Alejandra: What gave you the inspiration to write a Paranormal Romance? Did you always know you wanted it to be werewolves?
Olivia: One word: Twilight. I know, I know . . . that series was cheesy and predictable and a bunch of other things, but it was completely addictive. I devoured all four books in less than a week, then bought every other book with vampires I could find. After the vamps, came the witches, the demigods, the werewolves, the faeries, and most recently the angels. I don’t have a favorite. I love them all and have planned on writing them all. Faeries and werewolves, check. Now, onto angels.
How did you decide all the pack rules the werewolves must follow?
Every species, whether human or animal, has rules. When we transgress them as humans, we are
punished with prison or fines. When animals transgress them, they are punished by ostracism or death. What makes werewolves so fascinating is that they are both human and animal, and therefore must follow both sets of rules—at least in my story. This makes for more brutal punishments and a more primal survival, in other words: it’s survival of the fittest but also of the smartest.
What was your inspiration for the three main characters: Ness, Liam, and August?
The “blueprint” of A Pack of Blood and Lies came to me before dawn over a year ago. And it didn’t start with either Ness, Liam or August, but with Ness’s parents. In that fragile moment between sleep and full consciousness, I imagined a couple all at once ecstatic and terrified because they’d given birth to a girl. And then the story grew and grew until that girl got a name, Ness (which means “miracle”), and a cousin, some friends, and of course, some enemies. Although it was her parents I’d dreamed of first, it was Ness’s story I wanted to tell. Her character was shaped by her struggle to fit in . . . which every teenager goes through. Unlike every teenager, though, Ness had to find her place not only in the human world, but also in a pack full of men who view her as both an enigma and an aberration.
Liam is a product of his parents, the boy who makes the wrong choices because he was shown the wrong way of choosing. Ness challenges him constantly, and although it takes him three books to become a better man, I think he gets there. For me, he was the most heartbreaking character to write because I wanted him to get everything—the pack, the girl, the higher morals—but I don’t write fairytales, so there is no getting everything.
Now, August. August is a protector and a provider who knows what he wants and who knows how to go about getting it—patience. He’s the sort of man who’ll put the woman he loves first, in other words, the antithesis of Liam. We may all fantasize about bad boys, but in the end, August is the sort of man most of us would rather end up with.
Do you have a favorite character and why?
Yes, and surprisingly, it’s not any of my three main characters. My favorite one is Lucas, the scarred
werewolf with a chip on his shoulder the size of a boulder and with a questionable sense of humor. He’s loyal to a fault and surprisingly deep and endearing. Since finishing the trilogy, I’ve been begged and bribed (no joke) to write a spin-off featuring him. It’ll happen, because he deserves a story, but probably not before 2020.
Did you have to do a lot of research regarding werewolves to write these books?
Whenever I embark on a new project, I look at everything that’s already been done, in other words I read and watch TV (tough job, I know), until I find an angle that’ll be different enough to spark interest but not unusual enough to lose a reader’s attention. Every shifter romance fans wants their Alpha males and their pack conflicts. As a writer, our job is to give readers what they want without failing to put our own spin on the expected tropes. So although A Pack of Blood and Lies challenges the usual male werewolf hierarchy, it doesn’t completely topple it over.
There’s this quote which I adore that goes something like: “The man is the head but the woman is the neck which spins that head in whichever direction she chooses,” and (I’ll add) which holds up that head. Even though die-hard feminists might think it wrong to settle for being a neck, I personally think it holds more power than being a head.
Ness is most definitely a neck.
What was your favorite part about writing this trilogy?
Seeing how it evolved! If you think writers know everything that’s going to happen, you’re wrong. We have some specific plot points in mind (usually, the beginning, the middle, and the end), but our characters will surprise us in their journey from point A to point B to point C.
What is to come in the future? Will you start a new project?
Next up is a New Adult angel standalone titled FEATHER featuring an epic sinner and the angel who’ll try to save him to earn the feathers missing from her wings. You can find out more about it here. If you want a sneak peak at the cover before everyone else, be sure to sign up to the link on the book’s GOODREADS page.
What is one thing I haven’t asked you but would like to share with your readers?
I want to take a minute to thank my readers for coming with me on my writing journey, for sharing their thoughts about my characters and stories (both good and bad . . . you make me glow and grow), and for taking such pretty pictures of my books and peppering them over social media.
You. Are. Valued.
About the Author:
USA TODAY bestselling author Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.
When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).
Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.
Find Her Here: