Today for Evolution Thursday, we have Sasha Summers.
Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.
Her novel Medusa, A Love Story is soon-to-be released from Crescent Moon Press, and today she’s going to tell us a little about where the idea started and how it evolved.
Sasha, what gave you the idea for Medusa?
Medusa, A Love Story came to me in a dream. It was very emotional. I remember waking up totally out of sorts. But I could still see it: A man, running desperately across a field, staring up into a storm heavy sky. He waited, braced over a hole into some horrible fiery place, his gaze never wavering. And then, from the black, swirling skies, a woman fell towards him.
That’s a vivid scene. So, what was the first scene you wrote?
I wrote the book in order. It was one of the most driving projects I’ve ever ‘experienced’. I did little else, write – write – write. Each character was so clearly whole, so demanding in their need to be on the page, that I didn’t have much down time. I did try to research quite a bit of history, to add authenticity. That was both rewarding and frustrating. Rewarding when you could find ‘real’ bits to strengthen the story, frustrating when the characters were screaming at me to get back to the whole writing part.
Did you have a scene that you loved but ended up cutting?
One scene from a secondary character’s POV. It gave a lot of insight from the characters perspective, but it didn’t enlighten the reader. So, I cut it. This secondary character, Elpis, is Medusa’s companion. She goes through quite a bit, enough that her story might be a very nice companion short story. But I didn’t want to overwhelm by adding her ‘stuff’ to Medusa and Ariston’s story.
How about an “A-ha!” moment? I usually have at least one insignificant detail that becomes something really important. Did you have a moment like that? Will it spoil the plot to tell me what it was?
Yes and yes. Sorry. You’ll just have to read it. I have to say I had quite a few a-ha moments.
Are you surprised where the story took you? Or if ended up where you planned, were you surprised how you got there?
A little. I knew what I wanted to write. As I said, I wanted to tell a story worth remembering. I wanted the characters to be visual on a cinematic level – an old sword and sandal epic. Tears, laughing I knew the end was going to challenging. I didn’t want to throw readers off or deviate too severely from known mythology. In the end, it just came together.
I love when they just come together. What’s next for you? What story idea is sitting in the class right now, raising his hand madly, begging you to call on him?
Book 3 of the Loves of Olympus series. It’s funny, but both Apollo and Ares are demanding that their story needs to come next. I’m having a hard time choosing, but I’d promised Ares he was next. He’s such a horrible, blood-lust crazed monster and yet, a wonderful reluctant hero. But then there’s Apollo’s story. *sigh* It’s so beautiful and tragic, that I might have to bounce between the two. We shall see – I don’t want to deprive either of them. And I don’t want to short change either of their stories either.
Oh, and the sequel to my contemporary is in the works too. I love going back and forth between the two genres. It’s really helped me stay productive too. When I find myself grasping in Ancient Greece, I work on pages for my Hollywood contemporaries. And vice versa. So far, so good. So I’m never bored. And there’s always an excuse to avoid real life things like laundry and vacuuming and cleaning.
Thanks so much for your time, Sasha! Everyone, please check out the trailer and blurb for Medusa, A Love Story.
It’s said love can change a person. Medusa wasn’t always a monster…
Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She’s no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves… and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.
Ariston goes to war with a full heart… and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.
Poseidon will use Greece’s war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.
Medusa, A Love Story – a fantasy romance, coming fall 2012
See you next Evolution Thursday!