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Monday, July 7, 2014

Mythological Beasties - A Guest Post by Michael West

Tell us about your favorite mythological beastie or your favorite figure from mythology?  

There are so many myths and legends that I enjoy.  Growing up, I was fascinated with Greek and Roman mythology, and my favorite beastie was Medusa, the Gorgon.  I particularly enjoyed the way she was depicted in the film Clash of the Titans, as a half snake/half scaly female who knew how to use a bow and arrow.

I also enjoyed dragons of all variety, but the more heads they had, the better.  Loved the Hydra!  If you cut one of the Hydra’s heads off, two grew back in its place.

As I grew older, however, I began to stray away from the traditional myths and legends of Western society—the Greeks, the Romans, even the Judeo-Christian demons.  Instead, I began to delve deeper into tales from Middle America--the Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, and Toltec.  I also fell in love with the creatures of Asian and African lore.  There are so many fascinating and unique concepts of gods, demons, and monsters out there if you just look around.

Probably my favorite myth is that of the Japanese Jikiniki--demons who eat the dead. They were greedy, selfish or impious people in life, and when they died, they were cursed with an unquenchable urge to seek out and devour human corpses.  My short story, “Jiki,” which appears in my collection Skull Full of Kisses, is based on this legend.  

How does that fit in with your Legacy of the Gods series and your most recent novel, Hades’ Disciples?

With the Legacy of the Gods series, I wanted to create a mythology that explained why so many cultures have similar legends. I’ve always found it interesting how societies who never had any interaction with one another have myths which are almost identical. And the more research I did into various mythologies, the more I began to think of otherworldly scenarios.

I have been able to incorporate a lot of mythological beasties from all over the world into the series. I have various shape-shifters, satyrs, yeti, and yes, even aliens. It is an odd, cross-genre cocktail, and I absolutely love it.  It has just been a joy to write so far, and the deeper I get into it, the crazier it gets. For example, a key component of the mythology, something I came up with about ten years ago after looking at pictures of the aliens we typically call “greys,” fits right in with the mythology of the San people of South Africa.

I tell you, sometimes this stuff scares even me.  LOL

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About the Author

Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

Website:  http://www.bymichaelwest.com

Twitter: @bymichaelwest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bymichaelwestpage

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About the Book

Hades' Disciples (The Legacy of the Gods #2) by Michael West
Published May 2014 by Seventh Star Press

Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

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Tour Schedule and Activities

7/7 Shells Interviews - Guest Post
7/7 Come Selahway With Me - Interview
7/7 Beauty in Ruins - Guest Post
7/7 Fuonlyknew ~ Laura's ramblins and reviews - Review
7/8 Deal Sharing Aunt - Top Tens List
7/8 Jess Resides Here - Top Tens List
7/8 I Smell Sheep - Guest Post
7/9 SpecMusicMuse - Interview
7/10 Coffintree Hill - Guest Post
7/10 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author - Guest Post
7/11 Bee's Knees Reviews - Review
7/12 A Haunted Head - Top Tens List
7/12 Willow's Author Love - Interview
7/13 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void - Review


2 comments:

  1. Welp. I'd never heard of Michael West before, but I'm definitely going to check him out now. Various mythologies and folklores have always been fascinating to me. So much so that Katharine Briggs' Encyclopedia of Fairies was the best gift EVER, and I read it for fun along with Bulfinch's Mythology. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that my interest began with Clash of the Titans (yes, I'm serious, but the first time I saw it, I was probably 6 or 7, so cut me some slack, LOL), and it only grew from there. And like West, I'm especially interested by the overlaps in unrelated cultures. Basically, The Legacy of the Gods sounds amazing. Great post ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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  2. There are a lot of interesting myths and monsters out there if one looks. Sounds like you've dug so deep, you've created your own mythos.
    Congratulations, Michael.

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