naomi_jay: (moon in clouds)
As the title may imply, this week's Writerly Wednesday is all about DARK HUNT. We'll get to the meat of the post shortly, but first, remember the fabulous prizes I've been talking about? The t-shirts, ebooks, postcards, tarot readings, and other exciting things you can win by following the blog tour and commenting on my posts? Well, we've added another one to the mix.

Want to read DARK HUNT but haven't read SILVER KISS yet? Don't worry! Everyone who comments on one of the blog tour posts will receive a Smashwords voucher to download SILVER KISS for free.

For FREE.

So you can read the book that's been called "compelling" and "gritty," and see what lead Ayla and Shannon to Paris for DARK HUNT. Now, speaking of Paris...


"France has a long, dark history with wolves, you know? People do not forget." - Clemence, DARK HUNT.

Once I decided I was going to set book two of the Urban Wolf series in Paris, I knew I wanted to have Ayla and Shannon explore a little of French history. Specifically its werewolf history. In the Middle Ages, when paranoia about witchcraft ran rampant over Europe, France experienced more than its fare share of werewolf hysteria. In 1603 Jean Grenier terrorised St Sever, Gascony, killing many young children. Villagers blamed wolves. Marguerite Poirier, a thirteen-year-old who survived Grenier's savage attack described a wolf-like beast as her assailant. Grenier himself, when caught, boasted of taking a wolf's shape to hunt and eat young children.

How could I not weave that kind of history into my book?

"Stupid thing was, back then wolves were still in hiding," I complained, staring at Grenier's beastly face. "Grenier was probably just a random madman, but because of people like him, we get lumbered with the child-eating reputation." - Ayla, DARK HUNT.

After he was caught and arrested, Grenier confessed to every killing and claimed to be a werewolf. In Ayla's world, that's a very real possibility. In the Urban Wolf universe, werewolves have only been living out in the open since World War I, so every tale of witchcraft, vampirism, and werewolfism...could well be true.

In 1572, Gilles Garnier stole children from the French town of Dole to feed his new wife. Authorities issued an edict encouraging people to find and kill the werewolf. When he was caught, Gilles claimed he used a magic ointment to take on wolf-shape. He was found guilty of witchcraft and lycanthropy and burned at the stake.

Going further back, there are numerous French folk tales and legends revolving around werewolves, from the Werewolf of Auvergne to the Wolves of Paris. In the Urban Wolf world, these might not be legends. They might be true. And if werewolves are real, who knows what else is lurking in the dark? You'll have to read DARK HUNT to find out ^_^

"Some lupine historians thought that once there'd been all kinds of supernatural creatures in the world, not just wolves. Fairies, vampires, other species of shifters...and all wiped out in the Middle Ages." - Ayla, DARK HUNT


(Artwork very kindly provided by [livejournal.com profile] dwg. And if you like this, you'll love the DARK HUNT postcards we have!)

naomi_jay: (laurell k hamilton)

 

So last September I attended the She-Wolf conference in Manchester, and it was amazing! And because it was so amazing, and because everyone involved worked so hard to make it so, I have no hesitation in passing on this call for submissions. Hannah Kate was the principle organiser of the conference, and based on her own talk there, I have no doubt this will be a fabulous anthology!

Wolf-Girls

Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny

Submissions wanted for a new anthology of short stories of bad, bad female werewolves. Kicking, biting, clawing, fighting: the new lycogyny is far from pretty. We’re looking for new and established writers to contribute dark fiction tales for a new collection of stories filled with feral and feisty lupine femmes.

Editor: Hannah Kate

Publisher: Hic Dragones

What we want: Edgy dark fiction short stories about female werewolves. Male characters are, of course, allowed, but the central character(s) should be female. We have no preconceptions about what ‘female’ or ‘werewolf’ might mean – so all interpretations are welcome. Any genre considered: dark fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, sci fi, steampunk, cyberpunk, biopunk, dystopian, crossover. Queer, trans, cis, straight are all welcome. High fantasy, revenge fantasy and anything about ‘lunar cycles’ or ‘Mother Nature’ will be considered, but are discouraged. Rather, we’re looking for new takes on an old legend, stories that challenge and unsettle. (And it should probably go without saying that we won’t be including any misogyny, misandry, homophobia, transphobia or racism!)

