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Saturday, October 27, 2012

October Horror Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with W.D. Gagliani, author of Wolf's Edge

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

To celebrate Halloween, we will be featuring horror authors for the entire month of October Spotlights!

We will be joined today by W.D. Gagliani.

About W.D.:

W.D. Gagliani is also the author of the horror/crime thriller WOLF'S TRAP (Samhain Publishing), a past Bram Stoker Award nominee, as well as WOLF'S GAMBIT (47North), WOLF'S BLUFF (47North), WOLF'S EDGE (Samhain), and the upcoming WOLF'S CUT (Samhain). WOLF'S TRAP was reissued by Samhain Publishing in 2012.


He has written book reviews, articles, and interviews that have been published (since 1986) in places such as THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, CHIZINE, CEMETERY DANCE, HORRORWORLD, PAPERBACK PARADE, CINEMA RETRO, HELLNOTES, FLESH & BLOOD, BOOKPAGE, BOOKLOVERS, THE SCREAM FACTORY, HORROR MAGAZINE, SF CHRONICLE, BARE BONES, and others. He has had nonfiction and craft articles published in the Writers Digest book ON WRITING HORROR (edited by Mort Castle), in the Edgar Award-nominated THRILLERS: THE 100 MUST READS (edited by Morrell & Wagner), and in October 2011 THE WRITER magazine published his article on writing werewolf epics.

His interests include old and new progressive rock, synthesizers, weapons, history (and alternate history, secret history, and steampunk), military history, movies, book reviewing, and plain old reading and writing. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), the International Thriller Writers (ITW), and the Authors Guild. He lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, W.D.!

W.D. has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!

Wolf's Edge – a Horror-Thriller with Bite
by W.D. Gagliani

Recently Samhain Publishing released my novel Wolf's Edge, the fourth book to feature Milwaukee homicide detective Dominic "Nick" Lupo, after the previous novels, Wolf's Trap, Wolf's Gambit, and Wolf's Bluff.

Since I have a foot in both the horror and thriller camps, it’s understandable that my fourth novel in the series begun with Wolf’s Trap (a Bram Stoker Award nominee in 2004), would continue to tell parallel past and present stories about Detective Lupo. Let me give you a short recap of the series, in case you'd like to read them in order.

There's no need for a spoiler alert: Nick Lupo is a werewolf. He's trying like mad to make his lycanthropy pay off in his police work – and often failing miserably. Wolf’s Trap told the stories, alternately, of Nick’s infection and, in the present, of Nick’s epic struggle against a totally twisted and evil, revenge-driven serial killer who happened to know Nick's dark, unbelievable secret. I tried very hard to keep the werewolf parts as logical as I could, and to be true to the sort of noir-thriller aesthetic I'd admired since I was a young reader and hopeful writer. That novel sold well enough that the publisher asked for more. How often does that happen? My new publisher, Samhain, re-released Wolf's Trap in 2011.

The second Nick Lupo novel – Wolf’s Gambit (now published by Amazon's 47North imprint) – was quite a bit more difficult to plot. I had to start from scratch with a whole new story. I'd considered Trap a one-off, so I’d done no real groundwork for any other monsters-slash-werewolves in Nick’s world. Nick just figured he was an aberration, an unlucky victim and the only werewolf. Boy, was he wrong!

He learned how wrong when three mercenaries came to the town of Eagle River, WI, hired by a different local serial killer to aid in his mysterious quest. Unfortunately for everyone, the mercenaries soon proved bloodthirstier than usual because they were a “pack” of werewolves, former employees of Wolfpaw Security, a Blackwater-like private contractor. The three were fresh from bloody tours in Iraq, where they'd been able to wolf out to their hearts' content. Of course, Wolfpaw turned out to have more than a few werewolf mercenaries in its ranks – and also a history reaching back to World War II, and perhaps farther.

Now that Nick’s world allowed for the existence of other werewolves, the following novel (Wolf’s Bluff, also 47North) raised the stakes. Wolfpaw seemingly turned its attention toward a thorn in their side, Nick Lupo and anyone connected to him. Meanwhile, Nick had to deal with “animal attacks” in yet another northern Wisconsin small town, as well as a dogged Internal Affairs investigator. Nick was also forced to deal with three beautiful women. Since the werewolf gene increases both bloodlust and libido, you can imagine that things got quite heated in this one!

We arrive at the newest, the fourth Nick Lupo thriller, Wolf’s Edge (Samhain Publishing). In this one, our messed-up hero finally comes face to face with the corporate-werewolf foe whose grandiose plans are more in line with those of a Bond super-villain than the first book’s humble serial killer.

Interestingly, while writing Wolf's Edge I found myself reaching farther back for the parallel story line. In this case, instead of mining some of my own and observed memories of childhood and high school angst, I remembered the vivid stories my immigrant parents told of their turbulent youth in war-torn Italy. And the seeds I had sown in Wolf’s Gambit bore bitter fruit as I took the story back to include not only Nick’s father as a child, but Nick’s grandfather, who had battled Nazi werewolves as a partisan in the northern Italian hills after the Italian capitulation in late 1943.

