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Tuesday 13 March 2018

ℚ♫ Shifter School [1]: Wyrdos Universe - Gwendolyn Druyor

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Shifter School (, Gwendolyn Druyor, 342 pages), an Urban Fantasy, book one of in Shifter School series, which is part of the Wyrdos Universe.

"Druyor paints a vivid world with beautifully surreal elements." - USH News and Reviews

"Loved, loved, loved Laylea and Bailey and the gang so much I read everything in the series."
- Have2Read (reader,

"It's the language that really sets her apart - that clarity of storytelling that appears completely effortless."
- Tracey (Stewartry Book Reviews)

"Lovely, funny in unexpected places, and moving in others, and always smart."
- TraceT (listener, Audible)

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Gwendolyn Druyor; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Shifter School, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Ahhhh, Music is challenging. I cannot listen to anything with words. But you can tell from how much Big Band plays in Seb’s bar that I don’t always curate my playlist. I also got addicted to Marian Hill while working on Shifter School. Of course, I lost it when I found Kevin Olusola’s version of Down and then I spent a lot of time letting his celloboxing videos roll on YouTube.

But typically, I listen to Bach, Preston Reed, Rufus Cappadocia, Instrumental Hip Hop, and video game themes."
What was the inspiration for Shifter School?
"Shifter School came out of needing to give Laylea some friends her own age. I had her stuck in a world with screwed up adults, demons, and a god. I also wanted to give her brother some time on his own to really screw up his psyche.

Also, my nephew said he wanted her to go to high school. And I’m really bad at presents. So, he gets Shifter School."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Wellllllll, I hated being fourteen. I didn’t fit in with the kids around me and I didn’t trust any of the adults. They never listened. It was like they didn’t think that we had brains just because we were younger than them.

There was one teacher who lied to my counsellor about me. He told Mr. Story that I had skipped class to go off-campus. Unfortunately for the teacher, I had skipped class to hang in Mr. Story’s office. I think Ms. Crow is going to be Laylea’s Mr. Story."
Why should we read Shifter School and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
"Shifter School takes you into a magical world filled with shifters of all species.

A young WereHuman finally gets friends her own age and they stumble into deadly mysteries in their new underground school. Mysteries more deadly than the dangers of three hundred teenagers trapped together underground.

Laylea is used to living in a secret world. In Shifter School she finds a world she has to keep secret even from her wyrdo friends. How long do you think all those secrets are going to survive? "
Can you tell us something quirky about Shifter School, its story and characters?
"While I was in Chicago casing the zoo for the book, I took pictures of a lot of different plaques honouring people who’d donated to the zoo. Whenever I didn’t have a name for a character, I turned to that list.

Plus, glög is a real thing!"
Who would you recommend Shifter School to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I recommend Shifter School to anyone who loves Young Adult fantasy. If you remember how awkward high school was, you’ll love this book. What’s more awkward that shifting from cute puppy to naked girl in the middle of three hundred other kids?

There is a wee bit of swearing, but nothing too egregious."
If you could / wished to turn Shifter School and the Shifter School: Wyrdos Universe series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I would love Joss Whedon [Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers] to direct. And I want Hannah Beachler as Production Designer. Her work on Black Panther is heart stopping.

Secret Life of Bees-era Dakota Fanning and Moose from Frasier for Laylea.
Spy Kids-era Alexa Vega for KC. Maybe Bobb’e J. Thompson for Oscar if we can’t get a young Chiwatel Ejiofor.
I’ve always had Moon Bloodgood in mind for Ms. Crow."
What do you like to write about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love writing about magic. The real world is filled with good and with bad. In my books, I get to make sure the good wins out . . . eventually."
What is your writing process?
"A mess.

I get an idea or an image in my head and then I go from there. WereHuman began with me wrapping blue electrical tape around our vacuum cleaner cord. Lyman had chewed on it! Somehow, that turned into Laylea’s origin story.

At the end of that novel, Laylea left for Chicago and I wanted to visit my friends in Chicago, so I went and looked around for the perfect spot to hide a boarding school. My girl, Kissy, took me to a social night at the Lincoln Park Zoo. It was perfect! I flew home to California and started writing."
What is in store next?
"Laylea is going back to school. She has not solved the N problem in Chicago or gotten to the bottom of the magic nobody in LPSS talks about. Ms. Crow has a big secret we need to delve into.

I’m also working on Laylea and Bailey’s parents’ continuing battle with the Consortium in WereHuman: The Warrior’s Son."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Joshua Lyman Zyrga is my inspiration for Laylea.

My dog.

He made himself a character in The Wyrdos Universe when I wrote Dee. Of course I had to reward him for being my muse, so I made his character a girl.

He’s a great muse. But he’s an awful typing assistant. He lies across my arms like a cat. Maybe that’s why one of Laylea’s best friends in Shifter School turns out to be a cat!

Here's the cover we mocked up for WereHuman, featuring Lyman:

And here’s him helping me work:"

Beautiful cover, Lyman! You are clearly a wonderful assistant to your human :-)
Lots of head scratches and belly rubs to you!

Gwendolyn, thank you for sharing Lyman with us :-)

The Lincoln Park Shifter School:
not your grandma’s uber-secret, underground academy.

Shifter School
Available NOW!

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Anonymous said...

I'm so intrigued!


Unknown said...

Thanks Trix! I'm so glad I've found a new blog to follow. Bookschatter is great!

BooksChatter said...

Hello Gwendolyn,

thank you for popping by! Hope you are having a great tour :-)


Unknown said...

Thank you Flora. The tour has been a lot of fun. Getting to chat with fans really makes me look at my stories differently.