Guest Post (& Giveaway): Faith Hunter, author of Blood Trade: “Where did Beast’s voice come from?”

Blood-Trade-Blog-Tour-250 (2)Today I give the blog over to the awesome Faith Hunter, author of the Jane Yellowrock series (and more!). Blood Trade just came out, and Faith was kind enough to tell us a little bit about Beast’s very unique “voice” in the series!

Also, we have a copy of Blood Trade and a Jane Yellowrock Swag Pack up for grabs, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!




BloodTradeBeast is an interesting character to write for many reasons. One, because she is a mountain lion. Yep. A mountain lion. Two, because she has two souls and one is human.

On the day they met, Jane Yellowrock—a five year old child who was a Cherokee Skinwalker—was in her bobcat form, lost, starving, and alone. Beast caught that starving bobcat stealing a meal from her deer carcass and attacked. To save her live, Jane accidently did black magic and shifted into the body of the mountain lion, trapping its soul inside with her . So was Beast born. But not her voice. That took hard work.

How did it begin?

You’re gonna laugh. But when I first started to think about the character Beast—as opposed to the concept of Beast—all I could think about were the terribly politically incorrect old black and white Tarzan shows, with snappy and concise dialogue like “Me Tarzan. You Jane.” And, “Cheeta like bananas.” And, “White hunters look for elephant graveyard. Come!” (picture me rolling my eyes)

Yet, I knew that the primitive voice and language patterns of Tarzan would fit an animal mind and animal thought patterns. So I didn’t automatically toss away the memories. Then I read the first Temple Grandin book and I was hooked on the animal brain as opposed to the human brain versions. I began to see Beast as a coherent character in her own right, with her own needs and wants and desires and her own, predator-brand of morality. I began to see her someone most certainly not human. And someone who was clearly an apex alpha predator. Beast hunts down animals to eat. Beast eats meat.

Let me give you an example. In one of the early books, Beast kills and eats a mother rabbit, then tracks down the rabbit nest and kills and eats the babies. It is not a human reaction. Some readers hated it and said so, loudly! But to a predator, it was a merciful reaction, to not leave prey babies to starve to death. To end a time of suffering. It was the kind of thing a predator would do.

Beast’s voice was even more difficult to realize than Jane Yellowrock’s voice because Beast started out as a real mountain lion. with an animal brain, and she learned the concept of language from Jane, a Cherokee child. And Jane was a traumatized five year old girl whose spirit (at the time they met) was trapped inside that mountain lion body with Beast. Talk about hard to write!

Much later, Beast/Jane shifted into human again and were discovered by park rangers. Beast then had the opportunity to hide in silence in Jane’s brain and learn about human society and the English language while Jane herself did, but without the forebrain and gray matter that Jane now had. This gave Beast’s nascent (at best) language skills a character voice that was a lot like that original, primitive Tarzan voice.
My editor also helped with Beast’s voice, pointing out times when it was hard to follow, and indicating ways for me to refine Beast’s voice into something a little easier to read. And of course as Beast develops language throughout the series, her voice must change and evolve in ways that make sense to a reader.

Aside from their voices, Beast and Jane have different mores and ethics and world views. They want different things, they like different things: different people, foods, clothes, men. They have different mating habits. Sometimes they don’t like one another very much. And because they inhabit the same body, internal conflict arises that affects all the story arcs, all the story conflicts, all the personal relationships, and the mystery of their oneness becomes its own story arc that curves through the entire series.

Keep up with Faith: Website | Twitter | Facebook

1. You MUST fill out the form below (if you’ve signed into Rafflecopter before, it will remember you!)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of BLOOD TRADE by Faith Hunter + Jane Yellowrock Swag Pack to 1 winner
3. Giveaway is open to US addresses only
4. You must enter on or before 4/25/13
5. Giveaway items courtesy of Faith Hunter
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

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  1. I don’t remember the rabbit and babies killing – maybe its been too long since I read that book. I love Jane and Beast – I can’t wait to read more. Thanks for the awesome insight into her voice. I like it that the Editor’s really do help polish the work in more ways than just grammar.

  2. I love Beast! How interesting to find out how her voice came about!

    Debby xo

  3. Does Beast Age? Does Little Cat Age?

  4. I love Jane and Beast. I was heartbroken when I thought Beast was lost forever. I’ve introduced these stories to all of me friends who read paranormal fantasy and they all love it too!

