Message From The Author

Author's Message

I grew up in a neighborhood full of guys. I was the youngest, the smallest, and most of the time, the only girl. And those guys I grew up with? Three of them (including my older brother) grew up to be six foot five. Suffice it to say, I had to fight tooth and nail to keep up with kids almost twice my age—and I knew, in the depths of my four-year-old soul, that I would probably never be as big or as strong or as good at arm wrestling as they were.

Didn’t mean I couldn’t try.

Maybe that’s why, when I decided to write a book about werewolves, I knew I wanted to write about a human girl growing up in their midst. The rest of the pack is supernaturally fast, supernaturally strong, and borderline indestructible, but teenage Bryn is not. She’s not a werewolf, she’s not indestructible, and she knows all too well what can happen when a werewolf loses control.

But knowing that she will always be the underdog doesn’t mean that Bryn can’t do everything in her power to stand on even footing with her werewolf family. It doesn’t mean she won’t risk her life to get to the bottom of the pack’s darkest secrets, as she does when she discovers a boy who’s been ravaged by a rabid werewolf in Raised by Wolves.

Bryn never stops trying. She never stops fighting, and by the start of the second book in the series, Trial by Fire, she’s done the impossible—become the alpha of her own pack through sheer forces of wills. She’s still human. Smaller, weaker, slower—but she’s the leader, and over the course of the book, she finds out the hard way that leadership has its costs and that sometimes, being alpha means making horrible, heart-wrenching decisions that no person should ever have to make.

As a primate cognition researcher, I’ve spent years working with pack animals. I’ve stood ramrod still on an island full of monkeys as members of one group tore into another, or as two alpha males fought for dominance at my feet. It’s wild and terrifying and complex in ways that you can only understand by getting inside the animals’ heads—the same way that Bryn has to learn to think like a werewolf to lead them.

The Raised by Wolves series is about animal instincts and human morality and what happens when the two clash head-on. It’s about a girl whose only power is being scrappy, and about finding family in the oddest places. As a huge fan of the works of adult urban fantasy writers like Kelley Armstrong and Patricia Briggs, I’m thrilled to be writing a YA series that brings a teen perspective to the otherwise very adult world that Bryn is forced to live in—a world where the stakes are always life and death.

- Jennifer Lynn Barnes


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