Beneath the Willow Tree
“Jealousy and bigotry lead people to do awful things to the ones they were meant to love.”
At the age of ten, Milagros lost her father to a mysterious illness. At the age of eleven, she was stripped of her title and made to serve her stepmother and step sisters. Her future seemed bleak until the day she turned eighteen and shifted for the first time with the help of Prince Esteban, who was in the process of running away. That chance encounter under a willow tree set their story of love, betrayal and politics in motion.
I created the cover using Canva. I just wanted to create a quick mock up of what I’d like the cover to look like. I’m still working on what other elements I’d like to include in the cover. I will definitely pay for a cover artist though. I will use whatever I make on Canva as an example of what I want the cover to look like. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but people still do. The cover of a book is what pulls potential readers in.
What was the inspiration?
While I was watching Ever After, I had a few questions.
- Why was Danielle made to be a servant, and how was that allowed?
- Why was Danielle considered a commoner?
- Was her identity hidden and if so, how would she be able to prove it?
I was also reading a lot of werewolf and shifter romance online. Although most were good, I noticed a lot of problematic things in some of them. One of which is the use of the hierarchy of Alpha, Beta, Omega. This was based on debunked wolf science. Although it is an interesting concept to work with, I’ve seen it teeter on the lines of toxic masculinity and abusive relationships. I also noticed a lack of diversity amongst the popular stories. Most werewolf and shifter stories feature white, European characters and very small cast of black, Latino, or Indigenous side characters.
I combined my questions for one of my favorite nostalgic movies and my mental notes from reading other werewolf and shifter stories to create something new- at least to me. I’m also throwing in some fairies in there because why not. Beneath the Willow Tree features a wide variety of characters of -but not limited to – Spanish, Puerto Rican, Central American, South American and Afro Latino decent.
Meet the characters: Milagros and Esteban