Monday, 3 April 2017

Writers' experiences writing gay, shifter or BDSM stories

The third in my series on writers’ experiences of writing gay, shifter or BDSM stories is from Jules Dixon who tells us her experiences of why she shifted genres.

Why I Shifted to Writing Shifter

This year I took a leap into a new genre of writing—paranormal shifter. In 2015, I published my first male/male romance called Spurs: Cherry County Cowboys 1. Calling on my love of western Nebraska’s ranching industry, I found myself immersed in building a world of visiting cowboys who meet their loves who are Cherry County residents (a doctor, a professional football draftee, and a local law enforcement officer). Thus, the cowboy changes and becomes a “Cherry County cowboy”. Kind of sneaky there, huh? That series currently has two novels and a short story and this year I’ll add the final novel and a holiday novel to finish it out.

But in giving a try at male/male romance I found a love of sharing the beauty between two people of the same sex, a raw and honest connection.

So when Evernight Publishing put out a call for paranormal shifter romance, which included a male/male call, I took a leap of faith. I’ve loved reading shifter for years now. Searching for all kinds of animals and pairings of relationships to quench my thirst. Some of the ones that have stood out are April Zyon’s Shifter’s-Match series ( and Dawn Sullivan’s R.A.R.E. series ( and Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series (

But still I was scared to give it a try. There were so many things to think about when writing shifter romance.

First, what kind of shifters did I want to write? My first shifter loves were the books having unusual animals in them, like owls and otters and pandas. But I also love dragons and mythical shifter stories. So did I want to be original or go traditional like cats, bears, and wolves. After looking at the anthology call, it said they wanted dominant animal species. And since this was my first try, I figured wolves might be a good bet. Lots of information out there about them and they tend to be territorial and ferocious. So wolves it was—grey and red.

Mooncrest Teaser Excerpt:

He stared into the eyes he’d seen in haunting dreams. Caramel colored and fathomless, their entwined destinies were right there inside of that gaze. But there was something different about this wolf.

Second, what place? This was supposed to be contemporary, but where was I going to set the story? A logical and traditional place is near forests, but I wanted to give it a twist, so I chose Colorado and created a fictional town of Mooncrest at the foothills of a mountain. One family is forester and one family is granite miners, which is true to Colorado, and I found some interesting tidbits to add as well.

Mooncrest Teaser Excerpt:

His trees grew at twice the rate of other’s in the area. Full-humans had questioned the forester, but he’d reply, “Must be the way the mountain faces”.

Third, what were the special traits of their shifting? In some shifter stories the shifters can telepathically talk to each other. I used this, plus I gave the Alpha shifter the ability to hear his mate’s thoughts and those of pack members as well when in their human forms. But he could turn it off when he wanted to. I also… wait, I want to keep a few things a secret.

Mooncrest Teaser Excerpt:

This home would take a little getting used to, but his wolf was already imagining sliding down the railing. He tamped him down with a quick hush.
“I heard that.” Saber chuckled.
How would he ever have any secrets? Anything to keep to himself? Hell, Saber’d probably already heard him talking to himself about…

Lastly, the story development, was there something special to add? After long consideration, I decided to make a “Mother Wolf” spirit who chose the fated mates for the pack members, and gave the pack members special skills, like tracking, or healing…’ll have to read to find out!

Mooncrest Teaser Excerpt:

This intense peace meant only one thing. The Mother Wolf’s divination had come true, a mate would be his tonight.

Writing this story was thrilling, but being chosen to have the story added to the anthology filled me with pride. I’ve already started on a second story in the Mooncrest series. And I wrote a companion male/female story, too. Evernight Publishing would like to see that story as a longer piece of work and I’m already working to fill in some of the holes to make it a novella or even a novel.

Being an author and stretching my writing voice to other genres is exciting. I’m not sure when the anthology will be released, but it won’t be long. I hope you’ll consider checking out my website and Facebook page to keep in touch to find out when the release happens.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to find out why I shifted to shifters.


Jules Dixon

Evernight Publishing author page:

Many thanks, Jules. Look out next Monday for the next guest blog. If you wanted to read the others:

Jennifer Denys click here.
Samantha Winston click here

This series is to inspire people to write for my Balls & Chains series – a gay shifter series set in a BDSM club. If you are interested full details can found on Luminosity’s website. The first book in the series ‘To Claim a Mate’ is out in mid May.


  1. This was an interesting read, and there's nothing hotter than a MM shifter story. Thanks for sharing ;)

  2. Thanks for having me Jennifer! Best of luck with the Balls and Chains series. Looking forward to reading more of these interviews.
    <3 Jules