Today, I want to talk to you about who inspired the main character of my next book. My Slavic readers will probably know (about) her, her name is Morana. She is the Slavic goddess of death, winter and dreams (nightmares, to be exact), and I have always been fascinated by her. A few months ago (after I already wrote about 30K words on my first draft) I decided to not only name my main character after her, but to use Morana's story as an inspiration for my book. You can read more about that here.
You know what my earliest recollection is about the inspiration I felt surrounding the goddess of death? Even as a child, I understood her somehow. Let me start out with the fact that, from what we now know, Morana wasn't necessarily popular among our ancestors. Understandably so, you'd say, since she was the goddess of death and winter. But Morana was feared and hated for who she was and for the way she looked. To the people who feared and hated her, Morana would look ugly, scary and old - but once you saw the real Morana, you saw the beauty that lied within her. This is one of the things that resonated with me most as a child: I was bullied in school and I felt like no one understood me. Oh, how I've felt like people would like me if they knew the real me. But somehow, most of them never did. I was young when I first read about Morana, and I instantly felt... something. Some kind of connection to her. To this day, I still do.
I know how most people like to think about things as evil OR good, but if you ask me, there's no such thing. Evil exists in the good and good exists in the evil. The question of what exactly is good or evil is even not always easy to answer. I guess that's also something that makes me appreciate Morana even more: she is feared, hated even, but even amidst all that terror she is respected - because even amidst all of the cold and death that come from under her hands, she is not only that. She is complex, like each and every one of us.
- Pia Sophia