Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Guest Post: The Genesis of Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard
Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard
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?