Monday, March 25, 2013

Mythical Monday (4)

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:
Urban Fantasy author Dina James
(Adult & Young Adult)
Talking of Anubi, Billy the Man-Wolf.

Ask the average person what a werewolf is and they will likely be able to tell you. The legend of the werewolf is timeless. They are known by many names. Lycanthrope. Garwalf. Loup-garou.

The wolf-man.

But how many know the legend of the man-wolf?

Jackals were the creatures the ancient Egyptians could liken a wolf to. And what explanation for his form did that man-wolf give to the ancient Egyptians?

He was Anubi. A man-wolf.

For a time, the Anubi and ancient man lived in a relatively symbiotic relationship, until the time of the gods was over and man put science and reason above myths and magic.

But myths have a way of enduring. Man-wolf became "wolf-man." "Werewolf." Both of these involve humans turning into wolves. While modern man offers both cinematic and scientific explanation for lycanthropy, there is no such thing as a "wolf-man." Humans cannot change their form to be a wolf.

There is, however, such a thing as a man-wolf. A wolf that walks on two legs and can change into a human.

Again, Anubi. Man-wolf, not wolf-man.

In the Stranger Things series, the Anubi are wolves who walk on two legs, as men do, but they can, and do, run on all fours as a wolf might if they need to. They can take complete mortal form if they so desire, and some of them do so often in order to pass through the Mortal Realm unnoticed.

As mortal wolves do, Anubi live in packs, and dens. They have names and children and councils. They also have a strict matriarchal government system. If a crime is great enough, they will sentence a pack member to death.

Just such a sentence was passed upon the Anubi known to most as Billy.
(actor Daniel Cudmore is 6'7", and played Colossus in the X-Men- perfect for Billy)

Not a bad human form, eh? Billy is young, strong, and has the unique status of being the only man-wolf adopted by a clan of vampires.

Clan Cardoza.

You see, Billy got into a fair amount of trouble when he was younger and ended up being Judged, Exiled, and sentenced to death by his pack. While Billy survived the Judgment, his brother Denis took it as a personal affront that his kid brother didn't die for what he'd done and hunted Billy mercilessly for the better part of fifteen years.

"But he doesn't look that old!" you say. "He would have been a toddler fifteen years ago!"

Well, not exactly. You see, Billy is eighty-seven years old. He was born in 1922.

Of course, that's the way humans would measure it. In Anubi terms, he's only about eighteen. Human age is roughly one-fifth that of an anubi. That is to say, it takes about five human years to make up just one Anubin year. So a fifty year old Anubi? Yeah, they'd really only be about ten in the human world.

Time passes differently in other realms, and there are many, many other realms.

Also, human form is just an illusion. It's something Anubi do to appear normal in the human world. Normally they look like this:

(Wolfman from the film Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman)

Billy is even more fearsome, as the left side of his face – from throat to ear – was severely damaged. It's paralyzed. Billy is also scarred up one side and down the other, so his true form can be more than a little intimidating.

But don't let that frighten you.

Billy is as tough as they come and fiercely protective of those he considers his pack, but he is also as gentle as can be…as long as you're on the right side of him.

No pun intended.

Anubis is the Egyptian funerary god, and it is he who weighs the human heart against an ostrich feather. If the heart was lighter than the feather, Anubis guided the human soul to Osiris. If it weighed heavier than the feather, the soul could go no further and was destroyed. Eaten, actually. Anubis has the body of a man and the head of a jackal.


I think not.

You can meet Billy and learn more about the Anubi in both All Wounds (Stranger Things #1) and Time Heals (Stranger Things #2, available March 26, 2013 from Mundania Press).

You do want to meet him, don't you?

Thank you, Mel, for having me on your blog!

You can find Dina James:
Her Blog & Site:  Dina James, Chronicler of the Paranormal
Twitter:  @DinaJames

And you can meet the hug-able Billy and Purchase her Young Adult series at any book selling site.

Learn more about Time Heals at Mundania Press, and purchase in any format you'd like.

(tune in tomorrow, Tuesday March 26, 2013 for a teaser and a giveaway for print version of Time Heals & Swag pack.)


  1. I had never wondered this but it just came to mind. Why change forms? I'm not a fan of mythology so I don't know much about 'real' (original?) werewolves. I think the only thing I've seen about it is in harry potter. (I'm not counting twilight because they weren't werewolves) What's the point of living like a human, I'm sure he doesn't eat normal food.

    1. Rivie Bleu, Oh this Billy eats tons of regular food. :D He's got a HUGE appetite, always hungry. lol. But he is a big puppy dog to his family and pack. Wouldn't hurt a fly. ;)

    2. Oh, then that's a good guy, wolf, man-wolf. I thought he ate, I wasn't sure what he ate. But if he's with vampires, wouldn't they hunt humans?

    3. Yep Rivie Bleu, he's a good guy. I would curl up with him by the fire any time. :D

  2. Yeah, I would not wanna meet him in beast form

    1. Blodeuedd, I think you'd be safe. He only fights against those that really harm his family. And he's a man that you just want to hug and curl up with. ;) Thank you for stopping.

  3. Oh interesting take on Anubis. However, I'm with B... don't mind meeting him in human form, but for the beast... eep! :)

    1. Melissa (B&T) You really need to read these books. You would soooo love Billy. I know you would. Along with all the other characters too. :) It's really a neat take on the Anubi myth. :) Thank you!

  4. For a moment I thought it was one of the guys from Supernatural ;) He is very handsome in human form *wink*

    1. Kara-karina, you know, he does have the same look to him as the guy from Supernatural. Oh, if you met him in these books...prrrr... now that I see him...prrrr, I could keep him. ;D Even with the wolf that he turns into. ;D

  5. Wow, I loved that. Great post. And I am with Kara, I thought the guy was from Supernatural at first.

    1. Thank you Jennifer Bielman, Yep, after Kara mentioned it I have to agree as well. :D

  6. OK have I told you how much I like your Mythical Mondays?? Nice new picture too. I loved reading about the Anubi. So awesome and something I hadn't really thought about. Reminds me of the movies in The Mummy series that I love. Thank you so much for sharing! I look forward to the teaser post tomorrow :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

    1. Haha, Jaclyn Canada, thank you. Greatly. So glad you like these posts. :) Oh, I'll tell my brother you mentioned the picture. He'll be thrilled. He's working on artwork of characters to go around it as well. :) It all takes time though. Glad you enjoyed the post about Billy! :)

  7. What a nice post. I loved this little story.

  8. Great post, and it's not a myth I had ever been exposed to before.

    1. Ryan, I'm hoping to find many myths like that. Ones we don't see or hear often. I think it's so neat the way they are twisted into our reads. :) Thank you greatly for stopping!


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