How Pop Culture Shaped the Urban Fantasy

In Behind the Writing, Part IV, I’m going to share an odd but true fact in my urban fantasy, Lord of Columbia. Sure, this article’s going to sound really weird, but it’s really true.


In Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights, I made several humorous references to pop culture both today and yesterday. Though Lord of Columbia is an urban fantasy set in another time and place, today’s pop culture shaped the work time and again.


Pop Culture Reference I: A Little-Known Video Game

Okay, let’s go back to the old days before X-Box Live and all the other good stuff involving the internet and gaming. In fact, let’s go back to the late-1990’s and early-2000’s, which I think I had a dream about last night. Yeah, those late 1990’s parties and get-togethers (especially on the Fourth of July) are still etched in my memory bank, though it’s been seventeen years.

There was a little-known video game that received a cult-like following called Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The entire scope of the game consisted of a hungover red squirrel who took a wrong turn on the way home and runs into a series of strange events, including reclaiming a beehive from giant wasps, a 400-year-old ancestor, fighting a group of Nazi-like teddy bears, the list goes on.

What made the game most entertaining, though, were its hilarious, and sometimes outrageous pop culture references. Though my friends and I were too young to grasp what Conker and the other characters were referring to, as we aged, we got the idea.

Lord of Columbia’s Pop Culture References

Okay, so I came across a few in my penultimate proofread of the work, and I’ll make a minute list of references, so I don’t spoil it for you all.

*There’s a scene where my main character references ‘shrinkage,’ which recognizes Seinfeld.

*After a rather entertaining sports scene, the main protagonist grabs his crotch and yells profanity toward an opposing team, a reference to Cleveland Browns and former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback, Baker Mayfield.

*A character mentions ‘May we all get another chance to ride the fast one,’ which were lyrics taken from Florida-Georgia Line hit, May We All.

So, given the darker scope of political unrest and rebellion regarding Lord of Columbia, my references tend to break the tension and serve as comic relief a lot of us can resonate with. It was a rather fun way to break up the uncertainty throughout the book and hopefully provide a laugh or two on the way.



Some books can be very genre-specific, and while Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights sticks with the urban fantasy genre, deviating a little and breaking a few rules is something we should all do.

But, don’t take it from me, as I wasn’t the first one to recommend rule breaking. If you ever have a chance to watch Arnold’s Secrets to Success (I think that’s what it’s called, it’s on YouTube), one of his first recommendations is to always break the rules. He states if he didn’t break the rules, he never would’ve gotten to where he is today.

I’d like to thank all my readers for coming across My Freedom Flame.