I don’t think I have ever made a comprehensive list of the influences that helped in the creation of Cadmus Pariah. If I can explain without sounding like an utter loon, I will also write out my reasons for their involvement in Cadmus. The list is really not in any order, except for the first three or so, which are ridiculously obvious and I’d just be a prat if I didn’t put them first. So, without further ado.
- Barry Andrews: Well, duh. He gave Cadmus his looks. Aunt Tudi thought Barry had the most angelic face she’d ever seen. That, combined with a half-sleep nightmare that involved him, heavily influenced Cadmus’ appearance and dichotomous demeanour.
- Carl Marsh: Carl Marsh gave Cadmus his name. Think about it. He was the collected companion of the menace of Barry’s priest in the video for Nemesis. That knowing stoicism he exuded gave Cadmus the needed cap to his misunderstood rage, and is often the only thing that keeps the Pariah from falling into mindless depravity.
- Tim Curry (in character as Gaal from Earth 2): Gaal was a manipulator and a murderer with a silver tongue. He gravitated to endearments like “pet” and “poppet”. His voice, along with Barry’s dramatic whisper on many of Shriekback’s best songs, comprise what Cadmus sounds like in my mind.
- Ed Kowalczyk: Cadmus became a hardcore hedonist thanks to Ed Kowalczyk of the band Live. His performance in their video for the song “Freaks”, along with the fact that his nails were painted, was like a Cabaret for the damned. It was perfect. Before Tom Hardy, I wanted Ed Kowalczyk to play Cadmus in my movie.
- Tom Hardy: This was an odd one, because Cadmus was already fully-formed and developed by the time Tom Hardy railroaded into my world. I see my stories as movies in my head and, before Mr. Hardy, Cadmus’ appearance was a very effeminate, Egyptian, alien version of Barry Andrews. Then I saw Star Trek: Nemesis (aptly named) and beheld one of the best actors to come along in a very long time accurately interpret the ravages of child abuse on a young adult, and BOOM, he was anchored to Cadmus. As a result, Cadmus adopted a more sullen affect, at times, and was also graced with an eloquent viciousness, devoid of any bothersome conscience, because conscience was for the weak. Tom Hardy also allowed Cadmus to properly express anger with dignity, inadvertently contributing what I called his “crazy eye” to my character. Cadmus’ change of mood, indicated by just a single subtle expression, can turn a situation of civility into one of slaughter in literally the blink of an eye.
- Annie Lennox: Her techno-domme persona has pretty much affected all aspects of my writing and character creation, but she touched Cadmus in particular with her stoic command of everything around her in the “Sweet Dreams” video, combined with her perfect androgynous image. I’ve never put Cadmus Pariah in a suit before but, if I ever do, it will be because of Annie Lennox.
- Rob Dougan: His song “Clubbed to Death” teamed up with Shriekback’s “Deeply Lined Up” to create thematic sound of Cadmus Pariah’s soul. Everything and everyone belongs to him, and he dispenses with his possessions as he sees fit.
- Darth Maul: Prior to The Phantom Menace, Cadmus was devoid of any sexuality. He was a creature of destruction, not affection, love, or lust. Then came Maul. Wrapped in dark flowing robes that were incredibly Cadmusian, this soft-spoken warrior was a physical poet. His poise and grace enhanced Cadmus Pariah, and gave him the ability to experience sexual gratification.
- Pryrates: From Tad Williams’ trilogy, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Pryrates was the red priest who dabbled heavily in dark magick and alchemy, eventually uniting with the Storm King in his quest for dominion. Like Cadmus, Pryrates is small and bald, but his fierceness and determination affected the development of my character, and I must admit the influence. Pryrates is the reason Cadmus maintains an altar, despite his lack of faith.
- Pinhead: This should be obvious to anyone. My Cadmus aspires to reach the levels of poetry and slaughter Pinhead has wrought in the written world. Everything about him is beauty, dread, desire, and suffering. It is Pinhead who inspired Cadmus to say, “Survival is the parchment upon which the Law of Nature is Inscribed.” Like Cadmus, Pinhead is dedicated to his ideal, his focus is an exercise in perfection. He, along with Barry, gave Cadmus his eloquence.
- Hannibal Lecter: His command of the language deeply inspired the development of Cadmus. Also, his abiity to manipulate through nothing but words is something I felt Cadmus would be perfect at doing. There is also the Shriekback/Hannibal connection that gives me episodes of frisson. I love it.
- Randall Flagg: I admit that my fascination with Randall Flagg is probably incredibly unhealthy but, when I read The Stand in 1980, I was drawn into this charismatic entity, and his spirit dwelt within me for a decade before Cadmus was born. Randall Flagg is a natural leader and a master manipulator. He exudes the perfect combination of fright and desire. This absolutely influenced Cadmus Pariah.
I’m sure there are other influences that I just can’t think of right now, but these folks/characters are the core. Writers often say that their characters are figments of the imagination and not based on any real person, but I beg to differ. We write what we know, and we are constantly bombarded with inspirations and influences. It’s inevitable that they come out in our compositions. In my opinion, it’s perfectly natural, and the primary method by which information is passed on from one generation to another.