As you might imagine, a novel, especially one that is first in a trilogy, has some information that doesn’t make it into the book itself. Most of the stuff I leave out are bits of trivia that aren’t immediately relevant to the story, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t interesting or worth mentioning. Some of it will eventually be addressed in future novels, but here’s a sneak peak at some of the stuff that didn’t make it into Winter Howl:
1) Frances Chambers, Renee’s mom, died of Stage 4 breast cancer when Renee was 9. It only ever comes up that her mother died at that time, not why. Renee doesn’t like to think about it, and she has done her mourning. So the narrative doesn’t linger on it either.
2) Leslie Cannon writes mysteries. His debut novel made the NYT bestsellers’ list for three weeks in a row.
3) Ki is a nickname. Her real name is Kiya Sharma, so yes, she is of Indian descent. The only thing I ever mention in Winter Howl is that she’s a tiny person. Another nickname for another character is Lotus, a Hispanic young man whose real name is Lucero Cortez.
4) Grant has a younger brother, who he turned into a werewolf.
5) Kelly has a total of 9 tattoos, which doesn’t sound like a lot (for her) until you realize two of them are practically sleeve tattoos, another covers most of her back, a large one on her right hip and part of her leg, and another large one on most of her left leg. She has three piercings, none of them visible when she’s wearing clothes: both her nipples are pierced as well as her clitoral hood.
6) Renee’s big issue is her agoraphobia, but mental illnesses usually travel in packs. She also has a bit of obsessive-compulsive behavior typical with agoraphobia, but it’s not quite to the level of disorder.
7) Jake is 6′ 4″. So he’s over a foot taller than Renee. Malcolm is about the same height, but he’s a little lankier.
8) For NaNo2009 word count boost, I initially wrote a whole lot about how the dog sanctuary ran, including a lot of environmentally friendly initiatives in which they engaged, such as a special compost heap, which is useful with all the crap they have to pick up at a dog sanctuary. They also recycle rain water and use solar panels. All the stuff ended up being irrelevant to the plot and a friend advised that I eliminate it since it got kind of boring reading through it.
9) I don’t remember why I made Britt a malamute instead of the more recognizable husky, but I think it was because malamutes were bigger and I liked the image of Renee walking a wolf. I’ve encountered malamutes at a Renaissance Faire before, and they are gigantic, but so beautiful.
10) Butch Cassidy, the beat-up tomcat, is inspired by a cat that used to frequent our student center at my university. He was tough with other cats but loved people.
11) Ki’s dog skin that she changes into is based on my family’s dog.
12) It’s common knowledge on this blog that Winter Howl used to be Frigid Bitch. The rest of the trilogy was going to follow the tongue-in-cheek Bitch theme, so the second book, Cry Wolf, was going to be Season of the Bitch or Witch Bitch or something like that. And for the third book, which will be Call for Blood, I was playing around with Seven-Year Bitch. I like my puns, but I really don’t take them seriously, I assure you. So now we’re going with the Howl, Cry, Call theme (some kind of crying out) instead of just calling everyone bitch.
Any questions about novel details? Comment below!