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 Wolfsbane Mixes Wolves, Christmas

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PostSubject: Wolfsbane Mixes Wolves, Christmas   Wed 26 Nov 2008, 12:48 am

Wolfsbane Mixes Wolves, Christmas

Editor Toni L. P. Kelner told SCI FI Wire that her latest anthology, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (co-edited with best-selling author Charlaine Harris), is very high concept: It's about werewolves at Christmas.

"Charlaine and I had had one successful anthology already, Many Bloody Returns, and felt we already had an audience for another," Kelner said in an interview. "So we went back and forth on a lot of themes. My first thought was women werewolves--I wanted to call it 'That Time of the Month.' But that didn't make it past editorial. So we went back to what had worked last time--a holiday theme and a paranormal creature. Last time was vampire birthdays, and when Ginjer Buchanan [of Ace Books] suggested that Christmas books sell well, we went with werewolf Christmas."

If you pick good writers, they're going to give good stories no matter what the theme is, Kelner said. "The corollary should be that no two writers will give the same story, even with the same theme," she said. "We've got romance in Keri Arthur's 'Christmas Past' and in Charlaine Harris's 'Gift Wrap,' black humor in 'You'd Better Not Pyout' by Nancy Pickard and a brand-new take on the origin of werewolves in Dana Cameron's 'The Night Things Changed.' We had Santa Claus show up a fair amount, plus lots of reindeer, but only one story mentioned the original Christmas story."

The story that made Kelner laugh most was J.A. Konrath's "SA." "[In the story,] a man's realization that he's a lycanthrope isn't quite so glamorous as one might think--if you eat people, you get some weird poop," Kelner said. "His Santa isn't quite the jolly guy we might expect, and there's a whole range of lycanthropes, from werewolf to wereboar to werecheetah. Plus one 'were' I won't name, because I don't want to blow the laugh."

Kelner said that in urban fantasy, as opposed to horror, the appeal of the werewolf story comes from a mixture of feeling that we're missing something as we become civilized and the fear that we're all animals under the skin. "So here we have characters literally becoming animals and becoming more in tune with nature, while still maintaining humanity, or at least morality," she said. "Also, lycanthropy is apparently great for shedding inhibitions--better than a bucket of margaritas." --John Joseph Adams

SOURCE: Sci-Fi Channel


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