Author Bio: Kalayna Price is the urban fantasy author of the Haven series and of the upcoming Alex Craft novels. She draws ideas from the world around her, her studies into ancient mythologies, and her readings of classic folklore. Her stories contain not only the mystical elements of fantasy, but also a dash of romance, a bit of gritty horror, some humor, and a large serving of mystery. To find out more, please visit her around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Read an excerpt of Twice Dead here.
One question I’ve been asked a lot since I started writing the Haven series is why I chose to write about cat shifters.
I’m both a cat and dog person, and count both among my family members, but, for me, there has always been something about cats. My favorite (real) animals are all big cats. It’s the way they move. Their grace. Their strength. Even when at play, cats look like what they are—predators. So, when I decided I wanted to write about a race who spent half their time as animals, it seemed natural to pick cats.
The mythology I created in the Haven series includes several different ‘breeds’ (if you will) of shifters, but my main character, Kita, is descended from a clan of cats. These are mostly big cats–lions, tigers, cougars, and such—but Kita herself shifts into a small calico cat. I made this decision because I wanted her out of place among her kind and to be seemingly harmless. Seemingly being a key word there.
Any cat owner knows that cats’ attitudes are much bigger than their bodies. Sometimes they get spooked and hide from the smallest things, and other times they will take on people and animals four times their size. I remember watching a video once where a house cat chased a bear up a tree. That’s a lot of attitude.
I tried to blend a lot of cat-attitude in Kita—which at times can make her extremely difficult as since cats are extremely independent. As anyone who has interacted with a house cat knows, they can be wonderfully loving and demand excessive attention, but that attention is going to be on their terms—not their owners. They also tend to resent help. My house cats will rear back, staring at some high point they intend to jump to, but I best not interfere or pick them up and put them on that high ledge. No, that just isn’t acceptable. They will stare at me, hop down, and then either walk off or turn around and try to launch themselves again.
Cats are also territorial—especially most big cats. This creates an interesting dynamic in Kita’s clan, which I’m excited readers will get to see a lot more of when Kita returns to Firth in Third Blood. But while I tried to merge a lot of cat personality traits in with Kita and my other cat shifters, they are also tempered by being human. It is a lot of fun to work with both the personification of cats, and figuring out how a society full of strong natured shifters would have had to evolve because this effects how Kita acts and reacts to the events in the series as she struggles with her nature (both new and old). If she had been anything other than a cat, her personality and her choices would have been far different and it would be a very different story.
Synopsis (Product Description):
Kita Nekai, on the run and the smallest of her shifter clan-a calico cat among lions and tigers-is being hunted. She was expected to accept her role as her father’s successor whether or not her cat was up to the task of leading the clan. She disagreed. Now she’s less than a step ahead of the hunters, bone-tired, cold, and living hand-to-mouth in the city of Haven. And that’s the high point of her day. She’s also drugged, “accidently” turned into a vampire, and sentenced to death for recklessly creating a rogue shifter who tortures its human prey. She’s got seventy-two hours to find the rogue, evade a city full of hunters, prove she’s not responsible for the rogue, and keep the vampire council from killing her. All while sorting out an apprentice mage, a married ex-boyfriend shifter-hunter, and the vampire who made her.
Synopsis (Product Description):
Kita is adjusting to her new liquid diet–an adjustment she rather resents. Not that everything was chocolate and sunshine before (though both were possible before the sexy but infuriating Nathanial sank his fangs in her business). Kita’s ability to shape shift into a kitten when her peers shifted into lions and tigers complicated her life, to say the least, but getting stuck in one form–that of a human shaped tick, a.k.a. a vampire–sucks, literally. Her adjustment period is violently interrupted when she discovers a headless corpse during a party for a visiting vampire council. But, the headless dancer won’t be the only corpse she encounters.
Kita’s involvement draws the attention of the Collector, an ancient vampire with an inclination to acquire two things: power and oddities. As a pureblood shifter turned vampire, Kita ranks high on the collectability list–not a safe place for anyone who values her freedom, and Kita is not the only one on the list. But with the body count rising, there is more at stake than freedom. A killer is slithering through the underbelly of Haven’s vampire community, and with the supernaturals dealing in unnamed favors, it’s a bad time to be a kitten who can’t slip her skin.
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