Religion, Folktales and Mythology

It seems like many books of fiction reference, religion, mythology and folktales. Harry Potter, and the Hobbit are filled with mythical creatures that have been passed down through generations of storytellers. C.S. Lewis and the world of Narnia was based in part on the Bible. Updated versions of fairy-tales seem the rage in Hollywood right now (Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters was the latest and was pretty good).

The question is why do we borrow so much from our past? Is it because writers are lazy or are there other reasons? Cocaine Zombies relies in part on the religion of Voodoo while Ruler of Demons relies in part on various religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religion and mythology make up a part of archetypes that transcend culture. I hope that Cocaine Zombies has provided some thrills and chills for people who do not practice Voodoo as well as for those who do.

The modern religions of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam all reference demons and the supernatural. Even if you don’t take the Bible literally these concepts are a part of our shared culture and history. Thus, even if you don’t believe in the Devil or in demons perhaps at some level, when you’re alone at night, you could find yourself just a little bit scared. If you do believe in such dark creatures than your fear may be even closer to the surface

The similarities between the folktales and mythology of ancient peoples from divergent cultures seem to defy coincidence. I have heard Native American stories very similar to those in Greek mythology. There are many similar stories in common among cultures that would never have met or shared tales. My conclusion is that certain superstitions and fears are shared universally among all people.

I hope Ruler of Demons will tap into some of that universal fear. This brings me back to my original question, “Why do we borrow so much from our past?”. I believe in most cases it is for the purpose of tapping into a preexisting emotion or instinct. Although I must admit that sometimes books and movies like to recycle stories and characters because it is easier. Perhaps we don’t need twelve Friday the 13th movies (although it is ironic they have not made 13) or ten Halloween movies.

It is not all about universal fear. Today is Valentine’s Day. Cupid and Eros go back to Greek mythology. There is also Kamadeva (Hindu) as well. Not to mention all the romantic comedies that continue to retell the story of Cinderella. So have a great Valentine’s Day from the author of Cocaine Zombies and coming soon, Ruler of Demons.