Different colonies have chosen different way to live, either among humans or in solitude away from society. Each colony owns a copy of a database, originally a leather-bound book of pages where were-lynx lineage was recorded. It is a precious book that is kept in safety, away from humans.
Were-lynxes are forbidden to reveal their true identities. They are taught from an early age to keep to themselves and not form relationships with humans beyond work relationships. They are taught that a choice of one were-lynx to reveal his or her true identity would put all were-lynxes’ lives in jeopardy.
Were-lynxes don’t trust humans. History has taught them that humans view anything “different” as dangerous. Were-lynxes believe humans are careless and selfish.
The process of shifting from one form into another is a natural process for were-lynxes called shimmering. It doesn’t cause them pain and it is easy to do. There are no colony rules that require were-lynxes to shimmer regularly, but because it is so soothing and pleasant, shimmering is done regularly, and primarily after dark.
Were-lynxes prefer to get their food from the market or the refrigerator. As were-animals they can hunt, but they have a preference against killing other beings, so they don’t hunt for food.
Were-lynx have high metabolism, therefore they have large appetites and heal quickly. They have the heightened senses of a predator, which enables them to highly enjoy natural surroundings and avoid dangerous situations when they want to. Their senses also make them skilled at detecting what is going on around them and who or what is nearby.
Were-lynx abilities express at age eighteen. Children are not told the truth about their genetic makeup until in their teens, because young children are too open and may inadvertently jeopardize the colony members’ lives.
For centuries, were-lynxes have been separated into two categories based on genetics: pures, were-lynxes born from two genetically pure were-lynx parents, and moggies, were-lynxes born from a parent or two parents who carry the gene but do not express it. In the past, only pures were allowed to be a colony leader. Moggies were considered lower in status than pures. They were believed by pures to be lower intelligence and untrustworthy. When Casey, a moggie, was voted leader of his colony, he brought new ideas and prompted changes, such as disregarding the ancient beliefs about pures versus moggies and acknowledgement that some humans are trustworthy, so weres should be able to develop relationships with them. He follows his philosophies in leading the colony: Everything evolves, and life is not what you think it is.
All have the agility, strength, stealth, heightened senses of a lynx, and the ability to shimmer into lynx form. Each one has an additional special ability. They keep their were-lynx identity secret from humans. They vary a bit in coloration when in lynx form, but they share the typical dark markings and dark tufted ears.
In writing the Fierce Hearts books, Author Lynn Crandall makes the characters diverse. Diversity is a natural part of life. Black or white or Latino is only one aspect of the characters … all are were-lynxes. The characters lived their lives as “different” in their own way and their ethnicity is simply a part of them, like brown eyes or blue eyes. In the list of characters their ethnicity is noted. It is not meant to emphasis their race, but simply to describe the characteristics all their characters.