 Word Count: 3000-5000

Submission Guidelines: Electronic submissions as .doc, .docx, .rtf attachments only. 12pt font, 1.5 or double spaced. Please ensure name, title and email address are included on attachment. Email to submissions@hic-dragones.co.uk. Submissions are welcome from anywhere, but must be in English.

Submission Deadline: Monday 4th April 2011

Payment: 1 contributor copy (how we wish it could be more!)

For more information, visit www.hic-dragones.co.uk/publishing

or email info@hic-dragones.co.uk.

 


naomi_jay: (wolves in snow)
I've booked my place on the She-Wolf conference in September. Yay! I'm very much excited at the prospect of spending two days talking about werewolves and shapeshifters, and this will sort of make up for not being able to go to the RNA conference this year (next year, dammit).

I'm especially excited about this talk:

Nickianne Moody (Liverpool John Moores University): Supernatural Hierarchies: The Place of Werewolves in the Paranormal Romance and Contemporary Urban Fantasy

I went to John Moores, so I really hope I get a chance to talk to Nickianne Moody after her talk. Now I feel like there's a million things I need to do before September, like get my hair cut, prepare myself for meeting Kyle's family (we'll be staying with them), finish BLOOD HUNT so I can turn this into a "reward for being a good girl and working hard" trip, re-read lots of Angela Carter, and watch every single werewolf film I own in preparation. I might have to take some time off work for that.
naomi_jay: (save the werewolves)
I want to go to this so very much.

Can you imagine? Two whole days of nothing but female werewolves! Talks about she-wolves in urban fantasy, in cinema, and there's even a talk on shapeshifting and queer activism, which would be so relevant for the Urban Wolf books! EEE! I NEED TO GO!!! I cannot use enough exclamation marks! Plus the whole thing is in Manchester, so it's an excuse to visit The North! Yay!

Registration deadline is August, so I have just over a month to figure out the finances. Conference registration plus ticket to Manchester plus accommodation = no new books for Nome all summer, but it would be so worth it. I might try selling a kidney again, although I had no takers last time...


naomi_jay: (wolves in snow)
I am all about the werewolves right now. Moreso than usual. For one thing, the remake of The Wolfman is out next month and I am excited. The original version of the film either created or cemented most of the werewolf folklore that's commonplace nowadays - silver, pentagrams, wolfsbane, etc. It was also a pivotal film in terms of estabilishing the werewolf as a victim of his condition, opposing the vampire's more predatory aspect. Lon Chaney Jnr made Lawrence Talbot a sympathetic, tortured soul, a slave to his curse, and this is the image that has largely dominated werewolves in the media since. Particularly when they're up against vampires - they're frequently placed lower on the supernatural ladder, with vampires as the all-powerful chessmasters.

Anyway, before I go off on a rant, to summarise: I can't wait to see The Wolfman.

Also, I'm still hacking away at Wild, my own tale of werewolves and their hilarious hi-jinks drug addictions. I cut out 2k during my lunch break *quivers* I'll be cutting out more tonight as I need to get rid of huge swathes of writing that have become irrelevant since Lizzie's family are no longer such a big part of the plot. My outake file is now well over 20k long, lol.

And in yet more werewolfy news, I got the edits for SILVER KISS yesterday. *quivers more* Actually, I'm looking forward to going through the book again since it's been a while since I wrote it, and I need to remind myself of the characters and world in preparation for writing the sequel, Bad Dogs. I've got loads of SILVER KISS news and excitement to share closer to the release date - I really wish I could spill it all now, but I'm sworn to secrecy... In fact, I may have to kill you all anyway, just as a precaution.
naomi_jay: (ragged angel)

 
13011 / 60000 words. 22% done!

I had a most productive Girton Write-In last night and added a hefty 3k to Silver Kiss. And my arm isn't even too sore this morning, which only adds to my smug sense of satisfaction.

I'm at that stage in the writing process where the more I write, the more I want to write. I've got to grips with most of the world-building - Pack laws and rituals, how the werewolves have integrated with the humans, all the fun stuff. Now it's time to bring on the Issues! Which Ayla has lots of! Apparently I can't write a werewolf story that doesn't have Issues. Lizzie, the heroine from Wild was addicted to heroin and accidentally killed her boyfriend (... but I've said too much ...). Christian, the werewolf in the Scarlett novels, is an irrepresible playboy with too much money and not enough morals.

