On Tuesday, February 19th the lastest Supernatual novel from Titan Publishing, "Fresh Meat" by Alice Henderson was released. I was fortunate enough to ask the author a few questions about the novel in joint interview with the Supernatural Legend fan site in Italy.
Ms. Henderson has quite a background with science fiction and wildlife, among other things. Below is the biography from her website:
Alice Henderson has long been fascinated with the art of writing fiction. She wrote her first stories when she was only six, tales of horror, science fiction, and hard-boiled private investigators. She wrote her first novel at age eleven. She suspects that novel, tired of lurking in a drawer for so long, will one day make its escape and purchase a small Pacific island where it will build a secret, impenetrable fortress as part of an evil plot to take over east Des Moines.
After earning her B.A. in writing with a minor in earth sciences, she won an award for her short story "The Playmate" from the National Honor Society Literature Competition for Young Writers. She went on to earn her master's degree in mythology and paleoclimatology. She then began her professional writing career when she went to work for LucasArts, Ltd. There she wrote material for a number of video games including Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and Star Wars: Battle for Naboo.
In 2001, she became a full-time freelance writer and continues to write fiction, video game material, and comics. In 2010, she was one of twelve writers selected to attend Launchpad, a NASA-funded writing workshop aimed at bringing accurate science to fiction.
Trained as a wildlife rehabilitator, Alice also works with bears, coyotes, raptors, songbirds, river otters, and more. She helps orphaned and injured wildlife, which is then re-released when older and healthy.
Alice loves music and plays the piano and composes her own electronic music. She also loves to travel, and has done so extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Her love of wild places inspired her novel Voracious, which takes place in the stunning backcountry of Glacier National Park.
Of all the sci-fi/fantasy in the television landscape, why did you choose to do a Supernatural novel?
AH: I've been watching Supernatural since it first aired, and love the folkloric aspect of the show. I have a master's degree in folklore, and my graduate research focused on mythological creatures. Writing a novel for Supernatural was not only perfect for my background, but I very much enjoy the characters and action of the show.
Why did you choose a story set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe? Is there any particular inspiration for revisiting the Wendigo legend?
AH: I've spent a lot of time in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and have long thought it would be a dramatic setting for a novel. This is where the Donner Party endured their unfortunate winter and resorted to cannibalism. Much of their party died. It was a rich, historical background in which to place a wendigo. It also can be a very dangerous landscape, especially during a blizzard. And the wendigo isn't the only creature lurking the forest there.
There are a lot of thrilling action sequences taking place through a major blizzard. What was it like crafting those scenes?
AH: Thank you! I did a lot of research about adventurers who have been lost in blizzards, suffered hypothermia, and been exposed to extreme temperatures and avalanches. Writing the scenes for the book was very tense and cathartic.
Is there any particular inspiration behind the title? What was appealing about â€œFresh Meat?â€
AH: My publisher and the licensor actually suggested Fresh Meat, and I agreed. We passed a few ideas around before settling on that one. We wanted something that would hint at the carnivorous nature of the monster.
What sort of continuity research needs to go into these tie-in novels? Do you find having encyclopedic knowledge of the show youâ€™re writing about is a requirement? Have you had any fans raise continuity issues?
AH: Having in-depth knowledge of the show certainly is helpful. Not only do I have to be true to the characters and how they talk and act, but I also need knowledge of what's going on in the season in which my book takes place. I have to know the right frame to put the characters in, to know what is troubling them and what their states of mind are. Thankfully, no fans have brought up continuity issues, and in fact, reviews have complimented my being so faithful to the show.
Are you a fan of the show? â€œFresh Meatâ€ takes place during season seven, when Bobby was still alive (so glad you could work him into the story). Did you like season seven? What do you think of season eight on the air now?
AH: I am a fan of the show. I've enjoyed every season they've aired. Season Seven was a fantastic mix of action, humor, and tragedy. I was very happy that I was able to use Bobby, as he is a favorite character of mine. Season Eight is very tense and the information Kevin is translating is quite intriguing. The Benny/Dean friendship is captivating. I'm really enjoying Season 8.
What do you think about Supernatural fans and fansites dedicated to a TV show? Are these fans usually supportive of your work?
AH: When shows really capture the hearts of fans, I think it's fantastic. People pour their love of the show into the creation of these very detailed fansites. Supernatural fans have been extremely supportive of Fresh Meat.
You have also written a few Buffy The Vampire Slayer novels. How different is writing Supernatural verse vs. Buffy verse?
AH: I found the process quite similar. In both cases, I was already very familiar with the show. The publisher would contact me first. I'd come up with a plot, and the licensor and publisher would then approve it after any changes are discussed. I'd write the novel, the licensor would sign off on it, and then it would be published. In the case of Buffy, I worked with Twentieth Century Fox Film, and they were an absolute pleasure to deal with. Likewise, the folks at Warner Bros. were very kind and wonderful to work with. In both cases, the fans of the shows were very supportive.
Do you know someone of Supernatural Cast or crew or have you met any?
AH: I haven't met any of the cast or crew in person, but I've tangentially crossed paths with a few of them at events like Comic-Con, where I've done book signings and panels, and they are there to promote the show.
Would you like to write another Supernatural novel someday?
AH: I'd love to write another Supernatural novel. Fresh Meat was a delight to write and I really enjoyed getting into the heads of the characters and putting them in some suspenseful situations.
I want to thank Alice Hendersen for her taking time to answer our questions. For anyone who wants to know more about "Fresh Meat," check out my review:
For those interested in purchasing this latest novel, here's the link from Amazon.com!