Interview with Brian P. Easton Author of Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter Book Series

Today interviews Brian P. Easton, author of the Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter Series. Here is the Amazon Link. ISBN-13: 978-1618686466, Kindle ASIN: B003TU2IV2.

About the Book:

Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter follows the life of Sylvester L. James from adolescence into his sixties. We watch him grow from a misguided orphan into a borderline sociopath for the sake of his feud against the Beast. We see him suffer some terrible agonies and give some back in his bloody pursuit of vengeance, and we root for him in spite of his violence because we know violence is what it takes to fight with monsters. It’s the very thing Nietzsche warned us about—gazing into the abyss and all that.

It takes more than silver bullets to kill a werewolf. 

Sylvester James knows what it is to be haunted. His mother died giving birth to him and his father never let him forget it; until the night he was butchered by a werewolf–the night a full moon ruined his life.

Alone in the world, Sylvester is taken in by Michael Winterfox, a Cheyenne mystic. Winterfox, once a werewolf hunter, trains the boy to be a warrior–teaching him how to block out pain, stalk, fight, and kill.

Bit by bit all that makes Sylvester human is sacrificed to the hunt. Now, Sylvester’s hatred has become a monster all its own, robbing him of conscience and conviction as surely as the Beast’s bite. As he follows his vendetta into the outlands of the occult, options become scarce. And he learns it takes more than silver bullets to kill a werewolf…

To kill a werewolf, it takes a hunter with a perfect willingness to die.

Book Video Trailer:

About the Author

The son of a Southern Illinois pastor, Brian P. Easton grew up a fan of classic horror films during the 70’s. His favorite was The Wolfman.

When I was a baby, my mother used to rock me while watching Dark Shadows. I cut my teeth on a steady diet of Creature Feature and Night Gallery, the old school Universal Monsters and spaghetti westerns. I started writing when I was ten, after I was given a hand-me-down Royal typewriter.”

He’s studied the occult since 1985 and took a degree in anthropology to further his research. His first two novels were finalists in the 2003 & 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

I’m a sucker for tragedy and anti-heroes. Even the most unscrupulous character can become the good guy when pitted against an evil greater than himself. My novels feature such a protagonist and deliver an autobiographical account of the awful price of hatred. It tells the life story of Sylvester James whose life is tragically altered by a marauding werewolf, and what happens when he hardens his heart to vengeance. As he becomes a man, he learns that it takes more than just silver bullets to kill a werewolf…it demands a perfect willingness to die.  A prequel series chronicling the life of Sylvester’s mentor is currently underway.

Now the Interview Questions:

Question: What was your one favorite thing about each book: Book 1 Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter, Book 2 Heart of Scars, Book 3 the Lineage?

Answer: The first book will always be my favorite. Not because it’s necessarily better than the others, but because I was an author at his typewriter (and later keyboard) for the very first time. I was just building my characters and teaching myself how to do all this crazy research; the Vietnam War, the Canadian government and its penal system etc. It was new and exciting like your first time making out in the back seat.

It was different with Heart of Scars. I was telling a story less dense in terms of the years it covered, but just as dark and getting darker. Darker because unlike the first time there was little room for the mitigations of innocence and conscience … those cards had already been played. My favorite thing about the second book is how knotted up Sylvester becomes, how desperate he is. It’s a sadistic thing to admit, but he had to endure the things he does in Heart of Scars because decisions have consequences and by the time the book opens he’s already made a hat full of bad ones.

With the Lineage I completed a circuit that I’d struggled with how to close for years. Does the hunter finally die on the altar of his own feud? Is he a willing sacrifice? Or, does he rise against all odds and survive in spite of them and his own fatalistic views? No spoilers here, but my favorite thing about the conclusion of my trilogy was how it ended—the final scene on the mountain with the she-Wolf. Before I finally closed down the last chapter, I choked and peeled back some tears.

Question: Please give us some more backstory on Winterfox

Answer: Old Michael Winterfox is a lot of people’s favorite character in the series, and his story is now a work in progress. I am working on a prequel trilogy that will cover his life through the journals he kept. I’m nearly finished with the first installment, which will end with him enlisting in the Canadian armed forces during the Great War.

It’s important for me to point out that Winterfox is by no means just an earlier incarnation of Sylvester. Where SLJ’s feud against the Beast is a seething cauldron, the story of his mentor is one of cold detachment. The times in which he lived and his traditional Native American upbringing give Michael a different perspective on the world than Sylvester. He approaches the Beast from a much different place.

Question: Your book has been described by some as a “man’s werewolf book” please discuss your reaction to this.

Answer: I’ve always found that comment amusing, because I have as least as many women as men who follow the series. I think it’s more of a generational thing than a gender one, and I didn’t write the series to appeal to any particular demographic anyway. That being said, I’m the first to admit these books aren’t for everyone. There are scenes in the novels that some people will find offensive, and I stand in judgement no one’s sensibilities.

Question: What makes your werewolves different?

