Cristina Roswell recently took the time to sit down with The Indie Comix Dispatch and answer a few questions. Cristina is an author and creator of Woodland Creatures. Woodland Creatures: Wild Souls was originally a novel, which has been adapted into a 3-volume graphic novel series with script-writer Fali Ruiz-Davila, the artist Tomás Aira, and the letterer Gonzalo Duarte. Volume one was released in 2019 and volume two is currently on Kickstarter at the time of this writing.
Read our recent review of Volume 1 HERE.
Support Volume 2’s Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/498801272/woodland-creatures-wild-souls-1-2
INDIE COMIX DISPATCH (ICD): Cristina, thank you for taking the time to do an interview! I’ve been reading Volume 1 oF Woodland Creatures, really great read! Tell us about yourself first, how did you become an indie comic book creator?
Cristina Roswell: Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!
I think me becoming an indie comic book creator came a bit out of nowhere really. I‘m a published urban fantasy author (paperback novels) and had never worked on comics before.
I published Woodland Creatures as a paperback book in 2016 but it was only available in Spanish (my mother tongue) and my readers had always said that my writing style is so visual that they could easily see my story as a movie. Joining my wish to reach English speaking readers and my novel being so visual gave me the idea of the graphic novel format.
ICD: So, break down Woodland Creatures for us? What happened in Volume 1 and what can you tell us about Volume 2?
Cristina: In Volume 1 we are in Manhattan, where we meet our main characters Callie and Christopher. They are two lycanthropes that, instead of turning into wolves, are mentally and soul-linked to their respective wolf companions (amaroqs) and can transmigrate their minds inside them in order to control them.
Callie is basically a 25 y/o murdering sociopath and Chris is a PTSD-suffering veteran that has to keep her under control and often clean up her mess (aka kills).
In the first volume Chris is summoned by the UN because the attacks by lycanthropes around the world are on the rise. A colonel from the army has come up with the idea of forcing (“inviting”, according to him) lycanthropes to join the army, but Christopher is against it. The colonel tries to convince the UN that lycanthropes are a danger and obviously Callie, being the wild card that she is, makes it a bit difficult for Chris to rebut that affirmation.
In Volume 2 our protagonists are back home in Alaska, where Callie is freer to let her wild self loose (and hence cause more trouble). After the events in NY our couple’s relationship is not in the best of terms plus the problems that they faced in the city seem to follow them. We learn more about our protagonists traumatising pasts and the dangers from the army become more obvious. We also learn more about the link between the lycanthropes and their amaroqs.
ICD: You’re in the middle of a Kickstarter Campaign, how’s that going?
Cristina: It is actually going amazingly well. The campaign for Volume 1 was funded with 4 days left and Volume 2’s campaign was funded within 4 days! We have just under two weeks left and we’re about to reach our second stretch goal.
It is great seeing backers return for Volume 2 and also welcoming so many new ones!
ICD: What Kickstarter perks are you most excited about?
Cristina: I think my favourite reward is the cameo. It sold out really fast and I can totally see why. Who wouldn’t want to appear in a comic book?!
My second favourites are the rewards with the art prints as we have amazing guest artists like Diego Galindo, who has done covers for Firefly and the Power Rangers comic books. His work is just outstanding.
And we also have packs with Volume 1 and 2 for those who missed the first one!
ICD: What has surprised you the most about Kickstarter? Any words of advice for other indie creators?
Cristina: I was really surprised by the amount of people interested in the project. With Volume 1 we got a lot of backers mainly due to all the promotion we did at comic cons during the year. However this year we were only able to attend 2 comic cons before the world locked down, so I feared that the Kickstarter would fail without that promotion.
I was very surprised to see it doing so well and so fast, and we also have a crazy amount of followers that I really hope I can welcome as backers soon!
My word of advice to other indie creators wanting to go on Kickstarter would be to build an audience before launching the project. I started building mine mid-2018 and launched the Kickstarter about a year later.
ICD: Let’s talk werewolves! What inspired you to write a werewolf story? Always been a wolf man fan?
Cristina: I must say I have always preferred werewolves over other horror creatures, I think maybe because I love wolves and dogs and the link between humans and nature. I also find it really interesting that struggle and fight between your wilder (evil at times?) inner side and the human (not always that good) part.
But I always like keeping my stories as realistic as possible despite the fantastical creatures, hence why the twist on my werewolves.
ICD: What’s unique about the Lycan in Woodland Creatures that sets it apart from other werewolf stories?
Cristina: What’s different is that my lycans don’t turn into wolves but instead each of them has a wolf companion that they are linked to from a very young age and until they die.
They can transmigrate their minds into the wolves’ bodies to control them while their human bodies remain unconscious. It’s a bit like the wargs from Game of Thrones (believe it or not I hadn’t read the books or seen the series when I came up with my idea) but with the addition that my lycans also have enhanced senses when they are in their human bodies (so better sight, smell, hearing, etc, like wolves would have) and the wolf instinct and, sometimes, reactions.
ICD: Will Woodland Creatures be an on-going series? Or do you have an end in mind?
Cristina: Since the graphic novel is based on my already published paperback book, the graphic novel series is already set to be three volumes long.
I had, however, started writing a sequel to the book before I started the graphic novel series, so IF readers want more after finishing Volume 3, there is definitely more that I can offer.
ICD: Let’s talk indie / self published comics, who are you following right now and who do you think others should be following?
Cristina: At the moment I’m following the “Milky” comic books by Joshua Saxon, it is currently on its last issue and as I write this lines his Kickstarter is on its last hours, but it is definitely worth checking out even post Kickstarter! Hilarious story about a milkman trying to protect Earth from aliens.
I also just discovered The OZ by David Pepose, whose Kickstarter just finished, but I’m pretty sure everybody is already following him so no need for me to ask people to, lol.
At the moment I’m following more people than I really should for the sake of my bank account and really don’t want to forget anyone so…anybody curious can just check my backed projects on Kickstarter or browse my Twitter timeline as I try to retweet projects I like J
I also heard about this Keanu Reeves dude and his comic book that everybody is talking about, so must be good? 😉
ICD: What’s one piece of advice you give to other new indie comic creators?
Cristina: To offer the best work they can and to do it because they actually believe in it and are proud of the story they want to tell (and not because of money) and do LOADS of promotion and build a fan base of sorts before they decide to launch a Kickstarter campaign.
ICD: Where can people find your work and how can they support your kickstarter?
Cristina: They can support the Kickstarter campaign at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/498801272/woodland-creatures-wild-souls-1-2
And here’s the website: http://www.cristinaroswell.net/woodlandcreatures