Author Topic: [A&O #0.5] On The Prowl | Alpha & Omega Discussion  (Read 104676 times)

Nifty

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[A&O #0.5] On The Prowl | Alpha & Omega Discussion
« on: July 20, 2007, 08:18:26 am »
I was really thrilled to read the excerpt for Alpha and Omega.  Can't wait!

Mike, I have a question for YOU about Omegas.  Really, it's a question for Patty, but since this forum is on the down-low -- sshhhhhh -- I thought I'd ask you instead, and maybe it's something you already know or you and she have talked about.

I've always hear that Omegas are the lowest member of a wolfpack, yada, yada.  They're cringing and submissive; as lowest-ranking member, they eat last and often get picked on horribly; they're not allowed to mate; they can be driven from the pack.  Those are the "common" things that people always hear about omegas.

However, at home I have a book on wolves that says that the omegas are very misunderstood by most people.  The author of that book explained that Omegas actually serve an important purpose in the pack:  they're the ones who break up the tension and redirect it, which often keeps dominant wolves from fighting (and possibly killing) one another, which therefore keeps the wolfpack healthy and whole and strong.  For example:  Say it's feeding time, and two higher-ranking wolves start to posture with one another about who's going to eat that choice bit of meat.  Their hackles are raised and teeth are bared and they're really about to get into it.  At this point, an Omega would slink into the scene and try to steal a bit of food for himself, which of course would draw the dominant wolves' attention to him and away from each other.  The dominant wolves would "correct" the Omega for his impudence and that would distract everybody from the big fight that was imminent before the Omega interceded.  Everything I've read about Omegas indicates that while they might get picked on horribly, and even be abused to some degree by the other wolves, it's very rare for a dominant wolf to seriously harm an Omega, although two dominant wolves can kill each other if they get into a fight. So...according to my book at home, at least...Omega's are extremely valuable to a real wolfpack.

When I was reading the excerpt for Alpha and Omega, it seemed that Patty's understanding of the Omega was similar to mine.  Certainly, Charles recognized that Anna was an Omega -- and not merely a submissive wolf -- and he considered her to be both rare and valuable.  She had a calming influence on his anger...similar, in a way, to the example above in which the Omega diverted the dominant wolf's anger/attention. 

So I guess my question for you/Patty is can you tell us more about Patty's understanding of the role of the Omega?  You don't have to be specific about the story...unless of course you want to!! ;D

ETA: Title modified. Elle
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 09:32:28 pm by Elle »
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Mike Briggs

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 09:14:31 am »
Nifty:
Well, I'll give it a shot.  First, one of my undergrad degrees is "Fish and Wildlife Management", so while I'm not an expert I do have some background in the area.  Also, remember that werewolves (in addition to being imaginary) are kind of a dual-natured creature, with human and wolf aspects, which kind of turns standard wolf biology on it's ear.

Your explanation of the Omega in a real pack is spot on.  They do fulfill an important role, and the omega is abused, but also protected from serious injury by the pack, and does get a share of the kill etc. etc.

Werewolves have a real problem - they live within the human community, but they have very hot tempers and are usually a bit more agressive than other folks.  They human aspect is usually in conflict with the more assertive, aggressive wolf aspect.  Worse, the more alpha the werewolf, the greater the difference between instinct and socially acceptable behavior.  Newly turned werewolves often have
a very difficult time learning to control this aggressive side, and are often lost (that's a nice way of saying killed by their alpha) before they cause problems.  Even experienced wolves, particularly alphas, often have a hard time being rational and making sound decisions when emotions are running high because they're spending too much of their attention trying to keep the wolf pacified.  This becomes a real problem, for example, when alphas from various packs meet to try to resolve issues like territory or exchanging members.

An omega werewolf is a fairly rare creature.  Their magic is that they calm the wolf aspect of others, and allow the human side to retain control in stressful situations.   Because they're not at all alpha, they should be the lowest-ranked member of the pack, BUT because werewolves are smarter than wolves, and because they recognize the benefits of an omega, they are usually given a status more like the medicine men/women in native american culture. They're "removed" from the pack heirarchy and from all the dominance games, and set outside the normal rules. 

Does this help?

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Grey Drakkon

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 09:21:37 am »
Excellent to hear!  Er, read.  I love how elements from reality are blended to make the most sense.
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Nifty

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 09:26:08 am »
Does this help?

Yes!  That's awesome!  Thanks so much for posting.  Like I said, I got really excited when I read the excerpt and saw how Patty was handling the omega, because that perspective is really not something I've come across in any other werewolf novel I've read.  If there's a submissive or "omega" werewolf (in other book series), the emphasis always seems to be on the wolf's low-ranking position and cringe-iness and not on their overall value to the pack.

