Today my friend and talented writer, Janice Gable Bashman, is guest posting about a fun topic! Mythology in modern storytelling. Her debut thriller novel, PREDATOR, just released and is perfect for a spooky Halloween read full of werewolves, mythology, and bog bodies – all with a scientific twist!
Mythology in Modern Storytelling
By Janice Gable Bashman
Myths and legends are important in modern storytelling. They have informed many stories throughout the years. For my novel PREDATOR, I investigated the werewolf folklore and found a way to make it fresh to give my readers something original and exciting.
Werewolves have a long history in mythology, lore, and pop culture. They are strong and powerful creatures with the ability to shapeshift. The common view is that the werewolf is a beast unable to think. The werewolf simply responds to its animalistic nature and slaughters. This is often how werewolves are portrayed in Hollywood movies and in books.
According to European mythology, there are three types of werewolves. The first two transform from human to werewolf, possess intellectual ability, and either walk on four legs or walk upright. The third type of werewolf is not a human who has transformed into a werewolf. This werewolf is a human possessed by a werewolf spirit.
Some werewolves change shape at will; others are influenced by the moon. Werewolves are dangerous beasts that hunt and kill humans and livestock. However, there’s a race of good werewolves called the Benandanti. The lore states that instead of murdering animals and humans the Benandanti fight against evil. These strong and powerful creatures descended into hell to fight witches and the Devil. They were loyal and intelligent and only killed if absolutely necessary as a means of defense.
In PREDATOR, I gave the Benandanti lore a modern twist (I’d tell you about it, but I don’t want to spoil the book). I also introduce a new spin on the werewolf lore by introducing a scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics, thanks to a world-famous geneticist who helped me figure out how it could be possible to create werewolves using modern-day science and how it can go horribly wrong.
Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of PREDATOR (Month9Books 2014) and WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (w/NEW YORK TIMES bestseller Jonathan Maberry) (Citadel Press 2010). She is editor of THE BIG THRILL (International Thriller Writers’ magazine). Her short fiction has been published in various anthologies and magazines. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and the International Thriller Writers, where she serves on the board of directors as Vice President, Technology.
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Blurb for Predator:
“Predator is a fast-paced, creepy page-turner! Bashman had me at the opening sentence and she’s still got me. I want more!” —Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Rules
“Every twist and fascinating revelation fell into place smoothly, with an ending that will leave readers wanting more. With this kind of originality on the page, it is exciting to speculate at the surprises Bashman will unveil next.” —Suspense Magazine
The hunt is on! Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.
When Bree went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly never expected to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares.
Dr. Sunderland discovers that lycanthropy was not a supernatural curse but rather a genetic mutation. When they return home, her dad continues his research, but the military wants to turn that research into a bio weapons program and rogue soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines. Bree’s boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them.
As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all. Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil), as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.
She will become the thing she hates, to protect those she loves!