I’ve been a big mythology buff for as long as I can remember. I can still envision the cover of the Greek myths book I repeatedly borrowed from the school library when I was in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. An orange cover featuring Perseus holding Medusa’s head. The style was suspiciously similar to the Harry Hamlin’s pose from Clash of the Titans. (The original, classic movie, not that crap show they peddle now. Which was my fav movie from ages 5 to 8 or so.)
In Hungry Gods, I named the three major sections of the novel (I generally subscribe to the three-act structure) after aspects of Greek epic poetry: Gods and Monsters, Patron Goddess, and The Underworld (as in “journey to the underworld”). And the story fit these three headings quite nicely.
In Deus Ex Machina, I’m sticking to the pattern. This time, I leaned on Hindu mythology. Partially because the main bad guy is a James Bond-style supervillain from India. And partially because I plan to use that same thematic structure in all the books of this series, as well as a few other related books. (For example, I’ve already started writing Twilight of the Gods, which refers to and borrows from Norse mythology—you know, Thor, Loki, and Ragnarok.)
DXM’s three acts are called Brahma’s Oasis, The Tenth Avatar, and Shiva the Destroyer. (At least, they are right now. This could change in the final draft.) It helps that Hindu has a holy trinity of sorts and these refer to those three gods.
Not sure what the heck I’m talking about? Not a big Hindu buff? Neither was I. And it was great fun researching those stories and traditions in order to build my new novel. I won’t use everything I read about, but it all provides a background in my mind from which I can draw to make these characters. And to provide confusing references from the eccentric villain of the story that no one else in the book quite gets either.
Hopefully it’ll inspire you to look up some heroic Hindu epics yourself!