Know Jack #251 Can’t Please Everyone, So--
I am mostly a writer of fiction. Paranormal and supernatural fiction, to be more precise. I write about werewolves, ghosts, witches, angels, demons, Bigfoot, mermaids, and things horrific. My Christian friends take this for belief in and tacit alliance with such things. My other friends call it a lack of faith in the unexplained. Ironically, my friends outside Christianity are more accurate in their assessment.
After the publication of my book, Bayou Moon, I was a guest on a podcast talking about werewolves. One listener found fault because I said I did not believe the traditional werewolf legend of men that become wolves, yet I expressed a belief in the skinwalkers of Native American myth.* I can say the same for the rougarou in my story.
Evil acting from outside men, with or without their consent, possesses a greater likelihood of reality when it comes to taking shape beyond human form. There is an evil that festers within the human heart. Men can be evil--more evil and frightening than storied monsters, but they shall always be men subject to the limitation of humanity.
The traditional werewolf is entrenched enough in literature and legend to make it a worthwhile staple of my storytelling. Those who know me, know my affection for the werewolf and know too if anger and rage could turn a man into a wolf, I’d be sporting fangs and fur.
A fiction writer’s job is to persuade readers to suspend disbelief—that is, to consent to deploy their imagination and step into the story. Readers with an open mind will do this for things they don’t believe in if you give them something real to hang on to. The setting, the characters, the situation has to have a ring of reality or at least plausibility.
Monsters, human or otherwise, without a reason for their actions other than to kill or frighten, are beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. Evil for the sake of evil doesn’t make sense. Evil always has a goal. The vampire kills to extend its existence. The werewolf kills because he’s cursed. Hilter orders the deaths of millions for Aryan purity. The reason doesn’t have to make sense to me as long as it can be shown to make sense to the monster.
That is why modern monsters mindlessly killing all they encounter, and angels warring in the city leave me flat. Add to that the fact that I don’t believe in dualism or the evil that cannot be defeated and I’m left with fewer and fewer books to read and movies to watch.
Maybe that’s why I write. If what I wish not read hasn’t been written yet—well, there’s just one thing to do.
*Myth= a traditional story of outwardly true historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or natural phenomenon.