BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature

A lively discussion of ancient and modern Pagan literature -- including children's books, graphic novels, science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries -- along with interviews, author highlights, and profiles of Pagan publishers.

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Author Interview: Carl Redlum



[Continuing our series of interviews centered around Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, we sit down for a Fast Five with Carl Redlum.]


BookMusings: “When the Big Moon Shines,” your story in Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, features lycan characters. Firstly, why werewolves? What draws you to that type of paranormal/mythical character?


Carl Redlum: As a little kid I watched the 1941 movie, "The Wolf Man," and found that actor sexy. While I didn't understand it at the time, I really empathized with a character driven by uncontrollable urges. Werewolf stories generally revolve around a person struggling to be good when society and their own base desires lead them to destruction. 


Oh, and they’re still the sexiest monster to me.  


BookMusings:You add an interesting twist to werewolf lore in your story. Without spoiling it, why the change? And what’s your favorite tidbit of real world werewolf mythology? 


Carl Redlum: Monsters often represent the fears of society at large. Therefore, the mythos must adapt to what is fearful at the present. As much as I connect with the “uncontrollable urges” part of the mythos, I wanted to adjust the rest to better fit with today’s world. 


But my favorite tidbit of werewolf mythology? That a full moon could turn anyone into a sexy beast. 


BookMusings: Human characters in “When the Big Moon Shines” express fear and disdain towards werewolves. Have you found paranormal stories to be particularly effective in exploring themes of repression and persecution?


Carl Redlum: For persecution to happen, you must first “other” a group of people. How better to illustrate this process than to take a regular person and turn them inhuman? Shows like “Being Human” revolve around this idea. Paranormal stories offer a way to show what it’s like to become ‘other’, and how one must cope with being shoved to the fringes of society. 


BookMusings: What does your writing space look like? Books and notes piled everywhere? Or is it neat and tidy?


Carl Redlum: I’m of the “write wherever you can” school of thought, so I’m often at a cafe. Or I’ll stay late at work because I’m never tempted to clean while I’m at the office. (since starting this interview I’ve done two loads of laundry and mopped the kitchen).


But oddly, for me, most of the writing gets done while I’m walking. Somehow it’s easier to work out the story while moving around. So the important part is to be close to a river or somewhere nice to walk.


BookMusings: What other projects are you working on? And which book fairs, conventions, or other events will you be attending in the foreseeable future?


Carl Redlum: I’ve got a gay werewolf novel in the works. It’s on the young adult end of things, and therefore much less sexy than my story in Myths, Moons, and Mayhem


Because I live in Boston, I stick to local conventions. Readercon is my favorite. Anybody who likes to read and write should check it out! Boskone is another good one. They’re both small, so it’s easier to meet the authors. This year I’ll be doing a reading at Arisia, which is the largest convention in Boston, and more than a little intimidating. 


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Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. She thinks it is incredibly unfair that she must work for a living rather than being able to read all day. In her next life, she would like to be a library cat.


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