A question I'm asked a lot as a writer is "why werewolves?" I've managed to sneak them into almost everything I write, including my university dissertation, and my collection of werewolf books is bordering on the ridiculous. So I thought it might be fun to try to answer that question and trace back the origins of my werewolf obsession in five steps:
Tamora Pierce. As a teenager I read and fell in love with Tamora Pierce's Immortals Quartet, about a girl who could speak to animals. The second book, Wolf Speaker, sees the heroine, Daine, living with a pack of wolves and as far as thirteen-year-old me was concerned, this was the best thing ever. I wanted to be Daine. I wanted to run with those wolves and play with those cubs. It was a source of great disappointment to me that the family cocker spaniel just wasn't interested.
Nature documentaries. We watched a lot of nature documentaries in my household, and my favourites were always about wolves and foxes. They're beautiful animals and I loved the social bonds and family ties they have. It made it very easy to anthropomorphize them for the fantasy stories I was already writing.
Little Red Riding Hood. I love fairy tales, but the one I always loved best was this one. Now, of course here the wolf is a bad guy, but that didn't make him any less fascinating to me. If anything, it made him more interesting. Am I the only one who always feels a bit sad when the huntsman kills the wolf at the end?
Angela Carter. I didn't discover Angela Carter's beautifully twisted fairy tales until I was at university, but they had a big impact on me – especially her two stories The Company of Wolves and Wolf-Alice. The Company of Wolves is a dark, fascinating reworking of Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf-Alice is about a feral child and the attempts to civilise her. It's a theme I love – the clash of wilderness and civilisation, and the werewolf encapsulates that perfectly.
WereBears. Hear me out. This isn't the most obvious connection. But you remember Care Bears, right? Well, WereBears were the anti-Care Bears? They were stuffed toys that you could flip from cute little happy bears into fanged, clawed scary bears! I had three or four growing up, and I'm pretty sure they're responsible for my love of shapeshifters. There was something very appealing about turning those cuddly little bears into fierce little monsters!
Title: Dark Hunt
Author: Naomi Clark
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 10/17/11
Ayla Hammond is taking on Paris.
Hoping for a romantic getaway in the City of Lights with her girlfriend, Shannon, she finds a city under the dark thrall of Le Monstre.
Getting caught up in mystery and murder was the last thing Ayla and Shannon expected to find in the City of Love, but as the body count grows and tension rises between Parisian werewolves and humans they find themselves stalked by an unknown terror.
What is Le Monstre and why does it make Ayla's wolf want to turn tail and run? Can it be stopped before they become its next victims?
We're giving away plenty of swag in the DARK HUNT blog tour (http://tiny.cc/drkhunttour). There are daily ebook giveaways and hampers of goodies up for grabs at the grand finale of the tour including ebooks, limited DARK HUNT t-shirts, personal horoscopes and tarot readings by Naomi Clark, as well as postcards from Ayla, Shannon, Vince, Joel and Glory (urban wolf series characters). Leave a comment here (ask me a question; tell me about your fondest childhood memories/influences; your paranormal passions; or just say hello) with your email address to be entered. Enter at each point along the tour for more entries and more chances to win.
Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once. You can follow Naomi at Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/naomi_jay); Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/naomijclark) or on her Blog (http://naomijay.blogspot.com/).