Interview with Teen Wolf Writer, Angela Harvey

By Takima Bly (@emma_fRhost2)

Teen Wolf is one of MTV's most popular shows. I love horror shows, but I must admit I was not interested in watching it until one of my most trusted “blerd” friends @_LoisLane and fellow writer convinced me to watch it. I loved it from the first episode I viewed! It has become bigger and better with each passing season. The show takes us on an adventure about a teenage werewolf and all the supernatural events he encounters.

Teen Wolf has a surprising amount of minority fans, but the show itself has limited people of color.

We all know the minority characters like Scott's old boss who was an expert in supernatural creatures. We love to see Kira and her amazing sword slinging action. Fans also know Braedan, the fearless mercenary but few know that behind the scenes of the show, you will find writers of color. Angela Harvey is a black woman who is a part of the writing staff for Teen Wolf. She graciously participated in this interview to help us learn more about her, the show, and to inspire other minority writers.

How exciting is it to be working on such a popular show?

It’s really a privilege to know that your work will be seen so widely and that many people will engage with it on a deep level. So many of the Teen Wolf fans are extremely passionate about what we do and that lends the work a level of importance that isn’t always there when you’re writing entertainment. At the same time, you know the work will be judged more harshly and if you’re not careful, you'll spend a lot of time bracing yourself for the backlash instead of just enjoying the work.

How do you feel about Braedan's reoccurring character on the show?

I love Braeden! So often, we see women of color, especially black women, portrayed as emotional beasts of burden. Strong, but constantly grinning and bearing it while taking hit after hit. Braeden hits back! She kicks ass while also remaining somewhat vulnerable. She stays mysteriously hidden behind her arsenal of weapons, yet you can tell she’s got a heart of gold. I’m all about Braeden.

For you, what makes a great horror tale?

Horror for me is in the anticipation. Once the scary thing jumps out, there’s a release that kind of ends the story. The thing you haven’t yet seen, the thing that’s wholly unfamiliar but constantly closing in—that to me is great horror. In all honestly, I don’t love horror itself. But what I love about horror is the opportunity to see what a character will do when he or she is truly afraid.

 What’s the most difficult part of writing for you?

The most difficult part of writing for me is in the rewriting. When I’ve fallen in love with a moment or a scene or a piece of dialogue and then in the process of improving the story I have to let that thing go, I just feel sick about it. Making the decision to hit the delete button on something I adore is the hardest thing I do as a writer.

How would you like to see the presence of Black women and women of color in horror change currently as well as in the future?

I’d like to see more of them show up at all. It’s really hard for an actor—any actor—to break into the industry and build a resume. One of the things I’m really proud of on Teen Wolf is that we help struggling actors climb up a rung in Hollywood and get a real credit for their resumes. Often, those actors are women and people of color. Most of them are able to build momentum from there and get bigger roles or get agents. Also, I’d really like to see black women stop being so strongly associated with magic, especially voodoo. Enough with the Miss Cleo thing already.

You can follow Angela Harvey on Twitter @nationsfilm.

K. Bly is an expert on book reviews that spotlight girls and women, of color, characters in the horror, sci-fi, and suspense genres of literature, in novels and comic books. You can find her on both Twitter (@emma_fRhost2) and Instagram (@game_of_rhos)

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