Article by Mark Matthews
February 27th is the second full moon of the year and there is no better time to talk about my novel, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds.
The January full moon was named The Wolf Moon because it is when villagers and settlers could hear wolves howling the loudest in the coldness of the night. The most desperate howls occur in January, when the hunger peaks, the coldness threatens, and the wolves communicate with packs, define territory, and coordinate the hunt.
The Hobgoblin of Little Minds features my own version of Werewolves, eager to howl at the Full Wolf Moon, and the celestial planets that lined up for this release.
The ‘werewolves’ in the novel are the result of a psychiatrist who manipulates patient’s bipolar disorder through medications and then breeds them for genetic loading. They are not your traditional monsters—in fact, they are not necessarily monsters at all, but certainly powerful beasts. They do not grow hair when they transition, but they do grow stronger and have explosive rage. They speak as much as howl. They love. They have hopes and dreams. They visit their churches and their childhood homes, mimicking much of their human behavior. They are propelled by boundless energy and amazing powers of perception. All of this is what happens, in a sense, in bipolar mania, and the novel’s aim is to show empathy and raise awareness for the condition.
The word Werewolf is never used in the novel, much in the way the word Zombies is never mentioned in The Walking Dead. In a sense I did this because there is no such thing as Werewolves, and I want this story to ring true. It even occurs in a real setting, the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital near metro Detroit.
The trigger for the transition to beastly form is the full moon. The Moon shifts the tides, why not our hearts? Emergency rooms and crisis hotlines cite increased traffic when the moon is full, and there is some science behind this explained in the novel.
“Humans were meant to hunt by the light of the moon. Multivariate lunar-associated pathways change electromagnetic fields, they augment the Earth’s magnetosphere, signaling it’s time to wake and hunt. The reflected sun off the celestial rock lights up your prey, stops them from hiding, and during this illumination those who did not sleep, those with the most acute senses, were the ones who flourished. That is why mania survives to this day.”
Not your ordinary lycanthropy inside. As one advanced reviewer noted:
“I’m not sure if this is a werewolf tale with psychological aspects, or a psychological horror tale with a werewolf aspect.”
The dueling subject matter is part of what inspired me to have two covers. A paperback cover and a kindle version.