Answer: calls my werewolves: “the most vicious, unsympathetic, horrific depiction of werewolves ever created.” Added to which one amazon reviewer put it like this: “Werewolves that exist in our world, not some SF universe.” Those two summaries, especially taken together, say a lot I think. My Wolves also have personality so they aren’t just another werewolf-face in the crowd. They have their own agendas and perspectives, and yet fit into a larger mythos of bloodlines, birthrights and clades such as is seldom seen in the garden-variety werewolf tale. My werewolves belong to a supernatural taxonomic system whose sum is greater than their individual egos.

Question: Would you say that Sylvester Logan James’ quest for revenge on werewolves for the murder of his father is turning him into what he hates most?

Answer: Absolutely. SLJ even acknowledges as much at one point when he says that the cruelest thing the Beast has done is to make him more like them. I lead off the first book with the Friedrich Nietzsche quote I mentioned earlier, and so you can see the theme coming from page one. In a way, the whole trilogy is my commentary on the idea that, as a theater of conflict, man vs. monster has worse things in store for its human combatants than death.

Question: Please give us some background on the First Beast Prince and the seven Wolves.

Answer: The first werewolf to ever live, the Paterfamilias of the Lineage, is sometimes referred to as Esau or the Lord of the Forest. He is the progenitor of the Therion (Greek: Wild Beast) which is the great infernal soul of which all werewolves carry a piece. By transmitting fragments this soul via his bite—known as the Birthmark—he marked seven “sons” who became the Seven Beast Princes and divided the world into territories. He may have also sired others through procreation with human females.

Question: What are the various ways the werewolves in your books can be killed or die?

Answer: Silver is the first and most obvious answer. Any mortal wound inflicted with a silver bullet or weapon is typically fatal to a Wolf; however, the more powerful the individual is the more resistant to the metal it can be. You might have to score a bunch of kill shots to bring down a particularly nasty werewolf. In my books, silver works by striking the Wolf in each of the two worlds it inhabits: the physical and the spiritual.

My werewolves can be killed by another werewolf, and this is fairly common in battles for dominance or what have you. Much like the human race, the Lineage is anything but a happy family. Again, a werewolf is capable of wounding body and spirit with its teeth and claws. This includes the spirits of men too, and the spirits werewolf victims can become splintered in this way.

The rarest method by which my werewolves can be killed is by some superior supernatural force in the spirit world, or the Other Side. This could be a powerful shaman or another spiritual being such as a demon, or some intensely sacred object. For the vast majority of human beings spirit-world fighting is simply not an option due to the scarcity of hallowed weapons and our own limited powers to reach the Other Side, much less fight a werewolf there.

Question: How do you approach cover design?

Answer: The cover of the first book was designed by the very talent Bruno Krippahl, of Lisbon. It was a piece he had done and generously modified and allowed me to use when I first self-published. The other covers were commissioned by the Publisher. My decision making role when it comes to the covers is fairly limited these days.

Question: Please explain your experience working with Permuted Press.

Answer: From my first involvement with them I’ve had nothing but good things to say about Permuted. They’ve experienced their share of growing pains in the last few years but they continue to be quite author-friendly, communicative and accessible.

Question: Please provide some details on your writing and editing process?

Answer: I usually collect information for a year or two before I begin writing a book. I collect names and places that appeal to me, ideas for scenes and a few one-liners here and there. I let all that get mossy in my head. Once I begin writing I put myself on a very flexible time schedule, because making myself write something every day just doesn’t work for me and makes me cranky.

I’ll comb through every paragraph I’ve written a half dozen times or more until it suits me and I’m relatively sure punctuation and grammar issues have been sorted out. When I finish a chapter I give it to my wife for proofreading and a second-pair-of-eyes edit. The rest of the editing is done before it goes to press by editors hired by the publisher.

Question: What are some of your favorite werewolf books?

Answer: My favorite werewolf books are non-fiction. I like the old school classics like The Werewolf by Montague Summers, or the Book of Werewolves by Sabine Baring-Gould. The most interesting one I have is entitled Man into Wolf; an Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism and Lycanthropy by Robert Eisler. These kinds of books helped to ground me in the tradition and folklore of the werewolf before I started fictionalizing them.

All in all I probably write more werewolf fiction more than I read, but those I’ve enjoyed include Moon Dance by SP Somtow, and the Howling by Gary Brandner. Being a Universal Monster fan from way back I loved Jeff Rovin’s Return of the Wolfman.

Question: How do you feel about Indie Publishing?

Answer: It’s been good for me so I can’t knock it, but I’m less enthusiastic about what it is becoming and how it will ultimately effect book selling. Industry changes are coming hard and fast, and it may be a matter of time before the big publishing houses of the world fade away. Between Netflix and Amazon, I think we’re eventually going to discover that there is such a thing as too much content.

Question: What are you working on next?

Answer: We’ve already discussed the prequel trilogy, and I’m tentatively calling them The Winterfox Journals, Book 1, 2 and 3. I’m sure there will be an Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter subtitle in their somewhere for the sake of the brand.

Werewolf Book would like to thank Brian P. Easton, author of the Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter Series. For taking the time to answer our questions. Please check out his book series and the links below:

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