Writers are a weird group of people. It may be that we just never grow out of two very childish questions: why and what if. At least for me, my external life is pretty normal. Nothing wild and crazy, my chemical alterations are all legal and two glasses of wine is about all it takes to make me thoroughly tipsy. Which looks like me sitting quietly in a corner and smiling. Three glasses and I’ll tell you how much I love you in expansive and repetitive terms, assuming I love you sober.
That being said, there are some general connections I can make. The first and most articulated is my own upbringing in a conservative Christian sub-culture. While everyone called it morality and biblical and by the rules, the reality was the outside world was a scary place that no one was prepared to handle. So if you just worked hard enough at following enough rules perfectly enough, the thinking was that everything was going to be okay. I got out of the church a long time before I got out of that way of thinking. When the real world hit me, it whooped me good. It took a very long time and a hell of a lot of philosophy (hence just about everything else on this blog) to get my feet back under me. In that respect, the part of me that shows up in Willow is the journey that starts in the safety of saying no to everything and has an abrupt landing when all of those constructs get torn away.
The second is a general comment on our cultural obsession with cleanliness. My undergrad degree is in history, with a focus on WWII and the Holocaust. In the confluence of events that led up to the Holocaust, the role that the medical community played is somewhat overlooked. Before Hitler even came to power, there was the eugenics movement in the US, which was basically the idea that our gene-pool should be cleansed from undesirable elements. The notion of what is clean vs. what is dirty has often been a cover for fear-mongering and discrimination. Once again, our society is getting progressively more and more obsessed with killing germs and frankly, it doesn’t seem to be working out too well for us, not even medically.
Finally, I was driving with a friend of mine talking about random story ideas. It started with superheros having sex, evolved into how superheros became superheros, and ended up with superheros getting their powers via STD. (See the first paragraph for an acknowledgement that it is WEIRD up there.)
Somehow, all of those things worked their way into the book… kind of like Ursula in The Little Mermaid randomly throwing glass vials of random purple potions into a cauldron.