Monsters Aren’t Really Monsters

Jessa Forest Author Interview

Pulling Teeth and Other Stories follows a reluctant werewolf as she tries to find a place to fit in and understand her life. What was the inspiration for the setup to this collection of short stories?

Most of the stories in this collection happened by accident. I wanted to write a prologue for the first novel length story that showed a snippet of my main character, Regina’s, childhood. But it didn’t stop growing, and I didn’t want to cut any of it down to prologue size, so it became its own novella, Dead Girl Moon. The other stories in this collection started as writing exercises.

I do not write linearly and, while I have a loose series outline, I do not outline individual stories, so the scenes sometimes come out randomly. I had a few fragments of stories that I didn’t know what to do with but didn’t want to throw away, so I thought a collection would be a good way to tie those events into Regina’s timeline.

Regina is in all the stories and goes through many changes. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted to bring Regina from a place/situation where she was relatively powerless and put her in a place where she could make choices for herself. As a child, the surrounding adults still influence her, but she learns how to test boundaries and has more agency. She doesn’t always make good choices and has to deal with the consequences of her actions. I love writing Regina because she is always learning and adapting.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Underneath all of my Slaughter Chronicles stories is the idea that the monsters aren’t really monsters. Regina and the werewolves who adopt her are dangerous, but not ruthless (mostly). The only creatures that Regina has been hurt by are regular humans. I also wanted to explore opposing ideas and bring them together, like science and magic, good and evil. No one character is entirely one or the other, and it’s up to the reader to pass judgement.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on the first full-length novel in The Slaughter Chronicles. It picks up nine years after Pulling Teeth and Regina is in her twenties. She is a seasoned Void hunter and gets into all kinds of trouble. I’m hoping to publish that in June or July of this year.

I recently published a short story called The Wish Maker. It is a dystopian retelling of “The Monkey’s Paw” by William W. Jacobs.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | Twitter | Instagram

Welcome to The Slaughter Chronicles… where there are two sides to reality and three sides to life.
Earth and the Void, where the shadows are never empty.
Human, monster, and monster hunter.

In a world full of unseen dangers and hidden treachery, hunters are all that stand between humanity and the jaws of darkness.
When little Regina Slaughter unwillingly became a werewolf at the tender age of nine, she lost her whole family soon after. Now on the monster side of life, Regina learns that there are no limits to the kinds of monsters hunters can be.
Caged and subjected to horrifying experimentations at the whim of HADES’s werewolf hunters, Regina is destined for a tragic end.
But after a daring rescue, Regina finds a new family with the Alpha of the most improbable werewolf pack in rural America. A pack of former werewolf hunters turned in the line of duty. Hidden from HADES’s Central Command by their own top Void hunter, these ex-hunters pay for protection from their former comrades with their own flesh and blood.
Where HADES’s werewolf and vampire hunters use modern technology to hunt their prey, HADES’s elite Void hunters use more archaic and sinister methods to keep the creatures of the Void at bay.
Werewolf Regina is far from perfect, but that won’t stop the top Void hunter from molding her into his version of the perfect killing machine, despite the pack Beta’s misgivings about her murky past.
Growing up within the very organization that caged her, Regina starts a new life as an apprentice Void hunter.
The Slaughter Chronicles is a grimdark fantasy horror series of novels and short fiction about a world where humans don’t believe in monsters, but they are very much real. And they will eat you. Join Regina Slaughter, Void hunter and werewolf, as she navigates the secret world of monster and monster hunters.

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Posted on February 27, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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