Laer Carroll is a retired aerospace engineer. He worked most recently at NASA and Boeing. There Laer worked on many cutting-edge projects. This included the space station, deep-space probes, military and commercial jets, UAVs, and other projects once science fiction. So it was natural when he retired he thought to become a professional sci-fi writer.
But Boeing sent him to Montreal for a week to liase with a customer during the first snowfall of the year. He stayed downtown in a turn-of-the-century renovated hotel. It was amidst a massive renovation of tall buildings, some of them near skeletons. The gently swirling snowflakes lent a mist of unreality to everything. At night, returning from dancing the Argentine tango or dining out where everyone spoke French, he might have been in a fairy city of the past or a time-devastated future city.
Mid week, in the middle of the night, he awoke in his fin de siecle room wound in his bed sheets. But in the dark he was a she in mid-1800s Ireland. Her name was ... Mary ... McCarthy. And she was in her grave.
So began the birth of the alternative history Shapechanger Tales series.