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Author Interview: Porter Grand


A literary landmark—the original, suppressed draft of the classic novel!

Little Women is a timeless classic. But Louisa May Alcott’s first draft—before her editor sunk his teeth into it—was even better. Now the original text has at last been exhumed. In this uncensored version, the March girls learn some biting lessons, transforming from wild girls into little women—just as their friends and neighbors transform into vicious, bloodthirsty werewolves!

Here are tomboy Jo, quiet Beth, ladylike Amy, and good-hearted Meg, plus lovable neighbor Laurie Laurence, now doomed to prowl the night on all fours, maiming and devouring the locals. As the Civil War rages, the girls learn the value of being kind, the merits of patience and grace, and the benefits of knowing a werewolf who can disembowel your teacher.

By turns heartwarming and blood-curdling, this rejuvenated classic will be cherished and treasured by those who love a lesson in virtue almost as much as they enjoy a good old-fashioned dismemberment.

Includes the original letter from Alcott’s editor, telling her not to even think about it!




Author Info:

Cleveland, Ohio native, Porter Grand, holds an A.S. in liberal arts, and a Bachelor's degree and
Doctoral in Theology. She has worked, among other jobs, as a waitress, bartender, carnival barker, go-go dancer, shampoo girl, welfare caseworker, and Reference Librarian, and now writes daily in her Huntsburg, Ohio farmhouse.

Interview:

1. When did you decide to start writing?

In 1983 I decided to be a novelist and wrote some pretty horrible ones along the way, but the important thing is that I never stopped either reading or writing. I had a bad habit of finishing a book, sending it out to a few agents or editors, and then putting it aside while I threw myself into the next book. I often picked one of the novels back up and rewrote parts of them, which is exactly what I should have been doing -- working toward making my piece better and better instead of starting a new one from scratch.

2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?

I'm sure I am being a bad example here, but I don't pay attention to genres very much, and have seen them work against a book. Genres seem to give some people certain expectations. I have read a lot of books, that when I saw how they were catalogued, was very surprised. I try to defend books on Amazon and other review sites when I see their genre has worked against them. For example, a literary fiction piece may be catalogued as a mystery because there is one in the plot, but it is really very character-driven. That book may get bad reviews from some readers because they expected a hard-core mystery, and feel the book is too tame or too slow. I love to read historical and literary fiction, but I write what inspires me and then think of where it belongs, which I realize is the wrong way to do it. LITTLE WOMEN AND WEREWOLVES is a mash-up. But mash-ups are getting a very bad rap, especially by people who have not read them, or think they are all written according to a formula. Every author of the mash-ups, like authors in any other genre, have a unique perspective and inspiration for their work. I wrote this book at my agent's suggestion, but tried to do it the way I felt Alcott would have if she had included werewolves in the novel. So I started out gingerly, but fell in love with the project and became very passionate.

3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?

I keep an eye on my word count, but don't worry about it. I first wanted to write short stories, but they always turned into novels, so length is never an issue for me.

4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?

I am hard to get out of the house when I'm obsessed with writing a book, so I guess that's a quirk. Once I am working full-tilt on a novel, I resent anything that pulls me away from my work. I do save everything to the computer and three memory sticks. I don't know why I do three, but it eases my mind that I won't lose all my hard work.

5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?

One word? Faithful. I was faithful to Alcott's characterization, plot and themes.

6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?

There was no other title for this book.

7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?

I hope the readers enjoy LITTLE WOMEN AND WEREWOLVES and decide to read the original version. Some people don't understand the war theme in my book where I added the amputees and Mr. March's tribute to the dead, but Alcott served as a Civil War nurse, and I knew that had to have affected her. Nobody walks away from a war completely, and I wanted to show that such an experience follows someone through their entire life. Another issue -- at a book signing in Florida, a young girl came up to me and told me she read my books when she was little. It took me a moment to realize she thought I was Louisa May Alcott. I was shocked, so I hope this, and all mash-ups, educate people about classic literature and authors.

8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

The road to publication was very long and hard. I sent out that first novel I wrote in 1983, and have been sending them out, although erratically, ever since. When I found an agent, everything started to come together for me at last. I never gave up, and as weird as it sounds, through all those years, I never doubted I would be published. It is much easier to submit work today. When I began, all communication was sending paper copies by snail mail.

9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?

Persevere! Keep writing, learn the importance of rewriting, and believe in yourself and your work. And don't forget to read! Every time you read, you may not realize it, but you are absorbing sentence structure, dialogue, and other elements of the art of writing. Also, you must grow a thick skin to be an author today. The internet allows everyone the opportunity to review your work, whether they know what they're talking about or not, so you have to learn to filter out the positive comments and cling to them, and get a good laugh out of the negative ones.

Blogger Remarks:

Thank you very much Christina for granting me the interview. I've always been curious about mash ups. And putting together Werewolves with Little Women just made me all the more curious. For more information on Porter Grand you can visit these links:

http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=117666

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/porter-grand/

And for the continuing YouTube videos, you can visit here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEtQP1FIwqQ

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