Author Interview: ‘WHEREWOLVES: A Realistic Werewolf Horror ‘ by John Vamvas and Olga Montes

About the Book:

Bullies, jocks, and geeks. A teacher. The woods. An unspeakable horror.

A fresh take on an old theme where nothing is what it seems.

What is out there? Can it really be werewolves?

Using a fun, explosive style, full of new slang and fresh dialogue, WHEREWOLVES is the story of a group of high school seniors, most “military brats”, who are headed for an army-type survival weekend.

The underdogs, Jeffrey and Doris, do not want to go as they fear for their safety among the disdain and cruelty of the popular students. Sergeant Tim O’Sullivan, their teacher, as well as their dysfunctional parents pressure them into going, but it is an unforgivable act by their peers that propels the pair to go. Likewise, Elie, a student resented because of his Arab roots, is even more determined to prove himself this weekend. In the background, a news report cautions of a wanted couple with alleged super-human strength supposedly brought on by a new drug on the streets.

In the woods, the students hike, hunt, camp, and soon act in unity as the forest brings them closer together. But does it? O’Sullivan leaves them alone for the night. The students bond, chant, tell campfire tales, and quickly lose their fears and inhibitions. HOO-AH! Though sexual tensions are high, it soon turns to violence and everything quickly turns sour.

When the kids start disappearing one after the other, the remaining begin to unwittingly “act like the natives” carving spears, ready to face whatever is out there. What has gotten into them?

Amid blood-curdling growls and gruesome deaths, the story’s underlying layers are revealed. We see how misconceptions, prejudice, greed, fear, and hatred bring out the worst and best in us.

 

What people are saying:

Kept me on the edge of my seat. Gets your pulse pounding.” –Author and award winning investigative journalist, Victor Malarek

“A provocative and chilling reminder of man’s latent inhumanity to his own species. Deserves 5star status.” –Author Dennis Coates, UK

“5 stars. It reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies versus Silver Bullet but only way cooler.” –Angels in the Underworld Reviews

“5.0 out of 5 stars A ‘beastial’ adrenalin rush for the mind & body” –Film critic and renowned film lecturer, Domato Totaro

“SPARKLING DIAGLOGUE… The writing is SENSATIONAL.” –Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer, William Mastrosimone

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Excerpt:

Dilly runs. The deafening beat of her panting isn’t enough to drown out the monstrous growls and trampling that rumble behind her. Though she can’t see well enough to dodge the naked branches slicing into her, the full moon’s rays help her find the path. This way, the young woman tells herself, and takes a left. Now right! Her body veers. She slams her beaten shoulder against the thick trunk of a sugar maple. Ah, fuck! The pain electrifies her cells. Like sticking a finger in a thousand volt socket. She falls to one knee. Don’t you fucking stop! Move! Move! Move! She forces herself up and implores her feet to barrel forward.

There it is! The fallen stump that looks more like a giant claw! She makes a mad dash for it, hurtles over the trunk, lands on all fours, and snaps her head back. She gasps, “Yes!” eyes on the nest-like bundle cradled between the two lower branches of the tall yellow birch before her.

She can hear whatever is out there tearing through the brush.

She leans against the tree’s peeling, gray bark and kicks at the dead leaves on the ground. Come on! She screams in her head. And at last feels the line dig into her ankle. She yanks it back hard. Click.

A thunderous roar!

She throws herself to the ground and in the next instant, a burlap sack swooshes over her.

Slam!

A canine screech rips through the forest.

Dilly jolts, feels the ground, and snatches a heavy rock. She thrashes her head from side to side and strains to hear the danger, but hears only the sack’s long suspended rope creaking as it swings. She gets to her knees. A branch snaps, she spins to pitch the rock— Nothing’s there. “Breathe, girl, breathe,” she reminds herself. And inhales deeply. The prominent scent of balsam firs transports her to the weekend she spent with Brian in a cozy bed and breakfast last May. Her eyes well. Brian … She scans the beech, spruce, and birch tree outlines, caressing her ring—its diamond lost to the forest. We should have never … ahh … She brushes off tears. Be strong, she compels herself. She staggers to a stand and lumbers off.

A harrowing growl booms—her feet are in the air, her face smashes to the ground.

“No! Nooooo!” she screams, as she’s dragged across the underbrush.

Pebbles, leaves, and branches cut into her. Her fingernails claw a trail into the earth as she tries to grip at something—anything—that will anchor her long enough to turn over and hurl the rock she still has gripped in her hand. A trio of saplings gashes her chin and she grabs onto them, jerking to a stop.

She fears she’ll be rent in two as she’s tugged savagely. But she doesn’t let go. I’ve got to … She tries to twist—turn my … fucking arm … over …

Light shines through from approaching high beams. Distant, but just enough of a distraction. Yes!

She whips the rock.

A painful yowl!

