BookBrowse's Judy Krueger in Conversation with L. Jagi Lamplighter
The Prospero's Daughter trilogy is full of a staggering wealth of historical, mythical, and supernatural creatures, and religious lore from many centuries ago. Guessing that she did not just look this stuff up on the internet, I sent Ms. Lamplighter an email asking: "How did you learn so much about all those gods, goddesses, mythical creatures, etc?" Her answer:
[L. Jagi Lamplighter]:
I love both fairy tales and myths. I have been reading them since I was a child. So I've kind of steeped in them, like well-brewed tea.
I've read semi-anthropological sources as well, like The Golden Bough and The White Goddess and Bullfinch's Mythology. I also went through a period when I spent a year studying, on my own, mythologies from all over the world - which is one reason that, in the Prospero background, each section of the world has mythological creatures appropriate to that culture.
In addition, the Prospero books are based in part on a roleplaying game run by my husband, sci-fi/fantasy author John C. Wright. He, too, is a fan of myths. So he and I have learned a great deal from each other...
My idea for the Prospero books was that the story took place "in the real world". What I mean by that is this: Many stories pick a particular mythology - Norse mythology, Greek mythology, American Indian, etc. - then they say 'this mythos is real in my fantasy world, and the rest of them don't exist.'
But, in our real world, they are all there: Norse, Egyptian, Hindu, American Indian, Polynesian, Christian, Jewish, etc. My idea for Miranda's world was that all the things we know in our real world are there in her world as well, living among each other in an uneasy sort of alliance.