This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gwendolyn Druyor will be awarding $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I really wanted to try to write a linear story. So often, I write twisting tales and I wanted to create something different. Then, it turned out that the kids’ problems are huge issues and they don’t have adults in their lives who’ll listen. Adults ARE the problem but my heroes are “just” kids so their observations are not respected. I found that hella frustrating.
And then I figured out that Laylea can’t have a traditional love interest because her adoptive family had her fixed when she was a puppy. She’ll never hit puberty. I know I’ll address it in future books and she’ll have to find a special someone because Laylea IS love to me. She is open and adoring and ready to accept everyone she meets, faults and all, as a worthy friend. She HAS to find a life partner. Of course, he or she is going to have to be one amazing individual.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I love the school. I love the possibilities and dangers of trapping hundreds of pre and pubescent shifters together underground. As Ms. Crow points out, a lot of the kids are orphans because the shifter world is a far more dangerous and unknown place than the human world they hide in. The library is unparalleled for shifter history research and if they just look hard enough these kids can read nearly everything they should have learned from their parents. The magic of the underground jungle and the gardens and the cave rooms still entrance me when I think about them. There is an entire world beneath the feet of the unknowing human patrons of the Lincoln Park Zoo patrons!
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
Anne McCaffery. Neal Stephenson. Dan Simmons. J.K. Rowling. Jim Butcher. Robert Ludlum.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I am writing six books in the WereHuman series. Each of Laylea’s brother’s gets a book and then we meet their Mama! I’ve got five more books planned for the Shifter School series which I THINK are going to converge with the international battle in WereHuman book six. PLUS, I need to write the final book in my Mobious’ Quest series. I am super excited about tying everything together in Callie’s Crown. There are so many mysteries and I don’t have the answers to all of them yet. That’s one of the most fun bits of writing; exploring my character’s secrets.
Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Yes. I’ve got it now. I try to get my head around any facts that are relevant, figure out where my characters need to go and where their heads are at now. Then, I find my dog, Lyman, curl up with him and let my mind wander while I smell his little paws. It’s weird. But it works. It’s possibly also why Laylea (inspired by Lyman) has featured in three novels, now.
I think the best thing you can do is brainstorm write for an hour or so – DO NOT take your pen off the paper/fingers off the keys. Then walk away and go look at the world from a different angle. Get outside and climb a tree or lay down on the sidewalk three blocks over or get out on a roof. Then try writing again. Me, I’ll get away from wherever I had been trying to write (a desk?) and go write in a closet or at a theater or inside a movie set at Universal Studios (hope my boss doesn’t read that) or on a bus.
Now that I have (a) plan(s) for how to deal with it, writer’s block hardly ever makes me cry anymore. Hardly ever.
Have you ever had one character you wanted to go one way with but after the book was done the character was totally different?
I cannot figure out my vampire character, Kyle. He started out as a prop in my very first Wyrdos Tale, Dee. I needed a reason for Dee to be in counseling, so I gave her a partner (they’re homicide detectives) and then shot him. He first surprised me in that tale when his body disappeared. Then he surprised me by showing up as a main character in Laylea’s Wyrdos Tale and revealing that he ingested people’s memories with the blood he drank. I had absolutely no idea that he was going to show up and be so important in Shifter School. He seems relentlessly good. He became a police officer to help people. He’s a devoted husband and father. But now he’s a demon, too. Can he hold on to his human truths now that he’s dead? Laylea thinks so. But Kyle isn’t so sure, and that’s got me worried.
So they locked her away.
Laylea has been hiding her entire life. She’s never been to school. She’s never had a friend her own age. She’s never known anyone else like her.
All that is about to change.
In a world hidden from wyrdos and humans alike, shifters are still recovering from a vicious plot to destroy them all. They have two laws they live by now:
2) Protect the children at all costs.
Laylea has just broken rule number one. But she’s only fourteen. So they’re sending her to school. Where she’s going to learn . . .
Anyplace can be a prison.
The Lincoln Park Shifter School is not your grandma’s uber-secret, underground academy.
She ran from the dorm before they started laughing again. Laylea left her pod open. She didn’t care. Everything she owned was either on her neck or in school storage. She’d never had friends before, she didn’t need them now. She shoved through the little crowd at the curtains and didn’t look into any of the faces gathered outside the girls’ door. She couldn’t have seen them through her tears anyway.
She wanted to shift and run. A good long run through the city would feel good. Her mind would have to focus on cars, pedestrians, uneven sidewalks, shop doors, guard dogs, and dangerous litter. She’d have no room in her head for all her worries. She wouldn’t be able to think about how KC and Oscar hated her for nearly getting them killed, how if she’d run when Oscar wanted to, he wouldn’t have been here to get hurt. Her mind would be focused on her own survival rather than concerns for Oscar’s mom, the kids in ST, and her family’s safety now that she’d spilled all their secrets in front of Jase Batka.
But she couldn’t shift because she was defective. It took her eleven years to figure out she even could shift and now she was going to die without ever figuring out how. Or why.
Gwendolyn Druyor was born at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station Hospital, North Kingston, RI. The ID bracelet wrapped three times around her little wrist. She could swim before she could walk and read before she started school.
She has traveled the world telling stories. After a year in Amsterdam writing and performing sketch comedy at Boom Chicago, she toured North America with Shenandoah Shakespeare and with the incredible educational show Sex Signals. From Paris, FR to William’s Bay, WI, you’ll find her gypsy life reflected in her books. If you met her on the road, read her closely, you may find yourself in there.
For now, Gwendolyn lives in Hollywood with her Irish Jack Russell, Josh Lyman Zyrga, who is still pouting over the fact that she didn’t put him on the cover of WereHuman.
For more information on Gwendolyn and her projects sign up for her newsletter at www.GwendolynDruyor.com.
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