What sparked your interest in werewolves?
I’ve never held any particular interest in werewolves as monsters. What I am interested in is the themes typically conveyed by narratives that utilize these creatures, which is primarily the monster within us all. It’s the idea that all of us are capable of unimaginable things under the right circumstances, and that humanity has both the ability and often the desire to be far scarier than any actual monster.
What spawned the idea for your story?
I wanted to create a world that mimics this idea that humanity can be the true monster by juxtaposing humans and werewolves in a distinct way. So, I began with the idea that my werewolves would be man-made super soldiers from a past war. The story begins after the war and humanity realizes it has created a new race that it must be responsible for. Of course, these humans deal with their mistakes in the usual way: pushing them from sight and trying to forget them. This reaction allowed me to address other areas of interest as well such as animal rights, Native Americans, gender issues, and racism, both between cultures and from within the same culture.
Are you a Pantser or Plotter?
A little bit of both. I outline major plot points if I’m working on a book but everything in between I try to leave as open as I can so the characters can find their own way. With stories, I usually do less plotting. I really just have a clear point or feeling I want to convey; sometimes I plan where I want to end up, sometimes I don’t. I think shorter forms allow for more freedom and movement, whereas in a book, you’ve got so many threads to play with, you really must have a pattern to work from or you’ll end up with a big ball of knots and nonsense.
Is there a soundtrack to this story?
I love this question! I always write with music and for my books, each character has their own playlist on my Spotify channel (user name Kimberly S Daniels if anyone wants to check those out). For this story, I listened to a weird mix. For Meena, because her character has a deep-seeded sorrowfulness and nativity, yet can be full of life, I played a lot of Lana Del Rey and Fiona Apple. For Akito, I listened to Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Fuel, Nirvana, and a few other bands in that vein.
Is this a familiar genre for you… or did you try something new?
Yes and no. I am a science fiction writer, but I like to borrow elements from other genres, specifically horror and mystery. So “Chimera” ended up being a SF story with some horror elements.
What is your next project?
Right now I’m working on the third installment of The Valkyrie Series, which is my dystopian/military SF series. It’s a little bit Isaac Asimov, with a side of Andre Norton, and a dash of Aldous Huxley. Book one, The Valkyrie Profiles, came out last year and book two, Flight of the Valkyrie, is due out any day now.