Prism Book Alliance would like to thank S.P. Wayne for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Winter Wolf and City Wolf
Author: S.P. Wayne
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: T.K. Hunter
Books and Dark Chocolate and Werewolves, oh my!!! High levels of nerditry and were-talk abound…
Well, hello there, and welcome to Prism Book Alliance. 😀
Thank you so much for having me! I’m pumped.
I’m so delighted and excited to be talking with you today. What’s shakin’ in your part of the world?
I’m very good right now. As a nutty Halloween person, this is my season. I’m just back from Dragon Con and I’m drowning in book edits because I’m working with a new editor and she goes at this awesome, frantic pace.
Oooh, another Halloween enthusiast. 😀
I was so excited when I knew we’d be chatting, the questions started rolling right away. Are ya ready? 😉
I WAS BORN READY. Okay, not really. Let me get a coffee. All right, cool. Let’s go.
Excellent, here we go…
Please tell everyone a bit about Winter Wolf and City Wolf, what kind of world in which these stories take place, how Axton and Leander are parts of that world:
Winter Wolf is my loving simultaneous celebration and subversion of the werewolf genre. The protagonist, Axton, spends more time wolf than man and is the self appointed caretaker of his territory somewhere unspecified in the Montana wilderness. His peaceful, sometimes sublimely lonely existence is wrecked by Leander, who is a cocky, charming straight guy that Axton falls for.
Their world is very much like our own–except there are werewolves; although…I mean, have you personally checked Montana for shifters? I haven’t–and approximately contemporary. The wolf behavior I discuss is accurate to current scientific understanding, until it deliberately isn’t for reasons of plot. In reality, wolf packs really aren’t strictly hierarchical and it’s way more chilled out than most people think. That’s the real charm of the book, I think–gentler, more reasonable werewolves.
Even a lot of the werewolf lore referenced has a basis in the real world. In both books, Axton’s perfectly white teeth are mentioned–in the second book, Axton explains that great teeth used to be a thing people considered a sign of lycanthropy. That’s an actual superstition, in the old European werewolf myths. In City Wolf, there’s a bit about the medieval werewolf trials that mentions vomit containing the fingers of small human children being used as evidence. That particularly gruesome detail is lifted from the trial of Jean Grenier in 1603. While my wolves have very little to do with the salivating monsters of folklore, there’s a ton of little details like that throughout my mythos, because I was a weird little kid that read a lot of strange books.
So it really is meant to be a world that’s basically ours plus werewolves.
It always takes me out a story a little when it’s a real world setting but the characters don’t have a concept of vampires or whatever, because that implies that the historical and cultural canon is so radically different that their world should be…well, different. So yeah, Axton’s watched all the same cheesy werewolf movies we have, and he mostly thinks they’re hilarious, but he knows they have nothing to do with him really.
I think “subversive” is a great way to describe it, this is not yer Grandma’s shifter/were story. And yet, the love is apparent, it permeates all throughout both books.
It’s interesting, I went back to my review for Winter Wolf, and even then, Axton’s snarky, slightly anti-social and honestly sweet personality came through here and there, especially when he was thinking about Leander. In City Wolf, his personality comes through like ripping down an eight-lane highway in a Mustang. How much of him and his personality did you already have in your mind while writing Winter Wolf that then came to be in City Wolf, and what are some of those things?
I had Axton fully emotionally realized before I even wrote the first book. Admittedly, that’s partially because he’s my favorite.
Confession: the sweet nice boy werewolf shtick is totally inspired by a French medieval poem. No, really! It’s one of the Lais of Marie de France, and it’s called Bisclavert . I read Marie de France years ago–I was 18, I think–and I immediately knew I would write a book about a nice boy werewolf one day, and Axton was the perfect chance to do that.
(Omigosh, I love that!)
Oh, and I almost forgot–the part in the first book where Leander wakes up in unexpected and terrifying circumstances? That’s taken right out of a short story by Bram Stoker called Dracula’s Guest.
