Sunday, October 26, 2014

GGMMMU ~ Representing Shifters in an interview is Author J. C. McKenzie

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

What prey tell do your shifters shift into? Shifters shift into a variety of animals!
The Shifters in my stories have animal familiars (called feras). They bond to these feras during pubescence, and can change into whatever shape their fera has. So if a Shifter bonds to a wolf, they can shift into a wolf; if they bond to a raven, they can change into a raven, and so on. There are many different types of feras, but they generally tend to be predators.

What makes your shifters special or different? I think the feras, or animal familiars, make my Shifters different. Once bonded to the Shifter, the fera will live as long as the Shifter (who have extended lifetimes). The Shifter and fera can communicate through mind speech, and they’re very close. The death of a fera, also means the death of the Shifter, so the fera is every Shifter’s greatest gift, and greatest vulnerability.
Would you consider your monster to be good or bad? What is their greatest enemy? Do they have any allies? My monsters are good and bad. Being a Shifter or Were or any other supernatural being from my world (and there’s plenty) doesn’t dictate whether the person has a good or bad nature.

What do you envision their greatest characteristic to be? Their worst? Greatest: The ability to shift into an animal.

Worst: Shifters faced a lot of persecution when all the supes (supernatural beings) were originally exposed. The majority of the Shifter population was killed off by intolerant “norms,” more so than any other supe group at the time, because Shifters were very easy to spot. So, if I had to pick their worst characteristic, it’s that the majority of Shifters still hold a grudge toward norms and they don’t trust easily.

What two creatures would you love to see go toe to toe in a battle? You will be judged for creativity. ;-) Feel free to describe the battle. A turtle and a sloth. I’d invite friends, pull up some lawn chairs and play the “every time one makes a move we drink” drinking game. There’d be snacks, too. Ha! I love your answer. :-)

Choose three of the following and tell us what your creature would do with them, make out of them, use them for or what reaction they would have to them: an apple, an gemstone, a silver chain, a fish, a rat, a deer, a toad, a piece of pizza heavily dosed with garlic, a flower, treasure belonging to someone else, fire, a spider, a worm, a ball of string, a microphone and speakers, a wooden club, a mirror, a book, a cemetery, a boat, a moonlight bonfire, a sunny afternoon, a walk through the forest on an overcast day, a wooden stick, a Popsicle, a broom, a tree, a lost person, a baby, a body of water, a cross, a cage, wolfs bane, a rock, a rubber band, a chicken, a rabbit, a cave, rope, or a piece of candy. Mmmm deer is tasty. My creature would stalk the deer relentlessly through the forest before attacking. Once victory is established, my creature will play with the food before devouring the fresh flesh.

A flower? Can I eat it? No. Can I use it as a weapon? No. Can it camouflage or help me sneak up on prey? No. What the hell would I want a flower for?

Some of my creatures would use a wooden club to beat people up in human form. Some would use it as a chew toy. Others, the wooden club would be used for a great game of fetch or tug-a-war with a fellow pack mate. Depends on the type of Shifter and maturity level.

Which type of monster do you think would make the best love interest for your monster and why? The worst? The Shifters from my world match up very well with other Shifters and the Weres. Weres are different from Shifters in that they were made (lycanthropic virus), are stronger, and have to shift at certain moon phases. Shifters are born Shifters and can shift at will. The two groups often intermingle because of a shared understanding of dominance, having an alternate form, and their (unnatural) comfort of being naked amongst strangers and/or in large groups.

The worst? A Vampire. They smell like dead meat and blood to a Shifter, and Vampire sex smells like mildew and wine dregs. I don’t see that working out.

What scares you? Me? Lots of things. If we’re being serious, my biggest fear is having something happen to my son—something I can’t prevent or protect him from.

If we’re not being serious, I fear the world running out of chocolate.

What is your monster most afraid of? What makes it happy? A Shifter’s biggest fear is something happening to their fera.

Shifters are happy in their animal forms, whether they’re adrift in the night sky, padding along soft soil on the forest floor, or sinking their claws into moist bark.

