BeatleNumber9 || Interview with a Werewolf

What got you into werewolves and how old were you when you discovered them?

This is going to probably sound cliche, but probably the original 1941 Wolfman movie. I probably checked it out from my local library when I was like 6 and loved it. I didn’t care if it wasn’t in color, I really loved the atmosphere it created.

 Do you share the same love of other types of shapeshifters?

Well, I mostly write about werewolves exclusively, but since bears are my favorite animal, I do like writing about or looking at pictures of werebears.

What do you think it is that attracts you to werewolves?

I think I really like how the mythos really isn’t set in stone. If you want to play around with how a werewolf works, you can. If you want to make them a monster, you can. If you want to make them a person trying to live a normal life with their unusual condition, you can. There’s endless possibilities for what you can do with werewolves in media.

Do you prefer a gory werewolf tale or a more serene, nature loving version?

I like the serene version if I had to pick, it’s a little different, you don’t see that version very much.

 What does the ideal werewolf look like in your opinion? Give some Cinematic examples if you have any.

Hmm… that’s hard cause I really like a lot of the different styles. But I think my favorite one is the one that has a wolf’s head, and a body that looks about half human half animal, I guess the right word would be digitigrade.

What should a werewolf NOT look like in your opinion?

Eh, I don’t really like to put limitations on how a werewolf should look, that’s one of the reasons I like werewolves, there’s no really “correct” style. I guess if I could say my least favorite design is when they just look like humans with fur glued onto them, I like them looking as wolflike as possible.

Give a cinematic example of a werewolf that didn’t quite meet your expectations.

Honestly a lot of the more recent cinema depictions of werewolves are why I unfortunately avoid mainstream werewolf movies. There’s not many good, or even memorable werewolf movies I’ve seen in recent years, from the obvious Twilight, to the Wolfman remake, to Red Riding Hood, it seems like Hollywood just doesn’t get how to do werewolves right, or even put some new spins on it.

Stepping away from the cinematic side of things, what is your favourite werewolf novel and why?

I’m sorry to say that I’ve been so busy in recent years that I haven’t really been able to catch up on any reading for fun since high school. After looking some up though I’d definitely be interested in getting audio books for Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf or one called Howling Mad by Peter David. Howling Mad especially seems interesting.

Back to cinema, what is your favorite werewolf film?

Gotta go with the obvious and pick American Werewolf in London, I just love the atmosphere and the comedy mixed in with the horror as well that the effects and camera work. I especially love the addition of the victims’ souls appearing to the werewolf that killed them, I’m surprised more people haven’t done something with that after that movie, there’s a lot of potential for both funny and horrifying possibilities for that.

Do you have any werewolf related songs to recommend?

Heh, if I want to go with the obvious, Bark at the Moon is always good, if I want something silly how about Werewolf Bar Mitzvah from 30 Rock, and Bad Moon Rising, though a little overplayed, always puts me in a werewolf mood.

Do you have a particular favorite werewolf artist, what is it about their art that you love?

Yes actually! An artist who goes by the name of JD Laclede he’s actually what made me really remember my love for werewolves. When I found his Tumblr blog called Ask the Werewolves it really made me start getting back into them again. I just really love his art style, he can do such amazing stuff with the lighting. He also gives his characters so much personality whether they’re in a comic, or just a regular picture. He also does great effects with the fur, his werewolf characters always look so fluffy, I just wish I could hug them!

What do you think of the way representation of werewolves has changed over the years? (In both literature and cinema.)

Heh, you’ve seen a lot of evolution away from portraying them as straight up monsters that need to be stopped, to sympathetic people with a condition they cant control, to romantic love interests, to just regular people that just happen to be able to change into wolves to varying degrees. You still see the classic monster movie portrayals of werewolves, but now you might also find more nuanced portrayals where even when the person changes into a werewolf, they’re still themselves mentally and are able to control it. I really like that, it keeps the idea fresh and shows there’s not one way you have to portray the werewolf, theres a bunch of different tropes you can try.

Tell me something that makes the werewolves in your works unique. What makes them special?

I’ve tried playing around with the mythos in mine to make werewolves in my stories a little different. In a fantasy story I’m working on, the extent of an inexpereinced werewolf’s transformation depends on the phase of the moon. During a full moon they look much more like a larger than average wolf, during a first or last quarter they resemble more of an anthropomorphic wolf, during a waxing gibbous they have a more digitigrade stance and look like a much larger and animalistic anthro, you get the idea. I also decided to do something with how they can heal wounds. When I did some research on wolves, I read that their saliva has antiseptic properties and decided to do the same with my werewolves. When they lick, or rub their saliva into their wounds it can heal almost instantly, with the exception of wounds caused by weapons with silver properties which can only heal on their own like regular wounds on a person.

 What are you other passions within the horror genre or out of it?

I’ve grown to like writing horror scenarios that are a bit more “realistic” I guess would be the word. What’s started to scare me recently are stories that feel like they could actually happen to you; home invasions, stalkings, missing persons, etc. I’ve started liking stories like that that seem to be based more in reality. It can be a lot scarier reading or watching something and thinking “Wait, could that happen to me?” One piece of media I can think off the top of my head is a game in development now called “Rides With Strangers” where you play as a female hitchhiker trying to get to the next town over and having to rely on the “kindness of strangers” so to speak to get there.

Tell me about your most recent werewolf related work.

My most recent finished work would be my story “Negative Exposure” for the zine “Werewolves Vs. Hollywood”. It involves two paparazzi photographers trying to get dirt on an actor, only to discover a bigger secret, he’s a werewolf! I’m currently writing another story to submit to their next issue “Werewolves Vs. Fashion.”

 Who is your favourite character within your own work and why?

My favorite character is probably in my yet untitled fantasy story, Nathan Calloway, the 12-year-old boy who discovers he’s a born werewolf. I really like writing him because I tried to write him as just kind of an average kid who wasn’t really looking for anything big or adventurous who discovers this crazy thing about himself. Over the course of the story he’ll start to learn new things about his powers and is forced on a journey later on to find a rumored pack somewhere out there. It’s really interesting writing it from the point of view of someone so young.

Do you have any big upcoming plans relating to werewolves? Any new works on the way?

As I mentioned, I’m working on a submission for “Werewolves Vs. Fashion” and if my entry doesn’t get accepted I’ll probably just post it on one of my art accounts. As for the rest of my ideas they’re still works in progress and probably won’t be introduced for a little while.

Will you be available to meet other werewolf lover and fans in the near future, are you doing any outings or signings, or attending any conventions?

I’ll be busy with the last semester of college before graduating hopefully, but I’m going to try and attend some furry conventions later this year, and maybe a horror one that my city has every October.

Do you have any places online where other werewolf fans can contact you to discuss your work or anything lycanthropy related?

My Twitter is @ BeatleNumber9 as well as my tumblr, feel free to drop me a message there.

Vampires and zombies have both become seriously popular within the horror genre in movies, do you think that as technology continues to improve werewolves will eventually reach the same kind of status? 

I think so, I mean it’s only logical, I only hope that when they do we get some actually decent mainstream werewolf stuff!


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