Monday, April 1, 2019

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Author's Notes and the Almas

It’s April, 2019, and it’s once again time for daily, letter-themed posts. Instead of trying to find people, places and things from the Stone Soldiers universe, I’m going to do something different this year. I’m going to take readers behind the scenes and share some of the cool stuff that didn’t make it into any of the books. Most of this stuff is actually from folklore—tidbits of this and that that I researched and studied to work into the novels. Unfortunately, not all that research ends up making the cut, and a lot of really interesting stuff gets left behind…

For today’s A-entry, I picked an easy one, the Almas. If you haven’t heard of the Almas, don’t feel bad, you’d know the creature from its more common, North American name: Bigfoot.

That’s right, ole Harry Henderson himself is known by avariety of names from around the world, including Alma or Almas, from the Mongolian/Russian region, which comes from some local dialect and means “wild man”.

How does the Almas fit into the Stone Soldiers universe? In 2016, I was working on a series of prequel short stories that showed the history of Detachment 1039 before the Stone Soldiers program—Shadow Detachment. One of the last stories I was working on was to be set in the 1981, and was to have Major Mark Kenslir going behind the Iron Curtain to steal the Head of Medusa from the Soviets. Yes, it's a supernatural version of the classic Clint Eastwood Cold War film, Firefox...

While the story, Red Magick, was to feature the infamous Rasputin (surviving into the modern era thanks to magic), I felt it needed something more. Looking into Soviet and Russian folklore, I stumbled across the Almas (Bigfoot in Russia), Stalin’s experiments to put human heads on gorilla bodies, and the Dog-faced men of Eastern Europe. It all seemed to go together and I set out to finish the story… 

...Which just kept getting delayed and delayed. Maybe one day, I’ll finish it, but for readers of the series who might have wondered where Bigfoot is in a supernatural series featuring so many modern myths, have no fear—Bigfoot is out there, in multiple places around the world.

And while you’re waiting for the next Stone Soldiers/Spectral Ops installment, maybe you might want to check out Rasputin, Dog-faced men, Stalin’s super soldiers experiments, and of course, the Almas.

No comments:

Post a Comment