Day 3: Ancient Tales influence BONES AT BREAKFAST
31 Days of Halloween continue with day #3. Here, I talk about the miscellaneous folk lore, fairy tales, mythology, and urban legends that proved to be wonderful material to expand my world of werewolves in my third novel.
1) Classic Fairy tales are entertaining for any boy or girl growing up. Being as they are some of the first stories we ever know as children, they tend to stick with us for a long time. There have been a million takes on them, but what if they really happened, just more reality based? For instance: maybe the 3 little pigs weren’t pigs. Maybe they were chauvenistic men who were womanizing slobs. That’s the approach I took on the classics: The 3 Little Pigs, Peter And The Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, & Beauty And The Beast.
2) Following that line of thinking, by the time I was in 6th grade (which at this point is almost legendary as well) I was fascinated with Greek Mythology. I remember watching Lou Ferrigno as Hercules and enjoying those horribly good cheesy movies and stories. I’m a firm believer that every myth is somewhat based in fact. Something made those stories and beliefs stir. In BAB, I made sure one of the stories follows a very human group of people who were intuitive for their day. These people (Herakles, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, & Cerberus) may have been so ahead of their time that people perceived them as gods.
3) Gypsies always freaked me out. I have this stereotypical vision of a withery old lady casting curses on someone. Since they are often tied in to werewolf lore, it made sense. But I also wanted it to be in a time that made more sense, so the Civil War era seemed a likely place to plot one of the story arcs.
4) Sasquatch aka Bigfoot, is one of those urban tales that could be believed even by the most skeptic of people. Why then have we never found definitive proof? Is it because the trail goes suddenly cold? Or could the creature actually be something else entirely? I decided with this to create an entirely new take on werewolves by reversing the thought process of the standard idea.
5) Native American Indians are known for many things. Spirit Animals are one of them. I knew I wanted to do a story in this setting, but wanted to respect the source material as well. Like I did with the fairy tale idea, I delved into endless hours of reading Native American tall tales. What did those people in the pre-United States days believe in? What stories were well known throughout their tribes? So, I found a few that really caught my eye, and amalgamated them into something unique.
6) The moon has obviously been the center of many werewolf stories, but for BAB I decided to focus a bit more on the phases of the celestial object, and the power of the moon as believed in ancient times, and even a bit in conspiracy theories today.
7) The story of the Garden of Eden is as well known today as it was thousands of years ago. Something with that much staying power must be of a higher power. Using Eden as a plot device and setting felt right. I mean after all, what ever did happen to the Garden after humanity was cast out? BAB takes that under its wings.
8) Like the second bullet point, I did the same with Norse mythology. Loki, Fenrir, Odin and more have a real human story that inspired the Nors to believe them as gods.
9) Although this was actually a real battle in the American Revolutionary War, there is little known about it. In itself, it is a very unique happening. The battle to which I refer is called the “Moonlight Battle,” and in BAB werewolves are involved in explaining that.
10) Yeti and the Abominable Snowman are distant cousins in a way to the story of Sasquatch. In the spinoff comic, we follow the diary of Admiral Richard Byrd, who in real life was an explorer in pursuit of the creature.
11) Taking the urban legends of Jack the Ripper and adding a few elements from literature, a new tale is incorporated into werewolf lore.
That’s all for this installment. Tomorrow will bring us more 31 Days of halloween with a new article. Stay tuned. BONES AT BREAKFAST and its graphic novel comic spinoff, IN CASE OF WEREWOLF, are available for purchase in multiple formats on the right side of this page.