Shifters love to be in nature, running amuck, or getting face deep in a bloody carcass.

What type of candy would you be apt to grab? Give out for Halloween? Chocolate.

Is this a trick question?

What is your monster’s favorite meal? Rare steak.

Is this a trick question?

What do you think is the most mis-construed idea about shifters? The biggest misconception is that Shifters are the same as Weres. For example, a Wolf Shifter is not the same thing as a Werewolf (at least not in my world).

What is a least known trait about them? They can talk to their feras through mind speech.

How do your shifters find or know their mate? By smell. The smell is different for each Shifter, but usually their mate will smell divine and they’ll be inexplicable drawn to each other.

Which kind of animal you would love to see as wereshifter that you have never read about/ heard about? LOL! I read a book once that mused about Werebunnies. I forget which book (I read so many), but I laughed out loud, because I’d always thought something similar: why aren’t there passive herbivore predators? I’d love to see one.

(Thea Harrison has a passive herbivore half-wyr in her Elder Races series, and I adored that)

What is your favorite type of monster to write about? Read about? Werewolves and Were Shifters. Yum.

This interview was based on characters in her book, Shift Happens. You can see more about that book as well as my review for it here.

She also has a book about a water sprite. You will have a chance to win a copy of The Shifter's Booktique in a few days. :-) J.C. donated three great prizes to the giveaways. Because that book has a water sprite in it, I decided that prize would be more fitting on the of sky and sea day. I will share more about the book then. :-)

Thank you J.C. for all of your generosity and time! :-)

Don't forget to enter the Comment Incentive Giveaway. It is a great chance to win a book you'd like to have! The link can be found at the top of the page.


  1. Where to start^^;; oki first since were and shifters are so different in your world have you thought about how would qualify their children ( if they can have some together)... are they more shifters ( having fera etc) or were since it was genetically manipulated?

    next werebunnies i never heard off but bunny shifters i read about ^^ there are some in the Ridgeville series by Celia Kyle ( he ain't lion book 1) it was quite funny to see it facing a lion^^

    then a water sprite? oh i want to learn more about that one so i will wait for the special day for it^^

    Thank you once again JC for your generosity

    1. I haven't read the Ridgeville series, but it's going on my TBR list!

      I have thought about what qualifies their children. Unfortunately in Shifter-Were pairings, if the mother is a Were, she's unable to carry a child to term because the forced monthly shifting is too traumatizing for the fetus. If the mother is a shifter and avoids shifting for the entire pregnancy, and the lycanthropy virus did not get passed on to the unborn child, the baby will be a shifter, since shifting is a heritable trait. If the virus is passed on, the pregnancy will not go to term either because the mother's immune system will attack it. You're born a shifter, you're made a Were. Shifters are immune to the lycanthropy virus.

      Great question!! Thanks for commenting :-)

    2. thank you a lot for answering me so completely. i love the fact you thought things so deeply

    3. Thanks! It was definitely something I decided early on. It doesn't really come up in my series right away, but it will and I wanted this detail ironed out from the get-go so I didn't contradict myself :-)

  2. Thanks for having me! I hope your readers enjoy my answers. I had a lot of fun writing them :-)

    1. i did enjoy your interview quite a lot^^ ( and dully noted about the chocolate ;))

    2. I take chocolate very seriously!

    3. any preference for teh chocolate? dark, milk? white? filled or plain?

    4. I don't discriminate with my chocolate preferences. I love them all. It really depends on my mood and how full I already am. If I just ate a large dinner, a little dark chocolate is fantastic. If I'm moping around the house and haven't eaten much, lots of milk chocolate suits me. If it's Christmas time...white chocolate!

  3. I love your take on shifters. Its so hard to find something unique now. I cant wait to read these. :)
    And I would absolutely love to come to that party with a fight between a sloth and turtle. Itd be a very long night but totally worth it! ;)

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! And yes, the party would be an all-nighter (at the earliest) and the drinking game might send me to the porcelain gods before the fight ended...but fun would be had! :-)