BTS: A Beary Good Story

December 5, 2022

You may or may not know this, but as a reader, my favorite romance subgenre is paranormal. Since I tend to write what I love to read, my list of PNR titles is almost as long as my contemporary titles (though decidedly less well known).

And, like my reading tastes, the stories run the gamut from dark to light, suspenseful to funny, steamy to sweet. My holiday bear shifters fall on the light, feel-good side of the spectrum.

But how did they come to be? And why bears?

Excellent question.

The answer: road trips. Specifically, road trips with my daughter.

My youngest (by one minute) inherited my storyteller gene, and we’ve spent many long car rides talking books, stories, characters, and potential plot lines.

It started back in 2017, when I was part of a multi-author project to write holiday shifter books. My daughter and I both agreed that bears would make great holiday shifters, and the seed for A Very Beary Christmas was planted. 

A few years later, I was picking her up from college and the subject of polar bears came up. She knows I love polar bears (I have quite an extensive collection of stuffies as well as t-shirts), and she was excited to tell me about a town in northern Canada she’d learned of, one that is known as the polar bear capital of the world.

As she was talking, I could see the story unfolding in my head – a tight-knit community of humans and polar bear shifters, working together to save their ever-dwindling world. I laughed, too, when I imagined adolescent  bears being airlifted out to ice floes as a special treat for putting on a good show for tourists.

Unsurprisingly, those ideas became the basis for Going Polar.

And my latest, Bearly Festive? Well, the idea for that came from one of our many trips through the mountainous, heavily forested state game lands between Trexler and Tresckow (bonus points if you can pronounce that correctly), where there are plenty of bear crossing signs warning drivers of potential furry paw-destrians. Driving those roads – especially at this time of year when Christmas tree lots pop up every couple of miles – it’s easy to imagine one of those crossing bears having a tree farm of his or her own.  

What’s next in the Beary Christmas world? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll find out on our next roadtrip…