Thursday Theatre #38 ~ Did somebody say…. Wherewolves ~ Author Interview & Giveaway

Posted: October 23, 2014 in giveaways, horror, Interview, reviews, Theatre Thursday, thriller
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Welcome to Thursday Theatre!

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Grab your popcorn and have a seat.

It’s time for the show!

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First up is an interview with John Vamvas and Olga Montes, authors of WHEREWOLVES.

Then I have my review and some fun videos.

There’s also a giveaway, so don’t forget to enter!

Let’s get this show on the road.

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When and why did you begin writing?

The first thing we wrote together was a two-person full-length stage play that we toured across Canada in 1994 titled Cocaine Eyes. Based on lyrics Johnny had written a few years back, we wrote it for lack of finding a two-person play that we could tour. (Cocaine Eyes was picked “Best of the Festival” in several cities.)

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How long have the two of you been writing together and will we see other books that you will coauthor?

We’ve been writing together for, wow, it’s already been twenty years! WHEREWOLVES is the first novel we’ve written – we’d previously written full-length plays. feature-length screenplays, and short films. We definitely have the narrative bug now. Yes, you can expect more from us. Right now, we’re about a third into writing the screenplay, WHEREWOLVES TOO, the sequel to WHEREWOLVES. We’ll write the novel based on the screenplay after that (like we did with WHEREWOLVES).

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Do you find it helps to write the screenplay first?

Yes, definitely! The screenplay serves as the skeleton for us. It makes us bring the story from A to Z with only being able to focus on the most important details. (It was only after having written WHEREWOLVES the novel that we knew what the characters looked like.) Writing the novel gives us complete artistic freedom; and that is even more exhilarating for us. We get to fatten up and decorate the story. We have the liberty to get into characters heads and hearts and say what on screen cannot be said.

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Do you have a specific writing style?

Perhaps because of our stage and screen writing background, where every word must count for something, you could say that our writing is fast-paced and very visual.

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This question is specifically for John, how does Olga inspire you to become a better writer?

Olga completes me. But most of all, she trusts me. She lets me push my ideas forward no matter how crazy they may be. She gets what I’m trying to say. Before I know it, she’s on the same page with me and together we shape the craziness into something solid.

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This question is specifically for Olga, how does John complement your style ow writing?

Johnny’s dialogue jumps right out of the page. It rings true, is original, and slick. I have fun writing description. I think that together we give our writing a nice balance between seeing and hearing.

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Do you two ever find it difficult to complete a specific portion of a story based on you each having ideas of how something should be played out?

No. We are extremely in tune with one another when we write. Besides, we usually let the scene write itself.

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What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part, in our opinion, was making sure that the changes in point of view were clear and flowed smoothly. Our editor, Shelley A. Leedahl, was relentless (and we love her for it); she kept scribbling “Work harder!” “Remember whose POV you’re in!” in the margins. She pushed us well beyond what we thought we were capable of.

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What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Olga sometimes looks crazy, hands stiff on the keyboard. Her face acts out the scene so she can find the right word. When she doesn’t, she hits every thesaurus site, program, and book possible until she finds it. She won’t let go of the keyboard until then.

When we get stuck on a scene, Johnny goes out on to the patio and paces until he suddenly visualizes the characters. He then listens to them intently, races down to the office and says, “Move over!” He types away—completely disregarding spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

He’ll also wake me up in the middle of the night after a dream and say, “Let’s go write.”

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This question is for you both individually. Who is your biggest supporter and why?

Olga: I’d have to say Johnny is my biggest supporter. He knows how to bring out my creative best. He lets me run with ideas. He gives me the confidence and push needed to write.

John: Olga is my biggest supporter. I grew up in a tough neighborhood – gangs and such – and never graduated high school. Olga has always seen my potential and believed in my creativity.

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If you had to choose one word to describe your coauthor what would it be?

Olga re John: Einstein – Frankenstein

John re Olga: WordFiend

(okay, we cheated, that’s two words each J)

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What advice would you give to new authors just coming out?

No matter how brilliant you think your writing is, hire an editor. One with experience—or at least a degree—who knows what s/he’s doing. It will make your novel that much more brilliant. Yes, family and friends can act as beta readers and give you great constructive criticism but not all will be able to spot point-of-view mistakes, inconsistencies, redundancies, etc. Agreed, it can be a little expensive, but, honestly, it’ll be worth every penny.

