Jette Harris || Interview with a werewolf

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

I was probably nine when I first got interested. I think I loved the idea of someone being half-animal, half-wild. It could have been R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps or watching Silver Bullet. Every full moon, one of the local channels would play one of the Howling movies. I checked out every book in the library I could find about werewolves.

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

Not necessarily, but I do love anthropomorphic beings and half-humans (satyrs, centaurs, minotaurs, etc).

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

When I was little, I had a better affinity with animals than other kids. I was obsessed with the idea of turning into an animal. I think that’s where it started. Later, I loved the violence and horror associated with them; they were thrilling.

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

I prefer the gore, but I appreciate both.

What does the ideal werewolf look like in your opinion?

I’m very picky about this. I don’t like short-snouted, or just wolves, or Harry Potter’s. I like large, anthropomorphic, long-snouted. You can tell they’re not man or wolf. I didn’t really follow that in the project I’m doing now: the werewolves are large and wolfish, but can change into the half-way form at will (just not beyond it).

What should a werewolf NOT look like in your opinion?

Shouldn’t look like just a wolf (Blood and Chocolate) and shouldn’t look like a hairy man with sharp teeth, shouldn’t be hairless (unless he’s got mange). And as a bonus: The lycan/vampire hybrid in Underworld was the biggest cinematic let-down ever.

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

Lupin, definitely.

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

I haven’t read many, but so far it’s Blood and Chocolate. I liked the human v wolf internal struggle. On that note, I can’t wait to read Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones.

Back to Cinema, what is your favourite werewolf film?

In the Company of Wolves. Wow.

Do you have any werewolf related songs to recommend? 

The Horror of Our Love by Ludo. Not explicitly werewolf, but it makes sense.

Do you have a particular favourite werewolf artist? What is it about their work that you love?

I don’t know a specific artist.

What do you think of the way representation of werewolves has changed over the years? 

Everyone’s struggling to do something original with them, for the most part, so a lot of design has attempted to push the boundaries in terms of costume or CGI. They’ve also become glamorized or sexified, and although I can tap into the sexy-animal aspect a tiny bit, I’m not sure about werewolves being sex symbols.

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

My current werewolf piece is called Dad Wolf, and it’s a werewolf dad with his human family. Most of the wolves in this universe are traditional, but the dad, Hank, is “an anomaly,” and becomes human on the days of the full moon. So he’s struggling to protect his family and bond with them in this very limited time.
Dad Wolf

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

I am a nut for serial killers.

Tell us about your most recent werewolf related work.

Refer back to 13.

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

Dr. Haight, a much older werewolf, and traditional in the sense that he completely loses himself when he changes. He seeks to compensate for that by helping others when he is human.

Do you have any big upcoming plans relating to werewolves?

I’m just hoping to finish Dad Wolf. I’m on a bit of a hiatus right now.

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

I usually only work conventions as security, but I do attend in that way. I work KatsuCon, (Re)GenerationWho, and I’ll be doing Furthemore and Potterverse for the first time this year.

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

Just twitter.

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 hope so! Someone just needs to create the right piece to lead the way.

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