Monday, August 29, 2011

Character Inspiration and a WOLF STORM wolf pack of a giveaway

To celebrate the release of WOLF STORM, and because I think wolves are awesome, I’m giving away a giant wolf pack of books and other wolf-related items. A description of it all is near the bottom of this post.

WOLF STORM is about three kid actors involved in the filming of a space opera-type science fiction movie. They are on location in the mountains of Eastern Europe in wintertime, and since the book is an adventure, things begin to go wrong, very wrong.   There are both trained wolves in the story-I had fun researching the trained wolves they used in filming the Narnia movies-and regular wild wolves. The native wolves are extremely unhappy about the presence of strange canines into their territory.  There is also a pug named Mr. Snuggums who provides a little comic relief. Michael, if you are reading this, maybe you can think of one of the comparisons from the discussion in your last post.

Here's the book trailer:

I thought this would be a good post to talk about inspirations for characters, because the main character in this story was inspired by a specific person. I’ve never wanted to write a character that was like me. I’ve lived so long with me,  I’m bored with my personality. I want to write about other types of personalities.  I think most writers do because it’s fun to dream up characters we aren’t.  When I proposed the idea of the book, I knew I wanted to write a story involving movie-making, because I love movies, especially adventure movies. Here was the problem-I have never had a desire to act, don’t know how to act, and would be a terrible actor.

So, given my lack of knowledge of the sort of personality I wanted to write, I had to find a way to get inside the head of that sort of person. My nephew Matt was the perfect choice.  I tried to find a photo of him at fourteen, the same age as my main character, but since I couldn't, this one works. This kitten supposedly followed him home (actually I think he carried it wrapped in a sweatshirt so it wouldn't escape). He told his parents they had to keep the kitten because it would be a good influence at keeping him and sister from "hanging out on street corners and smoking cigarettes." Actual Matt words. They kept the cat.

Anyway, Matt was very talented at imitating people, including teachers behind their backs, who occasionally caught him at it. He was famous in our family for being able to imitate E.T., and he acted in both community and high school theater productions. All in all, he became the model for Stefan. I needed a kid character from regular small town U.S. suddenly thrown into what he thinks will be a dream situation, only to find it turns into something very different. Matt became the go-to person in my head when I wanted to write Stefan’s reactions to things. Of course, like any character, the MC is not identical to the inspiration. His family is totally different from our own. I don’t have pink hair like Stefan’s aunt, for instance.

Matt is now a responsible adult with an adorable son of his own, though I suspect he still does imitations from time to time.

To enter into the giveaway, just comment after this post. If you would like more than one entry, there are ways to increase your chances. To get an extra entry, tweet a link to this, or post a link on Facebook or on your blog and let me know about it here in the comments. If you do both, you’ll get an extra entry for each. Here's a shortened link you can use: If any bloggers out there would like to do a giveaway of a hardcover of WOLF STORM later in September, I’ll have a few more author copies in a few weeks to do that. Just email me at deegarretson at

The giveaway includes:
WOLF STORM by Dee Garretson (signed hardcover)
SECRETS JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON Christopher Golden & Tim Lebron (hardcover-not in picture)
THE BOY WHO HOWLED Tim Power (hardcover)
LONE WOLF Kathryn Lasky, book 1 Wolves of the Beyond (paperback)
SHADOW WOLF Kathryn Lasky, book 2 Wolves of the Beyond (hardcover)
THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE by Joan Aiken (paperback)
JULIE OF THE WOLVES by Jean Craighead George (paperback)
TO BE A WOLF by Carol Amato (paperback)
A 2012 Wolves Calendar
A stuffed animal Wolf
4 small wolf figures to decorate a desk

Sorry, this is only open to U.S. residents. Leave a comment up until 8:00 P.M. E.T., Monday, September 12th. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 13th.


  1. I would love this packet since I did a research paper on wolves in fifth grade, fifty notecard facts and all, and have been in love with them since. (That was only last year plus some twenty some more...) I'll link you on facebook and my blog, so I need three entries please! :)

  2. Wolf Storm sounds like a great book. I had a hybrid once, when I lived out west. Beautiful animals. Very protective. Best of luck with the release.

  3. No White Fang, huh? Just kidding. This sounds awesome. Best of luck to all!

  4. Love that your inspiration was Matt~ sounds like he was a cute & clever kid and has turned into a fun adult :)

    Wolf Storm sounds awesome and I'd love to win the giveaway~ I love your setting and hearing about the research process (some days it must feel especially cool to be an author-

    "I'm working."

    "What are you working on?"

    "I'm reading up on how they trained wolves for the Narnia movies."

    Too cool. (Oh, and I remember loving Julie of the Wolves as a young girl).

  5. What a crazy awesome giveaway, Dee! OMG! So jealous I cannot play! ;(


  6. That's quite a generous giveaway! My thanks to all the authors who contributed! :)

  7. Great trailer, Dee! The book sounds amazing, and the prize package, too!

  8. Fantastic give-away. I'll be happy to win and share with my readers!

    -- Tom

  9. That's an awesome giveaway. Can't wait to read WOLF STORM. And, about the comparison, hmmmm...I'll think about it and get back to you.

  10. melodycolleen8/29/11, 11:00 AM

    This sounds awesome. Congratulations on your Wolf Storm. I need this collection so I can garner facts for my own wolf story, which has been sadly neglected of late. Thanks for the opportunity to win such a great prize!

  11. I can't enter as I'm English but I just wanted to say I love the picture of Matt now he's a responsible adult!

  12. thanks all! Sarah, I love that picture of Matt! He is crazy about his little boy and a great dad.

  13. I've never read JULIE OF THE WOLVES. What is wrong with me???

  14. I've always been a fan of wolves. What an adorable Woody!

  15. Love the idea behind Wolf Storm!! And... okay, I really want the stuffed wolf. <3

  16. This sounds amazing! I've been considering writing a book about kids surviving in the wilderness. Maybe I won't have to. :) Good luck on the launch!

  17. This giveaway is amazing!! So many books, and the contest ends on my birthday!! :)

  18. Nikki, we can always use more wilderness adventure books. go for it.

    Marissa, when I bought it, my daughter couldn't believe I was going to give it away. I'll have to make sure she doesn't sneak it out of the box.

  19. That's a fine selection of wolf lit! Can't wait to read Wolf Storm :-D

  20. Jane Carroll8/30/11, 6:07 AM

    This is one fantastic give away! Wolf Storm is on my list! Wolves are amazing creatures.

  21. Great giveaway! Happy book birthday to you!

  22. Wolf Storm sounds like an exciting book. I too love adventure stories that involve animals and young teens. Interesting to see
    "Secret Journeys of Jack London" among your giveaways. Call of the Wild is one of my favorites. Even though Buck is a dog, he ends up going off with the wolves. What a generous and clever giveaway selection. If I should win the giveaway, I will donate the books to our local children's hospital. Sick children need an escape to an exciting adventure and Wolf Storm certainly sounds like one. Good luck with your release.

  23. I LOVE wolves!!!!!!!!!! They are amazing animals, and Wolf Storm looks like an AMAZING book.... Did I mention I collect stuffed animals... And that I own approximently 500 books... And that White Fang is one of my favorite classics???

    @teacher6th's 11 year old daughter-Emily


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!