  5. I’ve been wanting to read Faith Hunter since I say her mentioned in one of your posts here a couple weeks back….

  6. sounds interesting

  7. Hi Faith, Love the insight on Beast. I’m just over half way into Blood Trade & I’m loving it!
    I do have a question & I’m hoping you can answer it. Are Jane & her BFF Molly ever going to be close again? I can tell from the last book & this one that she misses her friend & her Angie-baby. Maybe I just need to keep reading, but my curious mind wants to know. 😉

    Thanks for sharing how Beast’s voice developed.

  8. I’d love to start reading this series! Thanks for the chance.

  9. Thanks for the awesome post! I’m a huge, huge fan of Faith 🙂 I’ve read all her books and she is an autobuy for me! I adore Beast b/c she is often the sounding board/pragmatic side of Jane and I think it definitely gives the Jane/Beast character a lot more depth.

  10. I have got to get started on this awesome series!

  11. Hi Faith,
    I’ve been a fan and a reader of Jane Yellowrock from day one. I love the character and hope the series runs for a hell of a long time.

  12. so your saying that there both in the same body? taking about never knowing witch one you talking two.

  13. I loved Skinwalker and just finished Blood Cross and absolutely loved it as well. I am so looking forward to continuing the series – Jane is the bomb! and Beast is awesome!

  14. I’m dying to read this after reading Faith’s guest post. The character of Beast sounds awesome! Thanks for the giveaway:)

  15. Thanks for the insight. I had noticed changes in Beast’s speech/thoughts and wondered about them. It never occurred to me that Beast would change and grow with time – duh! Can’t wait for the next book!!!

  16. Love this series!!! And I really like the insight into Beast’s evolving voice.

  17. Texas Book Lover

    Truthfully I have not started this series yet but it is next up for me start after hearing so many fabulous things about it! I am super excited to start it!

  18. I bought your first book, so I’m new to series. I love it. Looking forward to reading the next books. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. I really enjoyed this post. Learning more about how Beast’s voice came about and has evolved through the series was interesting. I always enjoy it when it’s Beast’s turn to take over and do things her way, it’s such a different perspective.

  20. I have the first book in the series. Can’t wait to read it!

  21. LOVE BEAST!! LOVE JANE! Sometimes I think I identify with the conflict!

  22. Need to read this series….:)

  23. I am a huge Jane/Beast fan. I can not wait for the next book in the series to be finished. What makes Jane/Beast so interesting is the fact that they are so different. I have noticed, over time, that they seem to be communicating to each other better. That’s not to say they get along, it’s more they are starting to understand what each other needs and wants. Though they don’t usually get that either. I have to say Jane/Beast is one of the most complex characters I have ever had the pleasure to read about, and I hope it will continue for a long time.

  24. Hi Faith! Thank you so much for giving us insight into Beasts world and mind. I love Jane’s relationship with Beast.

  25. I wondered how Faith kept the two personalities/voices separated so well.

  26. Great information to know. I had always wondered how beast got so good @ communicating with Jane. She does a very good job of getting her point across sometimes

  27. I am a little behind in my reading and just finished Death’s Rival. Loved it! I am intrigued by the new man in Jane’s life, Eli. He seems the most real/normal of anyone Jane’s had interest in. I have always preferred Rick over Bruiser. Let’s face it, Bruiser will always belong to Leo. But Rick’s willingness to prostitute himself for his former undercover police job never sat well with me. As for Beast’s willingness to accept Leo as a mate, that just shows how different Jane and Beast truly are. I can’t wait to read Blood Trade, to see what happens next!

  28. Thanks for the insight into how you found Beast’s voice. I’m glad that you have Beast learning and evolving over the series. She has spent a lot of time in a human brain, and she understands English and is self-aware in a non-animal way. I just love her!

    On the other hand, Jane has some reflexes and uses her senses better than normal humans as a result of her time spent as Beta to Beast. I would have expected her way of thinking to have been more heavily influenced by her time living as an animal, a predator. However, maybe those ways of thinking were lost or altered during her time in the children’s home. 🙂

  29. One of the things that kept me reading the series has been that Beast didn’t speak/think like a human. Too many series treat animals as human. Nothing wrong with animals thinking, but they think as what they are. Great series and writing.

  30. COOL!! I wondered how you got Beast to sound beast & not just a child with anti-social skills!! You’ve done a great job with that character & I’m really looking forward to watching her progress & grow. Thank you for the insight into your character building process!

  31. Love Beast^^ Faith Hunter is the Awesome.

  32. It’s a good series though I feel it’s starting to meander a bit in terms of overarching plot.

  33. I love this series, each book just gets better and better. The creative writing style and the addition of Beast’s voice just makes it so unique and fun to read. I love getting that wild and primitive perspective.

  34. The voice of Beast is perfect. Love all your Jane Yellowrock books. A great story with wit, humor, great plots, simply put reading at it’s best.

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