Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Don't Call the Wolf: Interview

An Interview with Aleksandra Ross about Don't Call the Wolf

About the book:
1. How did you come up with the story of Don’t Call the Wolf?
I wrote Don’t Call the Wolf after my grandma passed away, as a way of remembering her. The
story was inspired by Polish fairy tales and folklore – and also my by love for animals, magic,
and dragons. My goal was to create a story that showcased Polish folklore, while at the same
time reminding readers of more familiar, Western-style fairy tales. To do that, I tried to mix very
Polish elements with more familiar creatures, like dragons.

2. Who is the main character(s) in Don’t Call the Wolf
I think Ren and Luaksz share the spotlight. Ren is an enchanted queen of a cursed forest, ruling
over animals and magical creatures, and fighting to protect her realm from a terrible Dragon.
Lukasz is a professional soldier and Dragon Slayer, venturing into her forest to look for his
missing brother. I really love these two characters – they are so similar, and so different. They’re
both tough and practical, with a lot of dry humour that hides their softer sides. They were so
much fun to write about, and I love them both very much.

3. Which of the characters from Don’t Call the Wolf are you the most similar to? 
I would love to say Ren, the main character, but I think Ren is more of a reflection of how I wish
I was. I really identify with Felka, one of the supporting characters in the story. I really drew on
my own past, especially as a high schooler, for Felka. She’s a quiet person, who is used to
being overlooked and has learned to fend for herself. I think we all experience that a little bit at
some point in our lives, and I love seeing those kinds of characters in my favourite books.

4. What was the hardest part to write in Don’t Call the Wolf? 
There is one very violent scene that was extremely hard for me to write. In it, a character is
attacked by monsters, and that character doesn’t quite make it out. I can’t give much else away
without spoiling the book, but I will say that it’s by far the most gruesome scene in the story (at
least in my opinion). It’s a very short scene, but I wrote it over several days and cried real tears
for the character involved. Interestingly, it has turned out to be my favourite scene – partly
because I’m so proud I actually finished, and partly because it came out exactly as I hoped it

About You:
1. If you won a prize for something, what would it be and why? 
Hmm, I’m not sure! My one weird talent is that I have an encyclopedic memory for any kind of
cinematic trivia. I could see a movie once and probably list most of the cast or lines for you... but
I genuinely can’t remember my own postal code! So, if there was award for pop culture trivia, I
think I could be in the running to win it!

2. If a director wanted to make Don’t Call the Wolf into a movie and wanted you to act in it,
who would you be and why?
I love this question! First of all, I can’t act, so I would definitely be an extra... and definitely with
no lines.
I’m torn– there are a lot of really gross monsters in Don’t Call the Wolf, and I’d love to put on a
morph suit and climb around in the forest as a strzyga (an undead, succubus-like creature) or a
mav (a ghostly, deadly spirit). But the world of Welona also has beautiful cities filled with
gorgeous nobles and lavish parties. I would love to be some kind of fancy aristocrat, and wear a
beautiful gown.

3.  What are some of your favorite books? 
Oh, so many! I think my lasting favourites are the books I read as a kid. Harry Potter of course,
but I also really, really loved Cornelia Funke’s books – especially Inkheart and The Thief Lord. I
read Inkheart when I was eleven, and it was the book that made me want to be a writer. I also
loved Tuck Everlasting, The Princess Bride, and I Capture the Castle.
In terms of classics, I love a good Gothic tale. The obvious cliché is Oscar Wilde’s The Picture
of Dorian Gray and anything by Edgar Allan Poe. I also love Bram Stoker’s Dracula. My other
favourite classic is Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s so underrated! The angsty romance is pitch-

4.  If you could have dinner with any 3 people (fictional, real or dead), who would it be? 
This one is easy for me! I would love to have dinner with my grandparents, and my great
grandmother. Ren is named after my grandma, and I was named after my great grandma. I miss
my grandmother a lot, and I never met my grandfather or great-grandma, and I would love to be
able to meet them and listen to their stories.

5.  What is your Hogwarts House? Does that house match you well?
I'm a Ravenclaw! I think it matches me well, I love the blue and bronze – or silver, in the movies
– and I am pretty bookish. I vividly remember reading Harry Potter and wishing I could take
Ancient Runes, which I think says everything about how nerdy I am! My patronus is a Jack
Russell terrier, as well, which is so cute.

No comments:

Post a Comment