Saturday, July 25, 2009

Guest Spot with Author JC De La Torre

For this Saturday I have somebody else doing all the speaking for once, not that with my crazy summer schedule I had an opportunity to talk here as much as I would like. So, let's all take a step back in time and enjoy yet another trip into Greek mythology; this time with author JC De La Torre, whose fantasy thriller Rise of the Ancients - Annuna officially hits retailers everywhere on July 31st.

Adapting Greek Mythology to a Contemporary Fantasy Thriller
By JC De La Torre

There are not many people in the world that do not know the name Zeus. Most have heard of Hercules and Apollo. We have all read the great adventures and have seen countless numbers of shows and fiction attempt to take on the ancient myths.

There’s no doubt it’s a challenge. When your subject matter is something as well known as the Greek gods and as debated about as Atlantis – you know you’re going to tick someone off.

That was the challenge I faced when I decided to come up with the Rise of the Ancients series. As I wrote the first two installments of the series, Ancient Rising and Annuna (released on July 31st), I wanted to weave the fall of Atlantis with a religion that impacted the world for quite awhile – the mythology that was the Greek gods.

In fiction, you can invent your own mythology around the lost continent – but if you aren’t true to the source you get scenarios like flying cars and laser beams, while interesting to the story, may not really be plausible in the mind of your reader.

I had to dig further into antiquity, to the earliest recorded mythology – the Ancient Sumerians and their Annuna deities – gods from heaven.

It came together as a benevolent race of ascended beings planting the seeds of life on our world. It would incorporate the pantheon of religious belief, including Jewish and Christian tradition.

I know that in some ways I took some literary liberties with some of the established canon. Hera, for example, isn’t a major character at all in this series – but she was typically the cause of so much anarchy in the myths of old. At some point you have to decide what is usable and what truly isn’t.

In the end, if I was going to tie these converging religions into one, understandable hierarchy, I couldn’t possibly hold to the hundreds of gods or figures that are known in Greek mythology. I stuck to the main twelve and of those twelve only five or six become major players. I put Prometheus and Atlas on a higher level than Zeus, as they were Titans, direct descendants of Cronus and Rhea, while Zeus, Poseidon and the other Dodekatheons were a notch below.

Cronus and Rhea came from Nibiru, home of the ascended beings the Annuna – who seeded life throughout the universe. As I mentioned earlier, the Annuna were Sumerian deities – so there is your first tie in. Since my focus was in regards to the gods on Earth, I couldn’t focus on Enki or any of the Sumerian gods, which I know will disappoint some of my expert Sumerian followers (expect Enki and other Sumerian gods to appear in future installments).

It seems more complicated than it is. While Annuna may play a little loose with some of the established mythos in regards to the Greek gods, I do believe it is spun in a way that is understandable while not detracting from the action in the story.

When I first set out on creating this saga I envisioned an Indiana Jones-meets-Clash of the Titans fantasy adventure and that’s what I got with the first installment, Ancient Rising. When I began writing the next installment, Annuna, I noticed something very different. It was no longer a Dan Brown-esque search through musty dusty finds for a scarce chance at discovering Atlantis – but a full fledge knock down drag out fight to save humanity from forsaken gods. It told of the creation of life on Earth, the rise of a young prince of Atlantis and the final fall of the lost continent.

In the end, it was just a novel that drew on several different religious themes, boiled it in a pot and out came this smorgasbord of kick-you-in-the-teeth action, suspense, and drama. It may not be what mythology fans are used to – but I’m certain you’ll have fun.

JC De La Torre is the author of fantasy thriller Rise of the Ancients - Annuna, released on July 31st to retailers everywhere.


Hagelrat said...

I loved my years of studying Classics, great post and I have just started the book. :)

Harry Markov: daydream said...

Greatness. :) I love the mythology and pantheons, but I lack formal training. Tell me how the book is.

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