Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Meet Silke Juppenlatz and Howl

When life hands you wolves — Howl.

The alpha wolf in Zalin's pack is slowing going insane, which is tough enough to contend with, but the guy is gunning for the woman Zalin loves–the rancher's daughter who saved his hide. He's torn between taking off to avoid a confrontation with the Alpha, and sticking around to protect Lucia. Opening his heart to her is not an option– he's had enough rejection to last a lifetime.

Lucia is fascinated by the "wolf" she saved–at the time unaware he was more than a canine. Zalin seems out to save her from his Alpha, but she wants more than protection from him. When spilled family secrets make her doubt everything she knows, she turns to Zalin for stability, only to learn he's planning to leave.

Will Zalin desert the one he loves when she needs him most, or will he howl a challenge on her behalf?

Writing is like the perfect solitary sport. I believe that writers, like athletes, need to be prepped and ready before they can write. What are your routines/preparations before you sit down to write?

Coffee. Must have coffee.
The headset at the ready, with music either loaded on already, or I’ll pick as I go.
I have to be alone to write. If there is someone in the room with me, I won’t put a single word down.

Do you have habits as a writer? Always outlining? Never outlining? Keep a notebook with character information?

I don’t usually outline, or only very roughly. I have a trusty moleskine notebook I use for ideas when I’m away from the computer, but if I’m at the computer, I use MS OneNote. Best.Tool.Ever. I swear by it.
(Evernote is similar, and it’s free. I just had OneNote for ages, so that’s what I use.)

What was the inspiration behind this book?

I was listening to a song called “Howl” by Florence and the Machine. Well… I’d never gone for werewolves, wasn’t really into them -- and suddenly there was Zalin, screaming I write his story. I was working on something else, so ignored the incessant noise as much as I could.

Well…he won. Howl was written inside of one week, some of the longest nights ever, all the time listening to that one song… It seemed fitting to call the story “Howl” after that little marathon.

Being that we’re now in full-out holiday mode, what would you like to ask Santa for this year? (And if you say world peace, we’re allowing the reindeer to eat your chocolate).

World peace only works for Miss World candidates, and I’m not one of those. Don't get between a girl and her chocolate. If I catch reindeer nibbling on my chocolate, it'll be "Rump of Rudolf" instead of turkey for Christmas dinner. Don't go there, I'm a carnivore. :P

As for presents, I already asked Santa, and Santa (aka Paul) granted my wish (with help from my Dad).

I’m getting my Christmas and Birthday presents for the next ten years all in one go.
His name is Oscuro del Gavilán -- and he’s a dapple grey Paso Fino, (A Colombian horse, for the non-horsey people.) A very rare breed here in the UK.

What would a reader discover in your book that excites you? (Such as, I always have characters based on us old farts but usually they’re the strangest or crudest ones. Carolyn usually includes a dinosaur or two as a small memento of her childhood.)

I like to stick as close to fact as I can. The more I can make the reader identify with the animal side of a character, without feeling alienated, the better. The same applies to other stories. I have all sorts of creatures romping around in my books, and even if it’s completely off the wall, I still try and find as many “facts” about them as I can -- but wrapped up in the world I’m building so it works seamlessly in the context. Too many people bash the reader over the head by practically reciting research text, and that’s boring. I blend it in, instead.

But I like the idea of having some little identifier in every book that ties them to me, personally. I have to give this some thought.

Did you always dream of being a writer when you grew up? Any words of advice to aspiring writers?

I wanted to be a Cowboy, or an Indian, when I grew up. (I grew up with stories about Apaches. I wanted to be one, because clearly it was very exciting. :)) Writing was just something I did because I had to. I’ve always written, always had stories bouncing around in my head. If I didn’t write them down, I’d have gone crazy. It wasn’t a case of wanting to write, it was a case of needing to, lest I go live in a padded cell. It only occurred to me very late that maybe I should try to get one published.

I have news for you: I don’t write for readers. I write because I’m telling myself a story.

Not you. Not your mother. Not your sister. Me.

I’ve been lucky that those stories appealed to the editors of two different publishing houses, as well as readers, but I have around 300 (or more) different stories on my harddrive. Most are nowhere near finished, and many will never see the light of day.