Generally, my writing process is driven by theme (what do I want to say about the world?) and character, so I tend to look at the actions that I absolutely need to happen, and I work backwards from there–what sort of back story and personality would genuinely motivate a person to act this way? So with Axton, I knew that I wanted someone standoffish (or else why is he so isolated?) but sweet (because he’s fundamentally kind and this is an attractive quality in a romance protagonist), and I wanted him to have a submissive streak that he’s very cautious about (to justify the sexy power inversion that was the main thing I wanted to accomplish in the story, with the human being the more dominant one in the bedroom). So gently but insistently, even when I was writing my outline, Axton developed. I also wanted him a little emotionally muted in the first book, though, to contrast with how he blossoms in the second book.
I’m also the kind of writer that steals constantly and shamelessly from real life, which helps. I have a good friend who is an adorable blusher and all around nice kid sweetheart, very charmingly shy–and he was also a stripper in a gay club in Miami for a summer. And he’s still a blusher, because in real life people are complicated and sometimes seemingly contradictory, so Axton was written from the get go with that dichotomy in mind. We just don’t really see that side of him at all until he’s in LA, in love, and in a party mood.
I love that you mention here and in your review that he’s also a little snarky and anti-social. He’s not just a sweet boy–he’s also a little unfriendly sometimes! No one is perfect and perfection is boring.
Also, Axton would to drive a Mustang. Love your metaphor.
I love hearing about your actual writing process, that’s so interesting to me. It’s like putting a puzzle together. Awesome. Oh and sorry, Axton, I don’t have a Mustang.
Puzzle is a PERFECT metaphor! Yes.
Leander’s personality also shines through in City Wolf, showing us a lot of the branches that started as buds of humor, intelligence and caring in Winter Wolf. Same question about him as with Axton in terms of personality and how that developed for you while writing both books.
Leander was trickier than Axton. I had the basics down early on–I really do outline everything and brood on it for a while before I crack down and start actually writing–but some details eluded me. His primary role in the first book is to be attractive, both emotionally and physically, because that’s the motivation that draws Axton out and therefore lets the story happen. He also needed to contrast with Axton in personality to a certain extent–he is confident and comfortable where Axton is not, so that the book has emotional range.
It’s also kind of a Betty and Veronica thing: if you don’t find the quiet, sensitive shy guy in the story attractive, maybe you’d prefer the hot cocky jock. Plus I knew, even then, that I had to write a human character who was believable as an action hero later, so he needed to be a jock to excuse why he’s in really good shape–because being in ridiculous shape is a lot of work–and he needed to be a martial artist. He also needed to be intelligent, harkening back to the thing I said earlier with their world having all the same history and folklore and movies that ours does: I needed him to figure out the werewolf thing on his own, and furthermore I needed him to be the kind of personality that would confront Axton about it, because it would be a violation of everything Axton is a character to have it the other way around, where he confesses to Leander.
Both this and your description of their world, being anchored in reality and lore, are two of the reasons I connected with the characters and story in such a solid, undeniable way.
That’s a LOT of things to need a character to do. I still worked most of it out in the planning stage, but he had a different back story when I started. I got maybe a third of the way through the book–which I wrote the first book in 50 days, by the way–and I said, “fuck it; I’m tired of always reading about rich white guys.” And I was! Not that it’s bad or wrong to read (or write) about rich white guys–Batman’s a rich white guy and I’ve been in love with him since I was three years old. But I was just tired of it. Also, since it’s a gay for you story, Leander’s identified as straight his whole life. But I wanted him to have some understanding of prejudice, some personal understanding of what it is to feel persecuted for who you fundamentally are. And he’s a lawyer who can afford to buy this new car, this new cabin, and still take all this time off…it was too cushy, too bland. I couldn’t justify the kind of character I wanted Leander to be with that back story.
