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. 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.