Guest Post by author David W. Edwards, author of Nightscape: Cynopolis, in association with Worldwind Virtual Book Tours


A Brief Guide to Lesser Were-Creatures 


In deciding on the type of urban were-beast to make the focus of my latest supernatural thriller, Nightscape: Cynopolis, I canvassed the literature for appropriate options. I ultimately landed on jackal-headed monsters along the lines of the Egyptian god Anubis (responsible for ushering souls into the afterlife). I felt creatures of this type had been underutilized in horror fiction and at the same time, best fit with the novel’s cheery themes of cultural and economic decline. Here are a few of the alternatives that didn’t make the cut.




As much as I enjoy B movies like Willard, were-rats just didn’t strike me as physically imposing enough. Sure, they could’ve been fanged, oversized rodents with Wolverine-style claws. But I still wouldn’t have been able to get ridiculous images of the rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail out of my head. And I loathed the prospect of giving characters inventive excuses for falling down or otherwise coming in range of the were-rats’ talons when they could easily get in their SUVs and start churning up roadkill. I did, however, forfeit an awesome title: Ratscallions. 




All of the downsides of were-rats without the cultural caché. Describing the cra-aack of a were-roach shell would’ve been fun once, but the monotony would’ve soon caught up to me. Eventually, I would’ve resorted to lazy Pop Rocks or packing peanuts similes.




The were-creature with the greatest odds of going internet-viral. It’s easy to envision the “I can has cheezburger?” knock-offs and other LOLcat pics. The need to stay true to the nature of housecats, however, sunk this idea. I don’t know about your cat, but mine doesn’t do much more than sleep, eat and whine for petting time. Even if I’d made them hyper-aggressive, they would’ve still been vulnerable to the sounds of vacuum cleaners, blenders and the occasional leaf blower.     




Not the sexy corsets. I’m talking about a stuffed animal combo of Teddy Ruxpin and Chucky. I alluded to one in my previous book, Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils, so nope, been-there, done-that.



Imagine this: a giant turtle with the mind of an ancient Greek sophist and the boxing skills of a muay thai champion. It can talk Zeno’s paradox while beating down the populace man-in-suit-style. Look into its eyes long enough and you’re hypnotized into witnessing the history of humanity’s abuse of the oceans. Now imagine a pissed-off horde of them rampaging through a coastal city, squashing polluters and annoying bro-surfers alike. Yeah, I’m totally saving this idea for another book.


About Nightscape: Cynopolis


Nightscape: Cynopolis is the second book in this transmedia series of supernatural thrillers. Each entry in the series is designed to work as a standalone release but those who delve deeper will be rewarded with surprising connections.


The book concerns a former countercultural radical who starts a thought-virus that turns the city’s dogs feral and its underclass into jackal-headed beasts. Abandoned to their separate fates among hordes of monsters, the few surviving humans must find a way to elude the military blockade preventing their escape or defeat the virus at its source—before government forces sacrifice them all. 


Kirkus Reviews calls it “entertaining, poignant, and heady, a thoroughly enjoyable thrill ride powered by jolts of philosophy.”


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About the Author


David W. Edwards is the writer, director and producer of the feature film Nightscape and author of the novels Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils and Nightscape: Cynopolis. He attended the University of Southern California’s prestigious screenwriting program and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature while working for a variety of Hollywood production companies. He’s the founder and former CEO of a successful high-tech market research firm, and a former two-term state representative. He currently lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with his family.