Welcome to my blog!

I'm so excited that my lifelong dream of becoming a published author has come true. If you'd like to go straight to excerpts from my books, the links are:

The Mountain's Shadow - Lycanthropy Files Book One (October 1, 2013): the first chapter with buy links is here.

Long Shadows - Lycanthropy Files Book Two (March 25, 2014): first chapter and buy links are here.

Blood's Shadow - Lycanthropy Files Book Three (November 25, 2014): blurb and cover are here.

If you're not getting enough randomness from me here, please feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or like my Facebook page. I've also taken the Pinterest plunge.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Character on the Couch: Officer Brady

After a brief hiatus to address some work and health issues, I'm back to welcoming characters to my couch. Georgia Romance Writers colleague S.L. Morgan brought me this interesting young policeman, who isn't being cooperative.

Character name: Brady

Age: 31-32

Gender: Male

Brief description and relevant history:

Brady is a police detective, he became a cop to solve crimes as his sister's abduction, rape and murder (when he was a young teen) was never solved. Although he would like to go to college, he doesn't have time. However, he doesn't believe a formal education necessarily makes a person smart. He sneaks off (tells no one) on his days off to go visit cultural and historical sites and museums to learn on his own. He doesn't want anyone to think he's ignorant because he never went to college. He believes his job is detrimental to a relationship as he was dumped by an intelligent person and due to his odd working hours. He is extremely turned on by intelligent women, they feed his desire for knowledge.

Where you're stuck, or why your character needs a psychologist:

I need to understand what drives his desire for knowledge and why he's afraid to tell anyone what he does on his days off. He needs a hobby other than visiting museums and I'm not sure what to have him do that would intrigue my heroine (she's a linguist).

I asked the following questions to get more info:

Brady believes a formal education doesn't necessarily make someone smart, but he's into self-education. Where did he acquire both of these values? Were his parents educated but didn't have enough common sense to balance their book smarts? Or did he get messages from uneducated parents that book-learning isn't real education? Was either of his parents, likely his father since boys tend to identify more with them, a self-taught, well-regarded expert?

Brady wanted to go to college. But, he gave it up to become a police officer due to his sister's tragedy. He did not have the time, money, nor grades to get into college, so he's educating himself with his weekend trips.

Brady's sister's abduction, etc. obviously had a profound effect on him. How did he feel at the time it happened? Did he take any responsibility? Did he feel that if he had only known _____, he would have been able to save her? Or was he in school at the time and blamed himself for putting learning above family, like maybe he was at an honors club meeting the day she wanted him to take her to the pool and ended up going by herself and disappearing? This could be an interesting little flashback from both the crime's perspective and to illuminate his motivations.

 Brady was doing boy things (I think I had him working on his bike) and his sister went up to a car of other teen boys. She jumped in the car with them before he could stop her. But, since they were kids from his school, he didn't think much of it and didn't say or do anything until she never returned. He feels guilty for: 1. Letting her go alone with a bunch of boys. 2. Feeling relieved that she was out of his hair. 3. Feeling guilty for not telling his parents until it was too late where and when she left (she was eventually raped and killed and her body left under the bleachers at school. No one was convicted.). 4. He became a cop to protect other "sisters".

What area of linguistics is your heroine in, and how do she and Brady meet?

Andrea is focusing on the dead languages (Old English, Latin, Sanskrit, and the fourth I forgot). She is a favorite of the linguistic teachers as her parents were involved in the acquisition of authentic dead language documents. She and Brady had a one time meet at a presentation she was giving at a museum where Brady was visiting. He actually approached her and asked her out to coffee. She chickened out and stood him up by leaving by a back door.

Ouch! Poor Brady. Here are my thoughts on how to move him and his story forward:

It seems to me that you’re stuck with Brady’s internal conflict, which Leigh Michaels calls the “long-term problem.” She defines it as having come up before the story begins and is connected to the character’s past or personality. You have the good makings of one because he does have a bad past experience in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of his sister, and his actions indicate a lot of potential for internal conflict. You need to clarify motivation and how it connects to his current self-educational efforts beyond that he’s engaging in them because he missed out on going to college.

