As I've been preparing to release Tales of the Winter Wolf, I have had to check over and confirm the intentional inconsistencies between those stories and the events in Winter Wolf. When I typically write a novel, there are several ways I handle ‘plot holes' — I use the quotes for one simple reason.
Not all inconsistencies are unintentional. (I found one in Winter Wolf so far that was an oops on my part, which is being corrected in Winter Wolf. In short, in Winter Wolf, Richard went to San Francisco for pack business instead of Seattle. While Richard does go to San Francisco for pack business, when he met Nicole, it was in Seattle–but yes, it was for pack business.)
However, there are other inconsistencies that are intentional. I'm going to give some very minor spoilers for both the novel and the short stories, but they're minor, so please bear with me.
I want to discuss these inconsistencies for several reasons, which I feel will help other writers learn to make conscious decisions on when to purposefully create an inconsistency.
Nicole Thomas suffers from a form of post-traumatic amnesia. This is something revealed in Winter Wolf.
Many of the inconsistencies in Winter Wolf are created due to her amnesia. When she doesn't remember things, it's a mental safeguard to fill in the blanks. In short, Nicole's memory is incorrect compared to reality, something that is compounded by the fact that those who love her purposefully go along with the inconsistencies in order to spare her from remembering things that are painful.
So, you can view Winter Wolf as a bit of a game compared to Tales of the Winter Wolf. What memories did Nicole falsify?
There are a few legitimate times I did a whoops! and left it–I'll just have to figure out how to write my way out of those whoopsies when Tales of the Winter Wolf begins covering what happens after Winter Wolf.
Yes, you may take that as a confirmation that I will be telling Nicole and Richard stories after the events of Winter Wolf but before Blood Diamond–and you can also take it to mean that I will be covering some of the more amusing parts of Blood Diamond from their perspective.
Victoria grew up as a product of the Victorian Era. During her forming years as a Fenerec, they had a very different belief on how mating bonds were formed.
In that era, sex equaled bonded, and as such, it's a self-fulfilling prophesy. During Winter Wolf, Blood Diamond, and Tales of the Winter Wolf, the Fenerec have evolved, and they have learned more about the nature of their bonds with their mates.
In short, the power of belief plays a huge role in how Fenerec view themselves, their packs, and their mates.
Some Fenerec, such as Charles and Wendy Desmond, have been around long enough to realize that not everything is as it appears, which is why they made the choices they have.
In Inquisitor, there is a notable intentional inconsistency. One of the characters is believed to be a True-born Omega. (Tiny spoiler alert.)
This is not true. This is a misconception and false belief by characters. True-born Omega Fenerec do not exist.
The character is something else, which you will learn more about in Silver Bullet, which I hope to write and release sometime next year.
Almost all True-born Fenerec are Alpha, but they can be Submissive. They can never be an Omega.
This is one of the harder rules in the world. You will never see an actual Omega True-born. Why?
Omega-traited children are always either human or wolf. They cannot be born both.
So, what is the deal with that character people believe is a True-born Omega? Well, you'll find out in Silver Bullet. (Yes, Silver Bullet is from Victoria's point of view, so the Omega in question is present.)
There are legitimate mistakes in all three of the Witch & Wolf novels. I'm going to be fixing the ones I realistically can. I'm undecided if I'll make an Errata for the series or not–I might. It could be an entertaining way to poke fun of myself while providing readers with a guide on the things I legitimately screwed up.
One notable actual mistake was Charles Desmond's incredulous reaction to something Nicole did at the end of Winter Wolf. Now, I could just chalk it to his acting skills, following up with them protecting her from her own memories, but… at the time, it was legit. Now it's just a mistake.
That said, it's pretty minor, and I can easily write it away as Desmond purposefully acting that way to protect his daughter. Which is very true to his character.
So, it works.
Another notable actual mistake was mentioned earlier, where it references Richard as having met Nicole in San Francisco. Where did that error come from? Nicole goes to school near San Francisco, but they met over the holidays in Seattle. It's just an error. (Which I'll be correcting in Winter Wolf.)
Another ‘error' which is a somewhat error is a reference to Nicole visiting Canada with her sister. Nicole actually goes to Canada quite a few times, but Lisa did not go to Canada until the events mentioned. The reasons given do still apply.
Funny Tidbit: At one point, Nicole refers to Richard as tall, dark, and handsome. He is darker (brown hair, brown eyes, medium tan…) but he isn't tall. He's actually pretty short for a man. Alex is taller than him by several inches.
However, it's a Fenerec thing; wolves lower in rank will often slouch or keep a subdued stance. Also, Nicole is pretty short at five foot nothing, so everyone is tall compared to her.
But no, Richard isn't tall. He's actually pretty short. To Nicole, however… he feels tall to her. He's not, really. Now Jackson, he's just plain tall. It's also worth noting that when she viewed him as tall, she was sitting on the ground. That helped with the illusion a bit.
It's kinda an error but kinda not an error. Just let me have this one, please? Please?
In Tales of the Winter Wolf, you will notice a different vibe in the relationship between Charles and Richard compared to their relationship in Winter Wolf.
This is completely intentional.
An important thing of note, for those who do care about that specific relationship–don't worry. They're fine. You will see this in later volumes of Tales of the Winter Wolf. You'll also learn the why of it in Tales of the Winter Wolf.
Tales of the Winter Wolf will span their relationship until the time before Winter Wolf begins and will resume after the events of Winter Wolf. The catalyst events of Winter Wolf will not be covered in Tales of the Winter Wolf.
This is a conscious decision. The last story pre-Winter Wolf will likely relate to Alex and Lisa's choice, but will not go through the events.
The stories after Tales of the Winter Wolf will relate to Nicole's amnesia, and I want to have the freedom to explore those events in the aftermath. I don't think I'd have as much fun with it if I had to write it out twice.
I also have seen where authors have written it out twice, and ultimately ended up bored as a result. So, I will do it once–in the aftermath stories.
When I set out to write the Witch & Wolf series, I really only set out to write four books. Nicole and Richard were so much fun to write that I kept coming back to them, which ultimately spawned the Tales of the Winter Wolf set.
Jackson and Evelyn are very similar. They're a fun pair to write, and after Silver Bullet's conclusion, I could easily see doing a set of short stories and novellas relating to these two characters.
Victoria will not be getting her own short story and novella set, at least that's not my current plan. While I like Vicky quite a bit, her story classifies as the harder to tell ones. I don't enjoy writing or reading historical fantasy, which is what I would have to write in order to go into her backstory. I'm not writing Evelyn's backstory for the same reason. (Jackson and Evelyn stories will occur between the events of Blood Diamond and Silver Bullet, as well as after Silver Bullet.)
I may do a spinoff series, but if I do… it will tie to the Science Fiction stories I'm working on.
I'll just give you a hint: In Project Zeta, Fenerec and witches no longer exist on Earth.
There's a reason for that, and yes, Vicky, Jackson, Nicole, and all of the others are neck deep involved in that reasoning.
And yes, Project Zeta does take place in the same sandbox as the Witch & Wolf stories.
I'll just leave that for you to chew on and speculate about. For now, I have editing work for a client to do.