Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Predator, her first novel and solo book project for young adults. Bashman is also the editor of The Big Thrill, an International Thriller Writers' magazine, and has had her short fiction published in various anthologies and magazines.
Bashman is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and the International Thriller Writers, where she serves on the board of directors as Vice President of Technology.
Who are some of your favorite YA authors?
I enjoy reading Jandy Nelson, John Green, Jonathan Maberry, Nancy Holder, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Jay Asher, J.K. Rowling, Allen Zadoff, Markus Zusak, and many other young adult authors.
When did you decide that you wanted to get involved in the YA genre?
It wasn't a conscious decision. I had the plot and the characters for Predator. The main character, Bree Sunderland, is a teenager and the point of view character, so the book fell into the YA genre. I love writing and reading in this genre. It's a lot of fun.
Without giving too much away, what can you tell me about Predator?
Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father's gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.
Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil) as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.
How did you develop your characters?
Initially I wrote a character sketch: age, height, weight, hair color, what each character likes to eat, do for fun, listen to music-wise, etc. Then I wrote pages and pages of free thought in each character's voice, as if they were telling someone about themselves. The characters continued to develop and change as the book progressed and throughout the revision process.
What inspired you to start working on Predator?
I came across some articles on bog bodies and was fascinated by how the bodies were preserved and how the people died - most were murdered. I've always been interested in science and genetic engineering. And, I researched and wrote about werewolves in Wanted Undead or Alive, so it all naturally came together, with a lot of hard work of course.
How long did it take you to write the story?
It took me about a year and a half to write Predator from start to finish. The first draft took about six weeks; the rest was editing and rewriting. I was sidetracked along the way when my mom became seriously ill, so it took longer than I had expected. Once the book was sold I spent another few weeks or so editing for my publisher.
What was the most difficult part about writing Predator?
I had to make sure all the science was plausible within the plot of the book. Creating super soldiers had to have a scientific base that made sense. Making sure readers understood that science amid the high pace and high action was important. I gave readers only the information they needed and not a bit more so that the science didn't drag down the story.
Is there meaning behind the title of the book?
Wolves are predatory creatures that must hunt to survive. Werewolves take this to the extreme. The rogue soldiers in the novel become unstoppable killing machines, so the title seemed fitting.
Overall, what is the hope you have with the publication of Predator ?
I hope readers enjoy the book and that they relate to the themes of loss, hope, strength, and perseverance that inform it. Predator is fast-paced with lots of action, romance, and suspense--it should be fun read.
Predator by Janice Gable Bashman publishes Sept. 16, 2014. You can preorder signed copies at The Doylestown Bookshop.