To answer that last one, yes, he (and who/what he is) will be important later.
I’ve had a lot of fun sneaking in hints and integrating George’s story line. The concept came out of my initial research for Andromeda’s Fall, the first book in the series.
I like to incorporate ancient cultures that would make sense to the story. In this case, I looked at native cultures in North and South America – the playground of the mountain lion, the creature my shifters are based on. For example, for the series name, “shadow cat” is one of the terms Native Americans called mountain lions. Kuharte is another Iroquois term which means “though a light.”
While in the process of this research I ran across a beautiful legend involving a mountain lion. I loved it so much I knew I wanted to base a set of characters around the legend. I’m incorporating them into the story of the Shadowcat Nation. There’s also the possibility of a spin off series. We’ll see.
I can’t share the legend yet, as it will give away too much. George and his role become somewhat more defined in book 3, Tieryn’s Fury, and will truly come to light in book 4. After book 4 is out, I’ll share the legend. 🙂