Friday, July 11, 2014

Why Irish Mythology?

Before I wrote Balor Reborn, I wrote up a list of options for myself, books I could see myself writing but hadn't yet planned. I emailed that list to three people and asked for feedback. Two out of three responded in favour of the Irish myth story that was Balor Reborn (the third didn't have a preference).

Out of that brief email exchange, I committed myself to the idea.

But why Irish mythology? Out of everything I could have written, Irish mythology is fairly unknown. Greek mythology is much more well known. So is Norse mythology, and Egyptian mythology.

And here I was, turning to the Irish. Yes, I'm a native and a resident, but that doesn't mean much these days. Rick Riordan is American and writes about Greek mythology. Alan Early is Irish but writes about Norse mythology.

The stories of Irish folklore and mythology just weren't touched upon that much, and I saw a sense of excitement in that. Here was Balor, a murderous, giant invader with a single eye and an army behind him. Or the literal black dog that, as in many stories, is a symbol of death. Here were fairies and gods that slipped away from general knowledge into ancient history, and heroes with magical powers and objects.

I could have written an urban fantasy series. I could have written about bullying and abuse of power. I could have written about alcoholism and the Irish way. I could have written about mutants or the powers of Heaven. Instead, I chose Balor. I chose to tell the story of an unlikely hero. I chose to give the world magic again. I chose the wonder of the old meeting the excitement of the new.

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