Monday, August 25, 2014

Mythical Monday (59)


It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.


This week we have:
Author Skyla Dawn Cameron
Talking of Werewolves.


The Big Bad Werewolf Human

“We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.”
–Farley Mowat


A lot of initial questions about River I’ve received since back when it was first released in 2006 centered around “Where did you get the idea of a wolf-turned-human from?” The basic answer was fairly simple: the bite.

The bite from werewolf to victim and lycanthropy as a virus is one of the staples of current werewolf mythology, so much so that I think most people here “werewolf” and immediately jump to “bite.”

When I sit down to write any story with a particular mythology in mind, I settle in and go into research mode. Not so with River. In this case I sat down in the afternoon with a piece of paper (unlined, folded in half) with a blue pen and brainstormed, tossing out whatever came to mind. The moment I hit “bite”, something flipped in my brain and I had River’s story.

Everything else I threw out. Literally, everything. Full moon? No, my mythology has no link to lunar cycles or metaphors that involve such things. Silver? Well, no, because I couldn’t come up with a reason to involve it. But the bite, the virus, the transfer through saliva—that seemed logical to me, and that I could work with.

It’s actually a relatively recent addition; the original stories of werewolves involved curses given by gods, drinking from magic streams, wearing the skin of the animal, incantations, and many other origins. Being bitten was rarely a factor until much later. During the middle ages, the belief in werewolves actually coincided with the paranoia about witches and devil worship; witch hunts and executions often involved accusations of lycanthropy as well. Werewolves, like their wolf counterpart, have a lengthy history of being given a bad rap.

Of course, the other place River had her origins in was the question: why make the character a werewolf if she’s not going to act like a wolf?

That, in a nutshell, is probably my problem with most depictions of werewolves. If your character is going to turn into a wolf—not a mindless half-beast but an actual wolf—then it should behave like one.

Violent urges are attributed to the animal, not the human behind it; wolves, by contrast, are no more “blood-thirsty” than any other predator, and within the pack it’s not uncommon to see them resolve issues without fighting. The rigid hierarchy and fight for dominance we associate with wolves, the possessive nature of werewolves, has little basis in actual wolves; there is a particular ritualistic dance at play between packmates but the hierarchy serves to strengthen the unit, and the aggression and “dominance” we associate with them is actually based on old faulty studies. The desire to randomly slaughter, to practice cruelty—these, again, are not animal traits. They are human. The mythology of the bite and the division between actual wolf behaviours and human ones were my focus in River.

In essence, the beast is not the curse; the curse is being a human.


River
Defiant, nocturnal, moody–though River sounds like a typical teenager, she’s anything but. River’s a werewolf.

The life of an alpha female wolf was irrevocably changed the night she was attacked and bitten, and awoke confused, alone, and human. Three years later, thrust into a world where she doesn’t belong and living in foster care, River barely tolerates humanity and still doesn’t know who bit her or why.

But River isn’t as alone as she previously thought; someone’s been watching her, someone who holds the answers she’s been seeking. And though the human who changed her seems to be a step ahead of her at every turn, River is determined to beat his game and return to her pack and mate.

As if being stuck in a world she hates, with a life she never asked for, and faced with a destiny she doesn’t want wasn’t bad enough, River still must find a way to survive every human’s greatest challenge: high school.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

- DVD/Blu-Ray combo of Ginger Snaps
- River poster print
- River tote bag
- wolf charm bookmark
- River postcard
- wolf charm necklace
- Animal Speak pocket guide version by Ted Andrews

However, the giveaway is ONLY for US & Canada (due to the movie being Blu-Ray and the regions of Blu-Ray's and shipping costs over seas). Sorry.

Author Bio:
Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.

Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her short attention span. She is also a proud Writer of Unlikable Female Characters™.

Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she writes full time, works as a freelance designer, stabs people with double pointed knitting needles, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator.

Visit Skyla’s site at www.skyladawncameron.com


Find Skyla:
Site/Blog: Skyla Dawn Cameron Urban Fantasy & Paranormal
Twitter: @SkylaDawn
Facebook: Skyla Dawn Cameron Author Page
Book Designs:  Indigo Chick Designs

Purchase River:

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm sorry! I figured it would be international until I realized the DVD/Blu-Ray region only worked in NA.

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  2. I love a good mythology like this. I usually enjoy the world when the author puts so much thought in it. This sounds like a were mythology that I would believe.

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    Replies
    1. I get ridiculously caught up in trying to make paranormal things logical, at least to me--I don't do so well with "because magic!" as an explanation. I mean, if I'm already turning a wolf into a human, the least I can do is make it seem like it *could* happen.

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  3. Yay! Werewolves! My favourite supernaturals. :D From this guest post, it sounds to me like Camero practically reinvented their mythology which is A-ok with me, because I'm always looking for new spins on my furry friends. Thanks for the chance!

    ReplyDelete

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