I recently got the opportunity to interview Tyrell Johnson, who has just released his debut novel in the UK, The Wolves of Winter. I loved this book and reviewed it immediately, you can find my review here. I had a lot of questions to ask Tyrell after I had finished the book, here are those questions!
L: Firstly, could you introduce yourself to the blog?
T: My name is Tyrell Johnson, and my book is The Wolves of Winter. I’m an American living in Canada with my wife and three (Lord help me!) little kids. Other than reading and writing, I like hiking, tennis, and a good stout.
L: The Wolves of Winter is released in the UK on the 29th November, could you tell us what it is all about?
T: The Wolves of Winter is about a young woman surviving in the Yukon wilderness after apocalyptic events have wiped out most of mankind. She thinks her family might be the last survivors on earth until she encounters a stranger in the wilderness who changes her life forever.
L: What was the inspiration behind the novel? Where do you get your writing inspiration in general?
T: I wish I had a really cool specific muse, but the truth is inspiration comes from a variety of sources: my family, books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, events in my life, and that hazy metaphysical place in my brain where the voices talk to me.
L: Did you plan out the story and all its little details before you wrote the story or not?
T: No. I definitely had bullet points and ideas, but nothing hard and fast. Part of the fun of writing for me is to sort of discover what will happen next or what my characters might do.
L: What made you decide to write from a female perspective?
T: Readers of my past work have always said that the female characters in my stories were their favorite, so my wife very wisely said: “You should write a book with a female protagonist.” And, as usual, she was right.
L: How were you introduced to writing?
T: In some way, I’ve always been writing and coming up with stories. When I was young, my dad used to play GI Joes with me; inevitably, I’d look up at him and ask, “Are you done now, Dad?” Not because I didn’t want to play with him, but because he couldn’t keep up with the story lines I wanted to create. That said, I suppose I wasn’t really seriously writing until college when I decided to major in English with a focus on creative writing.
L: How were you introduced to reading?
T: My brother was a huge fantasy reader growing up, so I inherited a bunch of books from him.
L: What other books would you liken to The Wolves of Winter and recommend to fans of The Wolves of Winter?
T: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Dog Stars by Peter Heller and Oryx and Crake by Margret Atwood
L: Are there any plans to make The Wolves of Winter into a series?
T: Oh…who knows. I might have some ideas.
L: What are you reading at the minute?
T: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North.
L: What books would you recommend to people if you could only recommend 3 books for the rest of your life?
T: The Power and The Glory by Graham Greene, The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susana Clarke
L: Where do you like to write?
T: I work in an office in my mother-in-law’s horse barn. Its rustic, and quiet, and perfect for writing—as long as the donkey isn’t acting up.
L: Desert island book?
T: How To Survive on a Desert Island by Ron Swanson (I wish this book existed).
L: Drink of choice?
T: Green tea. It tastes like dirt but stimulates brain activity, prevents cancer, and is very green.
L: Hogwarts house?
T: I resist the separation of the houses.
L: Day or night?
T: I don’t know, I’ve got three kids, it’s all a blur.
L: Are you working on anything currently?
T: Yes! I’m excited about it. I hope the world gets to see it someday.
L: Thank you!
Until next time,