My 1,500th blog post!!!!
Okay, enough cheering.
Author Celeste Jones and I were talking recently about shapeshifter romances and trends. Shifter romances started with wolves, then big cats like panthers and leopards came along, and now bears are the hot trend (And dragons. A little more about that later). The interesting thing about bear shifter romances is that they are almost exclusively BBW novels. As the population gains weight, the romance genre in general is shifting toward creating Big Beautiful Women heroines anyway, but bears in particular like curvy girls. Why is that? Why do more bears than wolves or cats like overweight women?
But, I digress. What I was really wondering was how did these animals come to be chosen to be shifters in the first place? Why wolves, big cats and bears? I think an analysis of the animals’ characteristics shows why:
- Wolves, cats and bears are predators. They’re dominant animals at the top of the food chain. Sheep shifters probably wouldn’t sell. Ditto for gazelle shifters.
- There is a certain nobility about them. They’re impressive. Hyenas are predators too, but people don’t like hyenas—or wolverines. Elephants and horses are noble, but they’re not predators.
- Wolves, cats and bears are man-sized (or bigger!), and they’re handsome animals. Otters are predators, are cute as the dickens and are well-liked, but they’re too little to be impressive.
In summary, to be considered a candidate for a shifter romance, an animal must be a large attractive predator with a certain rep. In conclusion, I don’t think we have any more good shifter animals left! Rhinos? No. Giraffes? Don’t see it. Hippos? Huh uh. Great Apes? Too close for comfort. I have seen some alligator shifter stories, but I haven’t paid them any attention. I can’t warm up to a gator.
(I did read a review of shark-shifter romance. The reviewer chomped on it for lunch).
So once bears run their course, we’ll either have to recycle the same old animals or the genre will diminish. (I think this is one reason why dragons have become shifters. We’ve had to resort to magical creatures because we’re exhausted the shortlist of real ones).
Do you agree? If you disagree, what animal do you think would make the next good shifter candidate and why?
(BTW, of the three books shown here, I’ve read Gem Sivad’s Cat Nip. I liked it. I also enjoy Rebecca Royce’s books, but I haven’t read Summer’s Wolf. I ‘m not familiar with Officer Bear by Candace Ayers)