When people feel guilty or undeserving, they can get defensive and act like they don’t want what they really crave. For example, Brady could feel that he doesn’t deserve a college education because his sister won’t have the opportunity for one. Also, he could be getting his informal education because going back to school for a formal one would mean he’d have to admit just how badly the incident with his sister affected him emotionally, which is contrary to his professional persona.

Since internal conflict is something a character needs to move beyond to resolve the external conflict, it seems to me that Brady’s going to need to embrace this smart, education-craving side of himself, both to make the romance work and address another external conflict. Since he’s a cop, I’m guessing your book has some sort of crime as part of the plot. You’re right that you do need to figure out why he’s keeping his weekend museum trips secret. Has he been mocked for his intellectual pursuits, either by his colleagues or friends? Or does he not want to admit to himself or others why he’s engaging in them because he might have to acknowledge some unexpressed grief or unaddressed trauma?

With regard to the romance, you have the piece that will drive the heroine away – that he doesn’t believe education makes people smart, which is an attitude educated people tend to get annoyed with. Also, you mentioned he was dumped by an intelligent woman, which means he may be defensive around Andrea even if he is attracted to her. Yes, you need the piece she can connect with. If she’s a professor, she may sense that he wants to learn and relate to that. Or perhaps he needs to consult with her on something related to her field, which helps her see that he does respect her knowledge and education. A third option would be that she has an affinity for “lost” things due to what her parents did, and it currently shows because she is a scholar of dead, or lost, languages. Brady does sound lost in a lot of ways. You also need to clarify her internal conflict, to which you give us a clue with her sneaking away on their date.

Brady and Andrea sound like a really interesting couple, and I look forward to reading more about them in the future!

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Do you have a character you're stuck on? Or a fascinating already published one who wouldn't mind coming by for an interview? Email me at cecilia (at) ceciliadominic (dot) com 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Procrastination talk: outline & references

Thank you so much, those of you who got up on a cold morning and came to see me talk about procrastination at the Georgia Romance Writers meeting! As promised, here are the links to the articles and books I used for the talk:

New York Times article: This Was Supposed to Be My Column for New Year's Day by Michael Tierney 1/14/2013

Psychology today articles: Get Unbored by Tania Luna, 4/10/2014 (has a couple of strategies I didn't mention)
What Is Boredom? by Art Markman, Ph.D., 9/25/2012

Wall Street Journal article:  To Stop Procrastinating, Look to the Science of Mood Repair by Sue Shellenbarger 1/7/2014

To those who care about such things, I apologize for these references not being in proper reference format. Putting things in reference format holds no elements of interest for me. If you've forgotten what I'm referring to, check out Letitia Sweitzer's book:

If you'd like to try out structured procrastination, the web site with the original essay is here, and the link to buy the book is here.

If you've just happened by and would like me to come talk to your group about procrastination, please email me at cecilia (at) ceciliadominic (dot) com

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cover and blurb reveal: A Perfect Man

One reason I love being with my publisher is that they allow me a lot of artistic freedom. Consequently, in May, I have a new book coming out that's completely different from my previous ones. Well, not completely. There's still humor, romance, a dash of mystery, and enough food and wine to bust through any resolutions you might be holding too tightly. I bring you A Perfect Man:

How far will she go to find her perfect man? How far will he go to be one?

When Karen Hardeman sets foot on the Foothills University campus, it’s her first step toward proving her abusive ex wrong. Just her luck, her first writing assignment in Intro to Romance sends her in search of the perfect hero—a quest she’s never managed to conquer.

Worse, her professor forces her to collaborate with the most overconfident, annoying guy in the class.

Seth Sayers is also at Foothills to find new direction—preferably one that takes him far away from the family drama that’s followed him since his father’s death. He didn’t mean to humiliate Karen by rewriting her manuscript from the hero’s point of view. He blames the painkillers the ER doctor gave him after stitching up a wine-induced cut on his hand.

As their collaboration progresses, Karen begins to trust Seth with her manuscript, then maybe a little piece of her heart. But Seth’s half-brother resurrects Seth’s suspicions about his father’s death. Until he finds the truth, he can’t be the hero in anyone’s life. Even his own.

Release date:  May 12, 2015

Stay tuned for excerpts!

Fans of my Facebook page got to meet this charming young man a week early. Please consider liking my page for early updates and sneak peeks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blood's Shadow release day!

