What led to the creation of the Amazon Diaspora? Well that is a queer story to tell, and since I am up fairly late these days I decided, sure why not! Lets tell the story of how in the world I came up with Arrow Child! So before I begin, everyone who knows me, or those of you who will come to know me are aware or will be aware of my love for mythology. I also had a perchant for watching shows such as Xena and Hercules as a child. The truth is finding the -direct- inspiration to write an Amazon novel is a bit difficult. The plain answer is the idea came to me when I was driving home right after the dentist. After spending months mulling over the strange Amazones of Xena Warrior Princess, I was starting to wonder if there was something I could do to I guess outdo the Xena Amazones.
I mean I love them, but for some reasons I wanted to tackle something in a realistic manner. It probably also did not help that a week or so earlier I had drunkenly collapsed while listening to a lecture the history of the Jewish people. Anyway, there I was driving through Bellingham (my former hometown before moving out to where I live on what many call, the Rock) and out of the blue comes this weird image of a mask. It was a strange wooden feather covered monstrosity straight out of the scene where Gabrielle became Queen of her Amazon tribe. However, what evolved from that was an idea that went beyond leather clad bikini women.
It was about the challenge
The idea was a challenge, a means of pushing myself creatively. I wanted to utackle an idea that was outside of the normal fantasy tropes I had done in the past. A few months before I had worked on a modern fantasy idea known as Oak Cross (the current name of the meta-universe of the Nine Worlds), a fantasy world where fae creatures were trapped here in our world. That feeling of loss and deprivation of culture was one of the primary influences that led to my work on the Amazones. Except in this new occurence I wanted to take it a step further and try to write a realistic people. Its one thing to make up a group in a mythological or even a modern fantasy system as you get a lot of leeway in your creation.
That all changes though when as an author you attempt to apply a higher degree of ‘realism’ to the work. More and more research is required with careful consideration. After I first came up with the idea I spent the next three months reading and researching the Amazon legend. I also then spent a while reading several books on Greek mythology and Greek Language. It was around this time that a friend challenged me to create a language. Hence the foundation of Amazo-Persian and the eventual creation of Aɲazo.
Then it became about completing it
I have for the past several years dealt with a problem of starting something and never really finishing it. Sort of a Da Vinci complex really (as he was notorius for not finishing his projects) that I finally broke by finishing my first manuscript. Once the I finallys et my mind to it I actually began to make progress. This was a major step for me, one that was only further made important at my ability to finish the challenge of two Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenges, but not actually finish the novels themselves.
The Core Inspirations:
- Xena – The Amazons were a present people in Xena’s world. They inspired me to delve more into Amazonian mythology and start picking everything a part. They were treated not only as a people, but as a group with their own identity and rituals. Something which really stood out to me from the typical take.
- The Ice Princess – A burial discovered in the Altai region of Siberia. It was her that inspired the ancient homeland of the Amazones.
- King Arthur (The Movie) – The Sarmatian Knights of King Arthur were steppe warriors brought to fight in Britain. Their armor and their means of combat has given me ideas on how to depict the ancient warriors of the Cimmeria (later known as Crimea).
- Spartacus Blood and Sand – The warriors of Spartacus tackle problems from violence in the Arena, to uniting people in adversity. This influenced my decision to see the Amazones fight the Romans and a later series about them living as Gladiatrix in the Arena.
- The Iliad – The original epic of Homer which describe the battle between Troy and the Achaen armies. This greatly influenced the opening drama of the Amazones as they defined themselves in Early Antiquity.
- Artemis – There are multiple interpretations of Artemis from the Huntress of Greek Mythology to the mother like fertility goddess of Ephesus. In most modern interpretations she is the iconic goddess of the Amazonian peoples and thus she plays a part in the unique Amazonian religion know as Neishfashu.