Please welcome Breathless Press author Rebekah Lewis here to share her thoughts on mythology. Thanks for stopping by!
Mythology in Writing
Mythology provides a vast foundation of material. It is diverse. The best part is that there is no definitive version of the ancient legends as it predates the written word. It varies from source to source, which can be both wonderful and horrible when researching a topic. Having variations is a tremendous help when basing a story on myth because, let’s face it, a lot of authors use myth for their books, and if they all used the exact same versions, well, it would become a bit repetitive. Which is why it is also essential to make the mythology your own while staying true to the root of the legends.
Wicked Satyr Nights is about satyrs and nymphs, but also the Greek gods. Farther down the line in the series, more creatures will become more involved, so it means I am doing a lot of reading up on mythology, even to reflect back on the tales I know rather well. For example Pan, the hero, has so many conflicting stories that it became fun to build a background for him from pieces of the information available. Hermes wasn’t always considered his father, and Pan’s mother varied from goddesses, to nymphs, to humans. Not to mention, Pan wasn’t always a satyr himself in some of the legends.
Hermes is a widely recognized mythological figure so I decided to stick to the version where he’s Pan’s father, but his mother…I only saw mention of her in one source, and she wasn’t a recognizable name. I went with it since the lack of information on her gave me more room to build a background without having to use other stories here or there to mold her into the character she became in the Hermes novella I am currently working on.
The rest of Pan’s history came from bits and pieces of popular myths such as the tale of Pan and the nymph Syrinx. The best part about using mythology in fiction is being able to change it and alter it to your own plot. In the original version, Syrinx found Pan so hideous that she ran from him, disguising herself as water reeds. Pan searched among them, hoping to catch her but the reeds were many. When his breath brushed over the reeds, he was enchanted by the musical sound and cut the batch to fasten them into what is now known as panpipes or a panflute, but has the formal name of a “syrinx.” I changed this myth significantly in my retelling, but the basis of the story is still beneath the surface and it is still true to the source in that Pan does chase Syrinx down upon first seeing her, and in the end he creates the panpipes from the reeds she becomes, naming them after her.
Overall, fiction gives an author so much more room to be creative with something like an ancient myth. Just like a film adapting a screenplay or a novel, things have to shift to fit the new format of what you are creating with it. But if you aren’t true to the source in some way, shape, or form, then you chance readers that are very familiar with these stories being very opposed to what you have done with it.
WICKED SATYR NIGHTS
Some creatures want to be found.
When Dr. Katerina Silverton travels into the Pine Barrens to make a documentary on the Jersey Devil, she doesn’t believe she will uncover any supernatural evidence. In fact, she only takes the job because it promises funding for future projects. So it is quite a shock to Kat when she finds herself face-to-face with the legendary beast she was sent into the forest to capture on film.
In ancient Greece, the god Pan made a terrible mistake which resulted in the creation of the Satyroi: a race of immortal satyrs. Centuries later, he lives secluded in the Pine Barrens, frightening mortals by taking the guise of an abhorrent local monster. When a beautiful woman shows up in his forest looking for proof of his existence, Pan can’t resist revealing himself to her.
Outside forces may be manipulating them both, pushing them together for nefarious reasons. Kat must decide if she could learn to love a satyr or if his appearance is more than she can handle. Can she resist Pan’s wicked nature, or will she give into the temptations beyond her wildest fantasies?
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