So far Ayla hasn't taken any drugs, killed any of her loved ones, or slept around yet but hey, it's early days.

ETA: Squid can hear! Just further proof that they will one day be our masters. And I for one welcome our cephalopod overlords.

Vroom!

Aug. 20th, 2008 08:23 am
naomi_jay: (<lj user ="whitegoldpearls")

I'm always encouraging people to start drag races, and nobody ever does. 

In real news, I've made a big decision about Wild after some excellent feedback and advice from various parties, and I've decided to swop the location from the US to the UK, whilst keeping Lizzie American. It'll be like An American Werewolf in London, except it's not set in London. So really I could equally describe it as being like Ginger Snaps except not set in Canada, or indeed like Romasanta, but not set in medieval Europe.

Anyway, question for my urban fantasy reading bretheren: I'm struggling to find any current UF novels set in the UK - any recommendations?

naomi_jay: (darkplace)
 In order to channel my obsession with werewolves and assorted shapeshifters in a healthy way, I've started another blog for book reviews and general ponderings. If you enjoy such things, why not take a look?
naomi_jay: (<lj user="zar_roc">)

... Came the name of the winner of my Ivy Cole giveaway and that winner is...

Lesley!

Go you! Email me here with your address details and I'll get your book sent out to you as soon as humanly possible.

Thus ends my werewolf month. Le sigh. Thanks to everyone here and over at Blogger for joining in. This was so much fun, I may do it again with a different monster in a couple of months. Suggestions welcome!

naomi_jay: (zombie xing)

Doe Springs has a killer in its midst. The quiet mountain town is haunted by a devil that rips its victims to pieces and leaves their remains behind as a warning, a message. Dog-trainer Ivy Cole knows all about the dead humans that are showing up - she's the one killing them. But while she's dishing out her brand of wild justice to wife-beaters, philanderers and child-molesters, another killer is mutilating local animals and attacking children. And Ivy just can't allow that.

Being a huge fan of all things werewolf-ish, I thoroughly enjoyed Farago's take on the werewolf myth. Ivy Cole has made a virtue out of her lycanthropy, killing those she considers deserving of the punishment, protecting those too weak to protect themselves. She's an intelligent, collected heroine with a heart of gold beneath her cool exterior. The cast surrounding her are well-rounded and utterly believable, from her straight-laced love interest Deputy Sanders to her once-abused, now-blossoming best friend, Patricia. The villain of the piece is both scary and plausible and Ivy's eventual showdown with him is page-turning stuff. Every chapter left me desperately wanting to read the next.

As Ivy and the local police close in on the second werewolf stalking Doe Springs, Farago peppers her story with werewolf and wolf legends and history, offering a deeper insight into the inspiration behind the story. It was fascinating to read these tidbits of information and I never felt that I was being lectured by their inclusion, or that they distracted from the main plot.

From the adrenaline-fueled opening to the bittersweet ending, Ivy Cole and the Moon is an absolute delight, and a must read for fans of werewolves, horror and urban fantasy. You should totally go and buy a copy.

Or better yet, get me to give you a copy. It just so happens that I have a brand new copy of Ivy Cole and the Moon sitting right here by my fish tank. If you fancy getting your hands on it, just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be randomly drawn from an actual hat (a top hat, to be precise) and announced on August 1st.

naomi_jay: (darkplace)

Personally I feel that werewolves are getting the raw end of the deal in urban fantasy. They’re either whining, angsting pains-in-the-ass or they’re surprisingly tame, de-fanged romance heroes who probably never killed a sheep in their life because they’re too busy wooing the laydeez. Rubbish, I say. What’s worse is that they’re usually playing second fiddle to vampires. Vampires! Come on! Look, whatever problems werewolves have, at least they’re alive, whereas vampires are basically just noisy corpses.

Luckily it’s not all bad. There are some cool werewolves out there. And, it must be noted, they’re all girls. Take for example, if you will, Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty series, starting with Kitty and the Midnight Hour. In the first book of the series, Kitty Norville’s on the bottom rung of her pack, struggling to keep out of trouble and lead a quiet life. Unfortunately, she’s outed as a werewolf on national radio and is soon fighting tooth and claw to escape her pack. I heart Kitty a lot. She’s compassionate, she’s smart, she’s got a wicked sense of humour and when she changes shape, she’s all wolf. She’s not afraid to kill a rabbit or two.

