Today’s guest blogger, Mirriam Neal is the author of Monster, a book that completely blew me away when I read it last year. As it was recently published, I asked her to share a few thoughts on the themes of the book. Monster can be purchased on Amazon, and you can read more of her writing and such on her blog, Thoughts of a Shieldmaiden.—H.A. Titus
People have asked a lot of questions about Monster, and how the process fell about. The funny thing is, it all happened so quickly that it’s a difficult question to answer. It was pushed forward mostly by strong feelings and opinions, but a lot of things happened to make all the pieces fall into play. I say it began with a music video (Big Bang’s “Monster”) but really, that was the catalyst. Several things happened in the weeks before I began Monster to drive it forward.
I had just watched Schindler’s List, which I hated, but the horror of the Holocaust clung to me and refused to leave. Also, some things going on in the U.N. were making me think about human rights. I watched videos and read articles about experiments performed on humans and animals. God provided me with all the inspiration I needed to push forward. I knew the themes I wanted to write into the novel – sanctity of life being the biggest one. The question of what makes us human has always fascinated me – mortality, humanity and the soul are huge themes in all my novels, whether I think about it or not.
When Mir came into my head, he was already fully formed. I didn’t need to get to know about him, like I do with so many of my characters – he was just there, and he was ready to be written. It was really amazing. One reason the book moved me so much, though, was because I felt so strongly about the themes in it. The more strongly I feel about something – sanctity of life, abandonment, suicide, and modern slavery being some of the things that I really care about – the clearer it comes through in the novel. God moves in mysterious ways, and without him, Monster wouldn’t have ever happened. As it was, it was a true miracle in my life, and growing close to every character also drew me closer to God. To God be the glory forever and ever.