"...this is what werewolf horror is supposed to feel like: gruesome, bloody, dark, angry, messy, and downright terrifying." - Howling Libraries
Aside from a quaint amusement park, the small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends. They’re about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil.
The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded. And though the beast remains on the loose and eager to spill more blood, the sleepy resort town is about to face an even greater terror. Because the four victims of the werewolf’s fury are changing. They’re experiencing unholy desires and unimaginable cravings. They’ll prey on the innocent and the depraved. They’ll settle old scores and act on their basest desires. Soon, they’ll plunge the entire town into nightmare.
Lakeview is about to become Wolf Land.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
About the Author
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012." The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story."
Since then Jonathan's work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz's Shadow Side.
His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim.
Jonathan's primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Janz at www.jonathanjanz.com.
What is the book about?
A werewolf with a serious grudge attacks a group of twenty-eight-year-olds at their 10th high school reunion. Many folks die, but four are bitten and survive. The story examines how each of them changes and how different the paths are that they take.
What are the underlying themes?
Not living up to your potential. Believing the lie that your environment tells you about yourself. The deceptive nature of physical appearances. How depraved humans can be. How noble people can be when they strive for their better natures.
Did real life experiences bring about any of the plot of this tale?
Yes. For one, I was an athlete in high school, was viewed as that by many around me, and saw myself largely that way. And man, was that reductive. Then, when that was taken away, and I went off to college, it took me awhile to redefine myself and see myself as something other than what I’d been. I became considerably more than I had been, but that process was a dispiriting one. I’d sold myself short and was angry at myself for doing that.
In WOLF LAND, several characters are angry with themselves for what they’ve become and for allowing the inertia of their environments define them. That came straight from my experiences.
What about the setting stimulated your imagination?
Well, from the ages of twelve to eighteen, I lived in Monticello, Indiana, a lake community exactly like Lakeview in my novel. The sights, the sounds, the people…it was all very authentic and easy to recapture because I lived through it as a teenager.
What are some of your favorite werewolf books?
Here are just a few:
THE WOLF’S HOUR, Robert McCammon
CYCLE OF THE WEREWOLF, Stephen King
THE HOWLING Trilogy, Gary Brandner
THE WEREWOLF OF PARIS, Guy Endore
DIARY OF A WEREWOLF, Joseph Payne Brennan
WOLF TRACKS, David Case
Who influenced you most in the writing of the book?
Hmmm…Robert McCammon, Jack Ketchum, and Richard Laymon. How’s that for a combination?
Is there any advice you can give someone starting to write?
You will only succeed if you love it, if you burn to write. If you’re not passionate about it, you need to get out, because that passion and determination will keep you going when things go badly. And they will go badly. You’ll be rejected, you’ll be discouraged, you’ll be told you’re not good enough. You’ll likely experience soul-sucking self-doubt. But if you love it enough, you’ll stay with it. That’s how you climb. By not quitting.
Where did you write?
Like most of my novels, this one was written in my home, in my writing room. It’s an inspiring setting filled with books and an aura of magic.
Did you write in silence, or to any particular music?
I write to Baroque music. It’s the perfect fusion of mystery, passion, and energy, and listening to it, the words just flow from my fingertips to the page. It also drowns out the ambient noise that I sometimes find distracting.
What are you writing now?
At the moment I’m editing a post-apocalyptic novel (the first of a planned series) and working on the second CHILDREN OF THE DARK book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jonathan Janz is an amazing author and a really nice guy, so when I saw that he had a blog tour coming up with Hook of a Book - and for Wolf Land - I jumped on board. (Book tours always give me a reason to move books I have on hand further up on my TBR list haha.) Janz has a talent that, unfortunately, most writers do not have. He not only knows how to write a story that stays with you and gets into your head, but his use of characters and setting are simply spot on in every book I have read of his. His characters, even the bad ones, have a way of grabbing your attention (and sometimes your heartstrings), and I'm always surprised to see who makes it through the story (they really are never the ones I expect). His settings could be anywhere; you could walk past "this place" everyday of your life and never even think about it until you start reading his latest... and that's where he first gets me every time. His description of events are powerful - and sometimes so gory - but so... perfect. From the very first page, I was drawn into a story that, to be honest, scared me. I mean REALLY scared me. And not just while I was reading it. Even after I put the book down, the story remained right there on the very outskirts of my thoughts, waiting to sneak back in when the lights were out, when I was walking past a large grouping of trees down the road from my place, when I came home from the grocery store in the dark. I'll be honest: When I finished this book last night, I sat there for a good half hour taking it all in. This was after two days of sleepless nights, of not getting to bed until really late (like 3am and after) unable to put the book down. And, after enjoying my view of the trees behind my building... and being convinced that I saw something moving in them, something large and... We'll just say that all my lights stayed on last night. As usual, I enjoyed his characters - and was a tad disappointed when some of the characters (the ones that typically survive these kinds of things) died early on. I really liked Duane and Joyce - Duane because he grew after the horrific event, and Joyce because I completely relate to her.