Saturday, April 1, 2023


Lone Wolf Series


Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Dellani Oakes's Lone Wolf Series!


It's been a few weeks since the Pallanachi warriors attacked Shakazhan. The residents are still reeling in shock. Trying to get their lives back on track, they are evaluating how they could have done better. Wil knows that at their current state of preparedness, they can't possibly survive and turn back a concerted attack by the evil Kahlea Grand Master, Zoiathula. Since there are many different people below the crust, he makes a bold decision. Not knowing if those he sends will return, he orders a team into the treacherous depths of the artificial planet.

Meanwhile, Champion Sta Hyt Mai makes plans to hone her fighting skills, as well as how to train their small army into a true fighting force.


What is the sub-genre and trope?  Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

The series can loosely be billed as sci-fi, though it’s more a feel of futuristic fantasy. It’s not hard science by any means. If you wanted to call it a space opera, you could.

Are you more character or plot driven?

A mixture of both, though my characters very much lead the way.

With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

I keep track of them in my head. I do write them down on a sheet of paper as I go, but I know who they are from start to finish.

I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Oh, for sure! The character of Wil VanLipsig, the Lone Wolf, is a very forceful and formidable character. What I didn’t foresee was how his wife, Matilda, would step up and be an equally forceful character. 

Where he is often cold, calculating and slightly terrifying, she is compassionate, caring and also terrifying. With her, he becomes a better man. I have enjoyed how he’s mellowed and changed. He can still be ruthless, but now he feels bad afterward.

Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know?

No, not really. Although, there are elements of my husband in both Wil and his brother Marc. All their best qualities are his.

Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know?

No. Although a lot of Matilda comes from deep within me. She is a strong woman, and so am I.

Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

In a prequel to the series, called The Wall of Time (not yet published) I had to kill a character. It was heart wrenching and made me cry.

Another scene in Shakazhan, it’s Christmas, and the Chairman of the Mining Guild, Emelia Spenser, is missing the love of her life, Ben Drexel. He’s off with Wil and Matilda, trying to save the universe. She keeps hoping to hear from him, and doesn’t. That scene made me cry, too.

What is your favorite book in the series?

I really love them all so much. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say Lone Wolf. It’s what started it all.

I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

Although Wil is a hard, cold, calculating, battle hardened warrior when the story begins, he grows and changes into the man he always wanted to be, but didn’t have the chance. 

Forced by circumstances into one terrible battle after another, he was fierce, deadly and cold. Being with Matilda brings out the characteristics that were there, but he’d had to hide them.

Series question - Who is your favorite couple and why did you decide on their dynamics?

Although Wil and Matilda are the main couple, I have to say that I love the dynamic between Marc (his brother) and his wife, Rebeckah (Becky) He’s as big a badass as Wil, but he’s allowed himself to mellow over the years. Wil hasn’t had that opportunity. 

Where Matilda is as much a warrior as Wil and Marc, Becky is the calming, loving influence that Marc needs. Her superpower is the ability to love, no matter what. She is fierce in that love, and will stand up to adversity. She is the heart of the Shakazhan Force, and doesn’t even realize it.

How do you get inside these characters’ heads to find their perfect HEA?

To be honest, I don’t know. They lead me there, I don’t lead them.

What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you?  Why?

The two scenes I mentioned above, as well as a scene from one of the short stories I wrote - inspired by events in the novels. 

I put together a series of short stories and novellas, in order to explore events that are important to the characters, but get glossed over.

In Lone Wolf Tales, I tell the story of Matilda’s first love in Gone But Not Forgotten. It is exciting and heart rending. The last scene of that story makes me cry. The entire story gives great insight not only into Matilda, but into Wil.

Series - Were any of the books harder to write than others?

Yes. The third book, The Maker, was harder to write. It got more to the core of the story, and had a lot more in the way of subplots. It had been the focus of my intention to write the books. 

I had no idea that the story would continue as long as it did - 6 core books and a few prequels. I thought that I’d write Lone Wolf and that would be the end, but there was too much more to tell. 

The Maker is when I realized that it would need at least 2 more books to finish it up.

This question is if you write in MULTIPLE POVs not just the hero and heroine - I love the multiple POVs in a book.  It’s not just the hero and heroine, but we get inside the heads of multiple characters throughout this series.  I feel that it gives the story further depth.  Do you think you will write another book or series following this multiple POV outline?

Yes, I do. It’s my favorite way to present a story. 

I have a series of paranormal novels, not yet published (though I shared them on my Dellani Oakes blog) which does this. 

