Wolf Brother questions: Setting of book and wolf question

Aiyana writes…

Dear Michael,
I am a huge fan of yours and I’ve always wondered is there a specific place you describe when you talk about where Torak grew up in Wolf Brother, if so could you please tell me where because I love wolves and the forest so I really want to visit a place like that, and your books seemed perfect.
When you talk about wolf what type of wolf are you talking about? And have you ever met a wolf in person? If you have please could you tell me where as it is my dream to see one.
I have loved reading Wolf Brother and Spirit Walker and I can’t wait to read the others.

Michelle Replies…

Dear Aiyana,

I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my books.  I set them in northern Scandinavia (that’s northern Norway and Sweden), but I have changed the geography a bit, for instance, the mountains and rivers, so that in real life you won’t find anything that corresponds exactly to the map of the Forest in the books.  (I explain this in more detail in the Author’s Note at the end of each book.)  However if you just want to get the feel of Torak’s Forest, northern Norway, Sweden or Finland would be a good place to go.

As regards wolves, Wolf is simply Canis lupus, ie a wolf, of the kind indigenous to Scandinavia.  I have indeed met wolves for my research many times over the years.  That was at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust near Reading (again, I mention this in the Author’s Note) – but I’m afraid that the Trust is now closed to the public.  I don’t know whether you live in England, but I believe there are a few places where you can see wolves  in England.  Best to Google them.  I don’t know about other countries, but I’m aure there are some.  It would be great if you could get along to see some real wolves at close quarters, as they really are quite unlike dogs.  I certainly found it invaluable to see them close up.  They are incredibly charismatic creatures!

I hope this helps, and that before too long, you can get to see some wolves!

Best wishes, Michelle