (who needs more drama than what Eric and Bill can give poor Sookie), as a writer, I completely understood why the mythology for that series kept getting bigger: its too much fun making stuff up to stop and the more problems you can introduce into the universe, the more fun you can have.

The Diaries of an Urban Panther series is proof in point.

In book one, Diaries of an Urban Panther, I only wanted to write about shifters. I like animals. I knew how that played into Violet Jordan’s character journey. In my universe, Shifters are humans with the ability to use their magic to change their physical form into that of an animal. Like other mythologies, increased healing and body temperature made sense. They belong to packs, prides, or pards depending on what breed rules and the Primo is their head honcho. Just to be on the safe side, I decided the pack needed some structure and added a Riko, the protector within a pack, and a Shala/Shalar, the teacher and healer within a pack.

Simple enough right. There should have been enough pack politics to keep the series going on forever, right? Probably, to be honest. But it is SO much fun to make up magic that I wanted to expand on the mythology of the world and get some more heavy hitters in there. In Claws and Effect, we learn that Wanderers are the descendants of the first race of beings created by the earth itself from the magics it possessed. The Mother is the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful being the Wanderers attribute with giving them their powers.

Like everything else, there are good guys and bad guys. The Cause is a fraternity of Wanderers who have vowed to protect the balance of humans and Wanderers. Each Guardian has a special skill suited to their calling. For our romantic lead, Chaz Garrett, he has the power to find people once he’s locked onto their energy trail.

In the Wanderer universe, for every good deed, there is a bad. The Order is a brotherhood of Wanderers who believe that they should be ruling over humans. It’s pretty simple. The Cause wants peace; the Order wants domination, not unlike the struggle between Professor X and Magneto.

So then, I threw in some more magical guys just to make sure that Violet and her new found power is being appropriately tests. Seers have the ability to see the past, present, future, but only one of the three. Elementals use their magic to manipulate their elements. And the Fairies, how could I have forgotten about Jessa Feychild, Violet’s best friend and fairy princess on the run. Her ability to change perceptions and see the unseen come in very handy when Violet’s in a pinch.

So for book three, I thought “I’m good, I’ve got a whole world here.” But my little need for chaos overpowered me and some new but familiar species were added in as characters that Violet would have to learn to trust. Vampires actually do drink blood which helps in their ability to control others’ perception of them. Witches have the ability to collect the raw magic of the earth and form it to their will.

And what’s a good universe with out some minions. Shades come into play as disembodied souls who suck power from others so they can solidify. Ghouls had the life sucked out of them so now they hunger for life again. Oh, and they rot. It’s gross.

So we throw all of these beings with all their own motives into a pot and stir and Voila, Nine Lives of an Urban Panther.

It’s a big universe with a lot of potential running around in it and I hope I get the chance to create a little more chaos in the Those Who Wander universe.

Daily Giveaway on Fictional Candy: One eArc of Nine Lives of an Urban Panther

 Tour Wide Giveaway:
Leave a comment and enter to win a Diaries of an Urban Panther gift set at the conclusion of the Nine Lives blog tour, running August 20th to September 3rd. See my website for details.

Amanda AristaFacebook: AmandaArista Fan Page (one like equals one entry into the giveaway)Twitter: @pantherista (a follow equals one entry into the giveaway) (comment on the tour info equals one entry as well).
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