Night of the Wendigo
Since I moved from Scotland to Newfoundland I've developed a love/hate relationship with cold weather. Part of me finds it fascinatingly beautiful, and I'm often in awe of the force and majesty of the winter storms that sweep this island from January till April. But another part of me pines for warm, sultry days in the sun.
Back in the winter of 2007/8, a particularly harsh one in these parts, I started to have a germ of a story idea. At that stage I only knew I wanted to do an "ancient evil comes back for revenge" tale, and I wanted to trash a big city in print. (This was before I wrote CRUSTACEANS, and I hadn't tried anything on this scale before.) That it would involve weather extremes was a no-brainer, given that, at the time I had the idea, we had three feet of snow on the ground here.
I started with no real plan beyond an opening scene where archaeologists uncover an old boat on a cargo dock in Manhattan. Pretty quickly a cast of characters started to squabble for my attention; cops, forensic teams, other archaeologists and a conspiracy nut. Somehow they all fitted in to the same story, and I had to step back for a while to outline a plot.
The characters never stopped squabbling, but the main character, the winter storm itself, rode roughshod over them, and it was the force of the storm that drove the story forward in my head.
It runs in my mind like any number of big dumb disaster movies, with its theme of chaos and destruction coming to modern Manhattan, with antecedents in the Emmerlich and Devlin blockbusters 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and even Godzilla.
I'd love to be able to sit down with my popcorn and beer and watch it for myself on a big screen. It's a dream I have.
Four hundred years ago a Scottish cargo ship fell prey to a Wendigo at an early settlement on the Hudson River. Now a team of archaeologists have uncovered the boat, and let loose the evil. Manhattan is soon overrun by an ice storm like no other before it. There are things moving in the storm. Blue, cold things, with razor sharp teeth.
This book is informed as much by classic drive-in B-movies as it is by prose fiction and it’s none the worse for that. It would, in fact, make a pretty good film. It’s an exciting page-turner of a book that I finished in just two sittings. - THE BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY
This story has a true Lovecraft feel to it and the tension the author so brilliantly put on the page must be something like what people felt like when they went to see ‘The Thing” or “The Blob” for the very first time. - HORROR REVIEWS FOR YOU
Fun ensues and, during a particularly malefic winter storm, Manhattan is given the ol’ Emmerlich and Devlin treatment. This is edge-of-your-seat storytelling at its finest, with full, rich characters, nasty critters, and all the atmosphere one can handle. - THE CROW'S CAW
Night Of the Wendigo is one hell of a story by one hell of a storyteller at the top of his game and is a tale that is not to be missed... I give it my highest recommendation. - FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND MAGAZINE
Night of The Wendigo is another near perfect example of why I love Willie's writing. Within minutes I was transported into another world, a world in which all the crap of real life didn't exist. All that existed and all that mattered for my time spent in this book was the book itself. Some books require you to think and concentrate, and some books like this places your brain right in the centre of an 3D Dolby 7.1 surround sound narrative. And please believe me this is no criticism of Willie's writing, Willie has a gift for writing highly entertaining thrilling novels, and this is no exception. - GINGER NUTS OF HORROR