Friday, March 1, 2013

Interview with Alice Henderson

spn-freshmeatI have a special treat for everyone today! The folks at Titan were kind enough to hook me up with an interview with the author of the new Supernatural tie-in novel Fresh Meat, Alice Henderson! Check out the interview below, and come back on Monday if you'd like a chance to win the book in question. That's right, I'll be hosting a giveaway! Get excited.

Here's the synopsis in case you haven't read it yet:

A rash of strange deaths in the Tahoe National Forest bring Sam, Dean and Bobby to the Sierra Nevada mountains to hunt a monster with a taste for human flesh. Soon walking corpses, bodies with missing organs, and attacks by a mysterious flying creature lead the trio to a cunning and deadly foe which can assume a human form and will do anything to survive. When a blizzard strikes the area, and not knowing who they can trust, they must battle not only the monster, but also the elements to survive.

Without further ado, my interview with Alice Henderson...

Were you a fan of Supernatural before writing this book? If so, do you have any particular favorite episodes that you used for inspiration (or just that you love in general!)? 

AH: I love the show, and was a fan of Supernatural before writing the book. With so many fantastic episodes to choose from, picking favorites is a little hard. Weekend At Bobby's was such a great glimpse into the chaotic life of Bobby and all the misadventures he is having behind the scenes. Scarecrow was very spooky, and the plot of Hook Man gripping. Ghostfacers and The Real Ghostbusters had that wonderful mix of humor and frights. Monster Movie truly captured the feeling of an older era of black and white thrillers. I love stories with time travel, so Frontierland is another favorite.

How did you get into writing a tie-in novel for Supernatural? Do you think you'll do another in the future? 

AH: I had written some tie-in novels for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and really enjoyed the whole process. I mentioned to my agent that if the opportunity arose, I'd love to write one for Supernatural. He talked to the publisher, and I got the green light.

When you began writing this book, had season seven already began? Did you know the overall arc of the season, and did you try to fit your story into that arc? Is that sort of thing difficult, since you're basically just sandwiched in between two episodes?

AH: Season Seven had already begun, yes, and I did know the overall arc. I really wanted to use Bobby, so I set the book earlier in Season 7. I actually really enjoyed writing an adventure between two episodes. While the main arc of the Season 7 story is being played out on the show, I get to tell the story of an entirely new adventure of the Winchesters, set in that same timeframe. I just had to keep in mind what hadn't happened yet, and what had.

Were you given free reign in terms of the story, or did you have set parameters as to what you could cover? Did they give you a specific idea for a monster of the week or did you come up with that on your own? 

AH: The licensor and publisher asked me to submit a few ideas, and we decided on one to develop. I had a wonderful amount of creative freedom. I came up with the plot and the monster. Understandably, they wanted to leave the main plot elements of the season up to the show to reveal, so I only tangentially touched on story elements such as Castiel being MIA and the leviathans out there plotting to take over the world. So in essence, I got to write a monster-of-the-week adventure for them.

When writing a tie-in novel, do you focus more on creating new characters or focusing on, in this case, Sam and Dean, like the show? Do you find it easy to write in their voices? Did you have any concerns going into writing the novel about fan reception? 

AH: When I write a tie-in novel, I strive to keep it faithful to the show. In this case, therefore, Sam, Dean, and Bobby get the main focus, with characters of my own creation filling out other key roles in the plot. In order to capture an accurate feel of their voices, I watch episodes on DVD a lot while writing the novel. It keeps the characters fresh in my mind, and I have a great time figuring out how Bobby might say a line, or Sam or Dean. I am very grateful to have some really fantastic reception by fans of Supernatural and Buffy. They are both shows that fans are very passionate about, and I really wanted to get it right, to write an adventure that fans would enjoy reading.

How does writing a book of original fiction differ from writing a tie-in novel such as this one and the ones you wrote for Buffy? Do you enjoy writing tie-ins as much as your own stuff? What are the advantages and drawbacks? 

AH: I enjoy writing both original and tie-in novels. The process is quite different for each, however. With a tie-in, of course, I'm creating an adventure in a known universe, and I strive to make it sound authentic to the characters and that world. A tie-in is such a joy to write, because I get to write new situations for beloved characters and go on a journey with them. With my original fiction, the world is something I create from scratch, so that has a very different feel to it. With original work, I deal with an editor, and with tie-in work, I deal with getting approval not just from an editor, but from the licensor, as well. In the case of Supernatural, this was Warner Bros., and they were an absolute pleasure to work with.

What's next for you, writing wise? Anything Supernatural fans should be on the lookout for? Any other shows you'd like to write a tie-in novel for? 

AH: Right now I'm working on a few projects. I'm writing some horror comic scripts, and am in the plotting stages for a sequel to my horror novel Voracious. Other tie-ins? I would love to write another Supernatural novel, or one for Grimm.

For more information on Alice and her novels, visit her at

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