Hey guys, so Sharon wanted me to have a chat to you about gargoyles. You see my YA urban fantasy, In Stone, was just released and it’s about gargoyles and demons. I wasn’t sure whether or not I should turn this post into a history lesson.
There are some pretty cool articles surrounding the grotesque, grey statues, but then I thought that might be a bit heavy, and my story isn’t heavy. When I was writing In Stone I decided not to focus too much on the “facts” (or preexisting ideas).
Don’t get me wrong, Jack, my gargoyle, is quite complex, and I think I managed to write him a pretty neat history, but truth be told I really wanted to avoid bringing a religious element into my story. I knew if I delved too deeply into the whys and whens and hows there’s be a good chance I’d run into some tricky questions. Not that I can’t deal with tricky questions, I’m Roman Catholic after all.
It’s just, well, if you’ve read In Stone you’ll know that I like funny, and I felt that bringing religion into it would darken the tone. I also know that when you;re writing for a demographic that can be quite impressionable, you have to handle things a certain way, and I didn’t feel confident enough to pull off a religious discussion.
I am that girl that’s always making inappropriate jokes at parties. Obviously I decided to focus on the snippet of mythology that said gargoyles scare off demons, rather than the stories that say gargoyles are simply waterspouts — cause where’s the fun in waterspouts?
One Sunday morning during mass, my Nanna happened to mention that these gross-looking stone creatures were made that way to deter demons. At the time it was just one of those cool stories about monsters that grownups tell you, and you know, when you sit through mass three times a week hearing grim stories is pretty standard. I didn’t real give it much thought, up until I started submitting an angel and demon story.
My manuscript was getting lost in a sea of trends and I was in desperate need of some fantasy/paranormal protagonist that was a little more elusive in the current market. I was brainstorming unusual beasties with my CP at the same time my sister was reading an amazing book called The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (heads up: this is an adult book and there is some sexual content).
We were having a discussion about the plot. Suddenly the idea of gargoyles hit me smack in the face obvious. I hit Google images hard and was confronted by hideous pictures of these things. Of course they have to look gross because that’s what deters the demons, but I’m thinking, how can I twist this idea so this guy can walk around in broad daylight without attracting attention?I needed to create my own myth and back story to make it work.
I’m not a plotter, I just tended to dump Jack in situations and let him find his own way out. He was pretty good at guiding the story and providing me with roots to his past. Of course he does have some classic gargoyle identifiers. He lives above a church door and when he’s in stone (ba dum tsp), Beau describes him as a cow-pig-snake hybrid, but I was aiming for an original take on an old myth and I think – hope – I pulled it off.
Title: In Stone
Author: Louise D. Gornall
Genre: YA paranormal romance.
Beau Bailey is suffering from a post-break-up meltdown when she happens across a knife in her local park and takes it home. Less than a week later, the new boy at school has her trapped in an alley; he’s spouted horns and is going to kill Beau unless she hands over the knife. Until Eighteenth-century gargoyle, Jack, shows up to save her.
Jack has woken from a century-long slumber to tell Beau that she’s unwittingly been drafted into a power struggle between two immortal races: Demons and Gargoyles. The knife is the only one in existence capable of killing immortals and they’ll tear the world apart to get it.
To draw the warring immortals away from her home, Beau goes with Jack in search of the mind-bending realm, known as the Underworld, a place where they’ll hopefully be able to destroy the knife and prevent all hell from breaking loose. That is, provided they can outrun the demons chasing them.
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About the Author
Louise is a graduate of Garstang Community Academy. She is currently studying a BA (Hons) in English language and literature with a special emphasis on creative writing. YA aficionado. Brit Bird. Film Nerd. Identical twin. Junk food enthusiast. Rumoured pink Power Ranger. Zombie apocalypse 2012 survivor. She is also an avid collector of book boyfriends.