Today, I welcome a good friend and chapter mate, Kathy Kulig. Kathy writes HOT paranormal romances. You will really enjoy what she has to say and her books.
Take it away, Kathy.
I love flipping through mythology, ancient folklore and supernatural books to stir up ideas for my novels. Take a myth, twist it a little, surround it with interesting characters, a compelling setting and premise and you have the start of a story.
While researching shapeshifters and dragons for DRAGON WITCH, here are a few things I found:
Cryptids “are creatures that are believed to exist, but for which there are no existing physical records or evidence.”
And Cryptozology is the science of trying to prove the existence of these creatures.
Most of us are familiar with cryptids such as The Lock Ness Monster, Sasquatch or Bigfoot, but there are many others with fascinating stories. And if you’re a writer they may give you ideas to develop stories.
A few Cryptids that have yet to be proven as real:
Dragon of the Ishtar Gate is one of the Cryptid creatures depicted on the walls of Babylon (575 B.C.E). It’s cited in the Apocrypha—a collection of stories claimed by some to have been excised from the Bible—as a dragon that was kept in the Temple of Be by King Nebuchadnezzar.
Jersey Devil- I’m a Jersey girl so I’ve heard this one before. This legend dates back from Colonial times and this monster is supposed to be spotted in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
Kingstie- Is a 30-foot water creature seen in Lake Ontario since 1917.
Mothman-A tall, somewhat humanoid creature with fiery red eyes and large wings. It’s spotted in the area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Ogopogo- A plesiosaur-like creature seen around Lake Okanagan in British Columbia.
Trunko- A white-furred sea monster seen by a ship’s crew in 1922 off the coast of Margate, South Africa.
Some cryptids that were once considered mythological creatures but were later proven to actually have existed are: the duck-billed platypus, the giant squid, mountain gorilla, and Komodo dragon.
One of my favorite research books for myths and legends and just about anything strange and unusual when it comes to supernatural topics is THE CRYPTOPEDIA – A DICTIONARY OF THE WEIRD, STRANGE AND DOWNRIGHT BIZARRE by an author friend of mine Jonathan Maberry & David F. Kramer. http://tinyurl.com/33oey9x
In there he has a section on Dragons and Dinosaurs. Dragon myths are found throughout the world and share many similar physical characteristics even among cultures that had no contact with one another. The most common explanation for this is that these people unearthed dinosaur bones. The size and shape of these discoveries later developed the myths and legends for dragons.
A lot of this information I found in a reference book called “The Cryptopedia, A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange & Downright Bizarre” by Jonathan Maberry & David F. Kramer. This is a great source for stirring up paranormal story ideas.
I’m so impressed by the creativity of paranormal authors who can take an old myth and create a story with a new twist or make up an entirely new one.
Many of my stories have a variety of shapeshifters—a man with a 300 year old Celtic curse shapeshifts into a stag but he can be a man only beneath the moonlight. I’ve used a twist on an ancient Norwegian myth where a person can don the skin of any animal and become that animal by willing it so. In this particular mythology, I’ve had a shapeshifting mountain lion, wolf, bear and leopard. My demons also have the power to shapeshift, an ability mostly used as a disguise to hide their presence on earth. My demons have been a coyote, falcon, wildcat and one has the ability to appear as any other human. Imagine the trouble he can get into.
When I wrote DRAGON WITCH, I wanted to write something different. A friend at work does origami. She travels all over the world to origami conventions. She made me an origami dragon. Funny because I never told her I liked dragons. I have him on my desk at work. Of course, I looked at him and thought dragon shifter! This creature when in human form has a voracious sexual appetite. I set the story on another world, because It has always been my dream to write a SciFi-like story. Then I added another love interest, an interstellar transport Captain—a hunky guy that the biologist/witch heroine had a steamy affair with, and she can’t, for the life of her, forget. Toss them all on this planet in a desperate situation where lives are at stake, and that’s the set up for DRAGON WITCH. I hope you’ll enjoy it, because I had a blast writing it.
BLURB: Biologist and witch, Jaida Chel combines nature magick with herbal science to protect Kai, the last shapeshifting dragon on her world of Somerled. But when Captain Brayden Stokes reenters her life not only is Kai’s life at stake, but so is Jaida’s secured position in the colony. Brayden and Jaida can’t resist the sexual heat between them, even though she knows a relationship would be doomed. Fleet pilots don’t stay planetside for long.
Jaida is torn between Brayden and her dragon and companion, Kai. When Kai morphs into a human twice a year, his sex drive is ravenous. He must mate for twenty-four hours or die. Unrestrained passion between Kai and Jaida temps Brayden into a forbidden encounter. With Jaida’s sassy, wicked ways, the three cross boundaries, exploring eroticism beyond their imagination. When secrets and betrayals are revealed, Brayden must risk everything for one last chance at love.