I have often credited fanfiction as how I got into writing. Ursula K. LeGuin I credit for my love of werewolves.
I will be honest. I am not as familiar with her works as I should be. The Left Hand of Darkness and A Wizard of Earthsea have been on my to-read lists for far, far too long. When I heard of her passing, I wracked my brain to remember what I have read by her. I was drawing a blank, but I could not come up with a novel of hers I have read.
Then I remembered her short stories.
I remember two stories from my English 101 class. The first one is “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, which left the entire class traumatized, and LeGuin’s “The Wife’s Story.” I adored that story with it’s twists of lycanthropy, and while it doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test, the majority of the active characters in it are female, something rare in my reading up to that point. When I sold that book back, I went out and got another anthology it was in.
Shortly after reading it, I stumbled across an anthology named, approriately Werewolves. I read it. It had a good mix of humor and horor, and I devoured it. Up until that point, my only real exposure to werewolves were through kids cartoons like Scooby Doo and Fangface . I had heard of movies like The Wolf Man or An American Werewolf in London, but hadn’t watched them. This was also around the time that I discovered The X-Files. Shortly after that, I started applying fingers to keyboard.
Thank you Ursula K. LeGuin, for opening a while new world to me.