- Category: Features
- Written by Steve Pattee
- Published on Thursday, 16 January 2014 15:00
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Author of Red Moon and The Wilding, Benjamin Percy shares with HorrorTalk what draws him to werewolves.
Sure, vampires-despite their cold feet and corpsey breath-turn me on. And yeah, zombies – with their stumbling persistence and bottomless hunger – terrify me. But I guess I've always been more of a dog person. I distinctly remember, in kindergarten, in the library at Crow Elementary, pulling off the shelf the Universal Studios Book of Monsters and riffling through the pages and pausing on the image of the Wolfman. Lon Cheney, Jr. – with his underbite and shag carpeting hair – mesmerized me. I didn't sleep that night, calling out for my mother, but the next morning I returned to the library and checked out that same book to study what magnetized and terrified me.
So many years later, for a sixth-grade "research" paper, I chose "Werewolves!" as my subject. I still have the document; the exclamation mark is verifiable. The essay has a table of contents, though it's only five pages long, and the final section is titled "The Ceremony of the Wolf." In my backyard, beneath a full moon, I followed the instructions in a mottled leather tome and attempted to transform myself. Despite my obvious dedication to the subject matter, I received a B- on the paper (still etched on the final page in blood-red ink). Which is one of so many reasons it feels so good to hold Red Moon in my hand now, and say, "In your face, Mrs. Zeeganhagen!"
In part what draws (and repels) me, and so many others, to werewolves is this: they represent that part of us that sometimes comes unchained. We have all, as a result of rage, exhaustion, too much to drink, drugs, gone wild. In the battle between ego and id, the id occasionally dominates-and we hair out. It's not as seductive as vampirism. It's more unsettling and unflattering. No one aspires, but everyone succumbs eventually to the wolf within.
HorrorTalk would like to thank Percy for sharing with us! You can pick up his werewolf novel Red Moon in paperback or Kindle now!
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