When I was originally plotting out the Moon series, I knew I wanted to do more than just the typical werewolf as hero story. I knew I wanted werecats, but after that I was pretty much open to anything after that. I did some research into the top level predators, but I still wanted something more. I decided to model the weres present in my world off of the natural order, which meant I needed some scavengers and “lesser” predators thrown in the mix.
I’ve always found jackals fascinating. I love how they form monogamous pairs and their connection with ancient Egypt and Anubis. Why not have an order of assassins based off of them? As animals, jackals are pretty small; even in my world with a little were-bulk, they aren’t going to be huge enough to take down a full grown wolf or leopard. So give them a gun, some crazy training and set them loose in human form to even the odds. I thought that it would provide some drama and drive home the idea that not everything is as it appears (obviously, but still).
But I had to have a villain with some heft of its own and again I looked to predators. Hyenas get a bad rap in a lot of things (hello Lion King), but they are pretty interesting beasties. And they have a matriarchal society. I liked that idea and I wanted a villain I could really sink my teeth into (pun sort of intended). So I went with hyenas, and to make it extra weird, I made them the prettiest of all my weres. I figured that they’d been hosed on the looks department while in animal form (because, I’m sorry, but even baby hyenas can’t be called cute and they are BABIES) so they needed something to compel reproduction. And thus my equation of Hyena Hotness (patent pending) = Human Form. I loved the contradiction there.
I wanted to do something fresh, something that would liven up the genre. I had seen a ton of werewolf books, a few wereleopard books, but I hadn’t seen any werejackal or werehyena novels. I threw in a werebear as a cameo just to add another possibility into the world to flesh it out. I hope I managed to surprise readers and keep them intrigued. The world, even a paranormal one, would be boring if we always knew what to expect.
Jeanette Battista graduated with an English degree with a concentration in medieval literature which explains her possibly unhealthy fixation on edged weapons and cathedral architecture. She spent a summer in England and Scotland studying the historical King Arthur, which did nothing to curb her obsession. To satisfy her adrenaline cravings—since sword fighting is not widely accepted in these modern times—she rode a motorcycle at ridiculously high speeds, got some tattoos, and took kickboxing and boxing classes. She gave up the bike when her daughter came along, although she still gets pummeled at the gym on a regular basis.
When she’s not writing or working, Jeanette spends time with family, hikes, reads, makes decadent brownies, buys killer boots, and plays Pocket Frogs. She wishes there were more hours in the day so she could actually do more of these things. She lives with her daughter and their two psychotic kittens in North Carolina.