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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Midsummer Dream Fair Day 4: The Big Bad Wolf Petting Zoo



(Kait Nolan, author of Red, stops by to educate us on the Big Bad Wolf...let's give her a warm welcome!)


The Evolution of the Big Bad Wolf

It’s commonly known that most folk tales originated as a means of imparting some kind of moral or lesson. They were a way to teach people about dangers in the world. It’s no wonder, then, that a common character in many tales is the big bad wolf. Everybody’s heard of him. In most fairy tales, he’s a bad guy, which is in keeping with the idea that these stories were intended as warnings. Wolves were creatures of the wild, of the dark, of the unknown. They were dangerous. The proper thing to do was stay in your village or by the fire, don’t go out alone.

It is, of course, human nature to be fascinated by the forbidden, so it is no surprise that wolves have continued to figure in stories and tales over the centuries. The big bad wolf evolved into the werewolf. Man become beast. How’s that for upping the stakes? The psychological ramifications of this setup are vast and rich. Here the threat is not from the outside but from within. One is literally taken over by the beast within. A werewolf is the total antithesis of the proper and civilized—the perfect embodiment of one’s baser nature. 

The message from such stories is clear: repress, repress, repress.

In modern days, the big bad wolf evolved yet again—this time in a way that would probably be pretty surprising to our fearful ancestors. The big bad wolf has become the hero. I admit, I’m particularly fond of this incarnation of the BBW. I’ve got a real soft spot for the alpha wolf. Strong. Sexy. Confident. The beast and the danger still exist but it’s mitigated by some other factor—pack, love, massive self control. There’s nothing like seeing all that power directed in a good fight or in defense of a mate.


My YA novel, Red, is a mix of both the earliest and most recent incarnations of the big bad wolf. I began to wonder what would have happened if Red Riding Hood fell in love with the wolf (this was before the movie that tanked). The original myth was a warning: Don’t talk to strangers. It wasn’t a stretch to make that stranger a werewolf and to create an illicit, Romeo and Juliet style relationship. But that wasn’t so much the part that interested me. No, I wanted to know what the ramifications would be for future generations if Red’s love was killed before he ever told her what he was, before he knew she was with child. And that’s how I came up with Elodie. The latest in Red’s line, she’s been raised with all kinds of false information about the family curse and what triggers it. Throw in an assassin determined to exterminate her family line and a sexy, brooding hero and you have one wild ride that explores all my favorite aspects of the big bad wolf legends. 
 
What’s your favorite tale about the big bad wolf? Inquiring minds want to know! One lucky commenter will receive a free e-book copy of Red. 
 
~*~

Kait Nolan is stuck in an office all day, sometimes juggling all three of her jobs at once with the skill of a trained bear—sometimes with a similar temperament. After hours, she uses her powers for good, creating escapist fiction. The work of this Mississippi native is packed with action, romance, and the kinds of imaginative paranormal creatures you’d want to sweep you off your feet…or eat your boss.  When she’s not working or writing, she’s in her kitchen, heading up a revolution to Retake Homemade from her cooking blog, Pots and Plots. You can catch up with her at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Every fairy tale has a dark side…

Elodie Rose has a secret. Any day, she’ll become a wolf and succumb to the violence that’s cursed her family for centuries. For seventeen years she’s hidden who and what she is. But now someone knows the truth and is determined to exterminate her family line. Living on borrowed time in the midst of this dangerous game of hide and seek, the last thing Elodie needs to do is fall in love. But Sawyer is determined to protect her, and the brooding, angry boy is more than what he seems. Can they outsmart a madman? And if they survive, will they find a way to beat the curse for good?

Red is available in ebook from Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DESony, the iBookstore, Diesel Ebooks, XinXii, and All Romance EBooks. It is available in paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository (free international shipping!) and Createspace.



Giveaway!  One comment on today's post wins a copy of Red by Kait Nolan. Tell us your favorite Big Bad Wolf tale!


