My debut novel Feral returns in a gorgeous new paperback edition courtesy of Black T-Shirt Books. For all you ereaders out there, there’s a revised version on Kindle as well. Now that we’re into October, what better time of year to dive into this bloody, unsettling tale of werewolves in a western Massachusetts town?
It’s hard to believe 2012 was five years ago. The release of my first novel feels like a lifetime ago and I’ve learned so much about the writing process since this book first hit shelves. And in reviewing the text ahead of this Black T-Shirt re-release, it was amazing to dig out all my character sheets and history notes and revisit just how much world building I’d done before writing a single word of the novel proper.
I might’ve over-prepared a little bit (or a lot, if I’m being honest). The character history sheets are thick enough to be their own book, and that’s to say nothing of the varcolac timeline and story bible that also exists. Part of me was truly impressed at my dedication while another part could only laugh at such blatant naiveté. But what the hell did I know? I’d never written a book before and assumed that everyone wrote a hundred pages of extraneous world-building ahead of the real writing.
Overkill? Probably, yeah. But a funny thing happened as I prepped Feral’s resurrection: I started to grow nostalgic for this world and its characters. And it’s not the first time. My third novel, Devil’s Row, was originally a 40 page flashback that appeared in Feral’s first draft but was cut for pacing. I liked it so much that I kept finding ways to use it after Feral was published. Finally, I combined the idea with another rumination about witch hunters tracking a mythical creature’s rampage across war-torn Europe. In some ways what came from that might be my favorite of my books.
I also found my general outline for where a Feral sequel would go. I never intended the ending to be interpreted as “to be continued,” but many readers have indicated that’s exactly how it plays. Which brings me to my next point. I’ll be monitoring the sales of Feral carefully (because I’m neurotic and do that anyway) in order to gauge interest in a potential sequel. It’s not something I’ve ever talked about in any real capacity because I was never able to measure the demand for such a thing. Now that Feral has been given a fresh start, so to speak, I’ll be doing exactly that.
And for those who haven’t read Feral and are now hesitating to jump into something that sounds uninvitingly dense: not to worry! This is a horror novel first and foremost. I wanted it to have the trappings of a long-running series so it felt like these characters have lived full lives outside the story, but it wasn’t written as “part one” in an ongoing series. I only mention all this now because relaunching the book for Black T-Shirt drudged up some wonderful memories that made me realize how much I wouldn’t mind writing another installment with these characters.
For now you can buy the book on Amazon and once you’ve finished, please consider leaving a review. It’s a great way for me to collect feedback and gauge that aforementioned interest.