Mythology, lore, legends, fairy tales...call them whatever you like, but for me as a creative these kinds of things are inspirational building blocks. In 7th grade English, I was about 12 at the time, we had a small unit on Mythology. I remember being handed coloring sheets for the Greek gods with paragraphs about each one. I immediately realized there were next to no goddesses in our unit and the ones we did get a sheet on had even less written about them than their male counterparts. I ended the unit with a dissatisfied taste in my mouth; I wanted more.
Fast forward to 1996 and my 12th grade English class where we were preparing portfolio pieces for graduation. The big writing assignment was to essentially re-write Beowulf. My retelling of Beowulf was the first time I flipped a legend on its ear. Gone were the men as main characters. Instead, Beowulf was now told from a warrior woman's POV. I tore down the lore reworking the information to how I saw fit. In the end, my assignment was twice as long as assigned and included full color maps---quite a feat back in the day when color printers and computers in your home were still a rarity. I remember later using the story as part of my college application and the tale playing a part in me landing a scholarship.
Once I graduated college, I found myself married to a gamer and started getting into MMORPG games. I loved the "lore" books that came with my favorite game, Guild Wars, and I spent hours crafting my character's name based on the included book. In fact, I joined a guild where one of the fun things to do was to post back stories of our characters. My guildmates were very much in awe of my stories because I chose to weave in actual lore from the game.
Of course, I wouldn't realize how much I enjoyed mashing mythology into stories until around 2008 when the lack of Xena and Buffy like entertainment led me to dream up my Daughter of Ares stories. I often describe the series as if Xena and Buffy fell into Lord of The Rings. I spent hours researching certain names and mythology of the Greek pantheon. As the series progressed, I incorporated other mythology including Arthurian lore. When I finished the series in 2014, I thought maybe I was done with mythology and even writing in general. But what writer is ever really done with writing? After five years of a dry creative well, I came back full force...and realized I loved using mythology, lore, fairy tales, and folklore of all kinds in my stories. For instance, my Urban Fantasy branded Monster Hunter Tales series integrates elements of Greek, Arabic, Hindu, and Asian mythologies. The books also contain smatterings of dragons, fae, and Tír na nÓg.
Excerpt To Free a Djinn: Book 3 Monster Hunter Tales
“Unhand Lord Devyn’s Djinn, Kian!” The man in the three-piece-suit had busted in through the door.
Beau was now out of her trance thanks to all of the shouting and door flinging. She found herself in a rather embarrassing position wrapped around Kian. She looked up to see the man in the three-piece-suit. Fear crawled through her body. Beau tightened her grip on Kian. “That is the man, Kian.”
“I know, Beau, I know. Let me take care of this.” He untangled Beau from his arms and pushed her behind him.
“Lord Devyn would not like it if you turned his Djinn into a vampire, Lord Kian. Now, please, for the sake of all of our well-being give me the girl.”
Kian shook his head. “What claim does Devyn have on Isabeau, Finn?”
The man in the suit, Finn, responded to Kian with a gruff answer. “That is none of your business. He has a proper claim on her. I have all of the paperwork right here. I had tried to deliver it to her only moments ago, but she took off on me.”
“Fat chance, Finn. I saw her first. I have a claim on her and have had for the last three years. Every day she comes in here flirting with me. If you had not interrupted us, she would have already been turned.”
The words made Beau angry. She jumped off the table and started yelling. “Wait just a gosh darn minute here fellas! I do not know what a Djinn is, but I am not one. I am a mechanic; so, if you have something you want fixed, I can probably fix it. I also have not been flirting with you for three years, Kian. Plus, vampire, really? Did you think that would impress me? What is this the 2000s?”
Finn grinned. “Looks to me she is a fine fire Djinn. Just look at that personality. Lord Devyn will be doubly pleased as fire elements are the most powerful.”
“Listen Finn or whatever your name is, I am not a fire Djinn. I do not know who Lord Devyn is and I am most certainly not going with you!”
Finn fished out an odd-looking device. It looked a bit like the oil- lamps from the old genie movies. He removed the top and started chanting.
Kian pushed Beau towards the exit to the alley. “Get out of here, Beau!”
A blue light filled the room and Finn slammed the lid back on the device. The light vanished once the lid was back on the device. Kian and Finn were standing there glaring at one another, but Beau was gone.
“What did you do with her, Finn! Where’s Isabeau?” Kian’s temper flared as he rushed towards Finn.
“Ah-ah-ah. Do you really want to start a war over this Djinn? Count her among your losses, Kian. She is not worth it.”
“She is worth it to me! I love her.” Kian screamed his anger slowly turning into despair. Of course, he knew what Isabeau was before he set his stakes on her. That was the first thing that attracted him to her, but over the last few years he had really gotten to know her. She was so much more than the magic she could use.
A lover of all things fantasy, USA Today Best-Selling Author Shannon McRoberts writes fantastical tomes and tales in between gaming, making art, herding cats, and being a mother.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”