Please give a warm welcome to Beth Lewis, author of THE WOLF ROAD! She’s stopping by A Book and a Latte today for an interview as part of her blog tour. Check out my Q & A with Beth below, and be sure to enter the giveaway!
“An unrelenting psychological thriller of wilderness survival wrapped in a terrifying hide-and-seek game of trying to escape an unspeakable past. … Fans of suspense with a touch of horror will be pulled into Elka’s intense struggle to find peace and redemption as the whole truth is finally revealed.”
—Booklist on The Wolf Road
Q & A with Beth Lewis
1THE WOLF ROAD takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting where civilization has essentially collapsed. Modern technology no longer exists, and people have congregated in shanty towns reminiscent of the 1850s American Old West. Do you think this kind of collapse could be a real possibility for us in the future?
I think that kind of threat is always hanging over us. We rely so much on technology that if it ever stopped working, if the electricity was cut off, after a while life would naturally revert to a time before all that existed in the first place, and people born into this new world wouldn’t know any different. We’d need to rebuild and, I hope, would rebuild it better so such a collapse wouldn’t happen again.
Elka describes the blocking of unwanted memories as ‘locked doors’ that begin to open as she makes realizations about her true past. Why did you decide for it to take so long for her to see life with Trapper as it truly was?
I think people have blindspots when it comes to those they love. They stop seeing faults, they ignore those little annoyances, they make excuses. That’s what Elka does. Elka loves Trapper. He’s her only family, the closest she has to a father, so she’ll do anything she can do keep that veneer in tact. It destroys her to discover what he really is. It takes a long time to rebuild herself but she has to face her past, her demons, and him, to do it. That’s Elka’s real journey and it takes time for her realise the truth, not just about Trapper, but about herself.
It obviously took a lot of research to write The Wolf Road, including learning real wilderness survival skills. How did you get yourself into the mindset you needed to have to include all these details in your narrative?
While I was writing The Wolf Road, I felt like I was always in Elka’s mindset. Her voice is so strong that all I had to do was read a sentence or two and I was back in her head. Survival skills are so instinctual to her that they became instinctual to me when I was writing. Elka will start a fire or set a trap without thinking about it. I could have gone into far more detail about these processes than I did but it became clear early on that Elka wouldn’t go into that detail, she wouldn’t describe the minutiae of her actions unless specifically teaching someone, so neither did I.
You’ve said that you wrote around five novels in three years before you wrote The Wolf Road, which you finished very quickly. What was lacking in the stories that you wrote before and how was The Wolf Road different?
I wrote them wrong. I wrote what I thought people would want to read, rather than what I thought was best for the story. I wrote with an eye on the market, with a thought that this might sell because of XYZ. You can guess how well that worked out. In those previous novels I’d tried to follow someone else’s rules and second-guessed my decisions based what someone else may think is best. The Wolf Road was different. It was a story that forced its way into my head and wouldn’t shut up until I wrote it all down. I didn’t even think about the market, I only thought about the story and the characters and that was a revelation.
You’re a self-proclaimed television enthusiast. What movies or television shows do you love watching the most and did you get any ideas for The Wolf Road from watching television?
I actually got the idea for the whole book from a short scene in a TV show, though I’ll leave you to guess which one. I love TV and film and I’d addicted to nature documentaries and Discovery Channel. Any show on Alaska or the Yukon, survival or outdoor pursuits and I’m sold. In terms of movies, Forrest Gump, Fried Green Tomatoes, Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me, Misery, White Fang; all movies I’ll watch time and time again because they are just fantastic and each one makes me feel like I’m being told a story, rather than watching a film. I tried to inject some of that feeling into The Wolf Road. I want the reader to feel like they’re being told a story.
About Beth Lewis
Many thanks to Beth for stopping by! Readers, follow the tour (schedule below) for more chances to win, and be sure to enter the giveaway!