My love of fantasy and horror stems from my misspent childhood, watching old black and white horror movies and indulging in roleplaying games. Lon Chaney Jr and Dungeons & Dragons have an awful lot to answer for. I was always a fan of horror – I think being scared is no bad thing, it reminds us that we’re alive. Furthermore if that fright comes from the pages of a book or an image on the screen, then we’re safe – it’s not real! As a big reader I’ve always found fear to be a very healthy emotion. If we fear what’s going to happen to our favourite character then that means the author has done his or her job. We’re engaged in the adventure and we care about what happens. If one feels scared when reading Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf, then I hope that means I’m doing things right!
Fantasy has always gone hand in hand with horror for me. When I used to run roleplaying games in my teens I invariably would allow both genres to come together, mixing things up in an imagination melting pot. Fantasy adventures would incorporate classic gothic horror characters, and horror games would have epic, fantasy story arcs to them. That’s where I learned to tell tales and spin yarns, putting my friends into terrifying but thrilling predicaments from the safety of their kitchen tables.
I didn’t get to read a great deal of Werewolf literature when I was younger, instead learning all about the hairy, toothy, monstrous beasts from Bee Gees documentaries. Sorry. Back on topic! My fascination with Werewolves started when I saw The Wolfman as a nipper, my dad letting me stay up late. I know it looks corny now compared to the special effects Hollywood has at its disposal these days, but as an 8 year old in the 70’s it was pure horror dynamite! There are other great examples of Werewolves in cinema, but I’m not about to list them – they’re 18 certificate movies for goodness sake, how irresponsible of me would that be?
They’re more commonplace in literature today than they’ve ever been, battling against vampires in certain well-known “dark romance” book series as well as popping up in Buffy, Doctor Who and many other genre TV shows. I like my vampires, I love my zombies, but there’s something primal and bestial about Werewolves that grabs me by the throat and shakes me silly. That’s why I’m drawn to them. Plus they’re hairy so I like to stick to my own kind...
My love can be traced back to Fighting Fantasy books and The Hobbit. It took me a whole summer holiday (and lots of library fines) to read Tolkien’s novel as a ten year old but it was worth it. My imagination has never really deviated from the path The Hobbit put me on. Epic fantasy, grand villains, do-or-die scenarios and life and death choices; I’m sure these things are recognisable in Wereworld, it’s very hard to hide those influences when one is writing fantasy. Good versus evil is the age old contest that features in most classic fantasy literature. I personally like the tales where the lines are blurred, where villains have a shot at redemption and heroes can be flawed. That’s even more engaging to me, more human.
Hope you dig Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf, in fact I hope it excites and scares the pants off you in equal measure – do follow the adventure on the official website www.wereworldbooks.com and keep up to speed over on the Jobling blog!
Enjoy your reading and Bada Bling!