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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Adding Realization to Writing by Terry Spear

I went to Cameron Park Zoo a couple of days ago to take pictures of some of the zoo animals to share on my blogs. But one of the animals I wanted to take pictures of most were the jaguars, and if they had any...wolves. No wolves. Just signs for wolves.

I wanted pictures of them because I write about wolf shifters and jaguar shifters. Part of the realism in writing unreal stories is to research the real and add it to the unreal. In Savage Hunger, I did a lot of research about both the Amazon and about jaguars. Jaguars are more elusive than most big cats. They don't kill people like most big cats are known to do--mountain lions, lions, and tigers. Yet jaguars are the third biggest roaring cat behind lions and tigers with the strongest bite of any of them.

When I watched them, I observed a jaguar hunting a Jurassic Era catfish, humungous fish, and included that fishing scene in Savage Hunger. Reality in a jaguar shifter unreal world. I also included the jaguar shifter playing with her tail, because I'd seen one do that when she was lying down and all of a sudden started playing with her tail!

When I was taking pictures of the jaguars, suddenly one of them began to run along the fence, tail swishing, whiskers on alert, ears twitching. The jaguar wanted so badly to hunt! I wasn't sure what had caught its attention, but it was ready. Can I use this in a book? You bet!

So I went to the zoo to take pictures, but also to ensure no jaguar shifters had been caged by accident. At first, I was thinking that this was just another big cat. Now I'm not so sure.

I have to share this gorgeous sleeping jaguar. I think it might be Wade Patterson, after all.

Do you use reality in your unreal worlds?

"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality."

About the Author

USA Today bestselling and an award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval romantic suspense, Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, that are personalized that have found homes all over the world. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses or gardening. Her family has roots in the Highlands of Scotland where her love of all things Scottish came into being. Originally from California, she’s lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas. She is the author of the Heart of the Wolf series and the Heart of the Jaguar series, plus numerous other paranormal romance and historical romance novels. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear.


Terry Spear said...

After I went to the zoo, I realized I should have taken my OWN video of the jaguars!!! The one began playing with a piece of wood. I took still shots, but I needed to take video.

I'll be going to the zoo in Omaha in Nov and the one in Houston in March.

Who would have ever thought going to the zoo could add realism to my otherworldly stories?

Lynda K. Scott said...

Great post on research, Terry! I remember the scenes your mentioned in Savage Hunger. Nicely done! I love the zoo anyway so going there for research is an excellent idea.

Terry Spear said...

Thanks so much, Lynda!! I'll be going with a friend to a big cat reserve sometime soon. You never know when something they do might end up in a story!

It's just like "creating" homes in my stories. I find great homes that are for sale that would suit my characters perfectly. I don't have to use my imagination to create them at all. Though in each, I'll personalize them to make them the characters' own places. :)

In Jaguar Fever, I had the picture of a tree-top cabin rental I used that was Maya's, and another set of cabins where Wade was staying. It was so much fun to use actual places--totally adds to the realism. The menus they offered, same thing. So in this story, they're not roughing it as much! :)

The zoo was neat. And I've been having fun just giving "zoo" posts...a collection of zoo animals and commentary. :) Today, it's all about owls. And on Halloween--bats!

Nancy Lee Badger also writes as Nancy Lennea said...

Visiting a zoo as research...you get all the good jobs! Thanks for the insight. (Where were the wolves?)23

Terry Spear said...

LOL, Nancy, it was fun! :) They had red wolf signs and gray wolf signs...but when I asked an employee, he said they hadn't had wolves there since he began working! They were shapeshifters, you see! And someone from their pack released them. :)