Ever since I was a young girl, growing up on a small island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, I have always had a deep love of books. I was lucky enough to be raised in a home where reading was highly valued, where books could be found on shelves, coffee tables, night stands, in piles underfoot…it was almost impossible to move around the house without tripping over a book.
When I moved to Canada in December 2001, the Chapters down the street quickly became my favorite hang out spot. I was enchanted. It was the first time I had ever seen so many books in one place! Somehow, by accident or design, one of the first books I bough there was Bitten by Kelly Armstrong, the first book in her Women of the Otherworld series. It was the author’s fist novel and, at the time it had only recently been published.
I was immediately enthralled by the story of Elena Michaels, the world’s only female werewolf who lived in Toronto. As a young woman, she was a character I could admire and root for – strong, resilient, independent, smart, with a promising career and in-touch with her sexuality. And, just like me, her home and family were somewhere else far away and she was forced to work hard to build a life for herself in Toronto.
After Bitten, I went on to read most of Kelly Armstrong’s novels.
Fast-forward a decade – I meet a sexy writer online who (and I didn’t know this at the time) writes for Bitten, the TV show based on Armstrong’s books! In Canada the series is on Space and in the US it airs on Syfy and Netflix. It can also be seen in numerous other countries around the world. The show is about to enter its third season. Every episode has a large budget and incorporates impressive special effects. Over the years it’s been seen by millions of people, many of whom may never have heard of Kelly Armstrong or her novels had they not been turned into a TV show.
I have since then had the pleasure of meeting the other writers on the show and several of the cast members, including the actress who plays Elena’s character, Laura Vandervoort. For a lifelong Kelly Armstrong fan, I have to say she’s the perfect Elena!
It’s funny how life works. How Bitten, a book which meant so much to me as a recent immigrant, continues to have an impact in my life. As a new author with a recently published first novel, it’s inspiring to see a Canadian author have so much international success with her work. I love that I was there, reading her books when they first came out and now, as I ride around Toronto on the subway, I can see posters advertising the TV show her early work inspired AND other posters advertising the release of her new novels.
Bitten, both the book and the TV show are fantastic and no matter how many characters I encounter throughout my life as a reader, I will always have a special place in my heart for Elena Michaels and the women who created her.
Ps. I have dedicated my first novel to the sexy writer who re-introduced me to Bitten (and have shamelessly used him on all my Raven Room related research).