Guest Blog on Shifted Perspective
Crys suggested that I look at the characters in the book. There are a lot because I like to integrate the parents into things. I think that’s refreshing to see college age kids having someone to go to who knows more than they do and can offer advice. Still, I figured in the interest of time that I’d profile the main younger people/shifters in the cast and, also, one very special character.
1) Caleb Byrne – He’s the protagonist and the narrator for our story. He’s the one who has the misfortune to wake up one day as a Cocker Spaniel and to realize that he comes from a long line of canine shape shifters. His mom left his family when he was still a kid, and she definitely left that part out. He’s smart and droll, but also wounded in a lot of ways, especially because of his absent mom. He doesn’t like being a shifter, but he doesn’t have a lot of choice in learning to deal with it and accept his place in his extended family either.
2) Joanna Queen – She’s Caleb’s girlfriend and a bit of a Lois Lane wannabe. She moved to their small hometown in North Carolina (Mt. Airy, which is literally Mayberry) from the big city of Charlotte and has always been very urban and a bit dismissive of the slower pace of life in a little mountain town. She’s determined to make her mark as a reporter, and, on top of that, has a nose for the weird stories. She struggles to be supportive of Caleb while he keeps her in the dark about a lot of the changes in his life, but she also grounds him too.
3) Kalista Katsaros – She’s Caleb’s cousin, his mother’s sister’s child. She comes from a large family (a “litter” if you will) with three older brothers. Kalista’s been spoiled a lot as both the only girl in the family but also because of her father being close friends with the pack Alpha. She’s a bit shallow and has some odd life ambitions, top among them to place first at Westminster when shifted. Still, she envisions herself the Obi Wan to Caleb’s Luke Skywalker and tries very hard to get him integrated into his new world.
4) Peter Moretti – Surly, angry, and always posturing, Peter is the Alpha’s son, and next in line to lead the Southern California pack. He’s always harassed Caleb, even when he was just visiting the west coast and long before he grew into his abilities. There’s a definite grudge there that Caleb can’t even begin to figure out. Still, at the same time, Peter’s in a burgeoning relationship with Kalista and seems to care deeply about the safety of his pack.
5) Penny Spencer – She’s a bit of an eclectic case. Opting to skip college, Penny works as a “psychic consultant” for the L.A.P.D. by day and uses her enhanced senses and a bit of nascent shifter sixth sense to help solve crimes. By night, she is often used by the same oblivious group as a bomb sniffer for accident sites. After all, beagles have a superb sense of smell. She’s gruff around the edges and doesn’t humor Caleb often, but she’ll come through in a pinch.
6) Sampson – Caleb’s pet Blood Hound. He’s been a part of Caleb’s family for years and is now a bit of a crotchety older dog. Since one of the odder side effects of Caleb’s shifting is the ability to speak dog (Barkenese), Sampson has become a running font of sarcasm in Caleb’s life. He’s not all jokes, however, and often offers hard truths and homespun advice, almost like a second father or a grandfather figure.