I am beyond excited to welcome the beautiful and crazy talented, international bestselling author of the Nightshade series, Andrea Cremer!! I know, my inner fangirl is currently stuck on 'Squeeeeeee!" aswell! The amazing Laura at Hachette Australia offered a bunch of us book bloggers the opportunity to pick Andrea's brains as she travels around the Aussie blogosphere this month. Huge thanks to both Laura and Andrea for making this happen!
And also thanks to Braiden for helping me come up with a topic idea for Andrea :) Below she talks about her wolfy inspirations and how she as a child, revelled in the magic of these stunning animals <3
I was raised in the woods. Okay, so that might be an exaggeration, but it’s not too much of a stretch. My hometown, population 8,000, is nestled on the South Shore of Lake Superior and is surrounded by the Chequamegon National Forest. My house was on the edge of town, the forest my backyard. I spent my days roaming the woods, building forts, and creating imaginary worlds.
The wilderness offered endless adventures and wonder. I loved the solitude of the forests and their serenity. Though I spent hours and hours exploring the forests, the vast woods never frightened me, nor did the animals that inhabited the caves, trees, and hollows. I stayed in the woods until dusk, finding game trails and thinking up names for each creek, valley, and meadow I discovered.
A child ruled by her imagination, I often thought that it would be delightful to have an animal companion at my side in these explorations. My best friend (who joined me in many forest adventures) and I conjured up golden foxes that we named and pretended trotted at our heels while we explored. The golden foxes were lovely, but they couldn’t quite match the marvel of running wild with a pack of wolves. Mind you, these wolves were imagined, but the source of my fascination with wolves came from real sources. Wolves of all varieties fascinate me, but I’ve always had a particular affinity for gray wolves and timber wolves as geographically those species were the ones who inhabited regions similar to my own beloved woods.
I watched National Geographic and Nature specials on television, sopping up any information I could get about wolves, their packs, and their lives. The movies Adventures of Natty Gann and Never Cry Wolf furthered my perception that wolves were friends, not enemies. I loved Jean Craighead George’s novel, Julie of the Wolves, and Ayla from Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series who fostered wild animals (including a wolf and a lion) so they became her loyal companions. The overarching theme of my wolfish education was that humans and animals live best in respect and harmony, that we should regard one another with reverence rather than hostility.
When Calla Tor jumped into my head, insisting that her tale be told, I struggled with how I would write a novel about a she were-wolf because of how every werewolf story I’d encountered offered up a horrid beast that was nothing like the wolves I’d always loved. I soon realized that the only way I could write Nightshade was to give Calla and her pack the ability I’d wished for as a dreaming girl – to be able to live and fight as both human and wolf and not be mashed into some horrible, monstrous combination of the two.
I love what a vivid imaginations she and her best friend shared as children. And it's certainly a skill that's been a great asset to her as an adult! Thank you so much for sharing your fascinating story with us today, Andrea!
Have you guys read the Nightshade series? Love them? Eager to become a fan? (Smart thinking!) There's also a prequel coming out later this year, RIFT, and if you've seen the cover, you'll know it's going to be all kinds of badass!