Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Guest Post: The Genesis of Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard

Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard
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The Genesis of Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard

Interestingly enough, the original idea for Alpha Goddess was inspired by Greek mythology—specifically, the Greek tale of Hades and Persephone. That was the story that really set Alpha Goddess into motion. I’ve always loved that particular myth because I enjoy dark romance. For me, reading about the god of the Underworld kidnapping the goddess of spring because he’s in love with her and knows that he could never measure up to her mother, Demeter, is like utter brain candy. It’s pretty hot in a dark, desperate kind of way. 

As a child, I was also lucky to grow up with a different kind of mythology, one steeped in East Indian culture. Inspired by the story of Persephone, I wanted to try something different, as in something radically different. What if I could tie classic Greek mythology into the Indian stories I’d heard as a child? What if these gods and goddesses somehow all knew each other? That got my mind whirring and the concept percolating.

In the beginning, my idea was to bridge Greek mythology and Indian mythology, and it was quite an ambitious one. After a while, finding enough neutral or common ground became difficult. Imagine incorporating two entirely different pantheons of hundreds of Greek gods and goddess with millions of Indian ones! It became too unwieldy to make a marriage between two disparate mythologies, no matter my earlier intentions. It just didn’t make sense and the world building would have been way too complicated. So instead, I found myself inspired by another tale of star-crossed love, this time on the Indian side—the epic tale of Rama and Sita—and decided to focus on that mythology as the foundation for my story.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Ramayana, it’s a timeless Indian love story in which prince Rama and his wife Sita were tricked from the throne and sent into exile, where they lived in the forest. Similar to Persephone, Sita was stolen away by a ten-headed demon, Ravana, who tried to convince her to marry him. However, her love Rama came to save her, battling the demon to the death with the help of the monkey-king, Hanuman. After the birth of their two sons, Sita’s chastity remained in question after her time spent with Ravana, and she was forced to walk through fire to prove her purity. She returned to mother earth, never to be seen again.

My re-imagining of Rama and Sita’s epic love story takes place with a fictional account of how they find each other in another future lifetime—this time within the world of Alpha Goddess in a contemporary setting. I wanted to remain true to several key elements of the mythology; however, I also wanted to use my creative license to really make this story my own. Hence the re-imagining and not re-telling: Rama becomes Devendra and Sita becomes Serjana, and they are thrown into a present-day setting where Sera has no idea who or what she is. In a world fissured by gods and demons, by good and evil, can these two star-crossed lovers find each other, and save the mortal realm in the process? Or will they become undermined by friends, family and evolving loyalties?

20 comments:

Erika Sorocco said...

This sounds intriguing...

xx

Liviania said...

That still counts as a re-telling to me, but I'm pretty liberal with the term. ^_~

Aneeqah said...

I can honestly say that I haven't heard of an Indian mythology retelling (still seems like a retelling to me, haha), and that's honestly surprising. There's so much mythology in that culture that I would have assumed there would be plenty of books about it! Nonetheless, I love this concept, and love how the author was able to write a book about it. I'll definitely have to check this one out!

Thanks for sharing! <3

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Indian mythology is something I know very little about, so I would be interested to learn more. I am getting a bit tired of all the Greek mythology retellings.

Jasprit said...

Wow the combining of Indian and Greek mythology sounded awesome, but I understand why this seemed really difficult to do. I do love the inspiration behind your book now, I don't think I've come across anything quite like it. Also it brings back memories of watching the school plays of Rama and Sita! Thanks for sharing a great post with us! :)

Lauren D. said...

I know very little about Indian mythology so this sounds fascinating to me. Thank you so much for sharing! :-)

Eileen said...

I'm not a very big fan of mythology, but I feel like the majority of mythology I've read is either Greek mythology or some style similar to that. I've never heard of Indian mythology, nor have I ever read an Indian mythology retelling, so the concept definitely sounds cool :) Thanks for sharing! <33

The Bookish Manicurist said...

I love the inspiration behind this novel, so unique! Awesome cover, too!

Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

I love the idea of bridging Greek mythology and Indian mythology, even if it did prove to be too ambitious in the end! Still, a re-imagining of Rama and Sita's story sounds like a refreshing idea in YA - definitely not something I've come across myself, at least, and now I'm super curious about this book. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Medeia Sharif said...

I love all types of mythologies. I'm most familiar with Greek and Roman, although I've read about Indian gods and goddesses. It's all fascinating and also a great base for modern fiction.

kimbacaffeinate said...

Indian mythology is new something I only vaguely now about and this sounds fascinating. I love the idea of star-crossed lovers meeting again in a different time.

Hilda K said...

Oh, we have a similar version of Ramayana here, only slightly different name Rama and Sinta. It's so cool to try to combine two different myths! I love the story of Hades and Persephone, which is kind of dark and twisted in a way. ;) This guest post makes me really curious about the book! Thank you for sharing with us, Amalie and Lauren! :)

Krysten Gautreaux said...

Sounds interesting...

Candace said...

It is fascinating stuff!

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

Oh awesome post, I have this for review from netgalley, this makes me even more excited to pick it up! (:

Zoe N. said...

I'm not too keen on Indian mythology, but I absolutely LOVE Greek mythology! (Percy Jackson, anyone?) But this sounds AMAZING and so creative! Definitely going to have to try it out at some point; it's great to see original stories / books, right? ;)

Thanks for sharing!

~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I do love mythology and I especially love mythology we don't often get in retellings. I do think this one sounds like something I would enjoy. :)

Meradeth Houston said...

Speaking of brain candy, this sounds utterly awesome!!

Christy @ Love of Books said...

Oh wow, how interesting! It's usually a little harder for me to get into this type of story, but I know I'll most likely enjoy it.

Sophia Lin said...

Oooo mythology? I'm caught now! O_O


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