The Story Behind ‘The Fear Principle’ by B. A. Chepaitis

This book and the others in the series started with the character, Jaguar Addams.  I was driving to visit a friend who’d just had a baby daughter, and at the time I was seriously considering whether or not I wanted another child.  I had a son, but no daughter, and thought I might want to try for one.   I was listening to Eurythmics, a song called No Fear, No Hate, No Pain, when Jaguar made herself known, fully herself, sitting in her livingroom on the arm of a couch, swinging a leg back and forth.

She said, “Listen.  What you’re going to do next is write  me.”

I’d been having a series of dreams about a creature that was both woman and jaguar, so I was ready for her.  I pulled off the road and started writing.  First I wrote a long poem that said goodbye to having a daughter.  Then I started writing the first of the Jaguar stories.  And I’ve been writing her ever since.


Barbara Chepaitis is the author of 8 published books, including The Fear Principle featuring Jaguar Addams (Wildside Press), and the critically acclaimed Feeding Christine and These Dreams. Her first nonfiction book, Feathers of Hope, is about Berkshire Bird Paradise and the human connection with birds.   She’s writing a sequel about Eagle Mitch, a bird she helped our US troops rescue from Afghanistan.  Barbara is founder of the storytelling trio The Snickering Witches, and faculty coordinator for the fiction component of Western Colorado’s MFA program in creative writing.

Facebook site for Barbara –

Facebook site for Jaguar –

Barbara’s website:


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