It's release day for Blood's Shadow, the third Lycanthropy Files book! Thank you especially to my editor Holly Atkinson and Samhain Publishing for helping this dream come true. I'd also like to thank my readers for taking a chance on a new author. I hope you've enjoyed reading these books as much as I've loved writing them.

Encountering werewolves can be deadly. Trying to cure them? Murder.

The Lycanthropy Files, Book 3

As the Investigator for the Lycanthrope Council, Gabriel McCord encountered his share of sticky situations in order to keep werewolf kind under the radar of discovery. Now, as the Council’s liaison to the Institute for Lycanthropic Reversal, he advocates for those who were turned werewolf against their will.

Everyone seems to be on board with the Institute’s controversial experimental process— until one of its geneticists is found lying on his desk in a pool of blood. Gabriel races to single out a killer from a long list of suspects. Purists, who believe lycanthropy is a gift that shouldn’t be returned. Young Bloods, who want the cure for born lycanthropes as well as made. The Institute’s own very attractive psychologist, whose most precious possession has fallen into the hands of an ancient secret society bent on the destruction of werewolves.

Failure means he’ll lose his place on the Council and endanger the tenuous truce between wizard and lycanthrope. Even if he wins, he could lose his heart to a woman with deadly secrets of her own.

Warning: Some bloody scenes, adult language, and consensual sex between adults. Also alcohol consumption at Scottish levels and tempting portrayals of unhealthy Scottish food.

I wrote the books to stand alone if that's how people would prefer to read them, but if you do want to grab the whole series today, it's a great time to do so because the first two books are on sale through today. You can click on the links above for excerpts and buy links or the pictures to the right if you'd like to buy them from Samhain.

Meanwhile, here are the buy links for Blood's Shadow:

Samhain (all ebook formats available and on sale for $3.85)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Announcing a sale and blog tour - updated 11/10

The third Lycanthropy Files book Blood's Shadow will be coming out electronically on November 25. If you want to catch up on the series, now is a good time because The Mountain's Shadow and Long Shadows ebooks are now on sale for 99 cents and $1.99, respectively, at all ebook retailers (see links above for excerpts and sale links).

I'm now on a blog tour in anticipation and celebration, and today's stop is at the Creatively Green Write at Home Mom blog, where I talk about my favorite part of Scottish setting - castles! Several of them inspired the buildings in Blood's Shadow including the Institute for Lycanthropic Reversal. Today I also have a spotlight with a scene that takes place in Lycan Castle at Pembroke Sinclair's blog.

This will conclude my blog tour for Blood's Shadow. Thank you for following along!

Previous stops:

11/7/14 A fun interview at Fang-tastic Books.

1. Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

Thank you so much for hosting me today!

I’ve always written fiction, and my mind is drawn to the weird and unusual. As a psychologist, I’m also interested in how people express different aspects of their personalities at different times and how they integrate them as they get older. The Lycanthropy Files series has allowed me to incorporate my fascination with strangeness with the psychology of personality and personality development...

11/6/14 SBM Book Obsession, where I continued on the Scottish setting theme and talked about market crosses.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like my pictures went through for that post, so here they are:

The Market Cross in Culross

The very famous Market Cross in Edinburgh.

The Tollbooth in Culross. This is how I envisioned the architecture in Lycan Village.

11/5/14 Stopped by Book Liaison, where I talked about some of the Scottish places that inspired certain aspects of the town of Lycan Village in Blood's Shadow. There's also an interesting bit of trivia for Outlander and Monty Python fans.

11/4/14 Woo hoo! A five-fang review from Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock.

This is my first time reading any of Cecilia Dominic’s books.  It won’t be the last. I enjoyed her  spin on the werewolf tales...

11/3/14 A spotlight at D'ebook Sharing. Her excerpt brought in one of my favorite characters from the book, a mischievous fae named Reine.

“To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?” I asked once we were alone.

Reine snapped her fingers, and the overhead light came on. Refrigerated cabinets stood along the walls. Most of them held empty metal racks behind intact glass doors. The racks in the cabinets to the left lay at awkward angles, and shards of glass from the shattered doors sparkled under the light. The dried blood made the white doors and metal counter look rusted, and she stood about an inch off the floor so her white slippers wouldn’t touch the flaky black mess. Again, my stomach turned, and I told it to still, but the black and white photograph of my father’s body blown to bits forced its way into my memory. As a child, my imagination had colored it in even better than the lurid brightness Technicolor had brought to the movies.

