Hide and Seek
It’s time to play a little game of hide and seek! Everyone knows how to play this childhood game but today we are going to up the stakes! We plan to hide in plain sight because today you will have the ability to change your appearance to be anyone you desire! How about we choose a beautiful blued eyed blonde haired seventeen year old girl! Now for the fun part we are not only going to hide today but we are also going to seek. You see there is a tyrant who runs the country known as the Third Reich and we have been ordered to kill him. This is not going to be an easy task for you see this ruler happens to be Adolf Hitler! You know the saying a wolf among sheep well our situation is going to be more like a wolf amount wolves! Who is excited to play???
*Enter to win an ARC of Blood for Blood plus swag at the end of this post!*
Dark Faerie Tales: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today! To start things off can you tell us a little bit about the Wolf by Wolf duology and where you got the inspiration to write it?
Ryan: The Wolf By Wolf series is a strange beast by any standard. It’s set in an alternate history where the Axis Powers won World War II and the world is now mostly divided between the Third Reich and Imperial Japan. The main character, Yael, has the ability to skinshift, that is, change her appearance to mimic any other female at will. She must use this skill to impersonate a competitor in the Axis Tour, a cross-continental motorcycle race from Germania (former Berlin) all the way to Tokyo. Her goal is to win the race and assassinate Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in order to kick off a putsch led by the resistance. This series is basically me taking many of my favorite genres and blending them into something wholly new. I took inspiration from many places—but one of the biggest and most obvious ones is the study of history. I’ve been fascinated by World War II since I was a child, and I was really intrigued at the idea of exploring it through an alternate history slant. The motorcycle race was mostly inspired by a mini-series called Long Way Round, where Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman ride from London to New York via the Road of Bones in Siberia. It’s a fantastic show. Highly recommended.
Dark Faerie Tales: I personally find history so interesting and the way you re-imagined WWII was so fascinating! How much research did you have to do and did you come across any interesting facts while researching your book?
Ryan: The research was a long time in the making, as well as endless. I drew a lot from a lifetime of reading books about WWII, but of course I had to refresh my memory and expand my knowledge. There was a lot of reading involved. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer was one of my primary source materials. I also did a lot of consulting with WWII buffs to brainstorm plausible alternate history scenarios. One of my friends even took me to the gun range to test out the weapons Yael uses in the book.
History is chock full of interesting facts. One of the ones that took me off guard was the fact that Adolf Hitler was actually the brainchild behind the design of the Volkswagen Beetle. Who knew that the car that is so often associated with peace and love and hippies was designed by one of the most bloodthirsty men of the 20thcentury?
DFT: Yael is such an amazing and strong heroine! With her sad past and determination to make a difference she was very easy to connect with! Was she a difficult character to write or did her voice come easily to you?
Ryan: Her voice is one of my very favorite things about her. It’s very poignant and powerful. She was difficult to write in that I wanted to make sure I did her justice. The history of the books and the themes surrounding it was not something I entered lightly. Her flashbacks were definitely among the hardest scenes to write, and the ones I spent the most time on.
DFT: Luka kind of captured my heart right from the start. He is cunning, smart and gorgeous! Out of all his admirable qualities which do you think is best?
Ryan: Actually, one of my favorite qualities about Luka is one of the ones he hasn’t really revealed in Wolf By Wolf. Blood For Blood takes his character into new depths and force him to reconsider his place in this terrifying new world. He meets that challenge exceedingly well.
DFT: Felix was an interesting character to me and I couldn’t help but love him! Was he based off of someone from real life or just a figment of your imagination?
Ryan: Felix was a figment from my imagination. And for some reason he was the hardest character to write. So many revisions were focused on getting him to leap to life out of the page. Writing him was like pulling teeth for me.
DFT: You had an amazing cast of characters and I adored each one of them. Which one was your favorite to write?
Ryan: I think Luka’s sarcastic side was the funnest thing to write. He offered some much needed comedic relief in a very dark and depressing mental landscape.
DFT: I know that the editing process can be rather brutal and sometimes you have to delete things you wish you didn’t. If you can without spoiling anything would you share a deleted scene with us?
Ryan: I usually don’t delete scenes as much as radically rewrite them! So there aren’t any exciting extras sadly… just worn out scenes that were made 10x better for the final book.
DFT: Sadly Blood for Blood is the end of this series but can you tell us what you are working on next?
Ryan: I’m not sure I can say yet, actually. Just know that it’s another YA. It’s a blend of genres. Look for more news soon…!
DFT: Because we are at a carnival I thought it would be fun to do a round of quick fire questions carnival style! Quick Fire Carnival Questions Funnel Cake, Deep Fried Snicker, or Tiger Ears?
Ryan: Funnel Cake. All the way.
DFT: Farris Wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, or the Haunted House?
Ryan: Tilt-a-Whirl? Maybe, though now I’ve gotten older I’m not sure I have the stomach for it. Definitely couldn’t handle a haunted house.
DFT: Attend a Magic Show, Talent Show, or Hypnotist Show?
DFT: Skee Ball, Shooting Gallery, or Ring the Bell?
Ryan: Shooting gallery. I’d like to hone my marksmanship.
DFT: Hand Dipped Corn Dog, Corn on the Cob, or Hamburger?
Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of Wolf By Wolf, Blood For Blood, The Walled City and the All That Glows series. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog.
Want to read more from Ryan Graudin?
This contest is provided by Little Brown for Young Readers!
One lucky reader will win an ARC of Blood for Blood!!!
Available November 1, 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
About this Book:
The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf.
There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.
For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.
Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?
This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.