Monday, December 1, 2014

Interview with Erin Cole, author of Feral Things

Recently, I had the great pleasure to interview author Erin Cole about the release of her new book, Feral Things. Enjoy!

CA: Welcome Erin! The werewolf mythology has often been linked to the changes people go through during puberty, and the linking with the cycle of the moon only adds layers to that. Do you think this essential meaning has changed, and what is the motivating force for your werewolves?

EC: Emotions play a large part in the werewolf transformation, which puberty and the effects of the moon have been known to influence. I think that’s more prevalent than ever now, with Twilight and The Vampire Diaries scene. For my character, Jamie, the moon cycles (the day before the full moon, day of, and day after) do cause her to transform, but because she’s a bloodwolf (both of her parents were werewolves) she can also transform under intense emotions, such as fear and anger. I wanted to bring in another element to the werewolf influence, and emotions play an interesting role.

CA: Your previous novel, Grave Echoes is more of a mystery/thriller, whereas Feral Things seems to be more or less "classic" horror. What differences did you notice while writing in this different genre?

EC: Feral Things had a much easier flow with plotting and character development, and a little more freedom to let the scenes play out. With mystery writing, there’s so much to set up and connect between characters and clues. It’s like putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle of trees. While I love the challenge of writing mysteries, I will be returning to novella length horror in the future.

CA: How do you decide if a story becomes a short story, a novel, or a novella in this case? Do you figure this out in the beginning or do you switch gears in the middle of it? Has a story ever surprised you in this way?

EC: I usually decide in the beginning whether a story is going to be a short story, novella, or novel. I haven’t had to switch gears really, but many times, the word count tends to grow unexpectedly on me. I knew I wanted Feral Things to be a novella, around 30K, and even though I didn’t have to cut out any plot, I did have to tighten the writing a bit to keep it under the novella maximum range of 40K, and barely did so at 39K. I have the same trouble with short stories, where I’ll aim for 2K/3K and it ends up being 4K/6K, which is still within short story parameters, but maybe not for the specific publication I was planning for, so that sometimes takes me to plan B. Or C.

CA:  Are you a plotter or pantser and why? What do you think of events like NaNoWriMo?

EC: I’m a mix of the two. Feral Things was definitely more panster writing, but with my mystery novels, a lot of plotting is involved. While I do write freely and let the characters and plot play out naturally, I have to organize each scene because they are all built on each other like a tall, rickety Jenga tower, and if a character releases information to earlier, it can ruin your plot and piss off your reader. Usually, I’ll know a little bit of how I want a story to end, but the way there is unknown. As far as NaNoWriMo goes, I’m a supporter of it. It gets people writing and exercises creativity. I would do it if it weren’t in November; I just have no time with the holidays. Maybe in April though…

CA: Describe your ideal writing routine - then describe your "routine" writing routine - when things aren't perfect, but you're getting work done anyway. Which produces better pages?

EC: My ideal writing routine would be 4am – 7am and7pm – 9pm every day; sometimes I manage 4-6 if I haven’t stayed up too late. My mind is the clearest for writing then and the house is the quietest. Routinely, I have a good chunk of time during the day to write, but sometimes it’s difficult to concentrate, because there is always so much that needs to be done around the house or schedules with my children, so errands tend to distract me too often. A productive day is writing 1,000 new words and editing 2K, in which the new words works better in early morning hours, and editing is more productive in the afternoons or evenings.

CA: Thanks for a terrific interview, Erin!

About Feral Things:

A monster possesses Jamie Fisher, one with claws and sharp teeth. After waking in the Nevada desert, not sure of who she is or how she got there, her key to survival may lie in traveling with a dangerous guy named Ray.
A trust develops as they both flee state to state, running from Ray’s own troubled past and blindly heading into Jamie’s. Ray will have to face new monsters and Jamie will have to embrace her own if she wants to save Ray and herself. It’s a bloody mess, and only the feral will survive.
Feral Things is on sale now - check out the Damnation Books website for some great first day/first week deals, or pick it up on Amazon now!

**There is also a Raffle Copter Giveaway here to promote the launch!**

Bio: Erin Cole writes dark, speculative fiction and is the author of the mystery novels Grave Echoes and Wicked Tempest, and the dark fiction collections Of the Night,After Dusk, and Between Feathers and Fins. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking ‘real’ food, adopts rescue animals, and is a true ally of insomnia. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon |Pinterest | Goodreads