hello everyone I’m delighted to be back with another author interview on my blog and this time it’s another author of one of my favorite books of last year, For The Wolf. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should definitely check it out since it was a fantastic read for me and the description is just below! If yu have, here’s some more insight into he author’s creation process and feeling towards the series and what she loves most about it along with some recommendations for books to read next! And even if you haven’t this interview does not have any major spoilers so feel free to read ahead!
For The Wolf
By Hannah Whitten
Age Group: Adult
Content/Trigger Warnings: parental emotional abuse and neglect, anxiety, panic attacks, audio & visual hallucinations, self harm (cutting), blood, vomiting, death of a loved one, violence and gore, religious trauma/ abuse
The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.
For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.
I would describe For The Wolf as a sort of mash up retelling of Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast, would you agree with this description? How would you describe For The Wolf and For The Throne in a sentence respectively?
WOLF is definitely a mashup of a bunch of different fairytales—I wanted to make a story that felt like many other stories could have come from it. THRONE is less of a fairytale reimagining and more of its own thing, but the fairytale influences are definitely still there!
The Wilderwood is complicated and it changes and shifts a lot through the book and I loved getting to know more about it! How/ When did you first come up with it and how has it since changed as you continued to write and expand on this story?
The idea of the Wilderwood as a character in and of itself actually came about a bit later in the process, like draft 3! As I was revising and refining the story, it became clear that the Wilderwood needed to have its own “voice,” and that everything worked better when it was an active participant instead of just the setting. This is pretty typical for me—things that become integral to the story sometimes take a while to show up. It’s one of the reasons I love revising so much, because finding the element that makes everything come together feels like magic.
I loved exploring the bargains that were made with the Wilderwood and learning the backstories of Lyra and Fife. What inspired you to come up with these bargains and have these additional characters living in the woods?
Lyra and Fife were around from the very first draft! I didn’t want Eammon to be completely alone; it was important to me that he have a found family who had come together through awful circumstances and found community and friendship with each other. WOLF is very much about trauma and grief and breaking cycles, and I wanted to have multiple perspectives on those topics present within the Wilderwood.
I loved the relationship between the twins and seeing how different they were from each other. Which of them do you find it easier to write from the perspective of and why?
Red was probably easier to write, but Neve is always the one I’ve related to the most. It was difficult to find her voice, because her perspective is often hard to sympathise with (in WOLF, at least), but that made getting her right all the more rewarding.
I also loved the romance between Red and the Wolf. What was your favourite scene of theirs to write?
All of their more romantic scenes were so much fun—the tower will always be a favorite—but the scene of theirs I love the most is the thread bond.
What themes did you like exploring through this duology the most?
Choice, consent, and consequences. I wanted to make a story where everyone is very clearly making their own decisions, and having to deal with the fallout when those decisions are bad. At the same time, I wanted it to be a space in which redemption is always an option, and where just because you mess up, you aren’t a lost cause. For all their “darkness,” I really hope that the strongest feeling the Wilderwood duology leaves you with is hope.
Now that this duology is over, what are your next writing plans? Is there anything about them you can share with us?
Right now I’m working on THE FOXGLOVE KING, which is the first book in my new trilogy, The Nightshade Crown! It’s a totally new story in a completely new world, and I’m really excited to share it with y’all. The first book will be out from Orbit in March 2023!
Lastly, what’s a book you would recommend to fans of For The Wolf?
I have a bunch! Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid, Into The Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer, and Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hannah Whitten has been writing to amuse herself since she could hold a pen, and sometime in high school, figured out that what amused her might also amuse others. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, making music, or attempting to bake. She lives in an old farmhouse in Tennessee with her husband, children, two cats, a dog, and probably some ghosts.
Thank you to Hannah for coming over for this interview and to you all for reading it! I had a great time thinking of these questions and reading Hannah’s answers.
Have you read For The Wolf? What did you think of it? How excited are you for For The Throne?