Overnight Italy’s German allies became occupiers fighting a bloody rearguard action against the Allied forces' invasion through Sicily. Italian cities and ports were desirable targets for Allied bombing runs. As a major German high command as well as factory city and busy harbor, my parents' hometown of Genova was bombed nightly by Allied squadrons. As children they huddled in tunnels and bomb shelters along with their parents and other innocents, seeing tenement building in their neighborhood destroyed, witnessing street killings and skirmishes between partisans and retreating German forces. They smelled bloating corpses in the gutters. After years of lean meals and deprivation, their young eyes recorded the reality of war all around them. Some of these anecdotes found their way into my fictional account of the last days of the war. All I had to add was Nazi werewolves and a back story that explained why they were there. As it happens, doors were opened that will lead to at least three more Nick Lupo horror-thrillers!

I call my books about Nick Lupo and his condition "North Woods Noirs," trying to please both a horror audience with a generous amount of sex and violence, while attempting to be true to the thriller writers I loved as a young writer: Ian Fleming, Desmond Bagley, Alistair MacLean, Duncan Kyle, F. Paul Wilson, David Morrell, and a host of others. Only readers will be able to judge whether Wolf's Edge succeeds.

A Musical Halloween
A Seasonal Note by W.D. Gagliani

I was never a great participator of Halloween (for various reasons!), but I've always been an avid "experiencer" as well as observer. Of course it's my favorite holiday, and it allows me to indulge in some of my music-oriented interests.

Starting about the second week of October, I make a point to revisit as many of my favorite Halloween and horror movie soundtracks as possible, starting with my all-time favorite, Keith Emerson's music for Dario Argento's "Inferno," as well as his music for "La Chiesa" ("The Church"), also an Argento film, and Lucio Fulci's "Murder-Rock." I consider "Inferno" to be one of the best soundtracks of any type ever composed. But certainly as a horror movie! The main theme's first piano notes alone make me shiver. You don't have to be a Keith Emerson fan to love this, but it may help, as it's intensely in his style.

The Italian band Goblin's score for "Suspiria" is right up there for me, too. I always play that one along with the Emerson, especially in the car while driving through blowing leaves and shedding trees. Okay, then I'm in the mood, so I dust off my other collections of Goblin and Ennio Morricone (both also greatly Argento-oriented), but I add some Bernard Herrmann ("Psycho," anyone?), and segue on to Angelo Badalementi's "Twin Peaks" music (including that for its prequel, "Fire, Walk With Me"). Then it's time for Fred Mollin's excellent work for the "Forever Knight" and "Friday the 13th: The Series" syndicated TV shows, plus a dash of Tangerine Dream ("Sorcerer" and "Legend"), and finally a healthy pinch of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper," which may be the greatest horror rock song of all time.

I play a few others, obscure rarities such as Italian goth-prog band Jacula, but the preceding are my mainstays... and I try to mix up the playing order, but the earliest and my favorite is always Keith's "Inferno." If you haven't seen Dario Argento's "Inferno" and "Suspiria," you've missed two of the most beautiful yet bloody-scary horror movies ever made. The plots don't always make sense, but you can hit Pause almost anywhere and the still frame is likely to be gorgeous, with garish colors overexposed and a great sense of the grotesque paired with the mundane. Somehow, Emerson's music – whether on the piano, synthesizer, or pipe organ – captures the film's best quirks and emphasizes them.

Of course, at least one listen of Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" is always in order, too.

For added fun, whenever we've had trick-or-treaters I've also made a point of blasting out Bernard Herrmann's classic shower scene music from "Psycho" just as we would throw open the door – those in the know always widen their eyes, wondering who might be lurking behind the opening portal... others just think we're crazy. Which works anyway.

I guess Halloween for me is an auditory holiday as much as a visual one!
Thanks so much for joining us today, W.D.!

Three lucky winners will win books from W.D.'s Wolf Cycle series.

The Grand Prize is a paperback copy (Canada/US mailing addresses only) of the fourth book in the series, Wolf's Edge.

There will be 2 Runner-up Prizes of Kindle copies of Wolf's Trap (Book #1)  and Wolf's Edge (Book #4).

Can one werewolf stop a pack of super-wolves?

Nick Lupo is a homicide cop with a difference. He’s a werewolf. He’s worked hard to control his condition, but it isn’t easy to contain the beast inside him. It also means he has some very powerful enemies. Wolfpaw Security Services is a mercenary organization that wants Lupo dead. They want to infiltrate the US military with their own werewolves and they can’t let anyone—especially a fellow-werewolf like Lupo—stand in their way.

Wolfpaw’s genetic experiments have created a “super-wolf” nearly invulnerable to silver, and soon their ranks will be filled with these invincible warriors. Can one wolf—even a fierce beast like Lupo—face the fangs and claws of a pack of these killers and hope to survive?

Buy Link: 
Amazon Paperback / Amazon Kindle

It takes a beast to catch a beast.

Nick Lupo is a good cop—a bit of a renegade at times, with the instincts of a great detective…or maybe a wolf. Lupo has a lot in common with wolves, which is only natural considering he’s a werewolf. He’s battled the creature inside him for years, but now there’s another predator in the area. A bloodthirsty serial killer is leaving a trail of victims, and it’s up to Lupo to track him down and stop the slaughter. Will Lupo dare to unleash one beast to stop another?

Buy Link: 
Amazon Paperback / Amazon Kindle

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

The Grand Prize is open to Canada/US mailing addresses only, but the Runner-up Prizes are open worldwide. The giveaway will close at 12:01 AM EST on November 3, 2012.


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