Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of Werewoofs! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Joelle Sellner: Werewoofs is about a group of misfits who turn into weredogs after being bitten by a pack of infected strays. When they befriend Mara, a loner who’s secretly a werewolf, she helps them control their new powers. In return, they help her investigate her father’s sudden disappearance and their bond turns into a strong friendship.
Brandon Perlow and Paul Mendoza of New Paradigm brought me the initial idea, which was a twist on the werewolf genre where kids turn into dogs instead of wolves. I wanted to focus on Mara’s story - a girl who feels abandoned by her werewolf family and ends up creating a new pack with her friends.
BD: You have a powerhouse team associated with the project! What can you tell us about your shared creative experience about working with artist Val Wise, letterer Ed Dukeshire, and editor Steenz in bringing this graphic novel to life, and what (or who) have been some of your creative influences?
JS: Brandon and Paul put together a phenomenal team. It was exciting to see Val’s artwork from the initial thumbnails all the way through to the finished product. I was able to give feedback at each stage, but with the excellent quality of Val’s art and Ed’s lettering, I didn’t have a lot of notes. I already knew Steenz from her outstanding work at Lion Forge, and I was thrilled to work with her. Her input at every stage of the writing process was extremely valuable.
As for creative influences, I grew up reading Stephen King, and I was also a huge Lord of the Rings geek in high school.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Werewoofs’ story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
JS: My goal with Werewoofs is to reach kids who feel like they don’t fit in, whether it’s due to a difficult family situation, their socioeconomic class, or their sexuality. There’s a pack out there for everyone, and sometimes you’ll find it where you least expect it.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JS: I have some animated projects coming out in 2022 that I can’t talk about yet. I also wrote a holiday rom-com called Saving Christmas Spirit that’ll be out in time for Christmas 2022.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Werewoofs and your other work?
JS: New Paradigm posts up-to-date Werewoofs info including convention appearances. You can find them on Facebook (@NewParadigmStudios) or on twitter at @NPStudios. My twitter is @whereisjoelle. My social media is about 10% work updates and 90% pictures of my cats, so be warned.