Thursday 26 April 2012

Friday Feature: Guest Post by Jon Mayhew on Inspirations for the Bonehill Curse

As regular readers will know, I'm a big fan of Jon Mayhew's! I really enjoyed his first two books Mortlock and the Demon Collector but thought that his most recent, the Bonehill Curse, was his best yet. I've interviewed him in the past, and he was kind enough to suggest something a bit different this time - a guest post on his inspirations for the Bonehill Curse. Naturally, I jumped at the chance!

Over to you, Jon.

Be Careful What You Wish For – The Bonehill Curse Influences and Inspirations

Imagine you had your own magic lamp, just like Aladdin. Think of what you’d wish for!

This is an ancient daydream. Nowadays, we just buy a lottery ticket and hope for a win (sometimes the odds of finding a magic lamp seem better) but ask any group of children what they would wish for and you’ll be there all afternoon!

The story of The Fisherman and the Genie has long fascinated me. A genie lies in a bottle at the bottom of the sea and he promises a thousand blessings on the first person to free him. But as time rolls on, the genie’s imprisonment becomes harder to bear. His bitterness twists his promise and he vows to slay the first person he meets as a punishment for not freeing him sooner. When the fisherman frees the genie, it takes all his wit and cunning to trick the creature back into the bottle.

In the Bonehill Curse, Necessity Bonehill meets such a genie, one that will grant her wish but will take its revenge on all of mankind. She has to stop it. And being human, her wish isn’t for world peace or an end to poverty; it’s something much more personal.

Wishes also permeate the Monkey’s Paw by WW Jacobs and it was this short story that first inspired me to write about the supernatural at all. The Monkey’s Paw is a ‘be careful what you wish for’ story. A wish makes everything wrong and another wish to put things right makes it ten times worse. Having read the story over and over again, I was left wondering about the adventures of the first holder of the paw in the tale, one Sergeant Major Morris. It’s no coincidence that a character by that very name appears in The Bonehill Curse and maybe one day, I’ll return to map out his further exploits!

Finally, reading Mayhew’s Characters, I came across an account of a ‘Turkish Spice Seller’ called Azuli. He was the inspiration for the ‘Aladdin-type’ male companion for Necessity! He’s proud, haughty and constantly getting a fat lip courtesy of Miss Bonehill but there’s a spark between them too.

So there you have it, a few folk tales, a ghostly short story and a little research led to this third ‘Mortlock adventure.’ Of course, I haven’t mentioned the homicidal flying carpet, the vampires, zombies or the return of Rookery Heights. Find out more on my blog.

Jim: It's definitely worth checking out Jon's wonderful blog! And, of course, the Bonehill Curse and the other two books. Thanks for taking the time to write that excellent post, Jon.

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