Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy turns into a wolf in the winter. This is the basic premise of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, which follows Sam, the young boy who becomes a wolf, and Grace, a girl who's always loved the wolf behind her house.
Grace is drawn to the yellow eyes of one particular wolf and then meets a yellow-eyed boy who leaves her short of breath. As it gets colder — and the summers seem briefer and farther apart — Sam (the yellow-eyed boy) must fight to stay human or risk losing Grace forever.
In an interview with CBC News, Stiefvater said the story is "very bittersweet." She added that the books are "about losing your identity and what that means to you as a human."
When Stiefvater began writing Shiver, the first novel in the series, she intended it to be a stand-alone book, but she ended up with plotlines she knew needed more time to develop. Stiefvater followed Shiver with Linger and Forever and each book spent time on many bestseller lists.
Stiefvater has always loved paranormal stories and the "sense of wonder" they allow. "I love those books set in the real world, but there's that tiny twist of magic.
It just gives you that sense of being a teen again, where everything is possible in a good way and a bad way, and that's really what you can capture the best with paranormal."
Watch the video below to learn about Stiefvater's approach to writing for young adults and listen to her read excerpts from her books.