Does Adam's pack have an omega? Or Bran's?  I don't recall a reference to one, and there may not be.  Certainly Charles' reaction to Anna seemed like true omegas were few and far between.
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Mike Briggs

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 10:14:15 am »
[Does Adam's pack have an omega? Or Bran's?  I don't recall a reference to one, and there may not be.  Certainly Charles' reaction to Anna seemed like true omegas were few and far between.

This is probably actually a Patty question, she gets to make up answers as she goes.  To the best of my knowledge neither Adam nor Bran have an Omega in their packs.  Omegas are very rare -- generally only assertive, even agressive people have enough constitution to survive the transformation to werewolf.
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Grey Drakkon

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 10:17:13 am »

This is probably actually a Patty question, she gets to make up answers as she goes.  To the best of my knowledge neither Adam nor Bran have an Omega in their packs.  Omegas are very rare -- generally only assertive, even agressive people have enough constitution to survive the transformation to werewolf.

   Kinda along the lines of "too mean to die" eh?
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Nifty

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2007, 10:18:08 am »
Omegas are very rare -- generally only assertive, even agressive people have enough constitution to survive the transformation to werewolf.

That's a good point.  I keep forgetting the part about not all people being able to make the transition.
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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2007, 03:44:47 pm »
I was wondering if anyone knows the exact day that On the Prowl is being released, because all it says is August and I was just wondering what day :).

Mike Briggs

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 04:13:32 pm »
Mandy:
On the prowl doesn't have a hard sell date, but it's release date is Aug 7.  Publisher's generally reserve hard sell dates for books they expect to be extremely popular.  If an author can generate most of their sales on the first week, they improve their chances of getting on a best-seller list for that week, so it benefits the author.  It also levels the field for booksellers, because they all start selling at the same time.  Just imagine if one bookstore were to sell Harry Potter a week before all the competition -- they'd make millions!  So, if a book has a hard sell date, the publishers take a very dim view of bookstores jumping the gun.

For smaller titles, the release date is just when they expect to have the books available.  So, while it's flattering to have people asking for a specific date, On the Prowl will be offered for sale whenever the bookstore gets it in, which is generally a week or so before the official date, and it will probably come out some places sooner than others.
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Nifty

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2007, 05:17:10 pm »
The Mercy books are garnering quite a following.  I wouldn't be surprised if, in a book or two, there's a strict-on-sale date for them. Blood Bound was being sold a good two weeks before its "official" street date and still did remarkably well on the lists, despite the dilution of those initial sales.  If the booksellers had had to abide by an SOS date, it's probable that the list placement would have been even higher.  Don't you think?

What surprises me is that they've started to assign SOS dates to mass market paperbacks.  I noticed this first with one of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood novels. 
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Grey Drakkon

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2007, 07:27:33 am »
That's really interesting about release dates, I never realized that they had different standards for popularity of book and author.  I too think that the Mercy books may be approaching that level though.  I wonder what the cut-off point is?
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wolfeyes

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2007, 09:51:32 am »
well i did hav some questions about an omega but you guys pretty much fixed that...thanks :)

Coyote

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2007, 06:17:08 pm »
Just another tidbit, though what people here have already said covers what I'd have said better than I'd have done...

Often, when the omega of a pack dies or is otherwise lost, the rest of the pack which... to humans seemed to do nothing but "abuse" them, mourns deeply.

People often apply human and cultural values to the behavior of other animals. But animals don't always like the same things we do, or have the same value structures.

I've gotten to be around wolves many times. Often, even people who have worked with wolves a long time, and love them, seem to "freak out" about behaviors that, to the wolves are normal, healthy, and sometimes necessary. Wolves don't say things like "Please, madam, may have have some of your steak?" or "Why no, I'd rather you didn't." They also don't wig out just because someone gets a notched ear or a slashed flank.

They work, live and play rougher than we do. Often, when wolves were "fighting" and the humans involved interfered, often very upset... the wolves looked at them like they were crazy.

At the same time, wolves that I'd see snap bits off one another, and knock each other down without a thought would be very gentle or careful with their human friends. They know what they're doing, it seems... they know how hard they bite and how strong they are, and they seem to know what other people... wolves or not, can take... most of the time.

Not all wolves are the same, mind you.

Elle

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2007, 08:22:41 pm »
This is a great thread for learning more about wolves and the publishing industry, loving it.

It's getting so close to the release date that I whenever I pop into the bookstore I do a quick check just in case it's out early. I might strike it lucky.
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Fairyfreak

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Re: Alpha and Omega Novella Discussion
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2007, 05:03:08 am »
I know what you mean.  I've preordered it from Amazon, and even though I know it's too soon, I keep checking to see if they've started shipping it out yet.  :)  *checks*  Nope, not yet...