Posted on December 12, 2012 by Billzilla
Edison T. Crux is an author whose first novel, “Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf” debuts on December 15. The author will be attending an event at Pegasus Games in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday December 16, where he will sign copies of his book – for sale in the store – and reportedly at least one game of White Wolf’s Werewolf: the Forsaken will be run at the event to entertain some of the attendees.
Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf is fiction based loosely on real Wisconsin folklore; there have been reported sightings of a wolf-like biped outside of a small town in south-eastern Wisconsin — near to the town where Mr. Crux grew up — as early as 1936 and as recently as the 1990s. Mr. Crux graciously allowed me to steal a few minutes from his busy, pre-launch schedule to talk about his new book.
The Beast of Bray Road is a fairly well-known bit of folklore locally, and has been reported/dramatized in numerous media including film, documentaries and non-fiction books. What does Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf bring that’s new and different?
Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf takes a very different approach to the werewolf legend. Ever since hearing about it, I fell in love with the stories of the Bray Road Beast. And that really translated into the book; in fact, many scenes come almost directly from famous sightings! But it goes a step further, too. I sort of “fill in the blanks” of the Bray Road story with other historic werewolf folklore. Most people expect the “modern” image of the werewolf, but you’ll be in for a surprise in Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf. The monster here is from legends so old, they are new again.
According to your bio on the book’s website, you grew up in a haunted house: how much did this shape your fascination with the supernatural?
It played a big part in it! When you spend your childhood around things you can’t explain, you tend to get curious. That interest in the supernatural started early, and I never grew out of it.
Was/were the presence(s) in your house malevolent? How often did it/they manifest in some way?
I’m glad to say that my family and the house’s “other inhabitants” got along very well. We never felt threatened there, and we always treated these others with respect. They were here longer than us, after all! The beings in the house made themselves known in several ways—creaking footsteps, things randomly jumping off of counters, etc—but the most interesting had to be the radio. For years, almost every night you could hear an old time radio playing from one of the small closets by the bedrooms. It was so consistent, and we didn’t even have a radio like that in the house! We could never explain it, but over the years just grew to accept it as part of the territory.
Did you have any indication that the haunting was related to the cemetery across the street?
Very possible. That cemetery was the biggest and oldest in town, filled with mausoleums and graves so weathered they couldn’t be read. I spent a lot of my childhood in that cemetery, and could navigate the headstones blindfolded. That place is full of history. I can’t pretend to know where it all comes from or how it connects, but there’s no denying that is another very special place. I’m glad to have spent my childhood with it.
I see you’ve set up two local game/comic stores as retail outlets (Pegasus Games in Madison, WI and Top Cut Comics in Loves Park, IL) for Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf: is there a reason why you don’t have any book stores on this list?
There is, and it’s rather controversial. You see, instead of pursuing a traditional publisher, I founded my own small publishing company. I did this because, quite frankly, I don’t want to play by their rules. I’m very community and reader-focused, and I think the big publishers are losing sight of that key element. One thing that’s important to me is to have the first half of Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf available as a free digital download. That’s a much bigger free sample than most places will give. But to get a distribution deal (which is almost essential to get in bookstores), I’d have to give up that right. So I gave up the chance to be in most bookstores, in order to do what I feel is right by the fans.
Is TotWW available for download as an e-book? Through which venues and in what formats?
Oh of course! You will be able to purchase the book for your Kindle, Nook, or through the iTunes bookstore.
Will you be promoting your book at any of the local sci-fi conventions in the coming year?
You know, I hadn’t really considered this yet. I’ll definitely look into it further!
Are you working on any other stories right now? Can you talk about those?
I sure am! Right now I’m working on a book called “Tale of the Gévaudan Beast.” It’s the prequel to Wisconsin Werewolf, and acts as a shorter companion book. And after that, there is a lot more to come. Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf is the first in a series of at least 6 novels and several side-stories.
Is there anything else you want readers to know about Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf?
Don’t be afraid to contact me! Seriously. There’s this feeling that authors are celebrities and won’t respond if you write to them. Not me. If there’s anything I want readers to know, it’s that they can feel free to send me an email, and I’ll do my best to get back to them personally.
For more information on Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf as well as to email Edison, check out the Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf website, where the first three chapters can be downloaded for free.