Today, I'm interviewing author Naomi Clark about Ayla, one of the main characters in her urban wolf novel, Dark Hunt.
- Naomi, thank you for visiting Vivid Sentiments. Where does your character live? Where is she from? How does it relate to the overall setting?
Ayla lives in the UK, in an East Anglian city not dissimilar to Cambridge (where I live). In terms of the overall setting, I feel like the Urban Wolf series is a very British urban fantasy, and that British-ness comes through in the city and the people who live there and interact with Ayla. My own observations of life in the UK make up a big part of the series – issues like drug use, gang violence, politics – but it's all filtered through the eyes of a werewolf!
- Who does she live with? Friends, family, roommates, etc...
Ayla lives with her girlfriend, Shannon, a private eye.
- How does Ayla define "family"?
For Ayla, family is first and foremost her nearest and dearest – her girlfriend, her parents, and her best friends. But for werewolves there's also family in the sense of the Pack – all the werewolves living in the city. There's a sense of duty and responsibility to the Pack that's supposed to override everything else, and Ayla struggles to balance that with her personal life.
- What's the most important and/or influential person in Ayla's life?
That's a tough one, but I think it's probably Shannon. Before Ayla and Shannon met, Ayla was pretty directionless. Shannon's a very grounded character and she helped Ayla settle down and want to find a direction in life.
- What does Ayla do for a living?
At the moment Ayla works in a tattoo shop but her hope is to join the police force as a Community Support Officer. She's been very motivated by the murder of her cousin – an unsolved case.
- Name one (or more) things that are unusual about Ayla from others in her society/setting. Do others notice this right away?
Ayla is a lesbian, which has caused a lot of conflict with the Pack and her parents. Werewolf birth rates are very low and the Pack sees it as every female's duty to have children if they can. Ayla's sexuality means there's always an undercurrent of tension in her interactions with certain Pack members – she's seen as something of a black sheep.
- Where does Ayla see herself in 5 years?
Ideally she'd love to be in a better paying job, doing something she thinks is worthwhile and makes use of her abilities! She'd want to still be with Shannon, and hopefully living a slightly quieter life than she is now!
- Is Ayla an introvert or extrovert? What makes her stressed? What makes her relax?
Ayla is a bit of an extrovert, but she tends to live in her head a lot too. Her imagination runs away with her when she's nervous or upset. Her werewolf instincts are easily triggered by threats to her loved ones – she's a bit more careless about her own safety. Stressy situations might make her a little snappy (literally and figuratively!)
- What is Ayla's strength?
Ayla's biggest strengths for me are her sense of justice and fairness – she always wants what's right and she'll fight for it whatever the odds are.
- What is Ayla's weakness?
Ayla's quite emotional and sometimes she lets that get the better of her common sense! It leads her to make decisions that sometimes expose her to danger.
Ayla Hammond is taking on Paris.
Hoping for a romantic getaway in the City of Lights with her girlfriend, Shannon, she finds a city under the dark thrall of Le Monstre.
Getting caught up in mystery and murder was the last thing Ayla and Shannon expected to find in the City of Love, but as the body count grows and tension rises between Parisian werewolves and humans they find themselves stalked by an unknown terror.
What is Le Monstre and why does it make Ayla's wolf want to turn tail and run? Can it be stopped before they become its next victims?
We're giving away plenty of swag in the DARK HUNT blog tour. There are daily ebook giveaways and hampers of goodies up for grabs at the grand finale of the tour including ebooks, limited DARK HUNT t-shirts, personal horoscopes and tarot readings by Naomi Clark, as well as postcards from Ayla, Shannon, Vince, Joel and Glory (urban wolf series characters). Leave a comment here (ask me a question or just say hello) with your email address to be entered. Enter at each point along the tour for more entries and more chances to win.
Contest winners will be announced at the end of the blog tour (first week of November).
Naomi, thanks for stopping by for the chance to chance to win those goodies and good luck with your book.
Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once. You can follow Naomi at Twitter; Facebook or on her Blog.