I had the amazing opportunity of interviewing the awesome John Hundley as well as the Red Wolf himself, Clifford Crane. This was certainly one of my favorite interviews.
Mr. Hundley, I want to first say thank you for such an awesome book. I loved it and can’t wait for the next. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for me.
It’s an absolute pleasure, Mary. Thank you for your interest and support. It means a lot.
How do you feel when you get a review from someone who obviously loved your work?
Elated. And validated, I suppose. I would probably write if no one liked my work, because it is so much fun; but there is a sense of completeness in the writing process when someone reads it, and I am embarrassingly giddy when someone tells me they enjoyed the read. Then, if someone takes the trouble to write and post a review – and the folks who are doing it aren’t doing it for money, just for love of the written word – that’s special. I’ve gotten a number of five star reviews (yours included) that have had me floating on cloud nine for days.
What more can readers expect for the Red Wolf?
Right now, the plan is for a trilogy, with the second book coming out this summer, The Dragon of Doughton Park. The third book, Red Wolf Rising, should complete the story of the Red Wolf of Prophecy. There has been interest expressed in the back story of Clifford and Claire Deerfoot, which could be a prequel novel on its own or told in flashbacks in Red Wolf Rising, which might create the need for a volume one and two.
What question have you always wanted to be asked, and how would you answer that question?
I don’t know. Maybe something like, “How does it feel to be a Nebula Award winning author?” or “Now that you’ve become a millionaire, (insert rest of question here)?” That’s probably not what you were fishing for, is it? Let me try again.
Nope, I got nothing. That’s the kind of question a therapist might ask to shock you into self discovery. It kind of blind-sided me. I feel like there’s an answer lurking under the surface, but it won’t come up.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I have developed a pattern of having to have a cup of coffee, preferably a white chocolate mocha from the Caribou Coffee shop near my apartment, before I write. I have to place my laptop just so, my flash drive behind it on the right side, ready for a quick backup, and take a few sips before I can do my best work. When I’m stuck for an idea, or trying to work out a character’s dilemma, I’ll go for a walk, hike in the woods, or ride my bike.
What is the best part about being an author?
So far, watching the characters develop and take on a life of their own. There is a point where my story becomes the character’s story and it’s fascinating to see that. I remember it happened for Nicole in the first kitchen scene of DN, when Danielle was trying to get Clifford to tell Nicole she looked good in the blouse she’d loaned her. Nicole was supposed to blush at the attention. Instead she said something about how she had to wear an apron so she wouldn’t get shit all over it. Nicole’s been doing her own thing ever since, and I don’t seem to have much say in it.
Mr. Crane, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for me.
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
Well, I kind of have to be careful how I answer that. We had our reasons for agreeing with Mr. Hundley to tell this story. Part of my side of the bargain is not to reveal future plot lines. But I guess I can say, on a personal level, I’ve learned some great lessons about the value of finding out and accepting who I am – and being true to that? I don’t know. I’ve had some fantastic experiences, good and bad, both before and after I became a werewolf, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out who you’re supposed to be as opposed to who others think you should be. Things usually turn out best when I follow what’s in my heart.
How does writing in your journal help you?
Oh, sometimes I have to write just to slow my brain down a little. You know how it is sometimes when you’re wrestling with a problem and you’re thinking what if this, and what if that, and you keep going around and around until you’re totally dizzy and confused? Writing makes me stay on one track long enough to let it sink in. Things get more simple. The truth surfaces.
What are your thoughts about “pack” life?
I may not be the best one to ask about that, since I’m an omega wolf, and the only male omega at that. (Did I just leak a secret from the second book? I hope not.) Anyway, a lot of the “pack stuff” doesn’t affect me like the other wolves. But from what I observe, so much depends on the strength of the alpha wolf in the pack. He kind of has to control all the others by being the most dominant. You can see how that might create some tensions? There is a bond, however, that is created somehow, a common mind and unconditional love between pack members. Sometimes I can tap into that, and it’s really wonderful. You should talk to Charlie Black to get a perspective on the positive aspects of pack life. Talk to Heather if you want some of the negative perspective. As a female in a society that is overwhelmingly controlled by dominant males, I know she really struggles sometimes.
What can readers expect next from you?
Again, Mr. Hundley is going to be pissed if I reveal any surprises from the next book. But, to be honest, maybe he deserves it, since I had no idea he was going to disclose some of the stuff he has so far. But you probably know by the title of the next book that we’re going to meet The Dragon and find out more about the Fae and the history of werewolves and vampires. (Hey, I hope Hundley has worked out an agreement with The Dragon, ‘cause if he pisses that guy off, he might not live to write the third book.) Nicole fans will be happy to hear that her personal life gets dragged out in front of everyone, too… I, uh, better not say any more.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a wolf?
You mean a wolf, or a werewolf? You see, the wolf is really his own entity, yet the coexistence of my wolf and my human self in the same, uh, soul, I guess you’d say, creates another entity altogether. Okay, I’ll tell you about both of us.
As a wolf, I’d have to say my sense of smell is the best thing. You know how a dog will eat shit sometimes? Yeah, I know it’s disgusting, and my wolf has enough sense not to eat the stuff, but the point I’m trying to make is, we both can smell what’s good in there. I can sniff around your apartment and tell you who’s been there this month, what y’all had to eat, where you came from before you got here. I can smell when you’re telling the truth, when you’re not, if you’re nervous, happy, if you’re catching a cold. It’s pretty cool. The down side might be the sensitivity I have to the stages of the moon. I think sometimes my control is a little shaky during the full moon; I have a tendency to do stupid stuff.
The best part of being a werewolf is – and this is part of the curse, too, I guess – my health and longevity. I never get sick, and I may live for a thousand years, which could be good, or not. I’m sixty-one years old now, but I look thirty-five or so, which helps in our youth-obsessed culture. The downside? Okay, this might seem like an insignificant thing, but I have to carry a spare change of clothes everywhere. And sometimes that doesn’t help, anyway. I’m constantly having to let my wolf out in an emergency situation where I don’t have time to remove my clothing. Needless to say, my clothes are ruined whenever that happens. I’m always finding myself naked in front of a crowd when I change back. It’s… embarrassing. Oh, and there’s the huge problem of keeping it a secret, because, well, now that you know… just watch your back, okay?
I certainly will Clifford, thank you and John again for a wonderful interview. I hope everyone checks out The Draculata Nest and enjoys it as much as I have. Looking forward to the next book.
Click HERE for my review of The Draculata Nest.