Then there’s Vivian Gandillon of Annette Curtis Klause’s Blood and Chocolate. Young, beautiful and fierce, Vivian relishes the change from girl to wolf. But her loyalties are tested when she falls in love with human artist, Aidan. Her pack is in danger of exposure and Vivian’s suddenly unsure which world she really belongs in. It’s a great coming-of-age story and it was recently made into a film (which I haven’t seen yet.)

Of course, there's Kelley Armstrong's Elena Michaels from the Women of the Otherworld series. Star of Bitten, Stolen and Broken, Elena is one of my favourite werewolves. She's kickass, she's tough and she's the only female werewolf in the world. Throw in half-demons, vampires, necromancers and witches and well ... It's hard out here for a female werewolf.

Last but not least is Lola Galley of Kit Whitfield’s Bareback. Okay, Lola’s not a werewolf. But roughly 98% of the human population is. On the night of the full moon, regular citizens lock themselves in a safe place and shape shift in peace. For people like Lola, unable to change shape, life is very different. Conscripted at eighteen into DORLA (Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity), Lola’s world is fraught with prejudice and danger. Scorned and hated by lycos, life for a bareback isn’t one you’d wish on anyone. I’ve pimped this novel before on my blog, because I honestly, truly love it. It has so much going for it, it’s hard to sum it up in a few sentences and the best advice I can give you is go buy a copy.

And finally there’s my favourite werewolf heroine, Ivy Cole … But I’m saving her for later…

naomi_jay: (Anubis)
In 1941, Lon Chaney Jnr starred in The Wolf Man, not the first cinema appearance for the werewolf, but arguably the most influential. From this black and white picture came a lot of now commonplace werewolf tradition:

· People become werewolves after being scratched or bitten by a werewolf.
· Victims of werewolf attacks transform on the first full moon after their attack.
· Garlic, wolfsbane and silver pentagrams are all effective weapons against werewolves. (And I know what you’re thinking, garlic is a vampire tradition, right? Well if you lived in a coffin six feet underground, surrounded by rotting corpses and maggots, would you notice the smell of garlic?)
· A silver object is the only thing that can kill a werewolf. (The tradition of the silver bullet wasn’t added until Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, 1943.)

I have to admit; I never really got the whole silver thing. Silver is a metal traditionally associated with the moon, and the moon is a huge controlling force on werewolves, so why would they be allergic to it? Although it is also seen as a purifying metal… Anyway, I digress…

Since The Wolf Man, there have been a whole plethora of werewolf films, ranging from the good (An American Werewolf in London, Ginger Snaps, Dog Soldiers) to the mediocre (An American Werewolf in Paris, The Howling) to the plain bad (The Howling III – The Marsupials. Yes, really.)

My personal favourites are Ginger Snaps and The Company of Wolves. The first is the smart, darkly funny and gory story of sisters Ginger and B Fitzgerald. After cynical domineering Ginger is attacked by a mysterious creature one night, she and B are plunged into a nightmare as Ginger slowly transforms into a werewolf. The film makes wickedly clever use of devices such as menstruation, STDs and drug use to put a modern spin on the werewolf legend. What really interests me about it is that Ginger’s transformation appears to be permanent, rather than a full-moon-only gig. Two further films, Ginger Snaps Back and Ginger Snaps Unleashed followed. Ginger Snaps Back is fairly forgettable, but Ginger Snaps Unleashed is awesome.

The Company of Wolves is a gothic fairytale of a film, based on the story of the same name by Angela Carter. It’s a chilling, surreal tale of magic and curses, twisting Little Red Riding Hood into a stunning, nightmarish fantasy. Coming-of-age tales meet treachery and vengeance and Angela Lansbury.

Anyone got any favourites that I’ve missed?
naomi_jay: (my little pony)
In 1973, Leroy Francis was freed from a Parisian jail after serving nine years of a twenty-year sentence for the full moon rape and murder of a woman. In 1989 he was jailed for life for murdering one woman and raping two others. He was also convicted of eight attacks in southwest France. Leroy claimed that he was unable to control his bloodlust during the full moon, and remarked that he had wished for doctors to experiment him to discover the cause of his “moon madness.”
 
In 1924, Fritz Haarmann, the Hanover Butcher, murdered and cannibalised up to fifty young men. What he couldn’t eat himself, he sold as steaks and sausages to unsuspecting customers.
 
