Vivian Arend, Interview by Michelle M. Pillow
Vivian Arend, Interview
Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
Paranormal Author, Vivian Arend has hiked, biked, skied and paddled her way around most of North America and parts of Europe. Throughout all the wandering in the wilderness, stories have been planted and they are bursting out in vivid colour. Paranormal, twisted fairytales, red-hot contemporaries—the genres are all over. Between times of living with no running water, she tries to keep up with her husband—the instigator of most of the wilderness adventures.
Vivian's newest shapeshifter book Wolf Line: Granite Lake Wolves #5, releases in ebook June 13, 2012. It can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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Q: In your series, Granite Lake Wolves, you delve into the world of shapeshifters and you place them in an extreme northern setting. What inspired you to write this?
Vivian: In 2005 my family moved to Whitehorse, Yukon. Over the next two years I had the opportunity to travel throughout the territory and adventure into neighboring Alaska. The places are remote, lonely and yet the people who live there are there out of choice—they love it. The north truly calls to them. When I decided to try my hand at writing a story, it was natural to pick a location that had really captured my imagination—yes, there really is a Granite Lake, set off by itself in the bush of the Yukon wilderness. It’s the perfect place for a couple of wolf-shifters to go for a quiet get-away.
As the series progressed I found more locations popping up in the books—sections of the Chilkoot Tail used during the hey-days of the Gold Rush, the bays and harbours of Alaska, and even the far far north where there are current oil development and wild resource debates occurring. It’s a huge land, and yet the people who live there are so laid-back about existing on the edge of potential disaster. One-step from the grave for some of the old-timers who still trap and live alone in the bush—it was impossible to leave them out of the stories.
Q: When world building, did you base your story off of known myths throughout history?
Vivian: The Granite Lake and Takhini Wolves books are a blend of different folk lore, and also a bit of that ‘Northern Attitude’. The one that pretty much takes anything in stride. While the shifters live in secret, there are humans that know they exist. And when the occasion intermingling occurs, there’s a bit more laid-back approach.
The First Nations of Northern Canada had a lot of beliefs about the local animals and the good that they brought to the humans in their territory. It’s not that far a step to have the shapeshifters as a part of that reasoning for the good will between races.
Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal?
Vivian: I think in terms of especially the big shapeshifters like wolves, bears, etc, there are traits in the animal nature that people would love to experience in their human lives. Some of the nature is truth, some is legend and folklore all in itself.
For example, the idea of mating for life creates powerful emotional imagery. Recognizing your mate and knowing you belong together is a step beyond love at first sight because in the tradition of the shapeshifter, you know it’s a forever thing.
Q: If given the chance, would you become a shifter?
Vivian: Wow- I totally would, but picking what kind would be nearly impossible. Yes, I love wolves. But the water is an incredible place, and being able to travel through the oceans easily would make my scuba loving self very happy. Same thing with avian forms—flying and using the air swells to get from place to place? What would make me possibly give up that possibility?
So I’d be greedy. I want to be like this Mary Sue of the shifter world. I want it ALL- the ability to shift into any of the forms. And I get to keep my hubby of 25 years, okay? Then we totally have a deal.
Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a ghost or a vampire?
That would be my face. And then you’d see my footprints on the ground, and I’d be out of there so fast you’d be spinning. See, I’m a wimp. Which is why even my shifters are nice guys. And…well, okay, maybe I should slow down. Because SINCE I’m a wimp, I’m going to assume these are nice ghosts and vampires. That’s it.
So I’d have them in, we’d play a little cards. Chat for a while and maybe watch House or something. They can bunk in the barn if the ghost promises not to scare the hens into stopping laying. It would be just fine. Right?
Q: What does the future hold for the Granite Lake Wolves and the Takhini Wolves?
Vivian: There is a brand new novella coming to the Granite Lake world- the first since 2010. Wolf Line is Jared’s story, and June 13 you can find out what this Romeo of the wolfies does when trapped on a cruise ship.
Book 2 in the Takhini Wolves, Silver Mine, is coming September 11. The follow up to last year’s Black Gold continues the adventures of the group of shifters living in Whitehorse, Yukon. This time we follow a lone wolf into even more remote territory in the northern bush. Duct tape, moonshine, sarcasm—the usual when you get the wolfies together. Along with some scorching hot shifter sex. You’ve been warned!
There will be at least one more Granite Lake novella, and two more novels to complete the Takhini storyline. And then…we see!
To learn more about Vivian and her books visit www.vivianarend.com
Interview by Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com