Today we begin another interview series. Gina Farago is in the doglight and each day for the next seven days I’ll be running another part of the interview I did with Gina at the recent Ravencon in Richmond, Virginia. I hope you can join us for each installment.
Gina is a new author but one I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot from in the future! Her first novel, Ivy Cole and the Moon, has already garnered acclaim and attention in the literary world. Now I want to share it with dogsters (and catsters) around the world. In time, Ivy Cole and the Moon may very well be considered to be in the vanguard of a new sub-genre or literature that I like to think of as dog lit — literature told from and really based in a true understanding and appreciation for dogs.
We’re here with Gina Farago and Ivy Cole and the Moon, a new novel that came out last year. Gina, tell us a little bit about the novel.
GF: It’s about a lady named Ivy Cole and she lives in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. She is a very sweet lady. She is a dog trainer by trade. She loves dogs and shes notorious for picking up strays by the side of the road. She considers all these little strays that shes collected as her pack.
However, one thing that nobody knows about Ivy is that she is a werewolf as well so her connection to the canine is very personal. And Ivy has moved into Doe Springs, North Carolina and she considers this her territory, just like any wolf would. The people in the town that she loves, she protects them as her pack mates. The people in her town that she considers to be undesirable, she culls them out of the herd as a real wolf does when it hunts. So she is a flesh-eater by the full moon and the funny thing about the conflict for the reader is that you find Ivy to be such a likable character, especially because of her dog connection (anybody who loves dogs is a good person in my book) the people that she chooses to eliminate you really find that you’re happy that they’re gone because the town really is better without them.
But the controversy in the book starts to happen when another werewolf has moved into town. There are these mysterious killings that are not discriminate. Ivy can choose her victims carefully bit these other deaths that are occurring are being done by someone else who has no conscious whatsoever.
So she has made it her mission to stalk this other werewolf. Meanwhile he is also stalking her because he wants to take over the territory. Now there is a sheriff in the town, her name is Sheriff Gloria Hubbard. Shes a very strong woman character; also very likable. She is trying to figure out what is doing all the killings in her town. Shes very honorable, very upright. You love Ivy but now suddenly you love the sheriff very much. You worry about the sheriffs welfare. She has two deputies, Deputy Meeks and Deputy Sanders and one of the deputies ends up inadvertently falling in love with Ivy Cole. And he has no idea that this is the person that hes trying to track down. Ivy is very aware that this man that she is trying not to fall in love with is someone that she may have a showdown with near the end of the book and that is kind of where the climax comes in the book. Readers can just read it to find out what happens.
JW: Absolutely! You have a long history in dogs and you are a dog lover. How did that feed into this book?
GF: Well, when you read this book its like reading the AKC registry of dogs worked into a fiction story. I mention over twenty different breeds. In fact, Ivy picks up a stray. His name is Rex. Hes a little terrier. She pulled him out of a ditch. He had mange. She thought he had been hit by a car. They patch him up and Rex actually has a very pivotal role throughout the story. And he turned out to be a little hero at the end of the story. A little dog does big, wonderful things that end up saving a werewolf. So I give the dogs big roles. Ivy also has, I don’t want to say its her familiar but, she has a companion dog who is actually a wolf and his name is Aufhauker and he is her protector in the times when she cannot transform into a wolf herself. Dogs play a huge role throughout the entire story.
JW: What does that do for you to be able to write about dogs in this way?
GF: I just love dogs and I feel like dogs are, I don’t want to say they are human because a lot of ways I feel like they are better than humans. They are certainly more forgiving than humans. They are more loyal. They are always on our side. They love us no matter what and I just always loved dogs and my love for dogs is carried over to love for wolves. So its very obvious when you read this story that a dog person has written the story because all of that comes through very clearly.
Join us tomorrow for the next installation of Gina’s interview!