Book: Howling Rail by S. A. Hugginscategories: Book, Werewolves, Suspense, History, Terror, Civil War, Lycanthrope, Wolves, Fiction, Howling, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Shelia Ann Hugginsabout this book: Howling Rail is set a few years before the start of the U.S. Civil War. A group of runaway slaves using the Underground Railroad leave for the town of Guilford, thinking that their biggest worries might be getting hungry, getting lost, or getting caught. Never would they have imagined being attacked by howlers pursuing them in the woods and then turning into howlers themselves. Revenge, suicide, and a tragic ending make them question whether the quest for freedom was too much.
• What inspired you to write this book?
I've spent years researching my family history, tracing relatives to the 1830s. I've also spent years reading a variety of books: horror, science fiction, thrillers, and suspense. Although I had already written a novel about a serial killer during the Civil War, it was more literary pyschological suspense, and I wanted to write something with more of a thriller bend to it...hence the werewolves. Basically, I put together two things I like, history and terror.
• Who are the primary readers?
Anyone who loves history, suspense, and mystery will be immediately drawn to this story. There is a small amount of romance in the story, but I think "werewolves on the Underground Railroad" sums it up.
• How did you come up with the title.
Howling came from werewolves since they howl. I wanted to pay tribute to them in the title without actually saying werewolves. I wanted the tribute to be subtle but not too subtle. Rail comes from Underground Railroad.
• Why did you choose this cover.
I liked the idea of scratches torn across the cover. Also, I wanted to do something different from a cover with a werewolf on it. I'm not saying that's a bad thing to do. I might change mine one day to include that. Who knows.
• What was the hardest part of writing the book?
The scenes in which the slaves were fighting with the howlers were the hardest to keep straight. Which slaves were fighting which howlers. I couldn't keep up. How many howlers there were. I had to work on this part several times before I got it right. Maybe I need to go back to elementary school and take classes in basic math.
• Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn something with every writing project because they are all so different. I learned to work with pacing more in this one and to move the story along faster. I wanted to make it less literary and more commercial, and I think I accomplished that.
• Do you have anything specific to say to your readers?
If you have not yet read Howling Rail, and you like mystery, history, and suspense, then I suggest you get Howling Rail today. When you get to the end, you'll find that you will not be disappointed.
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