Monday, November 10, 2014

Heroes in my Novel

My novel, "Legend of the Mystic Knights" , is an alternate reality version of ours. An evil has taken over the world, so powerful that civilization has been stuck in the medieval period for the last 1,000 years. As a result of this, what we perceive today is no longer valid, this does not only go for our technology but also to famous people everyone is familiar with.


In my last blog, I had described famous killers, who in the alternate reality of my novel are described as vampires or other creatures. This time I am going to feature famous heroes described in my novel. As with the famous criminals, these heroes are not featured characters, but are mentioned or referenced in classes taught to the pages and squires.

Leonardo Di Vinci- In reality, a painter, sculptor, and inventor, he is considered an example of a renaissance man, but in my novel, he is Italy’s most famous werewolf hunter.

Bram Stoker- We all familiar with him as being the author of “Dracula”, but to me he is an Irish knight who did a scientific study of vampires, specifically on how to locate and destroy vampires.

Voltaire (Fran├žois-Marie Arouet)_- Enlightened French philosopher. In my alternate reality, he wrote about how vampires use their influence for political gains.

Jack O’Connor – Many of you might not be familiar with him. I grew up in a rural area, and am an avid hunter and fisherman. As a kid I often read the magazine “Outdoor Life”. Many of these articles I read were written by Jack O’Connor. Of course in “Legend of the Mystic Knights”, he wrote about how to tack and hunt werewolves.

Olaus Magnus – Bishop Olaus Magnus, actually wrote a treatise “History of the Goths, Swedes and Vandels” in 1555 A.D. and described the loss of livestock caused by werewolves in that area. I really did not need to adjust his past history.

Petronius – A Roman writer who once wrote a story about lycanthropy.

Chaney and Eisler – I referenced these two as if they collaborated on a scientific study. In fact I am referencing Long Chaney Jr. who played in the “The Wolf Man” (1941), and also a much underrated actor. Robert Eisler was indeed an archeologist and anthropologist famous for his 1949 work: “Man into Wolf; An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism and Lycanthropy.”

Trotula- I do a lot of artistic license with her, instead of just referencing her; I used her as a character. She is a surgeon in my novel, and performs an amputation on one of the knights. In reality, Trota of Salerno lived in the 12th century (I moved her up a few centuries for my novel), and indeed she was a medical practitioner and medical writer in Italy. Trotula is a name associated with her, but also is referencing medical books, some of which may have been written by her, the others just associated with her over time.

Rudyard Kipling- I really barely mention him, but I have always been a huge fan of his writings, and wanted to include him in my novel. In Rikki-Tikki-Tavy, he writes “a full stomach makes a slow mongoose.” In my novel the phrase is now, “A full stomach makes a slow knight” Remember, in a world overrun by evil, all humankind’s energies and creations are focused on removing that evil, Rikki-Tikki-Tavey was never existed, instead a story of a knight fighting evil had been written instead.

I hope you have enjoyed some of the revisionist alternate history I did with some of the famous people. As with the “human monsters” in my novel, they are not characters but are referenced, in this way I remind the reader periodically that the past has changed and the world is now different.

A reminder that this week is Veterans Day in the United States, and other places around the world it is a time to honor those who served their countries. Recognize real heroes by thanking a veteran for their service, and do not forget the sacrifices that they have made to us. Remember, all gave some; some gave all.

Next time: I think I am going to recap about the location of Switzerland in my novel.

18 comments:

  1. I love that you have incorporated some of your favorites as characters! That's what good fiction is about, right? Revisionist history...great story telling. I am such a huge DaVinci fan myself, that this read should make for an interesting one:)

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    1. Thanks for commenting. As I have said, these are not true characters in my novel, but are referenced as historical figures. With a world where all technology is dedicated in fighting monsters, I am tinkering with an idea for my next novel, including a monster killing weapon invented by Da Vinci. I am not there yet, but I am getting close.

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  2. Reshaping real people into characters in your novel is brilliant. What's more, you fill a blog post with examples of such talented people. I am a fan of the film Bram Stoker's Dracula because of the historical references. Rikki Tikki Tavi is the only writing that makes me wonder if the plural of mongoose is mongeese every time I see it. I'm also a fan of Shere Khan, not that he was mentioned.

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    1. There was a reason why Kipling only used one mongoose in the novel.

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  3. It must have been fun to take these real-life people and revise their stories for your story.

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  4. William thank you for sharing this interesting approach to your newest novel. I've never read anything like it as I understand it in your blog post. Does it come from your acting career? I loved this little peek.

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    1. Since I have only done couple movies, it is not from acting. Probably from reading other works and enjoying them.

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  5. Gotta love revisionist history :) So many possibilities for stories when you can pull from the past that way.

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  6. Some of your characters are intriguing William and I love the idea of taking a well known person and re-purposing their legacy.

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  7. Interesting! I like the Jack O'Connor reference. And great reminder about veterans day. It's not just a day off of school.

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  8. It's interesting how you make reference to real historical figures. I am absolutely amazed at the amount of research you've done for this - mind-boggling. I have, of course, heard of some of your heroes but will admit that Petronius and Trotula are new to me.

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  9. From all these heroes unfortunately I just know De Vinci. He was really a great man. It is nice that you are including such heroes and many like me will come to know about their work and excellence in their fields.
    Thanks for reminding me that this week is Veterans Day.

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  10. Are Leonardo, Bram Stoker, Voltaire, Kipling & Co. going to battle the monsters in your book? If so, I'm pretty confident Leonardo will have some great ideas on how to defeat them. If nothing else he could just fly away:-)

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    1. As I had commented, the “real” people I list are not true characters. They are referenced as famous fighters against the evil. I am thinking of the next novel, of actually showing one of the knights using an invention by Da Vinci, some kind of werewolf killer.
      FYI, of the people I listed, my bets goes on Jack O’Connor, because he was a true hunter, so he would have the advantage.

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  11. That is a very diverse list of characters. Some I've heard of before and others I haven't.

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  12. It is great that are able to pick up individuals that we recognize as real characters and make them into evil figures.

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  13. I write non-fiction and truly enjoy what I do, but I will confess that I am more than a little awed by the ability of writers such as yourself to create such rich fictional landscapes and characters. I agree with others here that challenging the reader to rethink real people in fantasy roles is brilliant. Thank you for sharing your characters and writing with us! :-)

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  14. Its really good how you have taken famous people from the past and metamorphosed them into a vanguard of troops against the menace of werewolves and therefore being the saviours of humanity. Sheer brilliance.

    P.S. I love that saying by Rudyard Kipling "A full stomach makes a slow mongoose" !

    Vijay

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