“When you build something to look like a castle, you can expect unpleasant things to happen in the dungeon,” Reine said. She floated out of the lab and stood beside me, her feet on the ground.

10/31/14 A spotlight at Sapphyra's Book Reviews. She featured an excerpt where we get to see Gabriel in his more administrative role:

When I returned to my offices at Lycan Castle, the seat of the Lycanthrope Council, I found a stack of files on my desk and a blessedly welcome pot of coffee. Less welcome was the message slip my assistant Laura handed to me. 

“Lady Morena wants you to phone her as soon as you get settled.” 

“I’m going to have to delay getting settled, then, aren’t I?”

10/30/14 The Feed Me In Books blog, which gave Blood's Shadow a lovely review:

"This is the 3rd book in the series, and while I haven’t read the first 2 yet, I do believe I will be going back and buying them..."

10/29/14 An interview at Diane's Book Blog. She asked some fun and interesting questions like,

What is your favorite part of the story, Blood’s Shadow, and the overall Lycanthropy Files series? 

With each of the Lycanthropy Files books, I’ve tried to expand the universe based on the characters’ perceptions. Essentially, they start off in The Mountain’s Shadow as feeling like they’re the only ones with the challenges of Chronic Lycanthropy Syndrome, or CLS, and the book itself focuses on the new sufferers in a little enclave in the Ozark Mountains. Then in Long Shadows, the world expands to wizards, which are hinted at in the first book, and magic. Finally, in Blood’s Shadow, other paranormal beings like ghosts and fairies reveal themselves, and it was great for me to be along as the author as my characters discovered these aspects of their world... 

10/28/14 Suzanne Johnson's Preternatura blog, where I'm allowing one of my minor characters to talk about Samhain, the Celtic holiday that led to Halloween. Comment for a chance to win a copy of Blood's Shadow.

When Suzanne and I talked about what would be a good topic for this guest blog post, we thought it would be fun to talk about how my werewolves celebrate Halloween, but the more I thought about it, the more I just couldn’t make it fit. In my previous post on identity, I talked about how it’s always Halloween in my head. For my lycanthropes, who spend most of their time pretending to be human to fit in to the world, they probably wouldn’t want to dress up as yet something else. So, they just celebrate the pagan feast of Samhain, which is pronounced Sow-when, and which is the root holiday of Halloween.

In my third Lycanthropy Files book Blood’s Shadow, I brought the series to Scotland, which I’ve been fascinated with since starting to date my husband, who is of Scottish heritage...

10/27/14  Jill Archer's blog. Here's a preview of the post:

Robert R. McCammon has the dubious honor of having written one of the few summer reading books I actually enjoyed, Boy’s Life, which was published in 1991. He has an amazing way with description, and the book sucked me in and made me forget I was doing something I didn’t want to do. To clarify, I have always loved to read, but I have a rebellious streak and having someone tell me to do it makes me not want to. I admit I didn’t immediately read more of his books because the horror designation stopped me.

Since I write about lycanthropes and it’s close to Halloween, I thought it would be fun to do a Character on the Couch analysis of Allied spy Michael Gallatin, aka Mikhail Gallatinov, the main character from McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour... 

The complete list of tour stops is at the Bewitching Book Tours site.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Book Review and Character Interview: Snow the Vampire Slayer

This week I'm happy to welcome characters from Rebekah Ganiere's new book Snow the Vampire Slayer. But first the gorgeous cover:


Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing "mother" to her seven Vampire Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she's yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn't called to be a Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile, awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he's forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink from humans again. A simple enough task--until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs ache to drain her.

When Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the woods, she's torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within her. And when Snow's life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must enlist the aid of Snow's brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

And now I bring you Snow and Sage:

1. If your character were to go to a psychologist – willingly or unwillingly – what would bring them in? Yes, a court order is a valid answer.

Sage: I'm sorry a psy-whatagist?
Snow: A psychologist, Sage.
Sage: (perplexed look) Is that even a real word, love?
Snow: My toth, Sage. A psychologist is someone you go to talk to about your problems.
Sage: (perplexed look) So you're my psychologist then?
Snow: (shakes her head) Nevermind, let's move on.

