By Sarina Dorie
I write about monsters in my speculative fiction and I love to read about monsters. One of my favorite fairytales has always been Beauty and the Beast and it has had a profound influence on my fantasy and romance writing. Of course, I could say the same thing about Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, but those also are their own kind of Beauty and the Beast stories.
When a friend and I were discussing my beauty and the beast influence, most recently seen in A Monster and a Gentleman which came out in Hot Dish this year with my pseudonym, I wondered what that meant about my mindset and mentality toward men and women and gender roles. Did my repetition of the beauty and beast trope mean I was casting myself as a helpless maiden needing to be saved by a man who was a monster? What did this say about my dating history and my relationships? My friend, Corinna, said that actually she thought I thought I was the monster, not the beauty. That gave me a different perspective. I think this really came out in Cassia in Silent Moon. I identified with the struggle for acceptance and self-acceptance of being a monster/flawed/an outcast. Silent Moon, a Gothic romance with werewolves, ghosts and fairies is currently available as an ebook but should be out in print in November and available on Amazon.
There are resources I turn to when I write fantasy beasts and monsters. Below is list of places I go when I want to learn more.
Shifter mythology, stories and theories. I write stories about shape shifters, not just werewolves, though they do make an appearance in Silent Moon.
The home page looks like a barren sitemap, but rest assured, there is a wealth of information on any kind of monster imaginable, with links to external sites as well as internal.
Here is a longer list of better known monsters and useful info about them from the Monstrous.com website.
This is a good starting point for goblin information. It gives brief descriptions of the various kinds. Since I write about the bogyman in Wrath of the Tooth Fairy, it gave me a good way to see the relationships between him and other goblins.
Grendel and Beowulf
I am especially interested in all the mistranslations and the potential changes from the original text that may depict Grendel’s mother as a monster rather than a warrior.
Ten Monsters from Mythology You Do Not Want to Meet
Many of these I have never heard of which made it a fun read.
Sometimes I need a quick reference to multicultural monsters and this is succinctly stated and easily organized, probably because it is for kids. My story, the Osiris Paradox used the Egyptian gods and mythology as a basis for an ancient Egyptian science fiction story in Sword and Laser.
Maybe because I am part Irish and Scottish I enjoy the folklore of my ancestors. I am always wanting to learn more.
During my time of living in Japan, going to museums, looking at the art, and talking to my Japanese coworkers I became more aware of and inspired by the rich culture, traditions and history that influences modern Japanese horror and pop culture. My Dear Jezzy series of love advice for monsters in Daily Science Fiction was in part inspired by Japanese oni in the column, “Oni You.”
This is a funny take on monster myths with some great history thrown in.
Obviously if you are going to write a scientific report about monsters you have to know what genus and kingdom it comes from.
Modern Monster Mythology
I have a feeling more modern monsters are going to make it into my Wrath of the Tooth Fairy series and other stories as a result of this website.
Rare World Monsters
Sometimes I am looking for something unusual and I don’t even know what I am looking for. This is one place to start if you want to feature something exotic.
North American Monsters
This is the stuff urban legends are made of.
What Monster resource do you use?