Wednesday, March 05, 2014


WOLF LEGEND (Legends Trilogy #2)
by Florence Witkop

How Living Where I Do Relates to Writing This Story,
Where The Inspiration Came From, and 
Challenges I Encountered
By Florence Witkop

I live in wolf country. Not a heavy population of wolves, but enough. We also live not too  far from a wolf research facility and withing a day's drive of the wolves on the wolf sanctuary on the Isle Royale in Lake Superior. So that's where my inspiration came from.

Those wolves on Isle Royale are protected and researched endlessly but I wondered . . . what if there were other islands in Lake Superior on which wolves also live only no one believes they exist because they've not been seen up close and are purportedly too large to be real? What then?

I knew that wolves normally don't do well on islands because there is too little large prey to keep a pack alive so I knew there'd have to be another explanation for them being there.To me, that meant something other-worldly, which turned out to be a portal on the island to another universe in which prehistoric dire-wolves roamed as they did on Earth some eons ago.

Then I wondered what would happen if one of those wolves came back to civilization. A huge prehistoric predator in today's world? Good or bad? I wanted to know so I wrote a book to find out.

Snowball, the wolf pup in WOLF LEGEND who came back to have an injured leg fixed just grew into her part as I wrote and ended up taking over the book. She wasn't intended to be the central character but she ended up being exactly that. After the book was finished and published, I realized her personality is that of our grandson's dog Bailey. Bailey is beautiful, unusually strong, bull-headed and intelligent . . . her vocabulary is amazing. . . and she's as sweet and caring and loving as a dog can be. But while I was writing WOLF LEGEND, I didn't know I was stealing Bailey's personality. (I hope you don't mind, Bailey.)

When I started this book, I thought I'd be writing a romance and even after it was done I thought that was what I'd written. Until I sent it to a publisher of romances who kindly and with great tact told me that WOLF LEGEND wasn't a romance. Instead, the editor said, it was the story of a dire wolf pup. And here I'd thought I'd written a romance!

But when I re-read it, I realized she was right. And I loved the story even more because I love the character of a loving, caring, wolf pup with a wonderful personality.

Quick Facts                                        

Release Date: January 6, 2014               
Genre: Fantasy, Urban fantasy/ magical realism/ modern fantasy
Formats to buy: Kindle, epub and smashwords formats


Jane, who dislikes wolves because they kill livestock, takes Buck Portman, wolf researcher and wildlife professor at the nearby college to an island for a week to seek out the huge wolves legend says have been seen in the area. 

She's skeptical until a huge wolf runs through their camp... and mentally connects with Jane. Both woman and wolf are startled by their mental connection. The wolf invites Jane to follow so they can sort out what's between them. 

Jane takes off after the wolf in the dark, followed by the confused professor. She follows the wolf through a cave and into another world, one populated by larger-than-life, dangerous animals, including the wolves of the legend. 

Her mental connection to the alpha she-wolf is all that saves their lives in that dangerous place. Days later, when they return to their world, at the request of the alpha wolf they take her wolf pup with a broken leg so it can be healed. Problem is that wild wolves are not allowed as pets in our world so the professor must technically care for the wolf with Jane's help. But he has reservations. The huge dire wolf pup is in the wrong world. As it grows, will it remain a pet or become a dangerous predator? As the attraction between Jane and the professor grows, so do the problems inherent in having a huge prehistoric wolf in today's world. 


I set the cup on the ground beside me to save the one last cold swallow for later when I turned in for the night.  Buck, watching, hooked his own empty cup over his belt and prepared to do the same.

As my cup touched the ground, the largest wolf I'd ever seen ran through our campsite.  Two 
hundred pounds at least, possibly three hundred, with black velvet, silver-tipped fur and yellow eyes that shone in the night. 

It was beautiful.  Awesome.  And it tore through the camp as if we weren't there, scattering plates and silverware every which way and making short work of the tent just because it happened to be in its path.  "Oh my God!"  My mouth dropped open because the wolf couldn't exist.  Not here, not anywhere on earth.  But it did.

The wolf heard.  Stopped.  Turned towards me.  Scared the crap out of me because it was larger than me, double the size of any wolf I'd ever heard of and a predator.  Tipped its head to one side and looked straight at me.  Stared.

Our looks met.  Connected.  My fear disappeared because it wasn't looking for food.  It was on its way home and in a hurry to get there.  The pups missed their mom, the rest of the pack was good, they took care of the pups, but they couldn't take the place of a real mother.  It should hurry home.

I blinked.  Tried to wrap my mind around what was happening and failed completely.  I couldn't know what it was thinking.  I couldn't be reading its mind.  Of course not, it was impossible to know what another human being was thinking, let alone a wolf.  Wolves were a whole other species. 

Except that I did.  I was doing precisely what I couldn't do, what no one could do.  I was reading its mind and was pretty sure it was reading mine and was just as surprised at being able to read my mind as I was to know what it was thinking.  We stared at each other, adjusting to this new reality.  Shock kept us both immobile for what seemed like minutes and was probably seconds.

Then the wolf turned away and disappeared into the night because she had a family and responsibilities and couldn't stay to chat, not even for a conversation as mind-blowing as ours.  Two separate species were communicating for the first time ever.  But she had things to do and places to go, a pack to care for and pups to feed.  So she left.

But as she ran into the growing dark, the silver fur blending into the black of the forest, she left a thought behind.  "Want to follow me?  Want to come for a visit?  Maybe we can figure this out." 

It was an invitation.  One I couldn't turn down.  So I rose and followed the wolf.

Author Florence Witkop
Florence’s stories begin as simple tales of contemporary life, often in small towns or the wilderness she knows so well. 

Where they go from there is what makes them special. There is always a strong sense of place. Sometimes they cross genres and contain paranormal, sci/fi, or fantasy elements. There is usually a romance and there are always characters her readers like and would enjoy having as friends.

Most of all, there is a story because what Florence does best is tell stories. Well plotted stories that carry the characters towards a logical conclusion that always includes a happy ending.  Stories that shine light on the human condition while they celebrate the world we live in.  Stories that her readers relate to and remember long after the reading is over.

She writes about people who are as normal as apple pie (most of them, anyway) who unexpectedly find themselves in the middle of situations ranging from the heartwarming through the difficult and all the way to the horrendous. But Florence’s characters choose to act instead of running away. In the process, they survive, thrive, overcome whatever obstacles large or small are thrown in front of them, and while they are at it, they find time to fall in love.

Florence was born in the city and has lived in the suburbs, small towns, the country and the wilderness area of northern Minnesota, where she still lives with her husband and a cowardly cat named Smoke.

At various times in her writing career she’s been a confession writer, a copywriter, a ghost writer and an editor. She writes short stories, novellas and novels.  Her work has been categorized as romance, science-fiction, fantasy, mainstream and eco-fiction, to name a few genres that it fits so beautifully into.


Other Books by Florence:

(press on the cover to go to Goodreads)



- 2 winners
- International

Prizes: An ecopy of Wolf Legend and a $10 Amazon GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!


Unknown said...

Thanks for having Florence today!

Unknown said...

I love being your guest today and I hope your followers get a feel for the book Wolf Legend. And read it. And like it as much as I like the dire-wolf pup Snowball.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Florence, so nice of you to share your book with readers. The cover is gorgeous and your experiences with wolves sound amazing.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Compelling excerpt! It's fun to know how real life experience can ignite a story.