What do you do with a PhD in history? Write fantasy fiction, of course.
Andrea Cremer (pictured) did that in her debut novel, Nightshade. She used her scholarship and research to incorporate social issues about gender, power struggles, and sexuality into her book. We caught up with Andrea to find out a little bit more.
Q: Nightshade is about a werewolf. How do you stick to conventional werewolf canon and mythology and how do you deviate?
A: One of the things about Nightshade that I think is really different is that it’s described as a werewolf book, but I often tell people it’s not a werewolf book because it does break so much from werewolf convention. I grew up in the north woods of Wisconsin. I’m literally right on Lake Superior and in the middle of a national forest, so the wilderness to me was something that was really wonderful. I spent most of my days as a young girl out making up imaginary worlds and imaginary people with my brother and my best friend in the forest. That was the way we liked to spend our days.
Wolves and other wild animals to me were always fascinating; they weren’t something that were scary or monstrous, they were just cool. And so, I never pictured myself actually liking werewolves in terms of people picking teams for either vampires or werewolves. In all my reading, I had always firmly been in the vampire camp. I couldn’t figure out why it was that I didn’t like werewolves.