Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy birthday, CRY WOLF!

One year ago today, CRY WOLF was published by Carina Press, and I thought I would celebrate by reminiscing about my writing process. To all who have read it, thank you. To those who haven't yet, I hope you'll give it a try! Let's throw confetti around. Grab some imaginary cake and pull up a chair. CRY WOLF only officially turns 1 once!

Some fun facts about CRY WOLF:

• The story of CRY WOLF was inspired by the Beast of Bray Road — a real urban legend (or a real monster? Hmmm…) in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Eyewitnesses began reporting sightings of a werewolf-like creature in the 1980s, and sightings continue until this day. Being a diehard fan of “The X-Files,” these sightings took root in my mind and led to all kinds of fun ideas. Books have been written about the creature, and a really bad B-movie called “The Beast of Bray Road” took the case in a new and very exploitatively weird direction. Now, I like bad movies, but this movie was just bad. Which leads me to...

• CRY WOLF was originally set in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and Andrea and Sean were investigating the Beast of Bray Road. When I walked into my local Blockbuster one day in 2005 and spotted the DVD cover for “The Beast of Bray Road,” I grasped it off the shelf, hurried home to watch it (an hour and a half of my life I’ll never get back), and fell into a deep depression for about a week because my manuscript was finished and I was afraid people would associate and prematurely judge my story based on the movie — despite the fact the stories were nothing alike. This prompted a major rewrite, in which I set the story in the fictional town of Woodbine, S.C. instead. 

• I chose the town’s name Woodbine when I saw a sign for a city with that name while driving from Florida to Georgia. I wanted a town that started with “W” in order to create a moniker that alliterated with Werewolf. Thus, the Woodbine Werewolf was born. 

• The original manuscript for CRY WOLF was titled CRYPTID and was a straight-up horror novel. The romance between Sean and Andrea was very lowkey — in fact, they never once kissed! A response from an agent’s assistant provided me with the feedback that she really liked my story and my writing voice, but horror was a tough genre to sell. She said I had a great voice for romance, she loved the idea of Sean and Andrea as the focal point, and she advised taking the manuscript in that direction, as paranormal romances were very hot at the time. As an avid romance reader, I took this info as positive feedback and ran with it. The rest, as they say, is history.


• I don’t typically write my stories with actors in mind for the parts, but being the movie and television fanatic I am, inevitably I realize afterward that certain actors have provided inspiration for the way my characters look or act. With CRY WOLF, my inspirations are quite obvious, now that I think about it. Actors Sean Patrick Flanery and Jensen Ackles both inspired the character of Sean. See, I even chose Sean’s name for a reason! I've been a huge SPF fan since I first saw "Powder," and I’d watched SPF’s movies “Lone Hero” and “The Boondock Saints” more than a few times each the summer I was finishing my story. I was also obsessed with Jensen’s character Alec on “Dark Angel” at the time I was writing CRY WOLF. Yes, this was pre-“Supernatural” days. Another fun fact: Sean and Jensen later starred together in the awesome indie flick "Ten Inch Hero." I've also been fortunate enough to meet both Jensen Ackles (when he was on "Days of Our Lives" - yes, I've been obsessed with him for quite a long time) and Sean Patrick Flanery (at Dragoncon 2011). I almost told Sean that he had inspired the character in my then-soon-to-be-released book, but instead, I turned into a blabbering idiot and could barely pronounce my name. He was nice enough not to make fun of me. Sigh. Plus, SPF is so awesome, he also responded to my tweet once! Look, I have proof!



Actresses Emily Blunt and Erica Durance each inspired the character of Andrea. When I was finishing the first draft of CRY WOLF, it was the same year Erica joined “Smallville” as Lois Lane. During rewrites I had just seen Emily’s performance in “Wind Chill” and found myself giving Andrea some of the same personality traits as Emily’s character in that film. Another (yes, another) fun fact? Jensen Ackles and Erica Durance starred on "Smallville" together for a season before Jensen left to do "Supernatural." Now, if we could just arrange for Emily to make a movie with Erica, Sean or Jensen, I could start a new game: six degrees of CRY WOLF. Hmmm.


• The book was set around Halloween because it’s my favorite holiday, second only to Christmas, of course! I have many fond memories of watching old black-and-white “creature features” with my dad around Halloween when I was a wee lass. Yeah, that probably inspired me to write CRY WOLF, too. Obviously, I'm a very weird individual.

• I've probably written a total of five different drafts of CRY WOLF over the years. It was rejected more than 30 times before Carina Press decided to give it a shot. I'm living proof that persistence and determination can pay off.

AND LAST, BUT NOT LEAST:

• The most common questions I get asked by email are “Is Reed going to get his own book?” and “Are Meg and Trey going to get their own book?” The answer to each is, yes, hopefully. I have plans to go there. With more monsters, too!
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