2. Is the presenting problem one of the main internal or external conflicts in your book? If so, how does it present itself?

Sage: Problems? I have no problems.
Snow: (pats his hand while rolling her eyes) Of course you don't. Like the fact that your uncle tried to kill you and steal your throne and you had to run into the Daemonlands in exile for fifty years. Or how about the fact you are a vampire and my family are vampire slayers? Or what about--
Sage: All right, enough. But I'll have you know those aren't really problems as much as they are... obstacles.

3. It's always interesting to see how people act when they first enter my office. Do they immediately go for my chair, hesitate before sitting anywhere, flop on the couch, etc.? What would your character do?

Snow: I would sit like any Lady of Gwyn Manor would sit.
Sage: (snickers and pats her hand) Of course you would, love.
Snow: What does that mean?
Sage: It means that I've never seen you do anything like a Lady of Gwyn Manor before.
Snow: Well at least I'd have the decency not to walk in and act like I owned the world.
Sage: Why shouldn't I? I do own the world.

4. Does your character talk to the therapist? How open/revealing will your character be?

Sage: Ask away, I'll tell you anything.
Snow: (holds up her hands) Please don't. He really will tell you anything. He loves to see people squirm.
Sage: So I shouldn't talk about the time we were in the woods and I had you pinned to the ground and you--
Snow slams her hand over his mouth and smiles.

5. Your character walks into the bar down the street after his/her first therapy session. What does he/she order? What happens next?

Sage: Well if I went into a bar I would probably order a feisty brunette with a great pair of legs.
Snow: (Her eyes narrow at him) I beg your pardon.
Sage: You love, I'd order you.
Snow stares.
Sage: Honestly, Snow. You know you're the only one I want my fangs sunk into. Don't be jealous, it doesn't become you.
Snow: (faces the psychologist) I'm done here. (She storms out)
Sage: Snow, love don't be like that, I was playing.
Snow:(keeps walking) RAKE, she calls over her shoulder.
Sage: (shakes his head) I guess I better go after her before she gets herself into trouble. He nods and leaves.

6. Since you've already answered my original number 6, I'll ask this time if you did anything different for this new book regarding building characters.

In this book I really wanted to make the villain super bad. And I wanted my hero to have a fun playful sense of humor to cover up his pain. Sage is actually my favorite character of all my characters. I love him the most. I also wanted to add a very human quality to Snow and her brothers. A real sense of family, since Redlynn in the first book had no family. It was important to me that the bonds in Snow the Vampire Slayer, be extra strong.

My review:

I have to admit I rarely read the second book in a series because I have so often been disappointed. However, and I'll use this as my disclaimer for the FCC, I actually requested the review copy of this book because I enjoyed the first one so much. Once again Ganiere managed to strike an urban fantasy tone in a high fantasy setting with a feisty heroine, hot hero, and lots of action.

Lady Snow Gwyn gets to stay at home and cook for her seven feisty vampire-slaying brothers, but early in the morning when they're all asleep, she sneaks out to her cabin in the woods to practice swordplay. One night a handsome stranger surprises her there, and of course they fall for each other, but there are many obstacles between them and their happily ever after that keep the reader turning pages.

I was a little concerned at first when I realized who the "dwarves" would be because wow, that's a lot of character introductions at once, but I was able to keep them generally straight. Enough characters returned from Red the Were Hunter that I felt clever for recognizing them from the first book, but I think new readers to the series could start here and not be confused. The fairy tale retelling was again nicely done with enough elements included to be recognizable but not in a predictable way.

So once again, five glasses of wine, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Character on the Couch: Getting Catty with Another Villain

Someone didn't get his coffee this morning. (Image attribution via Wikimedia Commons: Puma concolor shot at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum |Source=self-made |Author= User:Cm0rris0n)

Fellow author of shifter literature Abigail Owen approached me wanting to make the villain of her second book, Kyle Carstairs, a bit more menacing. Here's our initial exchange:

Character name: Kyle Carstairs

Age: 28ish

Gender: Male

Species (if applicable): mountain lion shifter

Cultural or historical context: these shifters are very similar to their wild counterparts - loners and very aggressive. They've been forced to band together in pride-like groups.

