THE BOOK OF BOY | Animal Inspirations with Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Hi, I’m Catherine Gilbert Murdock. I am the author of The Book Of Boy. [MUSIC] The Book Of Boy is set in the Middle Ages. The main character is a boy named Boy. And there are a lot of
animals in this book. Most of those animals are based
on animals I have met myself. At one point he meets a Mastiff which is an enormous dog that was used as
a guard dog in the Middle Ages. The Mastiff is based on a huge black female mastiff I met at
a vineyard in France. He meets a war horse at one point. War horses in the Middle Ages were
bred to be ridden by knights, and were huge, violent animals. I was biking through France, and this
horse came up to a fence and said hello, and I couldn’t help taking the picture. The horse was not violent
at all in real life. But the photograph is one
of my favorite pictures in all of the research that I’ve done for
this book. The cat he meets in Avignon
who sleeps with him for a couple of nights is based
100% on our cat Daphne. It’s just exactly the kind of cat
who would curl up with you and say, come back to sleep, stop worrying,
life is going to be okay. I also encountered a group of donkeys,
they were huge. They were almost the size of horses,
and they had the craziest hair. In the Book of Boy there is an extraordinary scene where Boy
encounters a pack of hounds. And hounds are hunting dogs. They’re very fierce. And then I was in France at a hunting
lodge that still has hunting dogs. And I happened to get this clip of
the dogs running with a whip man. I was so validated because I’d
written about how these dogs move and how they think with one brain. And here they were! Later I was in Rome,
the starlings of Rome, huge flocks of birds, and
they move again with one brain. And I got just
the seven-second clip of them moving through the air over a cemetery. Later when I was trying to create a scene
for Boy that really shows who he is and what his power is I remembered that and
flew with it. And turned it into what is now one
of my favorite scenes in the book. [MUSIC] [DOGS BARKING]

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