I do recall that she attended my reading of Boots and that she was so supportive. She told me I captured "cat" perfectly in my reading (I thought I had done a good impression of terrified author, so it was wonderful to hear) and that it had convinced her to try the story. Not only that - Eden took the time to leave a lovely review on GR. I am eternally grateful for those positive comments and try to remember how it made me feel when thinking of other authors.
With that established, it took me far too long to read any Eden books, something that I finally managed to fix late this summer. I picked up Naked Tails, which I've wanted since its release, and now, of course, I want more Eden. (In a reader sense, not in a creepy sense.)
I recall in one of my writing groups long ago that we played a game involving "what's the most absurd shifter story you could write?" as its premise since, at the time, non-wolf/cat/bear shifters were just appearing on the horizon. Why did everyone go for the lupine/feline/ursine for so long? Because these are the traditional shifters of human mythology - wolves in much of the world, bears in the Americas and in Norse culture, cats in many Asian traditions and so on. But writers started to experiment with other critters. Penguins. Dogs. Owls. I've seen a lot of variations, some of them more successful than others, but I'd never seen this particular one before.
I was immensely curious how this could be pulled off. Eden does pull it off--in spades. Not only has she created a Possum-centric society, nestled in the heart of the American South, but she hints at an underground shifter society encompassing a wide variety of species. This insular, clannish community is a brilliant bit of world-building and one the protagonist has to piece together bit by bit as he comes into his inheritance and is forced to accept who he is. (I will admit to being terribly angry at Seth's grandmother and all the heartache she caused him, but that's the mark of a good storyteller. The characters are real enough that you want to yell at them.) It's an utterly charming story that really deserves some more exploration - into maybe fox society or elk. Really curious about elk... With a complex supporting cast as well as loveable main characters, this one was so much fun.
There will be more Eden reading, of that you can be sure. Summer reading with sweet tea. Sounds ideal, doesn't it?
Two last Eden notes before I go for today: First, if you see her at GRL, make sure to congratulate he on her new house :) Last, Eden's also over at The Novel Approach today as part of the Countdown to GRL with a giveaway, so be sure to stop by!