The main character is often the focus of the series, but I also hop over to watch the story from another’s POV. I don’t think stories can always be told from only one viewpoint.

How long did it take you to write this book/series?

It took me many years. I whipped through the first three fairly quickly. Once I got to The Kahlea, I had more difficulty getting the story down in a coherent fashion. 

I had a little trouble with book 5, Playground Beyond the Stars, because I introduced some new characters and ideas. By the time I got to book 6, Heirs of Shakazhan, I was convinced I had to end the series, but I couldn’t make myself say goodbye to them.

When I realized that I could write prequels and short stories, and didn’t have to say goodbye to them, I relaxed and was able to finish.

How did you come up with the title for your book and series?

The character of Wilhelm VanLipsig was originally created by a friend of ours. He had very specifically called him The Wolf. I chose to call him the Lone Wolf, because it seemed more appropriate to the character. 

Given that he’s the main character throughout, I chose to call the series Lone Wolf.

If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

Yes, I do. Even Wil, who can be a serious jerk, I believe we’d get along – if for no other reason than he was raised to be a gentleman, and can be very polite and charming – if he tries.

Series question – Did you know in advance that you were going to write this as a series or did one of the characters in book one demand their own story?

No. I got to a major plot spot in Lone Wolf, and realized that either the book be 200,000 words long, or I’d have to break it into two. 

I started book 2, Shakazhan, where Lone Wolf ended. I stopped at a crucial place, leaving the first story on a cliffhanger, but it couldn’t be helped. It was either that, or write way too long a book. 

That second book became a third, which spawned a fourth, fifth and sixth. It wasn’t so much that a character demanded its story be told, as the story demanded telling. 

If your book/series were made into a movie, which actors do you see as playing your characters?

When I began, the character of Wil VanLipsig would have been played by Kurt Russell (Picture Snake Pliskin, Escape from New York) He’s obviously too old now, but his son, Wyatt, could play him well.

Matilda DuLac was originally played by Claudia Black, but again, she’s a bit too old for it. I think Jennifer Lawrence would be amazing in the role.

Marc was one I never had quite the right person for, but I think that Tom Hopper (Umbrella Academy) would be fantastic.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

There are two more books in the Lone Wolf Series itself, Playground Beyond the Stars, where the next generation of warriors come into their own. The children born on Shakazhan aren’t like those born elsewhere. Also, with the influence of the highly advanced race, The Kindred, they have tools and weapons far superior to humans. Duncan and Mariah VanLipsig are far more than either of their parents, and in Playground and Heirs of Shakazhan, they come into their own - becoming formidable warriors in their own right.

The prequel, Wall of Time, explores Wil’s life prior to marrying Matilda. It involves the origin story of a seemingly minor character in Lone Wolf, Lady Lena. She comes into The Kahlea, as well as Playground and Heirs, in a very cool way. I won’t give spoilers, because where she comes from is a big surprise for everyone.

As I mentioned, for more side stories from Lone Wolf, read The Lone Wolf Tales. This is 9 stories plucked from incidents mentioned in the series. Some are novella length, others are short stories. They’re all different and entertaining. 

Anything more that I share will give too much away, and I’d rather let the stories unfold organically.


Check out all my interviews/reviews for Dellani Oakes!


Both are answered. Now for photos & bio. Feel free to whittle down the bio as needed. 

Dellani Oakes has been telling stories since she was small. Her first ever storytelling moment was shortly after her older sister started kindergarten. Lonely by herself, she created Rainbow School and had adventures with her friend, Snowy Green.

Her fertile imagination moved forward when she learned to write, and grasped the complexities of light verse poetry. A fan of Ogden Nash and limericks, she embarked on a (very bad) poetry writing phase. She can remember only part of one, because overall, they were not memorable.

A fan of Allan Sherman song parodies (which she can remember with annoying accuracy) she started writing her own version of her favorite songs. You haven't lived until you've heard her version of Michael Row the Boat Ashore – only about soybeans. (You had to be there).

Fortunately, by the time she got to high school, she had moved on to humorous essays like those written by James Thurber. With this writing talent burgeoning inside, she joined the speech and debate team, and went on to win prizes in oral interpretation of prose and poetry.

Always enjoying the bright lights of the stage, she got involved in drama club, and appeared in several of the school productions. In college, she was a theatre major and found the fun of working backstage, rather than on. She spent several years on set crew, moving on to box office, before deciding upon costuming as a focus. She still loves to design clothing, but hasn't got the time to pursue that, since she's now an author.

