Monday, July 29, 2013

Mythical Monday (20)

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 a little deviation to the Creatures.
For the Blog Birthday this came across my email, and I had to share it at Mythical Monday this week:
Urban Fantasy author Skyla Dawn Cameron
Talking of Saber-Tooth Cat.


Why My Heroine Has a Pet Saber-Tooth Cat


Yes. It’s true. By the end of my last full-length novel, Exhumed (2012), my heroine—the super snarky, narcissistic vampire Zara Lain—had her very own pet Smilodon populator, aka a saber-tooth cat (not tiger; they are not anywhere near related to tigers, actually).

Named Sir Rodney Ballsgalore.

Okay, back up. Let me explain.

For those who have read Bloodlines (2008-2011), you’ll probably recall a humorous mention of Zara being a member of VETA or Vampires for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (no relation to PETA, because seriously, those guys are f’ing nuts) and that vampires have their own branch of Greenpeace. In my novel Lineage (2012), the second sequel to Bloodlines, there’s a scene in which Zara explains why she’s an environmentalist. In a nutshell, she feels that, since vampires are basically immortal and must feed on humans, they would want the environment protected and for humans to live well. That way they have healthy blood to feed on for a long time.

Granted, not everyone is into free range chicken or organically fed cattle for their meat, but a whole lot of people are—what they put into their bodies matters to them. And that is the case with many vampires.

My editor made a comment (I think it was around that passage, but could’ve been elsewhere) wondering why Zara, who does seem to have some consideration for animals, doesn’t have a pet.

I love animals. I am a proud Crazy Cat Lady. I am a vegan. If anyone should be giving their characters pets, it’s me. But if you go over my body of work, you can start to piece together my reason why my characters never have pets: I blow up their homes, maim and kill them, and it is really hard to be trying to stay alive while also worrying about your pet’s safety. I have six cats, a dog, and a rabbit, and let’s face it: despite all my disaster preparedness, if there’s a fire, you will find me dead of smoke inhalation under the bed trying to coax my cats out because I won’t leave without them.

If Zara gets blown up while she’s trying to grab her cat under the bed, it’ll make for a very short novel since she’s the narrator.

This question, however, got me thinking. While we were working on edits for Lineage, I’d also finished the first draft of Exhumed, and I was still working out what the final product would look like.

There was yet another piece to the puzzle that came into my life on February 14, 2012 (one week before Lineage released, for those following the timeline): the addition of a sixth cat to my home.

A cat named...yep, you guessed it: Rodney Ballsgalore (later renamed Rodney Ballsnomore after he was snipped...I mean, dude, seriously: tiny little malnourished cat with HUGE FREAKIN’ BALLS. Even the vet commented).

My Rodney was found at the farm where my mum’s horse is boarded. He “randomly showed up”—this is a rural area, so what actually happens is that people dump cats out in the country, because People Are Assholes—staving and dehydrated with a terrible cold. There was already a cat at the farm who was displeased with his presence and it was the dead of winter. The poor little guy was freezing, and despite being extremely affectionate, had clearly been through some trauma as his front teeth were knocked out (as a result, his tongue tends to slip out all the time without him realizing).

Long story short *mumble mumble I have too many cats I have no idea how this happened*, I ended up with him. Rodney is...not terribly bright. I mean, he sits by himself in the bathtub like he somehow got lost, and despite my Evil Queen Cat spitting and growling every time she sees him, he still rolls around in front of her purring as if to say “HI NEW FRIEND!” Yeah, that kind of not bright. But his name continually makes me giggle.

So, here I am pondering Zara and the possibility of a pet, when it occurs to me...why does she need a “regular” cat? This is urban fantasy, my heroine’s a badass vampire. The pieces slid in my head and I rewrote the ending to Exhumed, giving her a badass, believed to be extinct, massive saber-tooth cat companion. Named Sir Rodney Ballsgalore.

Because, really, if my little cat had HUGE FREAKIN’ BALLS, can you imagine the pair that would be on a damn Smilodon populator?

(Not pictured: all soft tissues, such as enormous testicles)


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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 lives in Southern Ontario where she dabbles in art, is an avid gamer, helps the helpless (as long as they’re four-legged and furry), and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grown-up, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator. Currently she’s being held hostage by a houseful of cats.

Send tuna before they eat her alive.

You can visit her on the web at www.skyladawncameron.com.

Find Skyla:
Twitter:  @SkylaDawn








**Photo credit for Smilodon Populator skeleton to Foter: http://foter.com/f/photo/4788598511/9997e053f9/

11 comments:

  1. Awwww Rodney is a cutie. I am glad he found you

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    1. I'm glad he found me too, he's a total sweetheart!

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    2. Blodeuedd, from what we hear of Rodney, he's adorable, lovable, and such a character. LOL! A hoot to hear about. :D

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  2. Thanks, Melissa!

    It just occurred to me that if anyone would like to meet Rodney (the saber-tooth cat one), he's in the first chapter of Damaged, which is fairly spoiler-free regarding the series. http://www.skyladawncameron.com/blog/damagedgiveaway He's rapidly become a favourite character!

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  3. *SNORT*

    Love this post. THANK YOU for not endangering the animals. Oh I hate that in books.

    LOVE the name of the kitty. In the first pic I'm wondering if he had all his parts as he looks quite proud. :D

    I want a sabertoothed kitty! *dogs throw a tantrum* Oops. :D

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    1. I hate that as well, it drives me nuts. An animal hurt in passing is bad enough but when it's a main character's pet or something...gah. I can't stand it, it pulls me right out of the story. I wish there was a www.doesthedogdie.com for books.

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    2. Melissa (B&T) I think you'd love this series. Seriously! And when you get to the Rodney parts. *giggle* Skyla has fun with it. :D

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    3. Wait, Melissa (B&T) Sabertooth kitties, and hellhounds? It's a wonder the dogs are still there. ;P LOL!

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  4. OMG The not featured soft testicles part of this was too hilarious!! I love the way Sir Rodney Ballsgalore came about. Thank you so much for sharing :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

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    1. LOL! Jaclyn, Skyla cracked me up with this post when I read it before putting together this post. So glad to hear you enjoyed it as well. :D Thank you!

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