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Fascinating People :: Warren Rochelle

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Aug 8, 2016

Everybody loves a "Boy and His Dog" story. But how about the story of a boy and his werewolf... or vice versa?

That's the relationship at the crux of gay fantasy author Warren Rochelle's forthcoming new novel, which is titled -- aptly enough -- "The Werewolf and His Boy." Like Rochelle's three earlier novels, "The Werewolf and His Boy," slated for publication next month, has an LGBT sensibility -- it also is set in an alternate universe, where religious conservatives have made America into a de facto theocracy. But in this case, the worries of the pious reflect actuality: There really are such things as witches, demons, and other supernatural entities, many of them the vestiges of long-ago encounters between human beings and gods.

It's time for some full disclosure. Over the years I have reviewed Rochelle's works, including his novels "Harvest of Changelings" and "The Called," a pair of novels that follow the adventure of a polyamorous foursome of fairies who turn out to be denizens of a parallel universe. (The way they are treated in our own mundane reality -- by more theocratic bullies, and in an America seized by a religious fervor to weed "the Garden" of God's blessed land through spasms of violence -- forms the backbone of the two books.)

After our earlier discussions, Rochelle named a character in his new novel after me: Dr. Kathleen Melloy is a good witch, a fearless defender of her friends and a bibliophile. That brought a smile to my face (who wouldn't be flattered?) but it also posed the problem of a potential conflict of interest.

Which is why I've included this new interview with Rochelle in my column space. Another reason: In the course of our discussion, we got to chat a little, writer to writer, about the utility of both fantasy (his genre of choice) and science fiction (mine) for social commentary, and take note of the different possibilities that each genre makes possible to the author.

In "The Werewolf and His Boy," two young men -- one a "pet" (in this case, that turns out mean he's a werewolf) and one a "godling" (he has the DNA of an honest to... er... gods divine being in his lineage) meet up and fall in love. The fact that one of them is from a highly religious family and they live in a superstitious, homophobic America (not so different, actually, from reality -- especially given that the book is set in the recent past) means that their romance will be fraught with complication and difficulties. But add into the mix the watchful presence of a lethal cadre of demonic beings determined to squelch their growing attachment, and you have an epic in the making.

But no spoilers here! Suffice to say, Rochelle has devised a taut adventure that, like his earlier books, combines erotic self-discovery and high stakes. But let's allow the author tell the story himself... Dear readers, the fascinating Warren Rochelle!

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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