Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cruising through blue skies...

I'm having fun this week.  Life, as is it's wont, has decided that for a while at least, it's going to be easy.  So I've scored fun surf a few times, had a couple of windless bike rides, and ploughed on apace with one of the works-in-progress, the story aimed at the 11-14 reader.

One of the reasons I've been having so much fun with this has been the way in which the characters have presented themselves to me.  One of the main protagonists seems to resemble nothing more than Joan Collins with supernatural powers (which she may well have anyway), and I love Joan Collins.  How couldn't you?  Well, maybe if you were gay, and/or under eighty, or repelled by fake tan, and I'm not sure her arch-enemy in the story is any of those things.  Think of Christopher Cazenove, with slightly madder hair and an evil smile.  When you've got those two on your side, how can you not have fun?

The story's got its roots in Greek mythology, namely the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece.  The research for this has been pretty interesting:  Heracles, for example, finds his way into the story aboard the Argo, as does Thesseus, he of the Minotaur fame.  Something that I don't think will translate with authenticity is the sheer level of violence of the times: you want revenge on your cheating husband?  Murder the kids.  Remarry, have another argument.  Murder the kids again,then said spouse (natch), then maybe lop your brother's head off too, just to shut the moaning grandparents up.  It's mindblowing.  This is the same culture that used to chuck every other baby off a cliff to appease the gods.  It's amazing they left it to India to invent the vindaloo, really.

So I'm having to tone that down a bit.  But you can rest assured that whenever the opportunity presents itself, I'll be turning Joan's dial up to eleven.


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