Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale


Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale by Dorlana Vann

Werewolf,  Young Adult, Dark Fantasy inspired by

Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time Granny was attacked by a werewolf. Eighteen years later her grandson, Aiden Young, arrives in Indiana for his aunt’s funeral, and his unfortunate discovery of the family secret leads to a fatal mistake. Before the weekend is over, he’s trapped by a blizzard along with his superstitious cousin, Diesel, and Scarlet, Diesel’s manipulative girlfriend. In his grandmother’s spooky, old house in the middle of the woods, the teen faces life and death decisions: who can be trusted, and who needs to be saved? However, he must first figure out what the true monster is… werewolf or fear. Because in this Little Red Riding Hood-inspired supernatural fairy tale, the roles of prey and predator become interchangeable.

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The Beginning of Silverweed: 

Silverweed started out as a short story in 2006,  titled, “Silverweed Muffins.” In 2008, I used the short story as inspiration for my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel. I did use “Little Red Riding Hood,” for inspiration. However, it is not a “retelling” of the fairy tale but a werewolf novel that was inspired by it.  Two years later,  it was finally ready for the world, and Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale the eBook was published Nov 2010 and the paperback followed June 2011. (The only paperback I have available at this time.)

Spoiler alert: In order to give an overview of inspirations and research process for the book, it seems I may have given away a few plot points in the following write-up…

Why a werewolf?

A werewolf seems like a pretty obvious supernatural element for Little Red Riding Hood, seeing as there is already a  wolf in the original tale (I used the  Grimm Brother’s version  as inspiration) and in some other original versions there are even werewolves. But my thought process for this was even simpler. I asked myself, “What if the wolf was the grandma? And that’s why the wolf was in a nightgown…

Werewolf Research:

I admit it; I didn’t do a lot of research on werewolves for Silverweed. But I have an excuse. I wanted my characters to be pretty dumb about them, too. I didn’t want them to have any preconceptions of them. I wanted the werewolf to be a mystery—this half wolf, half man monster that they (I) only knew about through pop culture. However, I plan to explore the Silverweed werewolf in great detail when I write the sequel. 🙂

Little Red Riding Hood as inspiration:

Silverweed is not a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It was inspired by my short story which was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. I used some of the same background and plotlines as the short story, but when I drafted my novel, I added a theme – a theme that I interpreted from the fairy tale. And to me, Little Red Riding Hood is all about fear, the message being, “Don’t talk to strangers,” and “Don’t stray from the path.” So Silverweed’s theme ended up being: The real monster is fear.

I also added a little fun (as well as discipline) when I decided to use lines from the Little Red Riding Hood as my chapter titles and chapter inspirations. And if you read the chapter titles in order, they actually give a condensed version of the Grimm Brother’s Little Red Riding Hood. I also used them to kind of guide me through the book. One example is Chapter 9 – The Wolf Knocked at the Door: Diesel discovers he was bitten by the werewolf.

Superstition Background:

The superstition references in Silverweed are a combination of my grandfather’s stories and an informative superstitions dictionary.

I’d never really been that superstitious, except for doing things like tossing salt over both my shoulders—yes, both because I didn’t know which one was correct. However, my interest sparked a few years back when my mom told me about my grandfather’s childhood stories. Apparently, his mother (pictured on the left – my great-grandmother – I think I kind of look like her) died when my grandpa was five-years-old; it happened the day after she’d told him to stop shooing the birds away that had landed on their front porch, because it meant death. He blamed himself for her death.
My grandfather had also told my mom that one day he had watched the devil walking out in his Alabama woods, pitchfork and all. (You might recognize this from the first chapter of Silverweed.)

Around the same time my mom was reminiscing, I was writing the rough draft of the Little Red Riding Hood inspired short story, and all of these memories set the entire mood for “Silverweed Muffins” which eventually became Silverweed the novel.

As I was writing the story, I researched superstitions. It took me awhile but I finally found a reference book I really liked, Dictionary of Superstitions by David Pickering. Even if you don’t need the book for reference, it’s interesting to see how our lives today are influenced by these superstitions from the past. BTW – the correct shoulder to throw salt over is the left one.

Silverweed: A Supernatural Fairy Tale (Volume 1)




    1. Free eBook Friday – Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale « dorlanavann
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    3. FREE Kindle Ebook – Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale « dorlanavann
    4. Short Story: Silverweed Muffins by Dorlana Vann | dorlanavann

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