Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
Beth Woodward is the author of the Dale Highland series of urban fantasy novels. The second book, Embracing the Demon, released on June 19. (Purchase from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.) She lives in the Washington, DC, area with her husband and the three cats who own them.
Wolf: The universe can be dangerous at times. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?
Beth: Well, that would very much depend on what I needed the weapon for. Am I aiming for maximum destruction or just self-defense? (Or maybe self-offense. I could see that being a thing.)
I “invented” a type of gun in my books called the “Intelli-Target,” which corrects your aim so that you always hit your target. I think if I were looking for personal defense (or offense), I’d probably go with that, because my hand-eye coordination sucks and otherwise I’d probably shoot my eye out.
As for maximum destruction…I’d probably want something that wouldn’t damage the environment or hurt animals. I can’t see any scenario, even as a fictitious destroyer of things, where I’d be okay with that.
Wolf: Ah, an environmentally protective destroyer. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
Beth: My protagonist is someone who doesn’t trust easily and hasn’t made a lot of connections in her life. So naturally, I had her learn to trust someone and make a deep connection with that person…and then that person betrayed her.
I mean, pretty much all of my fiction could be summarized as, “Beth does mean things to her characters.” But the story would be pretty boring otherwise.
Wolf: That is very cruel. I hope you gave your protagonist a chance to recover before throwing another brick at them. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Beth: My husband and I have three cats, whom we dote on excessively, and I volunteer at an animal shelter doing personality evaluations on the adoptable cats. (Yes, it is a thing.) So while I like dogs, I am very much a committed crazy cat lady.
Wolf: Achoo. Sorry, my cat allergy is acting up. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Beth: Time travel. I’m a big history geek, and I would love to experience what it was like to live in other times…but only if I can come back home to running water and electricity when I’m done!
Wolf: That’s a good one. Be careful not to step on any butterflies. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?
Beth: I run as fast as I can, as far away as possible. I’m a hard-core Ravenclaw. I have no need for heroics, and I’m very aware of my own limitations. If you need someone to stay calm and call 911 after those crazy Gryffindors have rushed headlong into danger and gotten their arms chewed off, I’m your girl. But I’m not going to be the person who rushes into a dark corridor without a flashlight. Or, you know, at all.
Wolf: Smart. The world is about to end. (Maybe it was all those crazy Gryffindors.) What is the first thing you do?
Beth: My first thought was, “I would drop everything, find my husband, and spend the remaining time with him.” If there was time, I’d try to get to my brother, and there’s some other friends and family I’d like to say goodbye to. But I suspect that my first instinct would override everything else. If existence is about to end, he’s the person I’d want to spend the rest of the world with.
Wolf: I’m with you. Describe a meal you would be served while visiting another world.
Beth: I’m a horribly picky eater, so having a meal on another world would not go well for me. The aliens would serve me some delicacy of their world, and then I’d feign a stomach flu because I couldn’t bring myself to try the unidentifiable dish of gray mushy stuff with chunks. (Chunks, as any picky eater knows, are the bane of our existence.) And then I’d go to bed hungry and cursing my phone and my existence—because obviously you can’t get GPS signal on an alien world—and desperately wanting to know if there’s a Pizza Hut on Alpha Centauri.
Wolf: I’ll make a note not to have you over after the next hunt. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)
Beth: Dolphin Cay at Atlantis Beach Resort in the Bahamas. We did a “Dolphin Trainer for a Day” experience, so we got to feed the stingrays, swim with the dolphins, snorkel with all kinds of fish, and spend eight hours learning about all the marine life they have at Atlantis. I was really impressed with how invested they are in the conservation of our oceans and aquatic life.
Wolf: That sounds cool. What story are you working on now?
Beth: I’m in the very, very early stages of planning book 3 in the Dale Highland series. It’s still mostly index cards at this point, but I’m super excited about it. Big things will happen. And Beth will do even more mean things to her characters.
Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Beth: I love to travel! Even short weekend trips are great, but we do as many longer trips as we can manage, too. We just went to Italy and Spain in March, and it was amazing! I try to find a ghost tour in every place we visit; I love learning about spooky history. I’m a huge Doctor Who geek, and I’m so excited that we’ll finally have a female Doctor this fall. I read constantly, which is probably not a surprise. I would also move to Disney World and live there forever if I could.
Wolf: I’m looking forward to the new Doctor as well. You can keep the ghost tours. I don’t do well with spooky.
While you’re checking out Beth’s books, take a look at Star Touched.