Native American Legends

The Spider

Last week, I had a wonderful dinner with some friends. One of them asked me if I was going to do anything more with the Native American legends I explored in Vampires of the Scarlet Order. That’s certainly something that I’d like to do. Native American legends and stories include a rich world of spirits and monsters that may be drawn upon to tell fresh stories. I work at Kitt Peak National Observatory, on the land of the Tohono O’Odham. I live near Apache land in Southern New Mexico. It’s easy to visualize the power of Native American spirits in these places and there have been times that power has seemed very frightening. A case in point was one morning I was finishing observations at the WIYN telescope and the wind was howling and echoing around the dome, almost as though a mighty voice was speaking as the sun rose.

In Vampires of the Scarlet Order, I introduced a spider-like creature called Iktome who was based on the trickster spirit of Lakota legend. In the novel, he’s tied to the origin of vampires. Like vampires, spider demons and spirits have a way of appearing in legends around the world. There are spider demon stories in Japan. In Greek mythology there is the contest between Athena and Arachne, which explains the origins of spiders. J’Ba Fofi is an African giant spider, who may be more a monster than a spirit. What they all have in common is a way of taking a primal fear and turning it into a powerful story.

One of the things I have to consider when I’m planning my writing time is what novels my publishers want to buy. One publisher has already contracted a steampunk trilogy from me and if you’re following my other blog, you’ll know that I’m working on edits of the novel Lightning Wolves. Lachesis Publishing, the publisher of the Scarlet Order novels, is talking to me about a series as well. I hesitate to say much about these discussions, but what I will say is that although this new series won’t necessarily include vampires, it probably will include Native American mythology.

If this new series happens, I’ll be sure to keep you posted here at the Scarlet Order vampires blog. In the meantime, if you want to check out Vampires of the Scarlet Order, you can learn more and read a sample at


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