Sunday 16 December 2012

Guest Post - T.D. Thomas- Hera, Queen of Gods

Hera couldn't care less what the other gods think, even when it's about her. And it often is. Frankly, Hera couldn't care less about anything, except doing her duty as queen - protecting order and defending the mortal world against any threats. But when the Fates go missing, Hera and a handful of other gods must temporarily become mortal to search the human world for the missing goddesses.

Hera finds that mortality begins to change her. It's not just the loss of her divine powers. It's deeper somehow. It's affecting how she thinks, how she feels, what's important to her. And it gets much worse after she meets Justin, who defies every prejudice she once had about mortals. At the worst possible time, and despite all her efforts, Hera's black-and-white world starts to unravel.

Torn between who she's becoming and who she needs to be in order to fulfill her duty, Hera must survive a horde of murderous creatures sent to exploit her new weakness. In the end, only she can stop a traitorous plot conceived by a secret alliance of ancient and new enemies, a plot that threatens to destroy not only the order Hera is sworn to protect, but all of existence itself.

When he's not battling to save Azeroth from its latest calamity, T.D. Thomas lives with six of his closest friends in a tiny house in the frosty north known as Canada. They are all ruled over by a little white dog named Teo, who firmly believes he's a reincarnated Egyptian pharaoh and demands to be treated as such. T.D.'s favourite things include personal space, temperatures above 0 degrees Celsius, and cats who don't take guff from pretentious little white dogs.


Guest Post:

Mythic Proportions: Ancient Stories, New Novels

Today is my birthday (Sagittarii, for the win!), and when I had the opportunity to do this guest post, I wanted to do something undeniably awesome to celebrate, well, me.

Unfortunately, that’s a lot of pressure. I’d love to drop some great truth or reveal some cosmic secret, but I can’t. Just give me a few more years and check back in.

Until then, I’ll talk about something just as awesome. Well, not really. But close. At least to me.


I’ve been obsessed with mythology since I was very young, because mythology kicks ass. Quite a lot of ass. Let’s be honest: it was basically the ancient version of comic books. Superheroes, supervillains, epic plots, love, heartbreak, defeat, triumph. And best of all: wicked powers. All the ingredients for a great Marvel or DC plot arc. And all from hundreds upon hundreds of years ago.

So, when I took up the proverbial pen for my first novel (“started tapping away on the keyboard” just doesn’t have the same ring to it), it was about mythology, of course. Now I’m not pretending to be the first to do it. And I certainly hope I’m not the last. The real question, I guess, is why.

Why (Re)Write Mythology: Five Reasons (but there are probably way more)

1. People like familiar things.
Readers enjoy points of reference. They like rules. They like to be “in the know.” Think about it. It’s far more fun to watch a game if you have some idea of what’s going on. Mythology does that. Mythology provides people with a world they’ve already been exposed to. They know the game. So, when you incorporate mythology into your writing (or reading), there’s less world-building required, fewer blanks to be filled in. Which means you can skip all that boring stuff and get to the good stuff: the characters and the plot!

2. Mythology is very human.
Sure, a satyr is half-goat, and gods can turn into livestock and hurl lightning. But they still have feelings! Desires, fears, hates, loves: all the human junk that makes for great stories. Mythology is relatable fantasy. It lets your imagination soar, but it also keeps you grounded in what really matters. The heart.  (Aw.....)

3. Mythology is not human.
Let’s face it: a lot of us live pretty pedestrian lives, and when we get the chance to indulge in a little fiction, we want to leave the world behind and go on an adventure. Mythology is an adventure. Gods and monsters may have human feelings, but they also have things average people don’t. Like crazy, cool powers. And that firepower means doing things regular people dream of doing but can’t do themselves. I’m talking about epic battles with worlds in the balance. Excitement and mythology go hand-in-hand, no question.
4. Mythology isn’t set in stone.
Mythology is the Play-Doh of the literary world. It’s entirely in your hands. When you play with mythology, it’s like taking your favourite recipe, and then spicing it up in a new and incredible way. It’s like the first person to put nuts on an ice cream sundae. They were insane. But also a genius. Think about it. Take any myth, and you can create an entirely new story by playing with one key element. Imagine if Hercules was a total, puppy-kicking jerk? Or maybe he was a drunk, and if it wasn’t for Iolaus, he’d never have accomplished anything with his life?  What if Aphrodite, the most beautiful goddess of all, could never find someone to love her for more than her looks? What if Hades didn’t kidnap Persephone? What if they just eloped to consummate their forbidden love? The possibilities are endless. Change one thing, and you change everything. Best of all, you surprise your readers in ways they don’t expect and challenge them to rethink what they thought they knew. Minds. Blown.
5. Mythology works.
It hasn’t lasted for hundreds of years by chance. Cultures have changed. In fact, the world is so incredibly different now than in ancient times, it might as well be a different planet. But the same mythology remains. Why? Because mythology works. The stories it tells matter. They communicate something of value, something people are willing to listen to. And if you have something you want to say as a writer, mythology is a perfect vehicle for you to use. Because it works.

The Big (or maybe not-so-big) Finish

So, if you’re thinking of taking the plunge into writing, or maybe just changing direction in what you read or write, don’t be afraid to take a walk on the mythology side. You won’t be disappointed. Mythology is where it’s at. It’s an endless playground.

So, experiment. Play with settings (both time and place). And play with different mythologies too. Greek. Egyptian. Babylonian. Celtic. The list goes on and on. Hell, combine them all! Every culture has a story to tell, and every person does too.

Don’t be afraid to tell yours.

Also, happy birthday to me.

~T.D. Thomas

 Thanks T.D, and I hope you have a very Happy Birthday!

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