The ebook giveaway is international and open until 11:59 PM (Eastern) this Saturday, and the winner will be announced Sunday at the prize booth!

The Midsummer Dream Fair was brought to you today by:
Between the Pages

49 comments:

  1. I'm gonna have to go with the classic Little Red Riding Hood! My little girl loves this story and we read it all the time! Thanks for the giveaway :)

    literarydarling(at) gmail (dot) com

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  2. Uh, little red riding hood. DUH! And wow, I am the sponsor. How fucking cool =D

    Love u

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  3. Little Red Riding Hood always scared me as a child! I love reimaginings of it though - like the recent film with Amanda Seyfried (even though it wasn't that good of a film). I always remember the Wolf and the Seven Young Kids, which is also kind of creepy.

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    1. I'm not familiar with that one, and I thought I knew all the common wolf fairy tales!

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  4. Although I do love Red Riding Hood, I have to go with The Three Little Pigs, purely as this book keeps the kids in work entertained and each book I read is always different. Some are more 'kid friendly' where the wolf is chased away, while others put the wolf into a pot of hot water and the pigs are never hungry again ;)

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  5. Hmmm, I never really was into the fairy tales. I always thought the wolf got the short end of the stick every time. After all, he was only being himself.
    Now, The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf is my kind of story, LOL.

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  6. Hmmm, I have to say Little Red Riding Hood, because, If you think abOut it, it's Pretty creepy. Like in the ending, it's head gets chopped off.
    hopenoellewalker@gmail.com

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  7. I liked shiver by Maggie stiefvater, and bitten by kelley armstrong. I love books with werewolves thouggh so I've read loads!

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  8. I'm not sure if it counts, but my favorite has always been Beauty and the Beast. I've always imagined the Beast as being wolf-like.

    vivaciousv1114[at]gmail[dot]com

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  9. I have to stick with Little Red Riding Hood as my favorite. It's classic. I loved it as a kid, and still as an adult. I have read a lot of Werewolf books though and I do enjoy them. Recently Hemlock! I loved that book. Oh and the one where the chick is at that reform school. I can't remember the name of it.

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  10. My favorite Big Bad Wolf is Clay from Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. Clay was the Alpha's mercenary.

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    1. Clay is awesome and so...psychologically interesting.

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  11. HOWL.in the distance* My.favorite werewolf story. Is seasons of the moon. .summers moon it is amazing and a awesome Story.

    You better leave yhe forest before the moon rises and stay on the path.
    Also id hurry if I were you it sounds like my pack is hungry . * HOWL*

    deborah.goff@ymail.com

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  12. The classic Little Red Riding Hood one of my favorite kids stories. My sisters would always crawl around the bed when My Mom or I read the story.

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  13. I really like Little Red Riding Hood, but movie wise I really like The Wolf Man. *insert howling noise that won't translate into letters* LOL

    laughs4life14(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  14. My favorite is actually a movie version of a collection of short stories by Angela Carter titled The Company of Wolves. I like the short stories as well, but I came across the movie first and just fell in love with it.

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  15. I would have to go with The Three Little Pigs just because I see myself as the 3rd pig. I'd like to think of myself as the reliant one who takes care of her family and gets the job done :) Poor wolfie but I would do all I could in order to protect my family... That is, unless Big Bad was Big Sexy... Then I'd protect him from my 2 other sisters. LOL!

    ajeans_herrera@yahoo.com

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  16. Prince of Wolves!!! LOVED this story.... well and Red Riding Hood is a fave classic!!

    SupaGurl
    supagurlheather @ gmail . com

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  17. I love the Taken by Storm series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and the retelling of Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakly-Cartwright.

    stephward84(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  18. I'd probably go with The Three Little Pigs :)

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  19. Favorite wolf tale... hmm I don't know...Good question. I do agree Red Riding Hood is a good one but I would rather read about Red Riding falling in love with the wolf instead of the wolf gettingit in the end. Hey I like the wolf, I mean come on how could you not like a wolf with that cute face in the pic?