So I e mailed my dad. Hah. No, really, I e mailed my dad, and I said something like, “I’m tired of reading about rich white guys, give me some Latino last names.” The only rule was that it couldn’t be a Colombian name, because we’re Colombian. My dad said Avilez was a nice Chilean name, and I immediately went, “AH, he’ll be a big Neruda fan! He’s going to croon Neruda poems at Axton later!”
(I just grinned like an idiot, I’ll have you know.)
And then, boom, Leander made sense to me. He was going to be half Chilean, half Cuban, and from a barrio in East LA, and he was going to make good and then come back to improve the place, mirroring how Axton tends to his territory. He was going to be a big Neruda fan, and he was poor and sickly as a child so he grows up to be surprisingly well read and empathetic. Oh, and he was going to do Brazilian jiu jitsu because it’s what I’ve trained in the most, so it’s easiest to write. He’s also a little deliberately muted in the first book, because I wanted to really show how fully he welcomes Axton into his life later, and I felt that the way to do that was to actually have Leander be a little guarded around Axton at first, even when he seems perfectly at ease. So all of a sudden, in book two, Leander just bursts the doors to his life open being like, “hey, this is me! this is me all at once! here’s all my people! here, join me.”
That is my very long winded explanation of why Leander is Leander.
Plus, I just love smart and snarky poet-jocks. They’re my favorite.
Um, yes, the smart, snarky poet-jocks are fab. That is one of my favorite things about Leander, how accepting he is of himself and those around him of which he cares greatly.
Hahaha, one of my writing notebooks has the following sentence in big letters that take up a whole page: LEANDER’S SUPERPOWER IS EMOTIONAL STABILITY+ SELF LOVE.
*pumps fist* yessssssssssssss
The tone and atmosphere are different between Winter Wolf and City Wolf. I find that a very interesting and intriguing change. I have my thoughts (as described in my review for CW), but please explain LOL
Your thoughts are EXACTLY right! It’s very gratifying for me as an author to read a review that lets me know that yeah, people get it, people get exactly what I’m trying to do. It’s the best, most exhilarating feeling in the world.
The best bits of Winter Wolf, I feel, are the lyrical and atmospheric parts about this wolf in his natural element. The setting itself is the third character, at terms easy and welcoming and then challenging to the characters. Inspiration wise, it’s a little Jack London; it’s a little Brokeback Mountain; it’s a little old school fairy tale forest. If Winter Wolf were a movie, I’d want the woods to look lush and beautiful and powerful. The viewpoint character into this setting is Axton, mostly while he’s a wolf, so the narrative voice is kind of striped down, and the punctuation is deliberately kind of weird and abrupt in places. So much of writing that book was trying to perceive the world as a wolf, more about smells and sounds, all seasonal and cyclical. It’s kind of dreamy, kind of lonely and stark sometimes, and this unique “something” is the elusive quality people talk about or around in their reviews a lot. It’s: this is the world as seen by a werewolf, but a werewolf who is a wolf first, not just a human who wears a fur coat sometimes.
And some people are frustrated or sad that this elusive something isn’t in City Wolf, to a degree that I find surprising (and gratifying, like, y’all actually noticed? that’s awesome!), but the change in atmosphere is very deliberate. I didn’t want the change to be subtle; I wanted the change to be clear. The city is a very different place for Axton.
Well, I think it’s a case of the setting yet again being a character in the story. To me it was, in both Winter Wolf and City Wolf.
For me it makes sense that your basic cognitive process would be different as a wolf–a werewolf with wolf senses is still wolf shaped, and you’d have to devote to much more brain space to processing scent and tracking movement. A wolf with human eyes and scent capabilities would be a really shitty hunter. And of course, it’s fiction and it’s not even science fiction, so I play fast and loose with most of this stuff, but so much of even the human emotional experience is trackable with measurable changes in brain chemistry. I’m just really ridiculously convinced that being in wolf form would be fundamentally DIFFERENT, and changing how you can perceive the world would change how you think, how you feel, how you everything. So while Axton is absolutely the same person, in both books, in both shapes–and he’s very insistent that he’s the same person in both shapes–his everyday life experience is changed by being in a human body every day as opposed to a wolf one.
