Sunday, 6 June 2010

It's werewolf season!

Recently, I joined a pack. A pack of writers who write about werewolves.
It's about time we took a stand against all those pale, suklking vampire types who've frankly been hogging the limelight for way, way too long.
So, over the rest of June I will be introducing you to other members of the pack, letting them tell you a bit about themselves, their books and why werewolves ROCK.
So, without any further ado, meet alpha female Judith Graves, the writer of Under My Skin.

All her parents wanted was for Eryn to live a normal life...

Redgrave had its share of monsters before Eryn moved to town. Mauled pets, missing children. The Delacroix family is taking the blame, but Eryn knows the truth. Something stalks the night. Wade, the police chief's son and Redgrave High's resident hottie, warns her the Delacroix are dangerous. But then so is Eryn--in fact, she's lethal. But she can't help falling for one of the Delacroix boys, dark, brooding--human Alec. And then her world falls apart.

A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale.

Now, the question is what led this Canadian writer to embrace the curse of lycanthropy? So, I put a few questions to her.

1. Most scary book you read with werewolves/shifters?

Dracula would have to be the scariest. Now, he’s not a werewolf, but he was able to shift. I find it fascinating that the modern version of the vampire has lost its shapeshifting abilities. In the original Dracula, the Count assumed multiple forms – human, bat and wolf.

Totally agree. What's so great about Dracula is his uncanny nature. He's weird and so's everything about him. One of the things that's arisen out of the supernatural protagonist genre is we see how they operate. The curtain's been pulled back and the things that used to be frightening disappear under the harsh spotlight. Their mystery has gone. Dracula is preternatural, beyond nature. He doens't play by any rules and that's the essense of him, his utter alien-ness.

2. Most scary werewolf movie?

American Werewolf in London (AWIL) for being a brilliant scare and yet having such wonderful dark humour. A close second - Ginger Snaps 1, 2 and the prequel. All three are great Canadian films that harken to AWIL with just the right combo of gore, horror, and laughs.

LOVED AWIL, still do. It's one of the few movies that stands the test of time and remains as scary now as it was when I first watched it (or half-watched it. I must admit, I did spend half of it with my eyes closed.

3. Any dos and don't about werewolves you'd like to share? Top tips?

In Under My Skin, my actual “werewolves” are forged of dark magic and are soulless beasts – so they aren’t supposed to be sympathetic except in the sense that they were innocent humans turned against their will. However, my wolven characters are more lycan-ish and loveable (wolves with the ability to assume human form).

When writing werewolves, wolven and shifter characters it’s easy to get trapped in the “snorted/sniffed/snarled/huffed” verbage. It’s challenging to find other descriptive / active verbs for these beasties. So watch for overuse of those verbs.

Last point's well made. I know I've slipped into that more than once, just ask my editor.

So, that's a taste of the other werewolf fiction lurking in the bookshops. If you want more on Judith and her delightful tale of slaughter in the woods of Canada, check out her website and her cool blog called (what else?) but wolfychicks.

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