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  20. My fave wolf tale... werewolf tails! ;D LOL Sorry, I crack myself up. Sad, I know...

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    Replies
    1. Made me laugh too...that's probably bad huh? :D

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  21. I can honestly say I haven't read any big bad wolf stories, beyond the classic Red Riding Hood. I do have a soft spot for Hoodwinked, though. ;)

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  22. I have to agree with Lindsay, I love Hoodwinked. It's something I can watch with all the kids and not have to worry about nightmares or having to cover their eyes.
    Plus I just love the way they turn the fairy tales around.

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  23. Red Riding Hood is an all time fave!

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  24. I have always loved the three little pigs, but I prefered The True Story of the Three Little Pigs that tells the story from the wolf's perspective.

    rkdiers@ole.augie.edu

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  25. Little Red Riding Hood is my favorite. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  26. Little Red Riding Hood is my favorite and I love the movie they made it made the tale even more intense. teamedward841@live.com Thanks so much for this :)

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  27. Might be a stretch but the werewolves in Harry Potter have always been my favorite, especially Lupin!

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  28. My favourite Big Bad Wolf tale is still Little Red Riding Hood I am afraid! Though I did love Once Upon a Time's (tv show, of course, not my blog) twist on it. I adore retellings and reworkings.

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  29. I have not read any remakes of the Red Riding Hood story but if we just go with bad wolves I love the movie series Underworld. They have some pretty bad wolves. I also liked Once Upon a Time TV show and Red Riding Hood in there is pretty awesome. Thanks!

    rachel at thejeepdiva dot com

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  30. Wolf-Alice, by Angela Carter, which later became the eerie 80's horror movie, Company of Wolves

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  31. I honestly haven't read very many but there are a couple coming out that I'm looking forward to such as , Princess of the Silver Wood and Scarlet!

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  32. Of course Little Red Riding Hood:) lol
    -JennyC

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    1. oh i forgot my email.... jennybelieves@gmail.com

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  33. Lucien from Moon Spell by Samantha Young.
    He's hot, he's bad, he's sarcastic, and he's awesome.
    :D
    funsiized08(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. Little Red Riding Hood is my favorite.
    thanks for the giveaway!
    darksiry(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. I love twisted fairy tales and the ones with a big bad wolf are always delightful. I recently read one that was a twist of the Three Little Pigs. Hog Wild by Jenna Jaxon was a great twist with the "Big Bad Wolf" being a woman.
    Mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

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  36. I'm a fan of Bigby from the Fables comic series. I also love Monroe from Grimm, but he is not really big or bad, just a wolf.
    GFC - rickimc
    rickimc[at]aol[dot]com

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  37. Mainly I just know the orignal Red Riding Hood but I am really excited for Jessica Day Georges new retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that is coming out later this year!!!
    bridget.howard@hotmail.com

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  38. I like Little Red Riding Hood.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  39. I'm going to go with Little Red Riding Hood because sadly, I haven't read any other BBW stories. :(

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  40. I think yours and Little Red Riding Hood are the only real wolf stories I know! I've definitely got to explore more.

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  41. it would have to be Little Red Riding Hood. Gale pgan427@yahoo.com

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  42. I will say Little Red Riding Hood but I like most wolf tales.

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  43. I love C.L. Bevill's books. Blood Moon has a great storyline with the werewolves being bad.
    Emmanuelle
    frenchcanadienne(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  44. Little Red Riding Hood. It's a classic.
    queendsheena@hotmail.com

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  45. I'm not sure I have a favorite aside from the classic tale. However, there is a movie titled Freeway that was made in 1996. It stars Reese Witherspoon and Kiefer Sutherland, and has to be the most bizarre retelling of Red Riding Hood. It is worth the watch for pure entertainment purposes. Heh.

    Thanks for the opp! Red sounds pretty fab. :)
    ash @smashattackreads.com

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