Beyond rural as opposed to urban, the difference between both books is isolation as opposed to companionship. It’s not just that being human all the time makes Axton a little different; it’s also that he’s building a life together with Leander, and they’re both constantly readjusting and recalculating. There’s a step before “you and me” really becomes “us,” and they’re navigating it in City Wolf.
The other thing that makes the books feel different is the nature of the essential conflicts that drive the plot forward. Winter Wolf is heavily man vs. himself, because Axton’s struggling with his secrets, with his attraction to Leander, with how apart from everyone he feels. The story is also man vs. nature, because there’s the snowstorm. In contrast, City Wolf is nearly entirely man vs. man. The conflict is external, not internal, and it’s from another person instead of from the natural setting. Both books are to varying degrees man vs. society. Axton’s gay and has had some awful things happen to him as a result (thanks, Ax’s dad!), and he’s also got the werewolf taboo against humans to deal with. Leander gets his share of the man vs. society conflict in the second book.
I’m a huge fan of the Hegel triad of thesis-antithesis-synthesis, so I promise that the third book combines both atmospheres and tones. I want to have the reader taste Flavor A before they taste Flavor B, and then I can offer Flavor C.
*clears throat loudly* Speaking of…
Now, there is apparently going to be a third book, yes? How is this latest installment coming for you? Spill. It. All. Well, ok, not all, I like to be surprised, but tell us something(s) about the next book about these two and their chosen family:
IT’S ALMOST DONE I SWEAR TO GOD. Really. The story is entirely written and I’m bouncing around the editing process right now. I don’t want to give a firm release date yet, because I’m trying something different this time with a new editing protocol. If I had to guess, I’m probably about a month away from the part where I send my (amazing! super talented!) cover artist a frantic e mail being like, “PLEASE HELP ME WHAT SHOULD I DO CAN YOU MAKE ME THIS THING IN LIKE TWO WEEKS OH GOD.” And then once I have the cover, I’ll do some ridiculously short notice announcement like, “whelp! book 3 in a week! thanks guys!”
I’m kind of disorganized. You get the idea. I need a street team.
Let’s see, what can I share… The Leander we met in this book is different–a little less funny, a little grim, a lot more focused. He’s hopelessly in love, you know, but he refuses to be helplessly in love. He’s a man of action and he keeps his promises.
We learn a lot more about Dana, which will either charm or alienate my readers, and his history with Axton, and why he’s such an ass.
New York, of the phone call cameos in City Wolf, shows up in the flesh and provides some much needed comic relief.
The book spends a lot of time with Axton and we actually learn a lot more about his life, or more accurately, we learn more details about the basic stuff we already know.
Leander makes some sacrifices. Not all of the ragtag chosen family is in the book.
That’s all I’m sayin’, friend.
Interestingggggggggg. I’m not surprised about Dana, he’s too big a force to not be in this next story, as much as I want to BOP HIM ON HIS SNOUT. Ok, not really, because he could flick me like a gnat, but still. And yes, Leander… he struggles on, which is such a great contrast to so many other parts of his life where he doesn’t really struggle, not within himself, anyway.
I won’t give away anything specific, but I promise that Dana gets bopped on the snout…a lot.
Speaking of that chosen family, some blood relations, some friends, how do you choose names for your characters?
Boring answer: it varies, but I never start with a name first.
For whatever reason–I’m sure there’s some big book or movie that’s subconsciously influenced me–I’m convinced that werewolves should have short names, and preferably something sexy with a harsh consonant in it. I don’t know, man. I just ran with it. The reason Axton is named Axton and not, I don’t know, Jax, is that when I started writing the outline it went something like, “Boy A is a sweet sensitive werewolf. Boy B is a cocky funny human dude.” Axton, in my initial notes, was just called “A.” At some point in the outline I just decided that it suited him, so, like, starts with A, needs an x in it… AXTON. It’s short; it’s sexy; it’s masculine. Plus, it shortens to “Ax,” which I think is adorable, and which is fitting for this guy who lives all alone out in the woods and probably does chop up firewood while wearing a flannel shirt.