“Fuck you!” she bellows as she scrambles to her feet and darts for the auspicious lights. She pushes her way through a thicket of juniper shrubs, waving and hollering—”Hey! Hey!”—and scarcely manages to catch herself. Shafts of light from the oncoming vehicle reveal there is nowhere to go but down. Down a ridiculously steep hill, she discovers.

The charging footsteps close in.

Shit! She glances over her shoulder—Fuck!—and drops to the ground. She gropes the ridge, clasps a sturdy root, and slides over the edge. Splinters stab into her hands. “Ahhhh!” she squeals—Shut up!—and hangs on. She cocks her head east to west. I need … something … else … to grab on … to.

The thicket rattles and cracks.

She winces. No! The rocks beneath her feet crumble. Oh my God, oh my God. Don’t you fucking let go. Her feet dangle. The roots dig deeper into her palms. “Ahhhh!” She presses her mouth into the dirt and feels the earth above vibrate. A pebble bounces off her head.

Beastly snorts and growls turn into sniffing and heavy panting.

She holds her breath. Go away, go away, go away!

The noises above her suddenly fade; all she hears is an eerie, unsettling breeze.

Oh my God! She listens hard. They’re gone. Breathe, she reminds herself again. She inhales and looks down. The slope is too extreme. She needs another path. She waits a long moment—God help me!—takes another mouthful of air, then musters the strength to pull herself up. Please don’t be there. Please don’t be there. Please—Fiery breath steams her forehead, and a snarl swells into a ferocious roar.

Dilly glimpses the blur of black, indigo, royal blue below. And lets go.

Authors Interview:

 

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

We started as an acting team, performing two-person plays across Canada and the US. We had been performing a beautiful play, The Woolgatherer, by William Mastrosimone and after the run we couldn’t find another two-hander that we liked. We called the William Morris Agency in NY and got in contact with Bill (Mastrosimone). We told him how much we loved his work and asked if he had another two-hander. He didn’t but he suggested a few by other writers. We told him we had looked into those but they weren’t our thing. So he said, “Why don’t you write your own?” So we did. And we ended getting picked Best of the Festival in most cities. So the next year we wrote another and we ended up writing and touring four plays in all. And having Bill as our mentor (and still do). From there we went to writing film scripts and WHEREWOLVES is our first novel.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

No favorite time, per se, it’s more about feeling inspired. That comes at different hours of the day. Johnny’s woken up in the middle of the night after a dream a few times, woken me up and said, “I know where this is going.” We then run down to our office in the basement to write.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Social issues. There are some things we can’t seem to stop talking about because they are so troublesome.  We end up writing about them or weaving them into our stories to try to make some kind of sense of them. We aren’t the type of writers that like to make the themes obvious, meaning we try to use a fun, explosive, edge-of-your-seat style and decorate the issue into something entertaining.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

We start with a plan but, of course, once the characters really start coming to life, they end up taking you places you hadn’t considered. Or sometimes the characters just change completely.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

WHEREWOLVES is a horror. Though our plays are dramas and comedies, we are huge horror fans so we wanted to try writing something in that genre. We also thought that given the social themes we touch upon, the horror genre would not only let us push them pretty far but shed them in a light that was not so serious. Regardless the theme, though, our writing style tries to entice and entertain not only avid readers but also those who wouldn’t be likely to open a book.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Being that WHEREWOLVES is a horror, the cast of teens would have to be unknowns so that you’re never sure who will be killed next. Michelle Williams would be incredible as Doris’s mother. Michael Shannon would be unbelievable in the role of O’Sullivan and Joaquin Phoenix to play his brother.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

We read our fair share when we have time in between writing. We prefer to support indie authors – it wouldn’t be fair to point one out. We often stumble upon unknown yet incredible stories.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

We are not reading anything at the moment as we are busy working on WHEREWOLVES TOO.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

John: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I love its survival of the fittest theme.

Olga: The World According to Garp by John Irving. I love the characters, how they don’t compromise themselves so they can be themselves.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Write your heart out! But make sure you give it to an editor. And: The hardest part of selling a book is selling a book. J

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Our blog, where you can read the first two chapters of WHEREWOLVES, see the book trailer and so much more.

Website: www.wherewolvestheblog.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WHEREWOLVESbook

Twitter: @WHEREWOLVESbook

 

About the Authors:

Together for over 20 years, John and Olga started as an acting team but soon began to write their own scripts for lack of finding two-person plays they could tour across North America. They wrote and toured four full-length critically acclaimed plays to packed houses across Canada and the United States, including, Bad Boy, which they performed Off-Off-Broadway at New York’s Creative Place Theatre in the heart of Times Square. In 2001, they were approached to star in and rewrite the short film, Things Never Said in Playa Perdida. Playa won the audience award at the New York Short Film Festival in 2002 and tied first place at the Festivalisimo festival in Montreal. WHEREWOLVES is their first novel.

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