Hey folks, today we’re welcoming our friend and special guest, Jake Bible, who has a brand new book coming out! Sit back and relax with a cup of coffee while Jake tells you all about Stone Cold Bastards.
An idea hit me one evening. That’s not unusual. I get most of my ideas in the evening right before switching the light off and going to sleep. This is why the Notes feature on my iPhone is invaluable.
The idea started as a title: Stone Cold Bastards.
I just absolutely loved that title. The trick was, I needed a premise to go with it. While titles sell books, it helps to have an actual story inside the book. Readers like that.
What possible story could I write that worked for a title like Stone Cold Bastards?
By the morning, my brain had worked it out. Wasn’t hard. It’s in the name.
With a title like Stone Cold Bastards, I needed the novel to be less of a gothic-themed story and more of a punch things in the face story. You don’t mess with bastards without getting punched in the face. That’s a simple fact of life.
I wanted to go gritty and pulpy. I wanted it to have a ’70s action flick feel, but also hold true to the ancient nature of the subject. Most of the gargoyle fiction out in the world is definitely geared towards paranormal romance. Apparently, gargoyles are sexy. Maybe not brooding vampire sexy, but still damn sexy. I wanted to avoid the sexy. Grit and pulp, grit and pulp.
How about a band of misfit gargoyles helping humanity survive as the world is besieged by a demon apocalypse? Yeah. That’ll work.
So, I moved forward. I found a great publisher for the idea (shout out to Bell Bridge Books) and got to work. I did a ton of research into gargoyles and found out a lot I didn’t know. Gargoyles have a cool history.
But, during all of my research, and subsequent search for image ideas for the cover, I kept seeing references to the 1990’s cartoon called Gargoyles.
Yeah, sure, I’d noticed the cartoon when it was out back in the mid-90s. Hard not to when entertainment was still a fairly limited thing in the late 20th century. No Netflix or streaming back then and cable networks hadn’t gone berserk with 500 derivative channels yet. So, a syndicated cartoon with gray-blue gargoyles was not going to be ignored.
Yet I never watched it. Not because I didn’t watch cartoons in my twenties. I did. Animaniacs was a religion for me at one point in my life. No, it was simply that a cartoon about gargoyles didn’t interest me then. Never saw an episode.
However, quite a few people not only saw an episode or two, but watched the entire series from start to finish. And, now that I’m adding to the fictional lexicon of gargoyle lore, I am hearing a lot about that series.
This is where worlds collide.
It turns out, I have a main character in my novel named Elisa. Which also happens to be the name of one of the main characters in the animated series. This is 100% a coincidence. I had no clue. None. Yet it happened. What are the odds? How is it that I suddenly decide to write a gargoyle novel and end up giving one of my main characters the same name as a main character in what could be argued is the last time gargoyles were prominently featured in a fictional landscape (let’s ignore the film I, Frankenstein, shall we)?
Honestly, I want to know those odds. It’s crazy!
First reaction? Oh, crap. I’ll be seen as ripping off a Disney cartoon.
Second reaction? Huh, there are a lot of fans of that series. Fans that are now adults. Adults with an appetite for more gargoyles.
Third reaction? Embrace the coincidence. Tell the story of the coincidence. Realize that when worlds do collide, it isn’t a bad thing.
Needless to say, yet I shall say it, I’m going with reactions 2 and 3. Nothing I can do about 1. Sometimes when worlds collide, you have to stand back and let it happen.
Now, after all these years, and after the novel is already written and being published, maybe I should go check out that cartoon. From what I’m hearing, it may actually be worth my time. Plus, I’m solidly in the gargoyle world. People are going to ask me about the cartoon. I better do my research. Only fair to know what’s come before.
Which brings us back to my latest book, Stone Cold Bastards.
Title to concept to novel to coincidence.
Worlds collide in the strangest ways.