After college, Dellani married. As a wife and mother, she had to set the stories aside, though the character voices nagged at her from time to time. She wrote short stories and plays, to keep that creative gene alive. It wasn't until after she quit her job and moved to Florida, that she found the time to write. That book isn't finished yet, and may never be, but she hasn't given up hope.

She had an interesting plot twist in life, when she went on a field trip with her oldest son, to historical St. Augustine, Florida. She was shepherding 10 rowdy boys up the broad, stone steps of the Castillo de San Marcos, when she got pushed into the wall. That collision knocked something loose that had been bottled up, and she heard a young woman's voice speaking to her. The character refused to be silent, and kept yammering until her story was told. That moment birthed Dellani's first published novel, Indian Summer.

Since then, Dellani has gone beyond the historical romantic suspense, to contemporary romance, romantic suspense, mystery, fantasy, and futuristic romance. Having a character talk to her is commonplace now, and she welcomes the voices inside her head. They tell their stories, and she types frantically, trying to copy them down.

Dellani's books include Indian Summer and it's sequel, Savage Heart. She has a futuristic romance series – Lone Wolf, Shakazhan, The Maker, and a companion collection of short stories – Lone Wolf Tales. She has a romantic suspense series staring one of her favorite characters, Deputy Marshal Marice Houston – Room 103, Room 203, and Room 303 are published. She is currently doing edits of Room 403 and is working on Room 503. She has several books published with Irish company, Tirgearr Publishing, as well as quite a few more which she has published independently.

Not only is Dellani an author, she works with Owl & Pussycat Book Promotions, who help other authors advertise their work. She hosts two Blog Talk Radio shows a month – Dellani's Tea Time every 2nd Monday, and What's Write for Me every 4th Wednesday.

She's still a busy wife and mother, but her children are grown, and she's entered the world of grandparenting – which she loves. She lives with her husband, and whichever of her boys happen to be there, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Connect with Dellani:









LONE WOLF by Dellani Oakes
Lone Wolf Series - Book One

It's 3032 and mankind has conquered the stars. Strange creatures walk among us, but we are the aliens now, finding homes among the various races of other worlds.

Marc Slatterly and Matilda DuLac are members of the Galactic Mining Guild and they encounter a problem with a product in deep space. After contacting their command, they are told to expect someone to pick up the troublesome Trimagnite ore from them—a Gypsy, of sorts....

Enter the Lone Wolf – Wil VanLipsig has lived a long, and not so happy, life. Genetically altered by the Galactic Marines decades ago, he looks 25, when he's really far older. It's obvious after this first encounter, he and Marc have a history.

SHAKAZHAN by Dellani Oakes
Lone Wolf Series - Book Two

Shakazhan begins where Lone Wolf ended, with the precipitous exit of John Riley. Aided by the evil Kahlea, Riley has disappeared to parts unknown and it's up to Wil, Matilda and the crew of Flotilla, to find him. With the help of some powerful new friends, they once more pursue Riley to parts unknown.

THE MAKER by Dellani Oakes
Lone Wolf Series - Book Three

It's Christmas and the people of Shakazhan are celebrating the holiday, and a few precious moments of peace. John Riley is dead, but he freed the nameless Kahlea, who called upon others before he, too, died. Now, the tiny force awaits the coming of the ancient evil race. Wil and Matilda are determined to find others among the natives of Shakazhan, to join them in the impending battle. Unbeknownst to them, the planet has even more secrets to reveal.

THE KAHLEA by Dellani Oakes
Lone Wolf Series - Book Four

It's been a few weeks since the Pallanachi warriors attacked Shakazhan. The residents are still reeling in shock. Trying to get their lives back on track, they are evaluating how they could have done better. Wil knows that at their current state of preparedness, they can't possibly survive and turn back a concerted attack by the evil Kahlea Grand Master, Zoiathula. Since there are many different people below the crust, he makes a bold decision. Not knowing if those he sends will return, he orders a team into the treacherous depths of the artificial planet.

Meanwhile, Champion Sta Hyt Mai makes plans to hone her fighting skills, as well as how to train their small army into a true fighting force.

LONE WOLF TALES by Dellani Oakes
Lone Wolf Series Companion

Lone Wolf Tales is a collection of short stories and novellas which explore the universe of the Lone Wolf Series in greater detail. These nine tales fill in a few of the blanks, offer insights and create depth to key characters in the series.

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