A few of you mentioned how much you loved Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade and how I should totally feature the book here on Werewolves.com. So I listened to you, but instead of just writing about the book, I went all out and got you guys an exclusive interview with the author herself!
Andrea Cremer was kind enough to answer my questions about Nightshade, her favorite werewolves and more. Check it out:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a redhead, a history professor, an absent-minded idealist, and I live in Minnesota. My quirk: I am terrified of crocodiles.
Can you tell us about your book Nightshade?
Calla started it all because I wanted to write a story about a female character who wasn’t being pulled into a magical world – she was already in the middle of it, a leader and a warrior. The world of Nightshade came as I tried to figure out how someone like Calla, a girl who I knew was incredibly powerful, could be afraid and angry. What was controlling her? Why would she be fighting against her own destiny? I realized that she was facing off with something even more powerful than herself. That’s where my background as a historian came in. I teach early modern history (1500-1800) – a period of immense, violent change in human societies. This is the time of witchhunts, religious warfare, colonization, the Inquistion; all types of cataclysmic social transformation that turned the lives across the globe upside down. The more I thought about Calla I thought about the ways in which wolf warriors and witches could have intertwined lives. The mythology in Nightshade is a blend of history and lore plus new twists I imagined along the way.
How does Nightshade differ from other novels about werewolves?
A few things. First – there’s Calla. She’s a forceful and dynamic heroine who takes control rather than watching the world pass her by. Second – the world of Nightshade is a unique take on history, wolves, and witchcraft; it’s not what you’ll usually find in terms of werewolf tales. Third – Nightshade is told from Calla’s point of view, but it’s the story of her whole pack. Readers who’ve contacted me tend to comment on how much they loved the stories and lives of the supporting characters – they aren’t sidekicks, what happens to them is just as important as what happens to Calla.
Where did you get the idea for Nightshade?
Nightshade is Calla’s story and she was the inspiration for the book. She’s about to turn eighteen and become the alpha female of her pack. But there are several strings tied to that inheritance, including an arranged marriage and a destiny she might not want. I tend to write from characters and Calla was floating around in my head for a week or two before I started putting her story onto the page. I knew she was a girl who was also a wolf. I knew she was strong, but also in serious trouble. I couldn’t figure out how someone so powerful could be in that sort of a fix. That’s where Nightshade’s world emerged it was all about building a history and society that explained Calla’s predicament.
Ok, here’s a question I ask all folks I interview: I’ve noticed that most of the authors I follow on Twitter talk about the music they’re currently writing to. What kind of setting/atmosphere do you find most conducive to your writing?
I need lots of coffee and I do create playlists for all of my books. I usually write at home, on my couch with my dogs sitting nearby, but I can write anywhere and often do – from airplanes to coffee shops to my dining room table.
Who is your favorite fictitious werewolf (other than your own)?
Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
What is your favorite werewolf book/movie/show?
Favorite book: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, Movie: American Werewolf in London, Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Tell our readers why they should check out your book – in 3 words: (bwahaha)
Thrilling, seductive addiction.
And finally, what other projects are you currently working on? Any goodies we should watch out for?
Nightshade is a trilogy. The second book, Wolfsbane, will be in stores July 12, 2011. Book 3, Bloodrose, is due out spring 2012. After that I have a fourth book, which is a prequel to the series, and it will be published in the fall of 2012.