Brief description and relevant history:  Kyle is my villain in the 2nd book in a series. He was co-villain but mostly off-stage in the 1st book. Kyle's father was the Alpha for one of the prides. He ruled with an iron fist. He and his father were challenged together. The dad was killed, and Kyle ran off. In book 2 he's joined forces with a larger off-screen villain (the reason cougars had to band together in the first place - these people take more shape in book 3).

Where you're stuck, or why your character needs a psychologist: Trying to make him more menacing without going over the top. Getting behind his motivations.

What you may not want me to share generally in the post:
Open to sharing all that in the post. :)
Note: I removed one question/answer pair that may lead to spoilers.

Rawr. (Image in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

So I sent the following questions for follow-up:

Are your mountain lion shifters (love it!) female-dominant?
The society is male dominated, but with a twist. I based the society on real mountain lion behavior. Mountain lions don't live in packs or with other lions - they're very much loners. The older males are the 'big dogs' because they're bigger and stronger only. Cougars are known to kill each other for territory. I add another twist. Due to natural environments shrinking, the types of shifters who do live in packs (lions, wolves) are attacking the loners like cougars, and killing them to gain their territories. Cougar shifters banded together to form the Shadowcat Nation - a group of ten Dares (like prides) that are Alpha Male led. But it's a really tense situation, since their animal forms don't naturally live in groups.

Even if not, what was Kyle's relationship to his mother or any other significant females? Yeah, paging Dr. Freud. ;-)
Kyle's mother doesn't even rate a mention in book 1. His father is Alpha of the Carstairs Dare, and Kyle wants the job. Based on the above scenario, Kyle's mom has been out of the picture a while. If she didn't run away from his father (who's a sadistic tyrant) then he killed her. Kyle has never asked which.

What is Kyle's greatest insecurity?
Not being in control. He wants to rule everything in his domain and destroy anything that threatens him (typical cougar). But he takes it to another level, trying to force one woman to be his mate (wife) (for political gain) while trying to force another woman to mate him (difference is this is just sex) in order to produce a cub who would inherit the mother's Seer ability. But a Seer he could control after he killed the mother.

Similarly, what strength does he have that he needs to control better? In other words, what's gotten him in trouble before?
I had to really think hard about this. My initial thinking is that his strength lies in - ironically - his strength. He's a massive cougar, very intimidating, with an ugly temper and temperament. He manages by fear. So far, only Jaxon has "bested" him in a fight, and even then not completely. Kyle still got away, though being so beaten threw his confidence a bit.

So here are my thoughts:
It seems to me that you've figured out Kyle's motivations – power and control – but they need more depth to make him truly menacing. In other words, what is his internal conflict? For example, has he ever thought about why he wants to lead the Carstairs Dare? It's a fairly straightforward motivation for someone to want to be king, but people still want to do so for their own reasons. How will him being the leader help him resolve what he's struggling with? Sure, he can want external things like wealth, but it will add depth to his character to give him more to deal with internally. You're on the right track with his insecurity and wanting control, but control of what?

I did a workshop at the 2012 Moonlight & Magnolias Conference called Characters on the Couch:  Personality as the Key to Believable Internal Conflict. Since you did an online Myers-Briggs personality profile and came up with INTJ as his personality, here are some possible things to consider:

INTJ is a good type for a fiercely independent person/shifter because independence is one of their strongest characteristics. So is the ability to come up with a vision of how things could be so much better-run or organized and strategy, although they may be less interested in implementing it themselves. In pursuing their vision, they often fail to consider how others are thinking or feeling.

So what is Kyle's vision for the dare if he should become king? Or does his vision go beyond it? How could you integrate his need for control?

I hope this was helpful, and I look forward to reading this series when it's published!

If you would like to type your characters, here's a link to a free online MBTI, which I find is accurate enough for character typing:  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

As for typing yourself, I recommend finding a psychologist who administers it and paying to take the real thing. A lot of companies also offer them as part of career development testing.

Oh, and here are some mountain lion kittens. Because kittens:
Too freaking adorable! (Image in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

If you have a character you'd like to send to my couch, please send me an email at cecilia (at) ceciliadominic (dot) com. You know what to do to make that an actual email address. I'm a clinical psychologist by trade, so I bring real-life psychological knowledge to help you through those stuck points. And no, I don't charge.