Leander is named Leander because I thought it would be hilarious to have a human in a werewolf story with a name that means lion man. That’s really it. I also think it’s an attractive name and in Greek myth Leander is a sexy human dude who swims across a river every night to get to his lover, so it has a connotation of romantically persistent and athletically capable. But mostly, that’s me going, “HAH! Lion man! In a werewolf book! God, I crack myself up.”
Sarah and Christina are both named after real friends of mine, who really aren’t like the Sarah and Christina in the book. It’s a little homage. Real life Sarah is incredibly smart and capable and real life Christina is very nurturing yet badass, so it’s not a random homage, but everything else is different.
Dana is named Dana after a real life famous person that I find needlessly, excessively macho and therefore hilarious.
Remember what I said about stealing from real life all the time? There you go.
You, thief, you.
Which supporting character surprised you the most in something they did or said in City Wolf?
Dana actually surprised me in how much emotional vulnerability he brought to the table so early on. I expected straight anger and disappointment all the way through until the third book, but he has these flashes of (fucked up and largely misplaced) tenderness even in the second book.
Sarah was just awesome the whole way through and I had so much fun writing her, more than I expected.
Yes! Me too regarding Dana. I came thisclose to almost feeling a bit bad for him, but it didn’t last.
And, of course, I have to ask the same about Axton and Leander: what has surprised you about them, especially in the name of loving each other?
I’m really not often surprised, being I write character up and so much planning first, but they both managed to surprise me all the same.
Oh, I have a good one that was a big surprise. My werewolves have healing factor, right, so early on I thought: submissive guy with healing factor, dating a sadist? That allows for some seriously kinky messed up sex–consensual messed up sex. Even after I finished the first book, I was all excited, like, oh, man, they’re gonna get it on and like bring out knives and whatever, it’s gonna be so fucked up!
And each time I tried to plan it out, all I could picture was Leander giving me this incredulous look, all, “I’m not a sadist. I’m not stabbing my boyfriend. Why would you stab your boyfriend? Jesus Christ. Are you some kind of psychopath?”
Leander’s just not that kind of guy, and really, Axton isn’t that kind of guy, either. And they’re right, of course. I set out to right a werewolf/human relationship that WASN’T about strict dominance and submission, so why would I compromise that in the name of speculative BDSM fiction? It didn’t fit them at all. I would have been doing it just for the shock value.
I lampshade this in book three, because there IS a werewolf who is totally into being hurt beyond human tolerance, and Axton’s basically like, “UGH, why.”
So there you go! Their emotional notes never surprised me because I knew I wanted them to fall in love hard, and to fall in love in the particular way that they do, but, ah, the fucking. That surprised me.
Hahahahaa yes! That sounds exactly like Leander. And I like the way they trade “power” and “leadership” in their relationship.
Yeah! Variety, man. It’s good for you.
I won’t give anything away, but the scene in the hospital… why????? LOL *sigh* Alas, I know why, but my gosh, talk about difficult. Are you one of those who can and does react emotionally as your writing, or are you more rubbing your hands together with evil glee at what you’re about to do to your characters?
HAHAHA, that is the critical scene of the book, absolutely. It’s The Empire Strikes Back style, when everything sucks and the heroes seem beaten. If you apply a three act structure to a trilogy as a whole, the second act is the second book and should be the low point. It’s when everything sucks and everyone is discouraged. I always knew it had to end in tears.
Mostly, as you can already guess, I’m the kind of storyteller that rubs her hands together like an evil gleeful little fly. It’s not just that I want my characters to suffer–I want the audience to be with them, to feel how painful it is for the characters to go through whatever the crisis is. If I’m not making you feel it, if the ending to that book doesn’t hurt, then I’ve failed. Then I can’t make you feel the joy the characters feel, either. I can’t take you to the highs if I can’t take you to the lows.
