Celebrating "Wolves in the World" Release with Author Brea Behn
Today I welcome author Brea Behn! I’m a big fan of the dystopian genre, so I was excited to get to know Brea and read her stories. And today is a big day! She is celebrating the release of the fourth (and final) novel in her Wolves series: Wolves in the World. The series begins with Wolves in the Woods, which follows the disintegration of society after a devastating virus hits the world in 2056 with subsequent novels Wolves in the City and Wolves in School.
ABOUT BOOK ONE: When the C47 virus hit in 2056, no one was prepared for the devastation that followed. Even fewer of the survivors were equipped to provide for themselves without technology. Now an orphan, a young girl named Braelin is forced to take care of herself. Come see the secret place in the woods Braelin escapes to and how she finds peace and happiness in a world that is harsh and all about survival. Her journey inadvertently leads to sanctuary - and even love - when she meets two brothers, Aravon and Timber. She is still young and naive and the world is different place. There are new laws and new law makers - and keeping the peace is not their primary goal: It’s more about keeping the biggest piece. Rape, murder and pillaging are a means to an end and purity of heart is a rarity. Can Braelin stay true to the person she was raised to be in a world that has been so vastly altered? Without family to guide her, she discovers that some of the hardest survival lessons, have nothing to do with finding food and shelter. Filled with suspense, passion and excitement Wolves in the Wood will keep Braelin fighting for her life and for her love until the very end.
Boxed Set -- All Four on Kindle: Purchase Here
Thanks for stopping by so I can pepper you with questions, Brea. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your journey to becoming an author?
Thanks for having me Valerie! I started writing my first book when I was fifteen after my twin brother died. I was looking for a book about losing a twin and couldn't find one that fit my situation, so I decided to write one. It took me ten years. When I finished it, I realized how much I loved to write. So I kept writing!
What was your inspiration for the “Wolves Series”?
The first book, Wolves in the Woods, came from a reoccurring dream. I kept seeing this young woman with long blonde hair running through a field. At the time, I was facing a major health crisis. This imagery of this young woman became my escape. The dream continued over several months. Eventually she ran from a field into woods. Then from the woods she went through a hidden tunnel in a huge briar patch. She came out onto a perfectly groomed lawn. In the middle of this lawn was a house up on stilts with a rock face on one side of it. Finally, I decided to write it down. The last time I dreamed of her was while I was recovering from brain surgery. She finally got up into the house. In the house was a man with blonde hair pulled back in a tie. He had scary blue eyes. Wolves in the Woods poured out of my mind after that. I have never dreamed of her again. I think a lot of the Wolves Series was facing my grief, fears and pain. It has been an emotional journey to write.
It’s clear you have a love for dystopian and futuristic worlds where not all is well. What other books have you written in this genre.
Yes, it is my favorite genre to read and write. Besides my Wolves series, I also wrote a zombie apocalypse book, called Vaxxers. In the main character's world, teens (nicknamed Vaxxers) turn into "Flesh Fallers" before they reach adulthood. It's really about how short life can be and what we choose to do with the time we have. It's also about finding hope in situations that seem hopeless. It was a fun project. I also have three short stories in dystopian anthologies. One is a prequel story to Vaxxers in Undead Worlds. One is a zombie short in Tricks, Treats and Zombies. Then, Prep for Doom, is a very unique anthology. It is twenty-two stories based around one post-apocalyptic event. The stories intertwine with each other. So you often see two sides of the same story. There were authors from all over the world, so it was a huge undertaking for us to work together and have the final book come out as smooth as it did.
So I have to ask, are you a prepper at heart or just a fan of this genre? I know you watch “The Walking Dead” because we’ve had conversations when we’re upset with that storyline.
I would say I am a bit of both. I certainly have a plan. I would also say that I'm a bit old-fashioned. I am fascinated with the "old-ways" of doing things. I blame this on the fact that I was baby-sat by my great-grandparents a lot growing up. I make our own toothpaste and laundry soap, cook everything from scratch, love to can and I'm very into finding a balance between non-traditional and traditional medicine.
I’m curious about the research you have to do to write authentic dystopian tales. Can you tell us about some of the stranger things you’ve had to look up (without giving away any spoilers?)
I love that part of writing. Going through the motions of the character in their world and thinking about details like: what would they use to get clean? How do you tan leather? What herbs would you keep in a medicine chest? Also, as dystopian and especially post-apocalyptic can be dark, I've done a lot of research on everything from the healing process of wounds, symptoms of very contagious and deadly diseases to contamination protocols in hospitals or at airports. The strangest thing I've researched, however, is probably the theories on where the Garden of Eden is located and how you would get there from the United States. That is for one of my WIP that is outside the genre of dystopian.
With the Wolves series coming to a conclusion, what’s next for you?
Something completely different! I am about four chapters into a YA fantasy I am writing with my kids. I was listening to them play a game they made up for months. My daughter made up a team of super heroes, while my son made up the team of super villains. I told them their story would make a great book series! After months of discussions, planning and plotting I'm finally getting to write it down. It has been so fun already. I can't wait to see where it leads me.
When you sit down to begin a new project, do you outline or are you more of a “pantster”? (Or maybe a little bit of both?)
The Wolves series and Vaxxers were written entirely pantsing it. With exception of the last book, Wolves in the World. There was just too many characters and story lines to keep track of. I froze up without an outline. I also typically write an outline with the non-fiction books I have written. So I guess you can say I am both, depending on the project.
Who is your favorite author, and what do you like most about their work?
I have many favorites, but Stephen King comes first to my mind. I have read his books since I was twelve. My favorite thing about his work is that he tells it like it is. There is almost no sugar coating it. He is blunt, brutal and fantastically crude at times, because the world can be all of those things. I don't like when writers sugar coat a story to sell books or only write about the best parts. I suppose that's because I've been through a lot in my life. Often my books show the worst parts of life, but they also balance that with the best parts.
What book are you reading now?
I'm usually reading three books at the same time, depending on my mood. So currently, I am reading a book by an inspirational speaker named Brendon Burchard, called The Motivation Manifesto. I'm also reading The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1 of the Lord of the Rings series) to my kids. Finally, I just finished reading several textbooks, as I am back to school this fall for a Digital Marketing degree. So I'm looking forward to winter break and reading a book just for fun again!
And, just for fun, what does your ideal day look like?
I am a blessed person. I have many ideal days. I would love a day with my husband and two kids, just having fun, laughing and doing something together. My kids are growing up fast, so I cherish those days I get to spend time with them.
Is there anything I’ve missed asking that you’d like readers to know about you and your novels?
I can't think of anything! Thank you so much for your time in putting this together and all you do for the writing community.
I love having the chance to work with other authors!! Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview! Congratulations on your book launch!
Thank you, Valerie!
Readers can learn more about Brea and her work at:
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: Amazon.com/author/breabehn