In 1977, serial killer David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz was ordered to murder by a large black dog.
 
In 1997, the “Werewolves on Wheels,” were apprehended for the deaths of thirty-seven Shiite Muslims in Karachi.
 
In 1998, The “Ripper of Genoa” was captured by Italian police after slashing to death at least eight women.
 
There are numerous other recordings of psychological werewolves throughout the 20th century, most of their cases involving savage, animalistic killings, rapes and cannibalism. The term “psychological werewolf” denotes a person who has tapped into a primitive, bestial instinct for bloodshed and carnage, a person removed from civilisation but not completely apart from it, much in the same way mythological werewolves are. Interestingly in 1999 the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected an attempt to patent a technique for creating animal-human hybrids. Looking at the statistics above, I’m not sure human beings need any help acting like animals…
naomi_jay: (breathless blue)
So blaming bad drug trips and melancholy is all well and good nowadays, but back in the sixteenth century, people had necromancy and sorcery instead. Peter Stumpf was born in Bedburg, near Cologne, in about 1525 and devoted his youth to the study of these subjects. After his capture in 1589, Stumpf told how Satan gave him a girdle, a wolf strap, which turned him into a wolf whenever he wore it.

For years, Stumpf lead a double life, stalking and viciously attacking anyone who incurred his wrath, whilst all the time appearing to his neighbours to be an ordinary man. His victims were so badly mutilated that nobody could imagine their attacker to be anything besides a savage animal. And so for years, Stumpf’s crimes went undetected. His killed women and children as well, ravishing them in his human form before transforming into a wolf to murder them.

Stumpf also sexually abused his daughter and sister, as well as committing acts of cannibalism. He was accused of having killed and devoured thirteen young women, as well as his own son.

He was finally captured by a party of men and dogs who tracked a wolf and a stolen child to a thicket. Once they cornered the wolf, they watched in amazement as it transformed back into Peter Stumpf. During questioning by authorities, Stumpf readily confessed to being a sorcerer, a werewolf, a cannibal, a rapist and an incestuous adulterer. His daughter and sister were tried as accessories and all three were condemned to death. (Never be a woman in the medieval period. You just can’t win.)

On October 31st, 1589, Stumpf was stretched on the wheel and tortured with red-hot pincers. His limbs were severed with an axe, he was decapitated and his body was burned. Suffice to say, we’ll never know how much of Stumpf’s story is true. All we’ll ever know for sure is what he confessed to. Whether he could actually transform into a wolf may well be immaterial: Stumpf was a psychological werewolf and he was far from being the only one.
naomi_jay: (<lj user="tridugrey">)
Once upon a time werewolves were attributed to magic and devil worship. Nowadays people are a little more cynical and look for more rational explanations for werewolves. In 1584, Reginald Scott used the term “lycanthropy” in relation to an extreme form of violent insanity in which the afflicted imitated the behaviour of a wild beast. This was pretty heretical reasoning for the time and Scott barely avoided being bound at the stake for his works, which just goes to show that science never benefited anyone.
 
The term was also applied to individuals suffering from melancholy and severe depression. In 1621, Robert Burton wrote his Anatomy of Melancholy, which theorised that men and women suffering from advanced melancholy “go abroad in the night, barking, howling at graves.”
 
More recently, in 1975, psychiatrists Frida Surawicz and Richard Banta published “Lycanthropy Revisited,” which presented two cases of contemporary werewolves. One of these was the case of Mr H, who ingested LSD before seeing himself changing into a werewolf. He saw fur grow on his hands and face and craved flesh and blood. Even after the effects of the LSD wore off, Mr H believed himself to be a werewolf and was subsequently treated for paranoid schizophrenia.
 
A recent discovery of a “hairy gene” may explain medieval panic about werewolves. Studies in Nova Scotia, Canada, revealed a mutant gene responsible for a condition called congenital generalised hypertrichosis. (Really, “werewolf” is much easier to yell in moments of dire peril.) The gene causes hair to cover the entire face and upper body, and may be an “evolutionary trait left over from animal ancestors.”
 
A March 1990 issue of Discover magazine reported the theory of neurologist Juan Gomez-Alonso, that people suffering from rabies may have triggered ancient tales of werewolves. He traced the connection between a rabies outbreak in eighteenth century Europe shortly before tales of shape shifters grew prominent.
 
