Aquarian Press 1990
Guess what. I’m writing a novel. This is my first time writing a blog post about it, but now you know. As you can probably guess from the title, my story is going to be based on African mythology. Some of you may already know this, but I love reading mythology. I love stories of fantastic creatures and larger-than-life heroes. I’ve read a few retellings and have been inspired to try my hand at it.
As you can imagine, it’s pretty daunting.
Africa has so many different cultures, languages and stories. Where does one start? Well, my story isn’t actually going to take place in Africa. I’m going to create my own world with similar regions, biomes and creatures as there are in Africa. I’m going to populate it with spirits, cannibals, witches, gods, goddesses, kings, queens, heroes and villains. To my intense delight, I found that Amazons are also represented in African mythology. I didn’t want to represent (or offend) only one culture, so I’ve decided to do a mish-mash and take as many of the interesting things that I could find to create my story.
When I came up with this idea, I was completely ignorant of African mythology. We’re not exposed to it in the west, which is a shame because it’s fascinating. This book was an excellent place to start. It’s sort of an encyclopaedia as the various topics are listed in alphabetical order but it sparked so many ideas. I still have a lot of research to do but this was fantastic for dipping my toes into the mythology.
I’ve gotten as far as creating my main characters and I have a basic idea of how I want the story to go. I’ve already got a beginning and an end, so that’s a pretty good start. I’ve been working on my outline and researching as I go along.
I’m not sure I’d recommend this book unless you’re reading with a mind towards research, unless you enjoy reading reference books for fun (which I could totally understand because I do) but it’s a great way to attain a basic grasp of African mythology.