Search This Blog

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Creating Lupins from Scratch - Kim Falconer

Kim Falconer, author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption series tells us how she created one of her races - The Lupins! 
Creating Lupins from Scratch

In my science fantasy series there are familiar things like gum trees, white sand beaches, galloping steeds and oat cakes with raisins. There are characters who remind us of people we know, and people we wish we could know really well. Telling a story with recognizable terrain makes for strong immersion, guiding lights for the reader to steer by my stories don’t stop there. In the Quantum Enchantment Series and in Quantum Encryption, there are creatures unique to my worlds of Earth and Gaela. There are temple cats, Were-fey and, most specially, Lupins.
I am well aware of the adage write what you know, but in the case of the Lupins, (from the Latin wolf) such a notion doesn’t fly. After all, I don’t write how-to manuals or cookbooks. I write speculative fiction where the goal is to speculate! But no one on Earth can know what a were-beast, portal between the worlds or post apocalyptic witch is really like until they are created from the blank page. Sometimes that process can be a challenge so I’ve put together a recipe for those who’d like to know.
One idea

A grain of truth
Strong motivation
Meticulous research
Technical advice
Love (the head over heels kind)

1)     Start with the grain of truth. No matter how wild and farfetched the story, it begins with a grain of truth. This is what you build on and what will give your prose more weight. It’s all about the speculation, yes, but begin with something ‘real’.

2)     Take the idea and grow it. How? You muse on it and let it transform organically until it has a life and a soul of its own. In the case of the Lupins, the idea was for a creature made from the love, and guilt, of a scientist. In my 21 century Earth the last grey wolf died in captivity and her DNA was frozen, stored in the ‘cryo-zoo’ where many of Earth’s creatures were ‘stored’. Luka Paree comes along and requisitions the DNA, gets funding from ASSIST and goes to work on his idea: to bring back the Grey Wolf and create a template for restoring extinct species, including human kind.

3)     Add in a healthy dose of motivation. Why Grey Wolves? Because on our Earth we have exterminated this animal in Europe and until protected in North America, they were nearly wiped out. Part of the motivation to bring them back, to restore them as a member of Earth’s community, was guilt and shame for what had happened in the past, a way to make things right, in the story at least. Of course things backfire, as they tend to do in novels of the more adventurous kind.

4)     Fold in meticulous research and mix the idea, the grain of truth and the motivations. In the Quantum Encryption Series, this got very interesting!  As Luka Paree, the quantum geneticist who engineered the Lupins, hit an impasse (none of the spliced embryos were ‘taking’ and the surrogate Huskies remained barren) he got innovated with his own blood. Researching DNA, wolves, were-wolf mythology and those sites that propose the truth of their existence was fascinating. 

   5 )   Let the mixture set. This is the perfect time to seek technical advice. I contacted my friend in the States who knew someone working with endangered species. They put me onto the ‘wolf man’ and that was amazing. I also consulted colleagues writing urban fantasies involving shape-shifters and weres. Why was this important? Readers have preconceived beliefs about human-wolf hybrids, how they are created, what they look like, how they ‘shift.’ My Lupins are different and I had to know what people might be assuming so I could make sure they understood the rules for Lupins.

   6 )    The final ingredient is love, yes, the head over heels kind. It is actually as much a part of the process of creation as it is an ingredient. To make it ring true, love what you do!

What do you think of the Lupins? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, while supplies last, anyone who comments will receive 6 personally signed bookplates from me. 

Kim Falconer is a speculative fiction author writing epic science fantasy novels. Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. You can find out more about her at


  1. thank you miss falconer for your insight into the creation of your series. i told tarran that I WILL BE BUYING THE WHOLE SERIES SOON and i'll be looking forward to reading them !!. regards, steven.

  2. My pleasure, Steven! I've got you address now and will send you the bookplates. Thanks for being the first to jump on (and not let the technology win hehehe)!

    :) Kim

  3. Oh Kim, my very first thought when I read this title went to Monty Python! LMAO! I'm showing my age here just a tad!
    I love the way you've reflected on the creation of your Lupin and distilled this into a process. I've read and loved your books (as you know). I admit that I am a complete softie when it comes to wolves ... love them to bits ... and the way you brought the grey wolf back was wonderful. And your point 6? Absolutely!

  4. I love the freedom from theirs cares and emotions the characters experience when they morph. Lupin's revel in their instinct to run hard and hunt well.

    In short Lupin's rock!

    You can just about feel the pure animalistic nature of the wolves throughout the books!

  5. I didn't expect to like the lupins very much based on Rosette's first encounters with them. But that just reminds me not to judge on first impressions. Your love for them shines through Kim and I think that's what made me love them too.

    Thanks for sharing a little of your creation process with us Kim.

  6. Thanks Kim for writing the best series I've read in ages - reminds me of some of the ones I really got into when I was younger. I've bought the last 3 books as they've come out because I've loved them so much. Thank you for sharing some tips for creative writing:)

  7. Majestic and savage is how i would describe them. These animals were written so beautifully i wanted to jump in the book and go hunting with them

    just another reason these series were so well written and well read :-)

  8. OMG you guys! It's wonderful to hear your comments and share your love for the wolves! I'm thrilled to send you ALL a set of six signed bookplates! Just email me your postal address (enchantment at kimfalconer dot com) I'll pop them in the mail. I bought these special 'fantasy' stamps for the occasion! You'll see!

    MWAHS Kim

  9. This is just brilliant!! I think it is safe to say that we all love Kim's work. Her Lupins are a fascinating medling of man and beast and not cliche at all. Kim thank you for writing this blog post for us :D

  10. My pleasure! :) and thank you for the support and great vibes!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...