Author Feature

Werewolf Hunters: The Inspiration Behind the New YA Supernatural Novel HOOD ACADEMY by Shelley Wilson

Young adult author Shelley Wilson shares the inspiration behind her new release Hood Academy.


I have a notebook on my desk dedicated to ideas for future books. It’s bulging at the seams, but to be able to write them all I’d need to live to the ripe old age of 119! I’ve always had an overactive imagination and dropping into a fictional world at a moments notice is how I’ve dealt with the harsher side of life.

However, when an idea grips you, keeps you awake at night and consumes your waking moments, then it’s a sign that you’ve found the right story. That’s what happened with Hood Academy. At the time my daughter was still at school. She came home with a creative writing project to re-tell a fairy tale and was struggling for ideas. Before she’d finished explaining the homework I’d imagined Little Red Riding Hood as a werewolf assassin and offered this as my suggestion. I was greeted with an eye roll that only a teenage girl can administer and sent on my way.

I couldn’t shake the idea. Mia’s character dropped into my head fully formed, and I saw the darkness of her life, and the pain she was in. She was cut off from her family, lonely, and surviving the only way she knew how and I wanted to help her. I wanted to give her the friendships she deserved, and the love of a family unit.

All my books contain female protagonists who embark on that personal journey to discover who they are and where they fit in the world. It’s something every teenage girl can relate to and an issue that is only exasperated by social media. Although I’m approaching 50, I can remember the awkwardness of my teen years like they were yesterday, I see it in my children and their friends. Trends change, language and buzz words alter, but at the core of it all, young girls remain the same. Empowering people is important to me, and I include elements of this in every book I write. Mia begins as a broken girl, beaten by her abusive father and abandoned by her brother, but she grows into a confident and robust person developing friendships and first loves along the way.

Little Red Riding Hood was my initial inspiration, but in Hood Academy, the big bad wolf isn’t entirely how you may remember it.


About the book:

Nestled deep within the forest lies a mysterious school dedicated to wiping out the werewolf population. But where exactly do werewolves come from? And why are children not bitten by a werewolf turning?

Mia is about to discover the answers to these questions and more. When fifteen-year-old Mia’s father is murdered, it’s her estranged uncle that comes to the rescue—but what he offers her in return for his help could be worse than the life she’s leaving behind. Taken to Hood Academy, a unique school deep in the forest, she discovers friendships, love, the courage to stand on her own…and werewolves.

Is Mia destined to become one of the pack or will she be the hunter chosen to destroy them? This unique twist on the origins of werewolves and werewolf hunters will grab readers by the throat as they are drawn alongside Mia into a dark and mysterious world as she quests to discover her true identity.

Advance Praise for Hood Academy

“A gothic page-turner.” —Kirkus Reviews

“gritty, fast-paced, and addictive…the need for answers drove me alongside Mia until the whole truth was discovered.” —The San Francisco Book Review

“Shelley Wilson hits all the right notes with this book…there are twists, action and enough tension to keep the reader engaged. Great read!” —Between The Lines Book Blog

“…a very engaging book [for anyone] who enjoys supernatural fiction.” —Megan Bovaird, LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Read the first three chapters of Hood Academy

Available Formats & Purchasing Information

Hardcover: 978-1-64397-009-7, $25.95, 336 pages
Softcover: 978-1-64397-035-6, $15.95, 336 pages
Ebook: 978-1-64397-046-2, $7.99
LCCN: 2019938916

Available at Barnes & NobleWaterstonesTargetChapters/IndigoAmazon, and other fine retailers. Visit our website for more purchasing options, including ordering direct from our online store (hardcover and softcover available, currently on sale!)

Booksellers, Librarians, and Retailers can purchase copies though Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bertrams, and Overdrive. BHC Press also offers attractive pricing and discounts to booksellers, libraries, and retailers. Visit our website to learn more about available retail/library partnership programs.

Shelley_WilsonAbout the author: Shelley Wilson is a genre-straddling English author of young adult fiction and motivational self-help titles for adults. She’s a single mum of three, has a crazy black cat called Luna and is obsessed with vampires and the supernatural, Tudor and Viking history, and can also be quite excitable around a castle ruin.

She’s tall, which seems to surprise people when they meet her. She often hears, “you’re much taller than your profile picture!” When not penning her novels, Shelley works as a writing mentor for small businesses and new writers.

To learn more about Hood Academy other titles available from BHC Press, visit our website.



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