|Author E. D. Walker|
While I am very pleased to have E.D. Walker visiting Vampire Review for an interview, I shamelessly admit that I have not had time to read her book yet - which is a modernization of the old Beauty and The Beast tale. Because I felt my readers/subscribers might like to see what the author had to say about her book, considering how The Beast is a werewolf, I agreed to participate during E.D.'s author tour and I'm glad I did.
TAMI: Describe your book The Beauty's Beast in 5 words.
E.D.: Werewolf-knight reclaims birthright and lady-love.
TAMI: Who would you say is your targeted audience?
E.D.: Anyone who enjoys a good fantasy yarn. Any romance reader who enjoys a sweet romance. Fans of medievals, fans of werewolves, fans of knights, fans of werewolf-knights. There’s fun for everybody! ;P
TAMI: From the onset of the original novel, Beauty And The Beast, the beast is spoiled, self-centered and hot-tempered. When he finally meets true love, he begins to do some self analysis and evolves into a much less abrasive personality. Have you ever experienced or observed such negatively behaving people (in real life) who made such huge transitions on a personal level? Or does this scenario merely represent pure fantasy for you?
E.D.: I wouldn’t say the beast is still spoiled in the beginning of my book. By the time the novel starts he’s spent two years living as a wolf in the woods, so he’s already changed significantly personality-wise. It’s hard to stay spoiled when you’re scrounging for food in the forest. The psychological ground he covers within the pages of the book is more about being willing to accept his own self-worth and learning to trust again, learning to love again especially. I would say, looking at the way I myself have grown in the last few years and the way I’ve noticed other people’s perspectives shifting after life-changing events, that drastic personality change is possible, even probable, after some cataclysmic life event. And life events don’t get more cataclysmic than being trapped as a wolf and banished to the forest I would say. LOL.
TAMI: The reason I wanted to interview you for this book had to do with the nasty old ex-wife scenario (I'm a horror fan - and it's fun to hate a good villain). What inspired you to write about her?
E.D.: She was ready-made from the source material. I based The Beauty’s Beast on an old medieval poem called “Bisclavret” by Marie de France. The wicked wife can be a fun trope but I’m also very interested in motivation so in writing Alisoun (the evil wife) I tried to think what might induce someone to turn on their husband and I tried to make her more than just some teeth-gnashing villainess without believable motives. She’s still fun to hate, of course, but I tried to deepen her characterization too.
TAMI: Regarding beauty - was it easy for you to write about her perfect characteristics? Do you relate to them yourself?
E.D.: My “Beauty” is actually not physically perfect. Her “beauty” is of the internal kind which I definitely relate to more than physical perfection. The hero of the book has this to say about my heroine:
“She was not a beauty and never would be. Something in the animation of her features, though, and the compassion of her face, made her looks more appealing than mere beauty—and would certainly stand the test of time and trial better.”
In crafting my heroine I tried to steer away from the typical version of beauty which you commonly see in Beauty and the Beast retellings. My beauty is a little more like the handsome prince of fairy tales because she saves the hero in a lot of ways.
TAMI: What about werewolves inspired you to write about them?
E.D.: The duality of the werewolf mythology appeals to me. You know: man vs. beast. I also wanted to play with the idea that the boundaries between the wolf form and the man form are not as strict as people, or even my hero, at first believe. This book explores that idea that my hero, Gabriel, can actually become a better man in his wolf form than he ever was as a human.
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU AS AUTHOR
TAMI: I understand you're currently in college studying for your bachelor's degree. What's your major and why did you choose it?
E.D.: I’m studying English Literature at UC Berkeley. (Go Bears!) I chose English because reading and writing are two of my greatest passions and I really love getting into the nitty gritty analysis of themes, imagery and such from my favorite books--all the dorky academic speak that English majors drool over. I’m (finally!) graduating this spring and I’m super excited, but I will miss school. I’m a total bookworm/teacher’s pet/homework junkie.
TAMI: You write about horses in your book. Any experience as an equestrian/with horses?
E.D.: Not beyond going riding a few times at Griffith Park and being led around on my uncle’s horse when I was a little girl. One of my good friends used to ride competitively and she helped me make sure the horse-y stuff sounded right, though.
TAMI: What would you most like to tell my readers/subscribers, who will very likely relate to the outcast and downtrodden beast persona more than to any pampered elite or privileged character?
E.D.: Well, I have another book out already called Heir to the Underworld, and while there aren’t any werewolves, there is struggle and strife aplenty. Also, Greek gods. And my heroine, Freddy, feels pretty outcast when she gets thrown into the games and machinations of a bunch of ancient gods and monsters. If you want to learn more about either of my books or just stop in to say hi you can visit my website http://heirtotheunderworld.com. Thanks for having me, Tami!
TAMI: Thank you for informing my readers/subscribers about your book, E.D. Much luck to you during this author tour. I'm very glad Vampire Review was able to be a part of it!