Last year, my werewolf novella Susiveri (Wolfblood) received accolades on the biggest and oldest SF/Fantasy story competition in Finland, organised by the Tampere Science Fiction Society. I wrote about the prize in my blog at the time and you can find the original article here. Now, the novella has been published in the latest Portti magazine (3/15) and I'm very happy to share with you a look at the illustration that goes with the story.
The illustration was drawn by Jukka Murtosaari, who has a long career of illustrating sci-fi and fantasy book covers in Finland (but that is not the limit of his experience). His style, I must say, is a perfect fit for my story and illustrates one particular scene in the story very well.
The story is set in 1617, after the Treaty of Stolbovo, when a dragoon officer, Gabriel Sax, travels back home to Stockholm, taking a detour through the eastern parts of the vast Swedish kingdom. On his way, he comes up against an unusually ferocious pack of wolves. This encounter leads him to help local villagers to hunt the pack down and restore peace to the region. And, as this happens to be a werewolf story, the wolves turn out to be something other than your everyday wolves.
My goal was to write a traditional pulp story, in the vein of, for example, Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane stories, and I feel that I succeeded in that attempt. I researched the actual werewolf mythology of the Estonian and Finnish regions and took them into account as much as possible as I plotted the story. In the 17th century werewolves were often thought to be witches in disguise and there are numerous examples of witch and werewolf trials on record. It should be noted that the werewolves of that time were usually less dangerous than the currently held Hollywood views: they were usually blamed for ransacking food stores, making noise etc. and one convenient way to turn a werewolf back into human was to offer them bread... The werewolves in my story are not quite that easy to put down, however...