When I first started writing my Special Wolf Alpha Team (SWAT) Series, I quickly figured out that I needed to re-envision the werewolves that would be the focus of my story. In the series, the werewolves are all part of the Dallas SWAT team, using their abilities to protect and serve.
From the name, you can obviously also tell that they’re all alphas—gotta have that sexy alpha-male thing going on! I couldn’t work with the traditional werewolf that only showed up during the full moon, though. That would be a rather extreme limitation to doing their jobs. I also didn’t want the typical “cursed” werewolf or the out of control “monster” (aka American Werewolf in London style). These guys had to be hunky, sexy, and–just as importantly–functional as cops.
Yet, at the same time, I wanted these guys to be rough around the edges with a hint of danger to them. I also wanted them to be a diverse group, with some having abilities the others haven’t mastered. Finally, since I was planning the series to be 16 books (or more!), I knew I had to have more complex mythology than just a big, bad alpha wolf. I want some of the werewolf characters in future books to be completely different.
These crazy desires led to the mythology for my SWAT Werewolves…
To start with, my werewolves are essentially born, not made (getting bitten or scratched by another werewolf won’t turn a person into one). They’re born with what I think of as a recessive gene that lies dormant inside them, only turning on when the person (man or woman) reaches a certain age, essentially when they become an adult.
By itself, the gene isn’t enough to make that person a werewolf, though. Once the gene flips on, the person has to go through an adrenaline-pumping, life-or-death situation. Something about the physiology of almost dying allows the gene to do its work, and that person becomes a werewolf. If that isn’t hard enough, the gene only stays active for a certain period of time. If the latent werewolf doesn’t goes through that dramatic event during that open window, which could be a few months or a few years, he or she never changes.
Those few people who go on to become werewolves pick up several basic characteristics—the typical werewolf claws and fangs; exceptional vision and sense of smell; strength, speed, and aggressive tendencies running the gamut from a little to a lot. For some, that’s as far as they’ll ever get. They’re human with some werewolf capabilities. But for others, based on their personalities and acceptance of the beast inside, they’re able to shift fully into their true wolf shape. I really loved the idea of being able to write about werewolves in all their possible forms. I think it keeps the stories fresh.
Beyond the form that my werewolves can take, I also sprinkle in another nuance of werewolf hierarchy. You see, when a human goes through the dramatic change I described above, not everyone comes out the same. The details of the dramatic event, as well as pre-existing personality traits, have a lot of say in what the werewolf will end up like.
If the event was more heroic, there’s a greater chance of the werewolf coming out as an alpha, meaning big, strong, fast, and aggressive, with incredible healing abilities. Alphas can be headstrong and hard to deal with sometimes because they don’t like people telling them what to do. But they also make the best SWAT officers because they’re fearless, courageous, and loyal to the pack, not to mention damn hard to kill.
There are betas out there, too. They’re strong and fierce, but not to the same degree as an alpha. They also work well in the pack environment, and actually form tighter pack bonds than alphas since they need each other so much more.
Of course, there are omegas as well. They’re nearly as strong and aggressive as alphas, but they can be a little crazy. They’re nearly impossible to control and are more likely to get themselves and others killed than anything else. When they go into a rage (which tends to happen a lot for them) even an alpha needs to watch out. An omega will literally kill himself (or herself) trying to get the person they’re after. As you can imagine, omegas aren’t real big on pack bonds. They have a habit of looking out only for themselves. They may move in and out of pack circles, drawn to the companionship of the pack, but it rarely works out for long.
And just when you think you have all the rules down, and really understand the Paige Tyler werewolf world, there’s one more little tidbit of information for you. A werewolf isn’t necessarily locked into one hierarchical category or another. There are rumors out there that any werewolf can go a little omega if they don’t socialize with other werewolves early enough in their development, or if something really bad happens to them. And betas? They’re not stuck in their roles, either. There are folk tales of betas turning alpha when their packs are threatened. I can’t really say if it’s true or not because I haven’t seen it yet. But if this series has taught me one thing, it’s that pretty much anything is possible.
Oh yeah, one last little thing you need to know to really understand where these stories are going to take you is that each werewolf out there (alpha, beta, or omega) only has one shot at love and meeting The One, truly that one in a billion person he or she is meant to be with. When a werewolf meets The One for them, no other rules apply, and nothing will stop them from being together. Not common sense, not the law, not even the pack. It’s a force that no one can resist for long, stronger even than the werewolves themselves.
Have fun reading the SWAT Series!
About HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
INTRODUCING SWAT: SPECIAL WOLF ALPHA TEAM
They’re on target
They’re as alpha as men can get
The Dallas SWAT team is hiding one helluva secret…they’re a pack of wolf shifters.
The team of elite sharpshooters is ultra-secretive—and also the darlings of Dallas. This doesn’t sit well with investigative journalist Mackenzie Stone. They must be hiding something…and she’s determined to find out what.
Keeping Mac at a distance proves impossible for SWAT team commander Gage Dixon. She’s smart, sexy, and makes him feel alive for the first time in years. But she’s getting dangerously close to the truth—and perilously close to his heart…
Fresh Fiction reviewer Monique Daoust hails HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF as an “Exciting, action-packed debut to a promising new paranormal series.” Read our full review here, and buy your copy of the book today!
About Paige Tyler
Paige Tyler is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com. She and her very own military hero (aka her husband) live on the Florida coast with their adorable dog.