That said, it’s actually really hard for me to write scenes when I know really bad things are going to happen to characters I love. I actually kept on putting off writing the ending to City Wolf–I would find something else to add, or I’d work on a different story, or I’d do pointless revisions. It hurts me! But eventually I admitted what I was doing and braced myself and did it. It was hard to write and I did it in one go to get it over with.
Likewise, there’s a scene in the third book that made me stop writing for, like, a solid week, while I pretended that I was just busy.
But I promise you, the suffering is not for nothing. There will be joy again, and it will taste so much sweeter.
*makes note* what was that, “evil gleeful little fly”? Ok, got it. Also, your ability to make me feel, believe me, you accomplished your goal. *thumbs up*
The world Leander and Axton now share in City Wolf is much larger than it was in Winter Wolf, mostly due to Leander’s wonderfully ragtag group of family and friends. Axton’s reactions are especially enjoyable when he first encounters all of this. How high a level of unpredictability did you experience when writing those particular scenes?
Let’s see, I think the thing that surprised me the most was that Leander’s mom sent Axton a postcard. I knew that Leander would call her up to talk, and I knew she was going to genuinely handle it well, but I got to the picnic scene and Axton’s all playfully, “you got any other surprises?” and Leander’s like, ACTUALLY YES.
And I’m like, you do? What the hell, Leander. What can you possibly have?
But it’s really Leander’s mom that’s driving the surprise there, because even though we never actually met her, I of course have outlines and back story about her, just in case, and yeah, totally, she would take the time to do that and then go gallivanting off on another adventure.
Stealing from real life again: I have a very cool supportive dad who travels a lot, and he’s big into photography and adventure.
Any deleted scenes or bits of dialogue from Winter Wolf or City Wolf you’d like to share with us? Pretty please with sugar on top with a cherry and the whole shebang?
Mostly I just take out jokes that are really too stupid–probably dick jokes–but I have a few of these and no idea of where to post them ever.
I wrote a scene way back when that was supposed to be a flashback with a much younger Axton going clubbing, because I felt it was important to establish that he isn’t always a total hermit, and then it didn’t fit anywhere, and I was like, okay, in the next book, because this is actually the night he meets Dana, so backstory, and then it STILL didn’t fit, so I was like, the third book, totally.
I finished the third book and this still didn’t make it in. It probably just doesn’t feel true enough, deep down, but, oh, it’s kind of cute. Here a little bit of it:
The werewolf squinted in the dark of the room, and undid the top button of his fitted black shirt. He paused, then undid the second one, turning back and forth in the mirror. The third button stymied him. For the fourth time that night, he thumbed it free.
Was that too gay? Just gay enough? He really wasn’t sure.
Axton Rhoden–newly twenty years old, born werewolf, current exile, undergraduate correspondence course student in Wildlife Management–frowned at his reflection and did up his third button again. Style-wise, Axton hadn’t gotten a handle on colors yet, so his jeans were grey, the shirt and shoes were black, and he’d just given up on his hair. It was–minimalist, maybe? Maybe. His sole body modification was a bar through the top of his ear–an industrial, the girl at the piercing shop had called it–with a small wire bead threaded on. The bead was tiny and rainbow striped.
Axton was experimenting with being out.
The piercing was hell to keep in, as a werewolf. He’d tried to stay human long enough to let the holes in his ear set, but he only got a week in before staying in his human skin was unbearable. As soon as he’d gone wolf, his flesh had knit around the bar, sticking fast. Axton had sighed and kept on running through the woods. When he’d popped back into his human shape, he yanked the bar free from his skin and then redid the piercing himself. It was messy.
Probably some kind of rainbow clothing would have been easier, but Axton had grown up in a tiny little conservative town. He was trying to take baby steps.
Funny thing is, this is definitely Axton LOL. Always a mix of uncertainty but daring to try, always try. Love it.
