Welcome to the next stop on the Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den tour! I really enjoyed the book and the world building, so I was thrilled to have Aimée drop by to talk about the inspiration behind the book.
I’ve loved animals all my life, and ever since I started writing, I wanted to write a book about someone who could either talk to or turn into an animal. The idea took many forms over the years, and I even wound up writing a full manuscript about a fifteen-year-old boy who was the heir to a pack of wolves. It never saw the light of day, but it did get the “talking to animals” bug out of my head for at least a few years.
However, that idea came back full force in 2012, when the character of Simon appeared. I didn’t know much about him at the time, but I did know he was a bullied twelve-year-old boy who had a big secret: he could talk to animals. I also knew he had a guardian, though whether that was his mother, grandfather, or his uncle, I wasn’t sure. In fact, in some of the earliest drafts, all three made an appearance with Simon in a cabin on the edge of a tiny town (and not the bustling New York City, where the story takes place now). None of those early chapters made it into the final product, but all three characters – his scarred and intimidating Uncle Darryl, his fearless and adventurous mother, and his mysterious and aloof grandfather – play important roles in the series.
From there on out, once I knew the basics about Simon, I had to come up with his story. Usually it’s the other way around for me – I have a premise and a plot, and I write characters into it. But I already had Simon, so it was a matter of figuring out what kind of world he lived in and what threats he faced from the animal kingdom. Eventually I came up with the idea of Animalgams (ani-MAL-gams), or people who are born with the ability to shift into a specific animal. Animalgams, I decided, were separated into five kingdoms: mammals, birds, reptiles, underwater creatures, and insects (including arthropods), and they were all at war with one another. Simon’s family, naturally, is caught in the middle of everything, and from there I did a lot of brainstorming with friends, my agent, and her very smart assistant, and everything fell into place. Now, four years after Simon popped into my head, Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den is hitting shelves, and I couldn’t be happier.
About Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den
A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.
Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.
But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.
In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.
This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series.
About Aimée Carter
Aimée Carter was born and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She is the author of several series, including The Goddess Test series, The Blackcoat Rebellion series, and the Simon Thorn series.
QUEEN (#3 of The Blackcoat Rebellion) will be released on November 24th, 2015.
SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF’S DEN (#1 of the Simon Thorn series, Bloomsbury) will be released February 2, 2016.
3 Finished Copies of SIMON THORN!
A huge thank you to Hannah @ The Irish Banana & Courtney for organizing the tour! Thank you Aimée for sharing your story about how Simon and Animalgams came to be!
So now that you know more about Animalgams, what kind of animal would you like to shift into? Let me know in the comments below!