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to get to know us. If you’d like to know more about our work or to read the first two chapters of WHEREWOLVES, please visit our website: www.wherewolvestheblog.com

Cheers!

Olga and John

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WW Cover - realistic

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My Review

I’m a huge fan of B- movies and this reads like a good one. As I read each scene I easily and gleefully visualized it, every bloody bit of it.

A group of troubled teens are taken into the woods for a survival weekend. The teacher leaves them to fend for themselves. I know. Seen ir or read it before…. you think.

The author brings a lot to the table, introducing you to the characters which consist of the typical jocks, bullies, and geeks. You get to know what drives them, what scares them, before they even enter the woods that night.

As dark approaches, they huddle around the campfire telling stories. It might not be a cozy gathering, but things aren’t too bad. Until they sense something watching them.

This is where the story gets gritty. I love character driven novels and how, when a group is faced with a life or death situation, the dynamics come into play. It takes just a few hours for the fight or flight instincts to consume the teens and chaos to reign once some of the group go missing.

The screaming and snarling from the deep dark of the woods scatters the group and they fear each other as much as what’s stalking them.

The authors brought it all to the table, the fear of the dark, the peer pressure, the teen angst, and the will to survive. This book may have teen characters, but I don’t think there’s much difference between how they acted and a group of adults would act. If you’ve watched Stephen King’s The Mist, you can see how quickly adults succumb to their own fears. In fact, I think the teens might be better prepared for something like this. They aren’t that far from when they feared the bogey man under the bed and may be quicker to believe the unimaginable.

From the title you get a clue to what’s stalking these teens. Feral beasts from your nightmares. These aren’t shifters. They don’t turn into humans and they are horrific in their maniacal glee as they rampage through the group.

I knew what was waiting out in the woods, I knew not everyone would survive, and I knew some would turn on each other and that filled me with trepidation, built the tension to a fever pitch, and had me jumping when my dog suddenly barked at something outside. His own special effects to set the mood for me.

I just love a good werewolf book without the shifter glamour and romance. It was a bloody frolic right to the deliciously wicked ending.

5 STARS

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A little treat for ya!

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Synopsis

Using a fun, explosive style, full of new slang and fresh dialogue, WHEREWOLVES is the story of a group of high school seniors, most “military brats”, who are headed for an army-type survival weekend.

The underdogs, Jeffrey and Doris, do not want to go as they fear for their safety among the disdain and cruelty of the popular students. Sergeant Tim O’Sullivan, their teacher, as well as their dysfunctional parents pressure them into going, but it is an unforgivable act by their peers that propels the pair to go. Likewise, Elie, a student resented because of his Arab roots, is even more determined to prove himself this weekend. In the background, a news report cautions of a wanted couple with alleged super-human strength supposedly brought on by a new drug on the streets.

In the woods, the students hike, hunt, camp, and soon act in unity as the forest brings them closer together. But does it? O’Sullivan leaves them alone for the night. The students bond, chant, tell campfire tales, and quickly lose their fears and inhibitions. HOO-AH! Though sexual tensions are high, it soon turns to violence and everything quickly turns sour.

When the kids start disappearing one after the other, the remaining begin to unwittingly “act like the natives” carving spears, ready to face whatever is out there. What has gotten into them?

Amid the blood-curdling growls and the gruesome deaths, the story’s underlying layers are revealed. We see how misconceptions, prejudice, greed, fear, and hatred bring out the worst and best in them.

What is out there? Can it really be werewolves?

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About the Authors

Wherewolves J&O CD2

“BANG-ON DIALOGUE. Vamvas and Montes make it look, sound, smell real.” The Edmonton Journal

“IMPRESSIVE TALENT in this writing/producing/acting team”, The Winnipeg Free Press

“Montes and Vamvas continue to demonstrate their skills with SWITCHBLADE-SHARP EARS FOR DIALOGUE and hard, thoroughly believable plot lines.” The Sunday Journal

“A SEXY and EXPLOSIVE style that pulls the patrons forward to the edge of their seats”, The Edmonton” Journal

“RAZOR-SHARP LINES” SEE Magazine

Wherewolves Scarpe Review Edmonton Sun

Together for over 20 years, John and Olga started as an acting team but soon began to write their own scripts for lack of finding two-person plays they could tour across North America. They wrote and toured four full-length critically acclaimed plays to packed houses across Canada and the United States, including, Bad Boy, which they performed Off-Off-Broadway at New York’s Creative Place Theatre in the heart of Times Square.

