This story started a year and a half ago, when I told Laura Baumbach, the owner of Featherweight, that I wanted to write a YA werewolf novel. She told me to go for it, so I did. The story is not easy to read. Tobias Rogan, the main character, is changed into a werewolf while being sexually assaulted, so be warned of potential triggers if you choose to read the book. But Tobias is a strong character and even with the tough parts, I enjoyed writing his story.
You can check out the book on the Featherweight Press website. Meanwhile, here's the blurb and a short excerpt.
Tired of constant fighting at home, fifteen-year-old Tobias Rogan dreams of getting out. The. he meets twenty-two-year-old Larry Denning and believes he's found his chance. Although he hasn't decided completely whether he's straight, gay, or bi, Tobias can't deny his attraction to Larry, and Larry's interest in him is clear.
Then in one afternoon, Tobias's life is turned upside-down. Larry assaults him, turning him into a werewolf in the process. Tobias ends up at the home of the local pack's Alpha. As he attempts to adjust to his new life, Tobias learns that Larry is victimizing other boys. When Larry changes another boy and dumps him at the Alpha's home as a warning to Tobias, Tobias knows he must stop Larry from harming anyone else. But how?
Running was the only thing other than the ocean that let me stop thinking for a while. I stayed on guard, knowing Larry might run out of those bushes any time. I didn’t think much about it. I didn’t want to think. I just wanted to run.
Just when I’d decided he wouldn’t attack that night either, a large, furry thing burst out of the bushes. It landed in front of Art, snarling and growling. Art screamed and scrambled backward. The thing stalked toward him slowly, as if it was enjoying itself.
It hadn’t occurred to me that Larry might attack us in wolf form instead of human. The only way I’d be able to fight him now was to shift myself, and I didn’t know if I even could.
I didn’t have time to figure it out, either, because Larry was getting closer and closer to Art, and Art seemed to have forgotten how to run. I’d promised nothing would happen to him, and I had to keep my word.
“Hey, jackass!” I shouted. If I could distract Larry for even a few seconds, it might give me time to figure out how to shift. “I challenge you!” If I put it that way, I could say it was a challenge fight. I’d pretend I’d forgotten I could only challenge the pack member directly above me. I couldn’t let Larry keep hurting boys, but I was a little afraid of what would happen if the pack found out I’d planned the fight.
Even though I didn’t like myself too much for it, I was done being Larry’s victim.
He turned and looked at me, teeth bared. I was so scared my heart just about pounded out of my chest. The fear mixed with the blind fury from seeing Larry invading another of my homes was the trigger I needed.
I didn’t even realize at first that I was shifting. Then Art screamed again, and I saw fur on my arm.
It hurt. Not as bad as shifting back to human had, but bad enough I wished I could stop. I wanted to die so I wouldn’t feel that pain anymore. I couldn’t do either one. The shift had begun, and there was no way to stop it. My clothes tore and fell to the ground as my body grew too big for them.
Part of me didn’t want to stop the shift. The wolf part. It knew the only way to kill Larry was to be like him, which meant being wolf.
Larry lunged at me. I hadn’t even finished shifting yet. If he’d reached me, he would have ripped out my throat right then. I knew it as sure as I knew I would do the same thing to him. I refused to let him do anything to me. Art wouldn’t be able to fight, and I’d promised to protect him.
I fell backward and Larry missed me by about an inch. He whirled around, snarling louder, and came at me again.
I rose to my feet. Everything hurt, and I couldn’t think very clearly, but I wouldn’t just lie there and let him destroy me. I could beat him. I was strong enough.
This time, I let him attack me. He tried to bite me, and I twisted away. Art screamed a third time. I wanted to tell him to shut the hell up and go inside, except of course I couldn’t speak in wolf form.
Larry wasn’t paying attention. He didn’t think I was strong. His leg got a little too close to my teeth and I bit. Hard.
The taste of blood, warm and coppery, filled my mouth. It was good. Not the taste; knowing I had injured my enemy. He would die here tonight. I would make sure of it.