Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: April Bostic, Author

April Bostic says THE HOWLING HEART is primarily a romance—with a unique kind of werewolf. She enjoys werewolves and shapeshifters but intended for hers to be different and to support the romance in her story.  She also believes that although werewolves are involved, it’s important that the main characters be relatable to the reader. One reviewer says, “This is the top of my list for paranormal.”

THE HOWLING HEART is Bostic’s second novel, and she has also published several short stories—adult romances frequently with a supernatural twist. When she’s not writing, she’s dreaming about one of her stories being made into a film, playing computer games, or spending time with her family.



Q: Your book, THE HOWLING HEART, features werewolves. How did you become interested in writing about werewolves? Do you consider THE HOWLING HEART primarily a romance, thriller, or ????

April Bostic: I was inspired to write THE HOWLING HEART after watching the film “Blood and Chocolate” and the television series “Wolf Lake”. I’ve always enjoyed werewolves and shapeshifters, and these are two of my favorites because of how the werewolves were portrayed. I decided to try my own take on werewolf mythology when I wrote my book to see if I could create something unique that I’d never heard or seen before. I’m also a hopeless romantic, so there was no question in my mind that the book would primarily be a romance story.

Q: Fans and readers of shape-shifters appreciate your approach to “a different side of werewolves” and say it’s “not your typical werewolf story.” How is THE HOWLING HEART different from a typical book on werewolves? What makes it unique?

April Bostic: I think THE HOWLING HEART is unique, because my werewolves are actually wolves that can take human form instead of vice versa. They are born wolves and must sleep as wolves. They have to learn how to take human form when they’re young. They are not a wolf-human hybrid. Their origin is unique in that they’re descended from a wolf in 13th century Scandinavia that was blessed by Norse gods with the ability to take human form. The reason he was blessed is also unique, because it began from a long-term bond and love for a human. I even think their name---Varulv—is unusual. It’s the Danish and Swedish translation for ‘werewolf’.

Q: How do you create credibility for your werewolf characters? How do you engage readers to care about them? Are there any rules for making a paranormal story credible? Or perhaps it doesn’t matter?

April Bostic: I think it’s important to make the main character relatable to some readers. I also think it’s key to ground some of the story in reality. Authors of this genre ask their readers to suspend disbelief, but I think there needs to be some reality so it’s balanced. Otherwise, the story becomes too unbelievable and over the top. That’s when some readers have a lot of questions because things don’t make sense. I understand that some things in the paranormal universe can defy logic, but again, there should be a balance where the author explains how certain things are possible.

Q: Reviewers say they “couldn’t put it down!” What makes them want to keep turning the page?

April Bostic: It’s good a feeling to know I kept some readers engaged in the book. I hope they couldn’t put it down, because they enjoyed my writing style, and that I wrote enough action and suspense to keep them wondering “What’s going to happen next?”

Q: How helpful was the setting (a small village) to telling your story? Would it have been the same type of story if set in New York City, for example?

April Bostic: Most Varulv live in small, isolated communities because it’s safer for them and humans.  There aren’t any packs living in big cities because it increases the risk of exposure and humans discovering their secret. Especially with pups who really have no self-control. It’s not a good idea to let them socialize with humans when they’re still learning to control their shifting. Varulv live in close-knit packs so they can protect one another and elude humans if the situation arises. I don’t think THE HOWLING HEART would’ve been as effective if Paige discovered a pack in her city. The city is too familiar for her. The setting had to put her out of her comfort zone to the point she feels helpless and has to rely on werewolves to survive.

Q: Did you write THE HOWLING HEART strictly to entertain, or did you embed a few messages in it?

April Bostic: I don’t think I intentionally embedded any messages, but if anyone can take something valuable from the story, then I think that’s wonderful. I wrote THE HOWLING HEAERT to share with others and entertain those who enjoy a good romance!

Q:  Does the concept of “heroes vs villains” apply to THE HOWLING HEART? How would you define an effective villain?

April Bostic: I definitely think the conflict of heroes vs villains comes into play.  With THE HOWLING HEART, Paige sees one person as a villain who turns out is really not. The person who is the true villain doesn’t reveal themselves until later. I think an effective villain is to not make them obvious from the beginning. Make the villain intriguing for the reader. Many characters in my book are not always who they seem to be. I also made sure not to fall into the cliché of the male always being the hero and rescuing the “damsel in distress”. There are moments when female characters display very brave and heroic characteristics.

Q: Would you recommend THE HOWLING HEART to those who do not typically read paranormal or space-shifter literature? Why or why not?

April Bostic: I would recommend my book to anyone who enjoys adult romances, because even without the paranormal element, the story is mainly a romance. The fact that there are werewolves and Norse gods doesn’t distract too much from the main theme of the story. I don’t think the story is about werewolves; it’s about two people who met as children and one of them fell in love and never stopped wishing for them to be reunited so they could be together forever.

Q:  What’s next? Will you be writing more paranormal or romance novels?

April Bostic:  I have an idea for another paranormal romance novel, but it’s in the early stages. I’ve also been considering a sequel to THE HOWLING HEART, because I feel there could be more story to tell my readers. I haven’t published a book in two years, and it’s difficult to get my creative juices flowing again. It takes a lot to motivate me to write, so I really have to find something to give me the push I need.

Q: Tell us about April Bostic. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

April Bostic: I’m a big dreamer, and I find myself dream-casting my characters when I watch movies and television programs. My mother is the only other person who does this, because she’s read all my books. We like to choose different actors and actresses and talk about why they’d be a good fit to play a certain character. I think the main reason we do this is because we’d both love to see one of my stories get adapted for film one day. I’d say that’s probably my biggest dream. I think THE HOWLING HEART would make an amazing movie…with the right director of course! When I’m not writing, you’ll usually find me watching television, spending time with my family, or playing computer games. I’m a very laid back person.

About April Bostic

April Bostic is a New Jersey-based, Adult Romance author who enjoys unleashing her creativity and letting her imagination run wild. Her love of romance books inspired her to become not just a reader, but also a writer. In December 2008, she self-published her first novel, a contemporary romance with a supernatural twist entitled "A Rose to the Fallen".

Her first short story, "Right Here, Right Now", released in January 2012, is an erotic romance with a dash of S&M. The following year, she released two more short stories: a romantic urban fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche entitled "Eros, My Love", and a sexy romantic comedy entitled "Love Addiction".

After five years, she released her second novel, "The Howling Heart" in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods. To end her busiest year in publishing, April also released her fourth short story in December 2013, a historical paranormal romance entitled "A Dark Scandal".

About THE HOWLING HEART

Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.

Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv---wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.

Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for interviewing me. The questions were fun!

    ReplyDelete