Interview: Writer Alice Henderson Talks Supernatural: Fresh Meat
AMANDA DYAR: Supernatural: Fresh Meat follows Sam and Dean Winchester in a new adventure set during the events of Season 7. How will this new novel tie-in with the television show and what pleasant surprises await fans in your novel?
ALICE HENDERSON: Fresh Meat takes place earlier in Season 7. I really wanted to have Bobby in the novel and have the three of them experience an outdoor adventure together. Bobby's a great tracker, and I liked the idea of putting him and the brothers into the same wilderness area where the Donner Party met its deadly troubles. Some aspects I hope readers will enjoy are more time with the awesome Bobby; suspenseful action as the brothers face incredible obstacles in the mountains; and some mysterious supernatural foes.
AMANDA: Supernatural: Fresh Meat will have our heroes doing battle with a mysterious monster deep within the Sierra Nevada mountains. How did you go about choosing a supernatural foe for your novel and how did you know when you found the perfect fit?
ALICE: I have a master's degree in folklore, and my graduate research involved folkloric and mythological creatures. So choosing the monsters for Bobby, Dean, and Sam to fight was like trying to pick which exotic city I want to visit first on a worldwide tour. So many amazing options exist. I don't want to give anything away, so I will just say that they encounter a few strange monsters out there in the snowy mountains. I wanted to pit the characters not only against a formidable enemy, but the elements, as well. I knew what I'd created was the right fit because it would be a disastrous challenge for them to face in the midst of a blizzard.
AMANDA: Each episode of the Supernatural television story is like a different story of its own. What are the main differences between your novel and an episode of the show and what does the novel allow you to get across to readers that wouldn't work the same on television?
ALICE: One really great thing about a novel is that there are no budget limits for action, creature FX, or for shooting on location. Buildings can explode, blizzards can descend on the characters, monsters can shapeshift and take on horrific qualities. I was able to put Sam, Dean, and Bobby into some situations that would have been very expensive to film, and encounter creatures that would be pricey to pull of in a visual medium. A book also allows the reader to hear inside the characters' heads. We can hear Dean thinking about his relationship with Sam, his struggles with guilt, his missing his father. It allowed me to really get deep into the characters. What would Bobby's inner voice sound like? What about Sam's? Just like an episode of the show, Fresh Meat is a different story, a new adventure that pits Sam, Dean and Bobby against some new, deadly foes.
AMANDA: Supernatural is already deep into its eighth season, numerous professional novels and has a huge following that produces more fan fiction than any one person could ever read. What do you believe has been the key contributor to the success of the series and how long can you envision lasting?
ALICE: I think Supernatural has a number of factors that lend to its continued success. The dynamics of the character interaction is powerful. Dean and Sam are brothers and love each other and have each other's backs, but they also have their struggles with each other. Fighting monsters side-by-side is not an easy path for them. Humor plays an important part in the show, too. Frequently the episodes make viewers both laugh and get seriously creeped out, which is a great combination. Another thing I think the show has done very successfully is mixing the monster-of-the-week with ongoing, overarching plotlines. In each season, the brothers encounter fresh monsters and also fight very powerful enemies throughout the entire season. I also love the folkloric research aspect of the show. The folklorist in me loves it when Sam and Dean unearth creatures from urban legends and mythology. I think the show will last as long as the writers continue to create dynamic, intriguing scripts, and the cast and crew bring those scripts to life with their own unique style that makes Supernatural such a pleasure to watch.
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