Please join me in welcoming author Brad Cameron to the blog today, as he discusses the influence and inspiration Norse mythology has afforded him.
Just a little information about Brad’s novels: Books One and Two of The Zeke Proper Chronicles (“Odin’s Light” and “The Serpent’s Ship”) are categorized as Young Adult Urban Fiction and are already being used in classrooms at both the junior high and high school levels. In addition, both books have received a Seal of Quality by Northwest Independent Writers Association (niwawriters.com). With, that, here’s Brad:
I’m sure most of us at one time or another have questioned the sanity of those whose minds went into creating the myths of ancient cultures. For instance, we might inquire into the thought process of the individual who first told the tale of a god, winging his way across the sky on a chariot, pulling with him the sun and all its glory. Did the ancients really believe that? Or, let’s consider the tale of a mighty warrior god whose strength matches that of a thousand men, battling his way among giants, his chariot wheels rumbling beneath him, his powerful hammer matching timber with the sound of the wheels, and all the while winging his way on a carriage that is being pulled by goats. But not just ordinary goats. No, these are magical goats that can reconstitute themselves after being killed, cooked, and finally consumed by their master. Again we ask, did the ancients really believe this stuff? Well, maybe. But perhaps the thing that we have to consider is that before any kind of advanced technology, the ancients only had their senses and the ability to take in what they could see, smell, and hear. Their myths were answers to the mysteries of nature that surrounded them.
Most of the research I’ve done in putting together my stories for Odin’s Light and The Serpent’s Ship, are based on the tales once told by the Norse – those hardy individuals whose roots begin in the Bronze Age. The hero of my stories, Zeke Proper, experiences a modern existence in a modern world; however, his life is overshadowed by the return of the legends of Norse mythology. Zeke’s experience with these deities is often depressing and dark. There’s very little light-heartedness. Nevertheless, it’s fitting. The early Norse lived in an existence of darkness. It only follows that their myths would parallel their lives. Consider the fact that Greek mythology, with its beautiful, immortal gods, sprang from the minds of those who lived in a warm climate, under sunny skies; nature, to them, appeared genial and generous. Not so for the Norse. They lived in a cold land, where the winter nights seem endless and the summers are brief and fleeting; the nature they knew appeared cheerless and meager, something hard and stern, an enemy to be mastered only by ceaseless struggle. Is it any wonder that their gods, instead of being immortal, could, and would, perish? Nevertheless they fight on, knowing that the end will surely come.
When you read the books in the Zeke Proper Chronicles, bear in mind that Zeke is not a typical hero. He struggles to accept his heroic fate, viewing himself as unimportant and unworthy of the title. Eventually, however, as you will read in the continuation of the stories, Zeke recognizes his nature, and like the gods of the Norse myth, accepts his immortality but plunges on anyway, recognizing that Valhalla only admits the truest of warriors.
Well, there you go! What have been your experiences with mythology? Which myths are your favorites? What do you like and dislike about mythology? Please do comment, and don’t forget to find out more about Brad Cameron and the Zeke Proper Chronicles at the links below:Website- http://www.bradcameron.net/Twitter- @camgang817