As readers of this blog know, I'm a sucker for Greek mythology. However, I'm a little more discriminating about mythology fan-fiction. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Prophecy of The Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones. Below is our chat about Fate, mythology and unfinished business.
How did you develop an interest in mythology?
I'm not quite sure how it developed exactly but I've been into Greek myth for years and years. I'm sort of a historical nut and the ancient Greeks are really interesting so I'm sure that had something to do with it.
Of all of the aspects of the mythological world, what made you decide to focus on the Oracle?
The importance of the Oracle to the ancient world has always been so downplayed that I felt it was my duty (in a sense) to push her out into the spotlight. But in a new, fun, modern way!
Chloe appears to be disturbed in the human world, but in the Myth world she is, in a way, "the one" the gods have been waiting for. Is that every teenager's fantasy?
To be a hero and save the world? Deep down, I think every person alive dreams of being someone's hero. But for teenagers I think the feeling is magnified because of how awkward we all feel as teens and unsure we are of what the future holds for us. But I think being told that another world exists and that it's in danger of crumbling unless you can save it, is the unspoken fantasy of every young person in the universe.
You've created an interesting dynamic in the Myth world: there are unclaimed children who are treated badly, claimed children who have some privileges but are still seen as, essentially, dispensable by their immortal parent, and then (not to give too much away), royal children. When you were creating this world, what moved you to put that in?
Even though this is a fantasy world, I wanted there to be some semblance of reality in Myth. I did this by creating a sort of hierarchy among the demigods. There are the undeclared orphs, the declared heroes, and the Royals. Everyone is not created equal in Myth, not even those born of the gods.
Not to give too much away, but you went with two very old stories as a jumping off point for your book (one of which is arguably older than Greek mythology itself). What inspired you about this particular, er, love triangle?
One of the best things about Greek myth is the relationships they (the gods and such) all had with one another. They supposedly ruled the universe together, yet at the same time, despised one another. So it's always interesting to read about how these rivalries played out in mythology. This particular "love triangle" grabbed my interest because one of the players really had no business being a part of it and it intrigued me about how they came to be so. I don't delve too much into the how in Prophecy of the Most Beautiful, but I more so concentrate on the results of it and add my own little spin on the events. I think it worked well for this book and the direction the series is going.
The myth you went with as the basis of the series really excited me. Again, I won't give too much away, but I think every myth fan who ever read the stories closely has been irritated by this bit of "unfinished business". Are you trying to pick up where the ancients left off?
Yes! You may be the first person to realize that (or at least, the first to say so). I'm adding to the myths, not retelling them. "What happened next?" is a question I always asked. Did it all just end there...with the Olympians? I would like to think it didn't and that the ancients just didn't get around to writing it all down for us.
One of the characters speaks a great line in the book when describing the relationship between Fate and free will: "Their destiny is transferred into their subconscious where it can execute itself." Is that what you believe about Fate?
In reality, I'm a religious woman, so destiny (fate) is not in my hands or in the hands of anyone but God.
People have been using mythological references in their work since, well, Homer (if not before). But when I was growing up, it wasn't something anyone but the nerdiest kids (myself included!) were interested in. And for the most part we weren't getting cool fan fiction- we had to seek out Bulfinch and Hamilton and stuff that Victorians and academics liked. Why do you think there's been this explosion of interest in those stories and their offshoots in the last decade?
I see it like this. Everything is a cycle. Fashion, television, movies, and books. What was lame before may not be so lame now, but it will be again some day. And then it will just circle back around and the next generation will make it cool again. Vampires are not as hot as they were a few years back, but their time will come around again as well. Mythology is hot now, but it won't be forever. So yeah, it's just all a cycle to me.
What's next for Chloe in Prophecy of Solstice's End?
More scheming, plotting and downright backstabbing than ever before. The gods are on their best (worst) behavior and their secrets and deceptions hidden around every corner. Chloe's going to have to learn who she can trust...and who she's going to have to let go forever.
What other projects do you have in the pipeline? And do you see yourself staying in Myth (literally or figuratively)?
Lol. Well, there are two more novels (Prophecy of the Betrayed Heir and Prophecy of the Eternal Empire) to be released in the series, plus two more novellas. Then I have my New Adult fantasy romance series, Love & Steampunk, in the works right now. Plus I'm in negotiations with a fellow author to work on an erotic anthology together. So...FUN. That's what's coming down the pipeline.
Diantha Jones was born the day thousands of turkeys sacrificed their lives to fill millions of American bellies on November 22 which also happened to be Thanksgiving Day (Her mother says she owes her a turkey). She is a Journalism graduate who wants to be a career novelist (of books, not Facebook posts). When not writing or working, she is reading on her Nook, being hypnotized by Netflix or on a mission to procure french fries.
The Oracle of Delphi fantasy series is her first series. She is also the author of Mythos: Stories from Olympus, a companion series, and there is another fantasy series in the works. She also writes (new) adult fantasy/paranormal romance under the name A. Star. Invasion (An Alien Romance) is her first title released under this pen name. Future releases under A. Star include, the Love & Steampunk series, the Purr, Inc. stories, and more.
Where to Find Diantha Jones
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Email Diantha Jones at: theauthor (at) diantha-jones (dot) com
Email Diantha Jones at: theauthor (at) diantha-jones (dot) com