Writing Shapeshifter Stories

I’ve always loved shapeshifter stories and knew that I would write one. Now, I’ve written twelve and I have ideas for so many more.


The idea of people who could, not only turn into an animal, but who had those animal traits and lived by the rules of that type of animal’s lifestyle, intrigued me.

I read many stories in which the person just happened to shift into some kind of animal, but they were otherwise unaffected by that animal. I wanted stories of people who were truly merged with that animal on such a fundamental and profound level that you could feel it when the traits of the animal began to manifest while that person was in human form. And, when in animal form you felt that the personality and beliefs of the human were somewhere deep inside the animal.

When I decided to create my own shapeshifter world I chose leopards for many reasons. One was that I love leopards. I love the majesty of them, the grace and power. They are both beautiful and dangerous all at once.

As I began my extensive research on leopards I realized that leopards from different regions have their own differences from one another. That’s part of the reason I chose the Amur leopard for my Texas leopards. Amur leopards can be found in Russia. I’d already researched Russia and even the Russian mob for other books, so this seemed both natural and fun to write.


Amur leopards are growing extinct. Sadly, there are less than 100 Amur leopards left in the wild. These leopards are one of the most endangered. They are strong predators. I wanted to bring these amazing animals to people’s attention and I wanted to be able to discuss the issue of their slow extinction without it sounding like a lesson.


Mitya Amurov, the hero of Leopard’s Wrath, embodies all the traits of an Amur leopard. So much so, that he doesn’t trust himself. With good reason. Leopards have terrible tempers. They are very dominant. They take what they want or what they need to survive.
Mitya, in my mind, is an example of a shapeshifter character that merges and blends both human and animal. You feel how Mitya struggles to keep his leopard and his leopard traits under his control, which isn’t always possible. It couldn’t be. Not if I’m being true to the rules I’ve set up for my world. The leopard needs to be equally dominant at times. It needs to push at Mitya, insisting on having its way.

The one thing both Mitya and his leopard can agree on is that Ania Dover is special. She calms them. She calls to them on a basic level. And, they want her. Need her. With her leopard pushing at her, recognizing Mitya’s leopard, a sort of dance begins. Sometimes volatile. Always erotic.
Leopards embody passion and when that explodes within the confines of a human body, that passion owns them.

Leopard's Wrath is out now!

Let me know what you love about shapeshifter books. Which of mine are your favorite? Who else writes good shapeshifter books?
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Published on November 06, 2019 10:24 Tags: christine-feehan, leopard-s-wrath, leopard-series, shapeshifter
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message 1: by Tina (new)

Tina  Alicea I love your Leopard series! I haven't read many outside of yours so I'm going to keep my favorite picks with you. A few of my tops in the series is:
Rio...he had a wild untameable characteristics to me especially living in the jungle in his tree house.
Eli...aggressive and dominant yet attentive and sweet
Fyodor...fierce and deadly, understanding and patient (loved the beginning slow dance you could say of how long it took him to make his move/claim on Evangeline). I can't wait to read Mitya and Sevastyan's stories.

message 2: by Monique (new)

Monique Two other authors that immediately spring to mind are Carrie Vaughn and Patricia Briggs.

message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I love yours I read a lot of paranormal but the way you blend the shifters with the person is perfect My favorites are all the amur leopards and their ppl I love all the leopard series but I've reread all of their book 4 times all ready

message 4: by April (new)

April Mcmillan I am passionate about the leopard series. I love the beautiful animals and how the characters embody and embrace and even love their leopards inside them. Hard to pick favorites as I love them all but Burning Wild is what hooked me hard, Wild Fire set my burn for the series, Leopards Fury set me soaring, Leopards Blood took it to a whole other level, and now Leopards Wrath is continuing The CRAVE...Try Leopard Series Readers and be WILD!

message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily LeFloch I love this series. It's one of my favorites and I re-read them from the beginning to the newest ones all the time. There is something about them that pulls me in. You create characters that are always relatable to me in some way. I just purchased Leopards Wrath and am about to start it. Super excited! I can't wait for more books. I also love that it's not a typical shifter romance. There is such complexity and depth to it that it's that much more enjoyable. As someone who was in high school when the Twilight and Shapeshifter craze happened, I've gotten tired of the same stories over and over again, with the same themes. Yours are nothing like it. It's a puzzle that you're putting together, piece by piece, and I'm always anxious to get the next one. Please keep writing this series! I love it. :)

message 6: by Marybelle (new)

Marybelle I loved Leopard’s Wrath. I think the relationship between Mitya and Ania is so dynamic (even though Fydor and Evangeline are my favorites). Although a little more graphic than what I’m comfortable with, the character development is so exceptional, it was well worth the read. There were times in the story I really wished I could give Ania a hug. You always make the charters so alive that the reader just wishes they could sit down at the bakery, have a pastry , and chat.

message 7: by georgia loney (new)

georgia loney When will you next leopard book coming out I have read all of the just waiting

message 8: by Cyn (new)

Cyn Partridge i cant wait for the next book after mitya's book as i have read and reread the series about 6 times and i really wish we knew if rachel and rio actually had any kids and what about brandt and his wife as well

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