I was inspired by reading about axolotls. The word axolotl is from the Nahuatl language, and probably comes from associations with the Aztec god of death, fire and deformity, Xolotl. If you’re wondering how it’s pronounced, I’m told it’s “Show-Low-Till.” Xolotl also had similar associations with a breed of dog called the “ajolote,” which to further muddy things is also what modern day Mexican people call axolotls. I found it interesting that ancient Aztecs noticed these salamanders, and worked them into their mythology, and the name survives today. So I took that and spun a story out of it.
I’ve always loved salamanders. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of going out to our nearby creek and catching little redbacked salamanders with my dad. I also had a pet axolotl as a kid for many years, and so that certainly sparked some of it.