What type or types of stories or even style of writing would you like to try that you haven’t yet? Are you planning on sharing, hmmmm? 😉
I want to do everything all of the time. I’ll write until I die.
I’m going to tell you all about in the last question! Basically: more everything, but faster.
Favorite spot (or spots) in which to settle in and write: When home–small desk, covered in discarded clothes. Coffee in rainbow mug. When home starts to drive me nuts–local bookstore/cafe two blocks from my apartment, off peak hours, writing on an Alphasmart 3000 because I’m an eccentric dinosaur, after ordering a soy latte.
What music, if any, do you like to listen to when writing: Mostly electronic/EDM so that I’m not distracted by too many lyrics, but also, paradoxically, showtunes. I have a Dana playlist on spotify called “evil werewolf ex boyfriend” that I used for this book because it’s all songs I’m very familiar with so I tune out the words. I have one Deadmau5 album that is my serious get-shit-done playlist.
Music you like to thrash around to: I will dance to ANYTHING, at ANY TIME, on ANY SURFACE. I’ll go clubbing basically anywhere, but I’ll also dance in a Waffle House to a Queen song on a jukebox. Ideally, though, EDM generally. Local shows: punk bands, especially riot grrrl type bands. I lift weights strictly to pop music only.
Queen rules. ‘Nuf said.
Favorite childhood book: As a young kid, The Giving Tree. By age nine, Dracula.
Ha! Perfect. My brothers and I loved watching the classic vampire movies as wee ones.
Favorite author as a teen: Neil Gaiman.
Most recent book which caused a slight case of obsession: I just reread one of my favorite graphic novels of all time and became obsessed with it all over again. It’s a comic book, but it’s not at all your typical comic book, and the main character is a dog. I’m totally serious. It’s called We3, it’s by Grant Morrison, the main characters are all animals and yet the most well realized and well characterized protagonists in nearly anything I’ve ever read, and it makes me cry each time. Each time I reread it I buy someone I know a copy. It’s that good, and/or I’m that obsessed with it.
Top three writers with whom you’d love to pop a squat and have a chat with, currently corporeal or already enjoying the other plane LOL: Kurt Vonnegut, Mary Shelley, Terry Prachett.
Favorite underrated author, past or present, one you’d love for us all to try: Do poets count? Richard Siken is so, so good, even if you’re not into poetry. If poets don’t count, P.N. Elrod writes my favorite nice guy vampire. On TV, Hannibal needs more viewers and is very well written.
Of course, poets count! At least I hope, because that’s mostly what I write LOL, and one of my favorites is Langston Hughes.
Coffee or Tea (yes, this is important!): COFFEE. Coffee forever. So much coffee.
Dark, Milk or White chocolate (yes, also very important!): Super dark and I totally agree that this is very important. I literally eat a square of 90% or 87% dark chocolate every single day of my life, usually with coffee. I’m really not exaggerating. EVERY. DAY.
Ok, that’s it, now I know why I like you so much. Dark choco ALL. THE. WAY.
Tell us what’s coming up for you and where all readers can find you out here on the interwebs:
My next book is a horror story period piece set in nineteenth century France. Outlines are half done and I’ll have a co-author, so it’s very different and exciting. It also has one of my favorite couples of all time, so it’s still firmly in action romance territory.
I’m always writing comic scripts and not finishing them, but my plan is to start finish some and start desperately spamming some indies to see if anything gets picked up. If there any artists out there who’d like to work with me, please hit me up!
I have a friend who is working on a hush hush deal with a major entertainment company to write a horror TV show, and if he manages to get it, I’ll be on the writing staff. I have a book of poetry that’s almost done. My boyfriend and I just bought a video camera to start doing short YouTube videos. I have outlines for some fairy tale retellings I’d love to do. I have a story about a Catholic priest I’m dying to write. I’m very slowly designing a board game with some friends.
So, yeah. Everything. I’m always doing something, although what reaches fruition varies.