My advice to aspiring writers: Don’t use crayon on wallpaper to pen the next Great American Novel. It really annoys your parents, and it's really hard to explain why you submitted your house to read to the publisher. Trust me on this.
In all seriousness though -- the things that annoy the hell out of me as a reader are shoddy grammar, bad punctuation, misused words, spelling mistakes and repetitive phrases. It’s my absolute pet hate -- and it’ll get you nowhere with an editor or agent, either. If you can’t spell, then get someone who can to look over your work. Same goes for all the rest, like grammar and punctuation etc. Get a second opinion, a third, a fourth. Get as many as you need, and don’t dismiss advice as a load of rubbish, or as “just didn’t get it”. Because if your critique partner didn’t “get it”, then neither will a reader, or agent, or editor.

I am not a native English speaker. If I can do it, then so can those who grew up with English as a first language. To me, there is no excuse for bad spelling in the age of spell checkers.

Kicks the soap box across the room.

Sorry about that. Someone had to say it, because with the influx of bad self-published books out there, the good ones become much harder to find, and if you put out a badly edited version of your story, you’ll be building a bad name for yourself. Don’t skip the hard, or uncomfortable stuff.

Silke grew up in Germany and is used to things going bump in the night -- and it wasn't always the acrophobic cat, or someone hitting their head on a low beam on the ceiling.

She writes paranormal romance, usually at night, but these days the only thing going bump at "oh-dark-thirty" is her -- usually when she smacks into the sofa while creeping to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.

When she is not writing, she can be found on the back of her dapple gray Paso Fino, somewhere in the Surrey countryside.

Silke likes to hear from her readers.

Feel free to contact her via her blog at http://www.evilauthor.com, follow her on Twitter, look her up on Goodreads or become a friend on Facebook and G+.

Howl is available at Lyrical Press http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_31&products_id=349

and at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Howl-ebook/dp/B0056IC30Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323836643&sr=8-1


  1. I envy you your horse and would really like to see a picture. Is this breed an offshoot of the Andalusian?

    The book sounds great too, I'll be looking into that. Thanks for hanging with us, Silke.

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    There is a picture of him on my blog. :)
    Pasos are mostly of Barb ancestry, but definitely related to Spanish horses.

    Glad you like the premise of the book and thanks for having me!

  3. I have a hard time writing with people in the room as well, but I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old (who often refuses to nap), so that's not always possible. lol
    My optimal writing experience would be to write in complete silence, all by myself, with no phone around. (And most of the time with no available internet. lol)

  4. What's wrong with my using crayons on the wall? IT's worked for this long...LOL.

    Great interview!

  5. Awesome interview. You can stand on your soapbox all day long, as far as I'm concerned. I totally agree with you.

  6. Ha! Don't write on the walls. I need to tell my own kids that one...

  7. I'm with you on the coffee, but I'm okay with people in the room while I'm writing (just not hanging over my shoulder!)
    Hope Oscuro is settling in to his new home - what a brilliant Christmas present!

  8. Thank you, guys! :)
    Yeah, he's settling in. He's a total pig and likes wallowing in the mud, but he's a big chicken as well, and scared of everything right now.

    Lori, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way! I think a lot of authors are blind when it comes to their own ability, and then refuse to take constructive criticism.
    The end result is often not worth reading.

    Clarissa, I've tried to submit the crayon/wallpaper combo, but it smears badly on the scanner! And the house is too heavy to send by post. :P

    Robin, silence works for me, up to a point. Then I wonder *why* it's so silent and go investigate lol. But no internet would be good too lol.

  9. **ducks as the soapbox whizzes by my head**

    Great interview! can't wait to read HOWL.

  10. Great interview! and I love the book cover

  11. I love Howl! :)

    Great interview, as always.

    I write best in a place where there ARE people, like a coffee shop. As long as they don't talk to me, that is. At home, there are too many distractions ESPECIALLY if I'm alone. Usually a book, a cup of tea and a bubble bath...

    Whatever you do to write, keep doing it. :) You're awesome!