John Vamvas and Olga Montes interview.
By Carole A. Spalino I have to give this five stars because it was really good and it held my interest. It was actually a little unclear as to what the attackers were, what they looked like, and how they came about, but that just added to the intrigue. The story holds lots of excitement and action, and plenty of discord among the characters. Well worth your time, so don’t pass it up.
By Tonya Mason
Five-star. A very real very heart stopping book. Just WoW. I can’t wait to read more. Action, secrets, friendship and enemies. What a great story!
This ain’t your grampa’s werewolf story! I loved the tension and the “who survives” questions. I don’t want to give anything away but there are plenty surprises throughout. I downloaded the ‘sample’ at first. As I have been telling people, this book had me at ‘touchdown.’ Read it and find out what I mean. This was a surprise find and completely un-put-downable. It’s been awhile since I’ve read something quite this captivating. The authors have told me there’s more coming in this series and I simply can’t wait! Buy this book and get ready to spend some quality time with…something rustling in the woods! It’s watching you, licking its lips and…!
by Scott Alexander Hess – HUFF POST BOOKS
At one point I was obsessed with werewolves.
They seemed more reckless and masculine than vampires, the way they burst out of their clothing, muscles bulging (well some of them) running through the countryside facing a bone-white moon. It all thrilled me.
Ultimately I channeled that beastly, hyper-masculinity and lyrical violence into my latest novel Three Brothers but I still love a good wolf flick, including MTV’s testosterone-soakedTeen Wolf (my boyfriend’s fave).
Most recently, I tumbled across a book trailer for the novel WHEREWOLVES, by John Vamvas and Olga Montes which combines the legendary creature with a high school bullying theme. I caught up with the authors just in time for Halloween and chatted about the book, the subsequent screenplay and their dream cast for a potential film.
The book’s basic set up according to the writing team is: A group of high school seniors and their teacher, The Sarge, go on a survival training weekend and must face their biggest enemy: Themselves. A fresh take on bullying told using a fun, rapid-fire style — with edgy, layered characters and plot twists that will keep you guessing.
Scott Alexander Hess: What attracted you to the werewolf genre?
John Vamvas and Olga Montes: As lifelong horror film fans, we thought our story would best be told through the horror genre. Just like with rollercoasters, horror is popular because of the thrill-the adrenalin rush-you get from being scared. We thought our story would be more interesting were it devilishly fun. We weren’t initially planning on werewolves — they somehow just manifested. Our characters are raw, their emotions visceral, the plot and situations guttural-animalistic. Werewolves can at once be horrifying and beautiful — they’re an incarnation of primal rage, strength and beauty. The beasts presented themselves as we developed the story.
Scott Alexander Hess: What is the best werewolf book and film out there (other than yours!)?
John Vamvas and Olga Montes: We haven’t read enough werewolf novels to fairly pick one. But we are horror film buffs. Favorite werewolf movie: Though extremely difficult to choose,we’ll go with John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London. There are a lot of great werewolf films, though, (including The Wolf Man (1941 version), Silver Bullet andDog Soldiers) and we pay homage to many of them throughout the story.
Scott Alexander Hess: What inspired you to work in the bullying aspect and how does cruelty, pleasure and pain work within the narrative?
John Vamvas and Olga Montes: Apparent bullying that lead to the Columbine High School massacre, the Chardon High School massacre and other such atrocities has really marked us –especially now that we have children. We wanted to make a statement and tell a story without giving opinions, only observations. We want the reader to be left with something to think about. We present the reader with parents who serve their country, but at great cost to their children. Teachers who mean well but are riddled with their own monsters. Political events that have skewed our views of the world. Peer pressure, greed, insecurity, desensitization, it goes on. The cruelty in the story is motivated by emotional pain. One character deals with her inner turmoil by taking pleasure in inflicting physical pain upon herself — cutting. Other characters verbally abuse. Some are physically abusive and others think the cruelty is funny; unwittingly adding to the horror. Despite their lack of likability, we hope our characters’ humanity shines through, thus distorting the reader’s concept of good and bad, black and white, right and wrong. Because, what is a monster? Something that grows hair all over and howls? Could be. But the real monster is within, and when it comes out, it’s as ugly as you see it, or as it lets you see it.
Scott Alexander Hess: What’s up with the screenplay and any dream casting ideas yet?
John Vamvas and Olga Montes: WHEREWOLVES had been optioned by a production company in 2010. Though there were a lot of great people involved (including an Academy Award nominated special effects makeup artist), things fell apart in late 2011. The script is now being shopped by our U.S. literary agent, Whitt Brantley, at WBMT, Literary, Film and Television Agency. Our dream cast would include Kiefer Sutherland or Norman Reedus as Sargent Tim O’Sullivan. Taissa Farmiga as the angst-ridden teen, Doris. Vera Farmiga as her mother. And Josh Hutcherson as the tormented Jeffrey.
Wherewolves was a very unexpected, pleasant surprise. After having “met” Olga Montes through email correspondence, I was confident this novel would be a good read, but it surpassed my already high expectations.
A group of high school teenagers are taken into the woods by one of their teachers in an attempt to teach them survival skills and bonding. What they find in those woods tests their limits beyond anything they could have imagined.
This is a horror novel written in a very modern style. Because it is adapted from a screenplay, a good portion of it focuses more on the visual aspects of the story than on the characters, setting, or back story. This is not to say there isn’t character development—there is—but it goes about it in a style different than most novels I’ve read. Within the main cast of the story, John Vamvas and Olga Montes have created a group of high school students who could easily be envisioned as a part of any 2010++ teenage group. They are easy to identify with because they are rendered as realistic teens of the current generation.
Wherewolves grabs you right from the start and keeps you guessing until the end, when you realize the story has taken twists you’d never have expected.
A very enjoyable read, I give Wherewolves an emphatic 5 out of 5 stars.