More specifically, I actually want to continue with Axton and Leander, but the first three books are meant to be a self contained set. A fourth book would be different–they’ll be a little older, a firmly established couple, all of that. I’ll see what the audience reactions to the third book are, and I want everyone to tell me what more they’d like to see so I can decide what direction to go in. I have a thing with one of my friends that the fourth book should be Axton and Leander: VAMPIRE HUNTERS, but I’m probably joking. Probably.
Hahahahaa, ok, even if that doesn’t become the “official” next book as slightly older gentleman, you will still have to write is as something like they were invited to be guest stars for one episode on a TV show, and the story is the episode.
AMAZING. That’s absolutely hilarious. I wouldn’t have to flash too far into the future for that–they could just get dragged on set anytime Sarah’s trying to get a production to run smoothly after someone abruptly quits. There’s also the Balto Edition .
So: third Ax and Lee book, break to do French period piece, reassess Axton and Leander series, move from there. My main writing goal for the foreseeable future is to write a lot FASTER.
I also want to put up some more Ax and Lee content as I’m doing other things–flashbacks and fill in the blank scenes and self contained little stories.
For Halloween I wanted to do a short story where Axton gets knocked out and kidnapped by a serial killer and he wakes up tied to a chair or whatever and he’s just really exasperated and in no actual danger. The killer is completely shocked that Axton’s awake, and then the hunter is the hunted, sort of thing, because Axton frees himself and then things get interesting. But again, in my head Axton’s just like, “UGH WHY,” and Leander’s like, “again with the stabbings! you ARE some kind of psycho, aren’t you?” Plus, I’m probably out of time and I’m sure people would MUCH rather have me finish the edits and revisions to the official trilogy, so.
Oh, and I did a short cute silly alternative universe story where Axton is a selkie instead. I’m posting that sometime soon. Maybe for Halloween I could do a zombie AU, but Leander would secretly be thrilled about getting to build fortifications.
It is my great personal wish that someone signs up for the Yuletide fanfiction exchange this year and requests Axton and Leander, and then someone claims their prompts and writes them a story, and then I write them an extra bonus story filled with love and gratitude, probably while pretending to be someone else. I also dream of finding werewolfy Axton memes on tumblr. I’m a classy lady that way.
Did you hear that, people? Git on that!
Thank you, so much, S.P. for spending some time with me and all of us today. I had a great time and had such fun discussing these books and characters with you. 😀
Prism recently reviewed Winter Wolf and City Wolf. You can find the review here.
Check out the blurbs for both Winter Wolf: http://www.prismbookalliance.com/2014/09/winter-wolf-by-s-p-wayne-book-review-by-lirtle/ and City Wolf: http://www.prismbookalliance.com/2014/09/city-wolf-axton-and-leander-2-by-s-p-wayne-book-review-by-lirtle/ in Lirtle’s reviews for each book.
About the Author:
S.P. Wayne graduated with a degree in psychology and promptly got a job with a zoo’s primate behavior observation team. While there, her main research project involved waiting for monkeys to have sex on film. S.P. held the camera. After the monkeys successfully had sex, she had to write a summary about it. Thus began a promising career in academic monkey porno production.
After spending weeks asking herself, “THIS what I went to college for?” S.P. realized that this was indeed her destiny: writing about sex. She ditched the monkeys, though.
She wrote gay superhero romances for free while she worked in animal rescue, then wrote more gay superheroes while working as an elementary school teacher, and then started writing paranormal romance because she’s always been a spooky person. Mostly, she blames her father for giving her a copy of Dracula when she was nine.
In her spare time, S.P. reads everything from fine classical literature to fine current comic books. She runs, lifts weights, and in between picking things up and putting them down swears that she will get back into skateboarding some day.
Somewhere in the Southern US, S.P. lives with plants, a twenty pound cat named after a Norse god, a rescue dog named Ernesto who may or may not be a pit bull, and her Karate Boyfriend, Z. She enjoys long walks on the beach and drinking hot coffee.
Ms Wayne’s Cover Artist: T.K. Hunter
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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