My third novel, DEVIL’S ROW, is available now through Severed Press. As the back jacket blurb says, “Before FERAL consumed an entire town in lycanthropic fury, werewolves stalked DEVIL’S ROW.”
That’s a none-too-subtle way of telling you that, yes, this is a prequel to my earlier werewolf novel. I decided against putting the word ‘feral’ in the title however, because while the story is connected, it’s not essential that you’ve read it.
I didn’t want to get too hung up on the idea of this being a prequel. It fits the broad definition of the word because it’s set hundreds of years before the first book, but it’s not intended to be the beginning of the story. There’s no origin for Elisabeth, for example, and DEVIL’S ROW works more as another chapter in her life. It doesn’t matter if you meet her for the first time here or in FERAL, as I think both works stand on their own despite the connective tissue.
Here’s the synopsis:
They came together for a blood hunt.
Sebastian and Timothy are thief-takers driven by the lure of money, while Garrick is a soldier pursuing malevolent forces that shouldn’t exist. All of them are eager to find the rampaging she-wolf, Elisabeth Luna.
Following her across the Holy Roman Empire and beyond, they clash on a mountaintop high above the Moldavian wilderness. Elisabeth is taken by surprise, mortally wounded and left for dead.
Both predator and prey must navigate a war-torn land where the servants of darkness have staked a claim.
For Elisabeth, it’s about taking revenge on those who’ve opposed her.
For the hunters, it’s racing toward a sanctuary that may already be beyond their reach.
Before FERAL consumed an entire town in lycanthropic fury, werewolves stalked DEVIL’S ROW.
One of the recurring complaints I receive about FERAL is that I left the ending open, too open, for a sequel. That was never my intention, although in looking back on it, I can see where readers would interpret it that way. I like the idea of keeping things vague, and for me this was a story about one of life’s many crossroads. In the end, a longtime friendship is dissolved when one of the characters chooses a life by his lover’s side. That happens to us, priorities change and our lives evolve. In hindsight, maybe I did leave the ending a little too up in the air, but that’s why.
DEVIL’S ROW grew out of a 20 page flashback that was in FERAL‘s first draft. I wound up cutting it for pacing, thinking it was best to keep the “A” story moving forward. But I liked the period setting and when I started thinking about a sequel, my original idea was to go all GODFATHER PART II with it, telling a story that was set in the past as well as the present. Soon the outline grew too large and unwieldy, and rather than write something at potentially 500-600 pages, I decided to make the period piece its own entity.
If you choose to read DEVIL’S ROW, you’ll have my eternal gratitude. If you like it, you can consider it the gateway to a larger story. If you’re already familiar with FERAL, then I hope you’ll enjoy this companion piece. Either way, there’s more to come.