Ghost Riders in the Sky

I’m researching as I’m writing, which is quite normal for me. The first chapter is almost finished and I’m hunting for the right paranormal element to fit in the book. With Australian (Virgin Jackson – the ranger) and North American (Nate Sixkiller – the cowboy) protagonists, it’s a delicate balance of mythologies. The book is set in Australia but Nate is here because one of the supernatural creatures from his cultural mythos is lose in our place.

I’m really attracted to the idea of the collision of  culturally opposed mythological creatures. How does their interaction affect their integrity, and those of the humans around them? Which myth has more weight? They might sound like strange questions, but the strength of a myth is in the hands of the writer, and the writer is a conduit for what gone before, and what might be. I expect the myths to wage war inside me as they seek supremacy. Or maybe they’ll just get on fine!

In searching for what I want, I encountered Debbie Harry’s version of Ghost Rider’s in the Sky, which I just had to include on my playlist. Her voice is so haunting (though I could do without the tinny music accompanient), and it lifted me to another place – just what I wanted.

One chapter down (about ten pages) but with lots of blank spaces for pertinent dialogue to be inserted when I’m more sure of the story arc. Back with chapter two news soon, as we meet our other hero, Nate Sixkiller.

  • Rena

    Glad to hear it’s trucking along! Love the idea of combining lore from North America and Australia…there is so much to chose from!

  • Marianne

    Hi Rena,
    that is one of the problems, of course. Too much to choose from. :)
    Do you know any Canadian websites that talk about local ghost stories, cowbys etc.

  • Rena

    You could see if anything comes up of interest at either of these:

    I know there are a lot of actual books about local stories but haven’t seen as many sites…will keep an eye out. Most of Canada’s ghost stories are less about cowboys and more about explorers, fur traders, hunters, prospectors and lost lumber workers.

    Something you could look at are specific stories and legends from the local tribes, specifically ones like the Inuit legends or the Haida, Cree, Crow, Huron, Iroquois and Ottawa. Especially if you’re looking for more than just a ghost but creature or demi god legends.

    My home town thrives on the local legend of Ogopogo, which is our local lake monster, like Loch Ness. :)

  • That sounds so cool! :)

  • Ian

    Hi Marianne,

    Ther’s some great stories about Sandon in the Kootenays. Lots of good and bad luck, all in the same town. You could start here…

    If your research budget could handle it, a visit to BC and Alberta would be well worth the effort :)

  • Ian

    Oh, forgot to mention there’s some great legends (including Ol’ Coyote) from the Shuswap people here…

  • Marianne

    Thanks again Ian. I’m looking for a particular type of supernatural being, but won’t know them unto we meet. Your input is most helpful


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Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 





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