So really it all boils down to drugs and mental illness, which is a lot more rational than magic, but nowhere near as much fun.

*It took me three attempts to spell "explaining" properly.
naomi_jay: (evil t rex)
First up, some pimping: My short story, Unusual Appetites is now online at Lost Souls ezine. I promise you, it's highly relevant ^-^

And now, onto the serious stuff. If you’re not interested in becoming a werewolf, you might want to note how to spot one. After all, you never know what sort of people are out there…

Most contemporary images of werewolves come from Hollywood. Films like The Wolfman and Curse of the Wolfman depict hairy, fanged, wolflike beings, incapable of rational thought. They are rarely shown as actual wolves and walk upright rather than on all fours. This is a direct contradiction to ancient traditions, in which the werewolf is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish from a true wolf.

If you suspect a neighbour or a loved one of being a werewolf, you might want to check for the telltale signs, as listed by seventh century physician Paulos Agina:

· Pale skin
· Weak vision (I have weak vision!)
· An absence of tears or saliva
· Excessive thirst (okay, I actually have that one too.)
· Ulcers and abrasions on the arms and legs, caused by walking on all fours
· An obsession with wandering in cemeteries at night*
· Howling until dawn**

Tradition also recommends checking the palms of the suspected werewolf. If they’re covered with coarse, stiff hair, get the silver bullets ready. Overly long index fingers and eyebrows that meet in the centre of the forehead are also giveaways.

*This also applies to Goths, so be careful before you shoot anyone.

**This also applies to regular wolves and dogs, so again, easy on the trigger.
naomi_jay: (<lj user="misslunakitty">)
C’mon, you know you wanna know.
 
Essentially there are two paths to lycanthropy: voluntary and involuntary. The Ancient Greeks believed any skilled sorcerer could become a werewolf, and Norse legends tell tales of men donning wolf skins to take that form. Some magical texts advise preparing a magical ointment to rub over bare skin before covering yourself with a wolf pelt.
 
Or you could take the old-fashioned route and make a deal with the Devil. That’s kind of a messy method however, since it apparently involves smearing yourself with the fat of a freshly killed animal, mixed with anise, camphor and opium. As you may or may not know, it’s hard to legally obtain opium. Might raise some eyebrows. You’re probably better off drinking rainwater from a wolf’s paw print. Although that would probably involve a lot of hanging around the in woods getting wet. Still, at least that method’s legal.
 
As for the involuntary ways, the most obvious is to survive a werewolf attack. That works pretty well in films like Ginger Snaps and An American Werewolf in London. That is, if you ignore that both those films end tragically…
 
Or you could piss off the wrong sorcerer and inherit your lycanthropy via a curse. Even better, you could piss off the Christian Church and be born on Christmas Day. As a punishment for detracting attention from Jesus, you’re cursed to be a werewolf – unless you can prove yourself pious and without sin. And lets face it, there’s fat chance of that if you’re slaughtering lambs and goats every full moon.
 
 
naomi_jay: (Default)
In 1998 researchers conducted a study on maximum-security prisoners at Armley prison, Leeds, England. The results of the three-month psychological study on 1200 inmates showed a significant rise in violent incidents during the first and last quarter of the lunar cycle, the days either side of a full moon.

Other studies shows an increase in criminal activity on full moon nights, with most researchers attributing this simply to the full moon providing more light by which to commit crimes. As a werewolf aficionado, I have to ask if there’s another, more primal explanation. Does the full moon call to some deeply buried, instinctive part of our nature, bringing out the beast in us?

I’m not suggesting people can literally be turned into wolves by the light of the moon, but lets face it: human beings are weird creatures and the brain is a powerful organ. Powerful emotions such as rage can override our common sense, making us capable of inhuman acts of violence and destruction. And the wolf, having long (and wrongly) been a symbol of fear and darkness, is an ideal avatar for the manifestation of these less-than-human traits.

In medieval Europe, countless people were burned at the stake, tortured and persecuted for witchcraft and, more importantly to me, for being werewolves. What could have caused such widespread belief and panic? Could it possibly be the knowledge that beneath our civilised masks lurks something deadly and untamed? Something more beast than man?

In honour of my obsession with the wolf within, I’m dedicating this month to werewolves, both fictional and real. Real, you ask? Stay tuned…

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