Big Owl

My editor contacted me a few days ago to let me know she’ll be ready to start work on my novel The Astronomer’s Crypt soon after the beginning of the year. Northern white-faced owl In the novel I unleash a demonic monster, ghosts, and gangsters on an observatory during a ferocious storm. As it turns out, my demonic monster takes inspiration from one of the monsters who are said to inhabit the Earth at the beginning of time in the Mescalero Apache Creation story. The particular monster I had in mind is sometimes called “Big Owl” or “He Who Kills with his Eyes.” Now, my editor wanted me to downplay the owl the connection, because owls are cute like the fellow to the left. I could see that point and did my best to oblige.

While I’m waiting for that work to start, I’ve been working on my steampunk novel The Brazen Shark. For one of the scenes, I decided to research the owls of Japan and I came across this YouTube video. Just to note, the featured owl is the same species as the one in the photo above.

Even though this Northern White Faced Scops Owl is actually rather small, I couldn’t help but think of the demonic “Big Owl” when I saw this owl take on his “Dracula” pose. Also, just to note that although the footage is from a zoo in Japan, it turns out the owl itself is from Africa, so I wasn’t able to use him in the steampunk novel. Even so, you never know what this might inspire in the editing phase of The Astronomer’s Crypt.

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2 thoughts on “Big Owl

  1. Great post! I love owls, we live by a river and woods. I know they are there because sometimes I see glowing eyes out in the dark. It’s funny, it doesn’t scare me, but makes me feel watched over! Lots of love, Emily

    • I love owls as well! In fact, part of the inspiration for my novel Owl Dance was spending time watching burrowing owls near my home and discovering that I could form a rapport with them. I started imagining what it would be like to actually communicate with them. So, yeah, I do see my editor’s point about being careful about assuming people will associate owls with evil — but the guy in the video sure strikes a good pose! Take care and have a great week. David

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