Wherewolves Bad Boy 2

 

In 2001, they were approached to star in and rewrite the short film, Things Never Said in Playa Perdida. Playa won the audience award at the New York Short Film Festival in 2002 and tied first place at the Festivalisimo festival in Montreal.

 

WHEREWOLVES was written as a screenplay in 2010. They wrote the novel, edited by award winning Canadian author/poet, Shelley A. Leedahl, to get the story out while they wait for it to hit the screens.

 

Author John Vamvas

John Vamvas

John Vamvas grew up in one of Montreal’s (Canada) roughest boroughs. His high school teachers always told him that he’d be in jail or dead by eighteen. Thank God for the Arts. Actor, playwright, screenwriter and now novelist, he has been writing with his writing partner/wife, Olga Montes, for over twenty years. He loves words, especially dialogue, and has a lot of fun coming up with new ways to say the same thing.

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Author Olga Montes

Olga Montes

Mother, preschool French teacher, avid reader, Olga dreamed of being a writer as a child and spent many high school lunch hours working on her writing with her English teacher. She has a college degree in Professional Theatre and a university degree in Spanish and French grammar and literature. She was on her way to becoming a translator for the UN when she heard of an open audition at one of Montreal’s biggest theatres. She almost didn’t get the role, though, because the director and co-star, John Vamvas, was scared of falling in love with the actress and ruining the play. That was 1992. She and John have been writing and working together on stage, screen, and in life ever since.

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I have two eBook copies of Wherewolves to give away!

To enter, pleasure leave your email address so I can contact you if you win and watch the video below to answer this question:

“Which werewolf transformation do you think is the best or tell us your favorite?”

Giveaway ends October 31st.

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Happy Halloween and thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

To see all of my giveaways click on the werewolves below and Good Luck!

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Comments
  1. I don’t have a favorite, but as I watched the videos, I kept thinking of Supernatural, which I am watching right now. LOL This sounds like a book I would love too and that cover. To die for! LOL

    • fuonlyknew says:

      There was a clip from the show I almost used. That’s so funny you mentioned it!
      You’d love this one. Remember The Dark Horde. Reminds of that in suspense and malevolence. These wolves are nothing but nasty!

  2. I think the ware transformation in Werewolf in London was the scariest one I’ve seen. However, the shows Being Human in UK and US did a terrific job! I’m a HUGE fan of Being Human in US and UK, and I love the Were in both of them! Such great actors! But I love the premise of the book and your review was awesome Laura, so this is DEFINITELY on my TBR!!! The cover is great too, as Sherry pointed out. Lots of love, Emily guido.emily@gmail.com

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You won’t want to go camping ever again after reading this one. LOL
      One I liked but couldn’t find was from The Howling where she turns into a werewolf on the evening news broadcast.

  3. Denise Z says:

    I am not one to enjoy straight horror and I think The American Werewolf in London with the bits of humor is preferable. The transformations in both films are really well done, perhaps because AWIL is a more modern take it is easier to relate to. I do have to admit in my reading I really enjoy both the vamps and the weres, especially if there is a good tale to go along with the shifting and blood sucking :) Thank you for the fun. I loved the music video as well and had to share that and this fun post!
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Thanks for sharing! There are so many transformations to choose from. I think AWIL is a favorite because it set the bar at that time and really creeped me out! LOL

  4. Always loved the transformation in American Werewolf in London. Frankerrington@hotmail.com

  5. So many transformations to choose from! I don’t have a favorite, but George from Being Human (UK) seemed to be the most stark. Very painful to watch. The brother in Cursed added some comedy.

    dharkcharlotte@gmail.com

  6. Liam SW says:

    I found the transformation in _An American Werewolf in London_ the better of the two. The one in the _Howling_ seemed more genetic demon. zhosh at pobox dot com

  7. Lisa Sandberg says:

    I liked the transformation scene from The Howling better.
    I am team Edward! :-)

  8. American Werewolf in London – lyndajdickson at gmail dot com

  9. Daniel M says:

    i like the ones in twilight