Interview: “Night of the Hidden Fang” by T. James Logan

Mia’s only friend is gone.

Adults are acting weird – well, weirder than normal.

A rash of strange disappearances around town is going all but unnoticed.

When she finds some half-eaten human bones, her safe, suburban world is thrown upside down. Are they her friend’s bones?

Three runaway boys seem to know what’s happening. But what are they running from? And is it going to follow them to her doorstep, even as she’s finally caught the eye of the hunky poet from her English class?

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He whipped out his massive ring of keys as he ran, searching for the right one.

Somewhere, a fire-door slammed. Where had that come from? The back of the dormitory? Somebody making a run for it? Somebody too stupid to realize that this was their last shot at avoiding juvenile detention? What had the kid in the hall been running away from?

A few seconds of fumbling at the door with the five-pound jumble of brass and zinc and steel, and he was inside, running for the stairwell to the second floor, where that camera was mounted.

The hallway was still dark, and the heavy puffing of his breath echoed down the empty, tiled corridor. The light from the bathroom still spilled a skewed rectangle onto the floor and wall. He ran for the bathroom, certain he was going to see some emo junkie hanging from a shower head by a bedsheet or left in a beaten bloody pile.

But when he reached the bathroom, he saw no such thing. Nothing at all in fact. Empty. Spic-and-span. Not even a dribble of errant urine on the floor, even though the kid who had run looked like he had practically peed himself. But what was this? Two long parallel scratches gouged into the paint of a toilet stall door, about two feet from the floor, so fresh that flakes of paint still hung from the edges. Why would someone want to deface the door so close to the floor? Most graffiti or vandalism happened at eye level.

Somewhere a door slammed, then a strange scratching-running sound. He pulled his Maglite and ran toward the noise. Sounded like it came from the door to the far stairwell. This building held three floors of boys ages six to eighteen, with the oldest boys on the top floor. At the far end of the hallway, the plastic box covering the light switches and thermostat controls were shattered, as if by a hammer. Shards of plastic littered the floor.

He flipped the switches, and the hallway lights flickered on. Another slamming fire-door, this one far below, drew him in a gasping rush into the stairwell. Looking over the banister down well, he saw a flicker of shadow disappear through the fire door. He charged down the stairs two and three and a time. Shelly would kill him if he fell and broke his neck. Seconds later, he plowed through the fire door back out into the night air. The rattle of the chain link fence snagged his ears. A trio of shadows landed on the other side of the fence, shapes barely glimpsed in the darkness before they dashed into the cornfield beyond with the rustle of leaves.

—from Night of the Hidden Fang by T. James Logan

The Interview

What inspired you to write Night of the Hidden Fang?

The initial kernel of an idea came from a dream my ex-wife had about three boys on the run from from their abusive soccer coach, and they jumped out of the woods naked along a bike trail, asking for help. So, that was the beginning of the book that would become Night of the Hidden Fang. The book has since evolved into what will be a trilogy. I finished Dawn of the Deadly Fang earlier this year, and am planning for Day of the Broken Fang in Winter 2021.

Why do you think so many people, of all ages, love reading YA?

For younger readers, it’s because they want to read stories about young adults their own age or maybe a little older facing adversity and overcoming obstacles. For older readers, I think it’s a desire to recapture youth, to remember the passions of young love, adventure, discovery, in ways that they can’t experience anymore. It might also be a desire for simpler stories. I don’t mean simplistic, because books like The Hunger Games are not “simple.” But my sense is that the storytelling in YA fiction is more direct, less prone to literary obfuscation or experimentation. My sense is that most YA audiences want a rollicking good story without an overabundance of literary bent.

Did you make up any of the science used in your book, and if so, what and why?

Well, the monsters in my book are SF based, but I invented a lycanthropic plague that transmitted by saliva. So if you get bitten, it’s highly likely you’ll get lycanthropy. But I also played around with some real-life viral weirdness to have it react different with our main character’s DNA. I wanted to keep it close enough to real science to be plausible, even though we’re talking about shapeshifting critters. I also made conservation of mass a concern, so a person weighs as much in their monster form as they do in their human form.

What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

Right now I’m putting the finishing touches on the first volume of a new urban fantasy/cultivation trilogy called Shinjuku Shadows. Book One is called Tokyo Blood Magic.

One of the things I loved about it was exploring Tokyo and a couple of historical sites, but virtually. Because of the pandemic, my family and I had to cancel a long-planned trip to Japan. It would have been the first time I’d been back to Japan since moving back to the States, so that was a painful disappointment. So writing this book gave me a chance to play in Tokyo with Google Maps and Street View. It was also somewhat of an escapist experience to write in a world of monsters and magic, while the real world grinds to a halt.

About T. James Logan

Bestselling author T. James Logan writes a lot of different kinds of things, from science fiction, fantasy, and horror to working on roleplaying games and screenplays. In his persona as T. James Logan, he loves to recapture bits of childhood, those times when a glimpse of a werewolf on television kept him up at night, those times when crushes were crushing, and those moments of youthful exuberance when the world was all possibilities.

He lives in Denver, Colorado, with his family, plus a dog and a cat, neither of which are lycanthropes—at least he’s pretty sure.

Find T. James Logan

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub

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