I was a big fan of Greek and Roman mythology as a kid. When I first read about Janus, he became an instant favorite, though that might have been influenced by the fact that he seemed to be the only god that was uniquely Roman.
Janus is a two-faced god that is ever looking forwards as well as backwards. As such, he is a keeper of gateways, and of beginnings and transitions. When studying archival science, I was delighted when I found out the National Archives in Sweden has Janus on their coat of arms. I felt like I belonged.
I seem to have an affinity for dual-aspect people and creatures. I find myself drawn to the god that looks both forward and back, to creatures that are terrible but also have a benign streak. Even our own publishing imprint “Double Beast Publishing”reflects this.
I’m not sure why this is. I think maybe it has to do with the duality that is in all of us. None of us are what we seem—or rather, we are not only what we seem. I think every one of us has a side that not everyone sees, be this a good side or a bad side. And I like that. I like that what-you-see is not necessarily what-you-get; that we all have the potential to surprise, and to become more than what people think we are.
I think Stephen Hawking touched on this brilliantly when he said, “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Very true.