Who’s Afraid – Sexy Adult Werewolfiness – Author Q&A and Giveaway!
If you follow my social media, you will know that I thoroughly enjoyed Who’s Afraid by Maria Lewis. A kickass werewolf story with a strong female lead; no cheesiness and a real ‘True Blood’ vibe.
Loved every page and if you like a fast paced read with meat on its bones, then I thoroughly suggest you grab a copy of this book!
I was pretty lucky to get some time for a quick Q&A with Maria before the big book launch where she revealed a little more about Who’s afraid.
Read the Q&A and click below for a chance to win a signed copy. You lucky pups!
Warning: You may become nervous at the sight of a full moon, or the smell of wet dog!
I LOVE that Tommi is a strong female character without any cheesiness, or a whiff of damsel in distress. She has her shit well and truly together. There aren’t a lot of ‘were-women’ in books and certainly not in movies, it certainly seems a male dominated breed. Was this part of the reason you chose a werewolf as her supernatural being?
Firstly, I’m so glad that you love her as much as I do! That’s one of the things I have been so nervous about as it has gotten closer to release, but people seem to be responding really well to Tommi and getting her, which is everything to me. As for the werewolf thing specifically, it came from two very clear places. I grew up in a quite rural area of New Zealand on a farm where you could see snow-capped mountains out the window – the whole deal. To add to it, my grandfather used to tuck me in bed at night and tell me stories about werewolves that lived in the mountains. It really captured my imagination from a young age and spawned a lifelong obsession with lycanthropy and depictions of werewolves, whether that was on screen, in novels or the pages of a comic book. The other aspect was exactly what you mentioned: wanting to see a female werewolf. There are a few around, but majority of the time they’re either invisible or the off-to-the-side werewolf girlfriend of a more central character. Historically speaking in pop culture female werewolves are few and far between and I honestly believe it’s because there was this misconception that women can’t inhabit that kind of monstrous physicality the way men can. Which is trash, because who understands turning bloody and ferocious a few days a month more than women? So in a way, Tommi was a direct answer to that: I wanted not only a female werewolf, but one that reflected the classic horror ideals of what a werewolf is. Also, on a related note, book one is very much Tommi Grayson’s story but, as the world and characters expand in later books, she is by no means the only female werewolf we get to spend time with.
The soundtrack is woven perfectly into the book and really helped me to get a grip on Tommi as a character and also convey the mood and tone of a situation. Is this your music collection threaded through the pages, or purely Tommi’s playlist?
Ha, I’m so glad you picked up on that as music is a pretty crucial part of my writing process. It’s a combination of both: none of the music referenced in the novel is something I dislike, it’s all songs and albums and bands that I adore but that also fit within the character and world I’ve created as being distinctly ‘Tommi’. Music is a great way for an audience to distinguish between the personal tastes and differences of characters. Tommi and Joss – despite being best friends – have very distinct musical preferences that don’t always line-up. I’m also a person who writes from a visual place, often sketching scenes first and then describing what I’ve drawn or imagining angles and shots in my head as to how it would play out. Almost always there’s a specific song I have in mind when doing this and I can chart the whole of Who’s Afraid? with specific tracks. Plus, my favourite pop culture and the work that has been most seminal to me growing up has always had music as a very visible character, like the films of Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright. As for my own personal tastes, they’re super eclectic and range from indie rock and punk, to hip hop and musical theatre so I’d be kinda curious to know what Tommi would think of my music collection. There’s a lot of Mariah Carey, so not sure how that would gel with her hehe. (Note: I actually have a Who’s Afraid? playlist on Spotify with you can check out and I add to it on the regular. There’s also playlists for the other books as I work on them, so you can get a taste of the tone I’m heading in https://open.spotify.com/user/1242659949/playlist/0beTfhzp4aJeyKIG09akPM )
You have this amazing knack of smacking the reader right in the face with a sudden burst of danger, energy or sexy time! This certainly kept me turning the pages, at some points the pace was racing as fast as Tommi’s were-heart! Was that a conscious decision, to maintain the pace of the book? Or did you naturally go where Tommi led you?
It was less a case of Tommi leading me in that direction and more me trying to recreate the kind of books I liked to read. To be honest, Who’s Afraid? won’t win a Pulitzer or anything but my main aim was to make it an entertaining and exciting book that people could tear through in a few days. I love those kind of event-based novels where you feel almost puffed by the time you turn the last page, so if people experience that with Who’s Afraid? and the characters stay in their heads after they’ve put the book down then I’ll be positively chuffed.
Does Tommi ever get to Berlin? If Lorcan does ever find himself alone, feel free to send him my way!
Hahaha look, I’ll get Lorcan’s people to call your people kay *wink*. Yes! She does get to Berlin, infact, besides the second chapter, the whole second book is set deep in Berlin and the Berlin scene which was so so so much fun to write. It’s one of my favourite cities in the world and it’s so artistically, socially, sexually and culturally progressive that I loved getting to plant Tommi into that environment where I think she really thrives. Plus, I’m really keen for people to meet The Rogues as Who’s Afraid? – being such a personal, contained story about Tommi – didn’t afford a lot of opportunity to expand that roster of characters a great deal. But by book two, tentatively titled Who’s Afraid Too?, she’s balls-deep in the supernatural universe and exposed to everything in a way she wasn’t in the first. The Rogues are also a diverse mesh of personalities and people and abilities, all loosely inspired by the group of friends I ran around Berlin with who were a posse of artists and rebellious free thinkers and activists. The music scene in Berlin too is rich and I was able to insert some local bands that I’ve seen perform there into scenes, which was rad.
Already wondering what’s next for Tommi, can’t wait to find out. Thank you for such a fast paced, adult, sexy look at Werewolfiness with a badass female lead!
Thank you so much for embracing it! Many happy full moons! #DuffyrhymeswithBuffy
Wanna get your were-teeth into this book? Click here for a chance to win a signed copy!
Who’s Afraid is out now at all good bookshops, or buy online at Book Depository!
Big thanks to Hachette for giving me the opportunity to see this book first and to get a Q&A with Maria!
Maria’s Social Media