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Steinbeck, Shapeshifters & Werewolves

It was with great delight that I read an article in The Guardian newspaper this week about the discovery of a new (or should I say old) novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck. Forget your mice, or even your men, this unpublished novel is a shapeshifter mystery; a werewolf story shunned by publishers in 1930 and has, consequently, been hidden away since its rejection... I, for one, fervently hope that Steinbeck’s estate agrees to publish Murder at the Full Moon.

If shapeshifters and are good enough for John Steinbeck, one of the most read American writers of the twentieth century, then they should certainly be good enough for the rest of us!


In previous blogs I’ve explored our literary love of Demons & Dragons and Fated Mates & Werewolf Shifters. As readers, we love a great story with mythical beasts - even Narwhals & Unicorns.


I love shapeshifters and werewolf stories – especially ones that include sharp, professional women who can, yes, shapeshift.


In book one of my paranormal romance series, I have a panther shifter. The character is a male, but his life is quite literally saved by his fated mate, his arranged wife, vet Dr. Ana Jones.


In book three of my romance series, I have both male and female shifters – wolves. Both save the day in different ways within this paranormal romance novel. Like Steinbeck, I love a werewolf… although I suspect for quite different reasons!


Book five sees something a little different, and my hero takes to the air: Eagle shifters. Again, my female is a strong, confident and educated woman. She’s an agriculturalist and her skills pay a pivotal part in the plot of the series.


And book seven, the romance novel I’m working on now, has both male and female jaguar shifters. This novel deals with the murkier side of my dystopian Other Realm.


While I can’t pretend to possess the talent of Steinbeck (!) or that I attempt to pierce societal inequalities with my novels as he did, I am proud that I write with enjoyment and tell stories from the heart.


And, perhaps, that’s what Steinbeck was doing when he wrote Murder at the Full Moon under a pseudonym, and why he didn’t destroy the novel when it was rejected (as he did others) – he was writing from the heart.


Maybe one day we will be lucky enough to share in his story.


If you fancy having a go at writing your own novel - werewolf shapeshifter or otherwise! - these links might be helpful:

How to Write Paranormal Romance: Checklist for Authors | Beth Linton

Paranormal Romance Books: World Building | Beth Linton


You can find @bethlintonauthor on Instagram and also on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

  • To find out about my novels click here and visit my books page where you can find the blurb for the first five books in the romance series.




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