Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcome, Celina Summers!

It seems my attempts to post Celina's blog from my cell phone didn't work. Due to lots of computer issues that I may (or may not) rant about at another time, Thursday's blog didn't make it up. Today, instead of my rantings, you get the opportunity to enjoy Celina's thoughts.

Also, a winner's name will be selected from those who comment for a PDF of Mythos 1.

So, here it is today. Celina Summers is a friend/editor/author, whom I have no doubt, as an author, will be NY published soon.

I've been writing for a long time. I started writing poetry when I was very young (like, seven) and progressed fairly quickly to short stories. I wrote my first full-length novel (horrid, by the way) when I was 17.

During high school, I won several writing competitions including national awards for history and mythology. I was also a national champion in Greek and Latin mythology. (See where the story ideas come from?)

I attended college in Tennessee, where I developed an overwhelming love for UT football. A one-act play I wrote for a master class while in college was produced - "Puppets".
It was only then that I realized my education did absolutely nothing for my immediate professional future. Given a choice between law school and summer stock theatre, I took theatre and remained in the acting/directing/designing profession for ten years. This career took me all over the eastern United States.

Eventually, however, I got tired of living other people's words (except for Shakespeare, naturally) and decided to try something different.

After a car accident that left me unable to work for three years (and left me with untold medical bills and a very successful disc replacement operation) I began reworking the first book I wrote. It has since developed into a projected ten-book high fantasy series, of which eight books are finished. (For those of you keeping count, that's about 2 million words) I also started a second mainstream project last year, a two-book dark fantasy series currently in rewrites.
I am married, live in southeastern Ohio, and have two teenaged daughters and many, many, many cats--one of whom is perched stubbornly on my lap as I try to write this. Just for kicks, their names are Satan, Impy, Dante, Gabriel, Pixie, Meowkovitch, Crookshanks, Volunteer, Elf, Muggle, Asphodel and Biscuit-the kitten. (obviously, those are the cats and not my daughters.)

In my spare time, all six hours of it a week, I enjoy reading, old Katharine Hepburn movies, new sci-fi/fantasy flicks, a mean game of euchre, numerous vodka martinis, (chilled, straight up, only a teensy splash of vermouth with both an olive and a lime wedge) and Rolling Rock beer.


It's hard to come up with a great story idea. You spend a lot of time and thought worrying over it. I write fantasy primarily, so I was always trying to think ahead—what tropes are overdone? What kind of races should I use? Are there too many stories with Elves? I'd sit at my desk and fidget and fuss for hours over it. But since I've been editing, I'm finding a lot of new authors constantly question themselves in the same manner—what can I do that hasn't been done before?

I'm going to make it easy for you. You ready?

There's no such thing as a story idea that no one's done before.

No matter how hard you try, some Johnny Know-It-All is going to look at your book cover and say, "Oh, wait a second—this is just another Lord of the Rings/Gone With The Wind/Da Vinci Code/Twilight/Harry Potter/whatever."

Now here comes the good part—no one has ever told that story the way that YOU are going to tell it.

It is impossible for a human being to precisely duplicate another's thoughts. Let's say you sit two writers down and direct them to write stories about kids who do magic. One might come upon with Harry Potter; the other may come up with Narnia. You see, it's all about the creative process and how we, as individual writers, implement it. Sure, you can waste a lot of time worrying about whether someone else has told a story about a woman's life during the Civil War. As a matter of fact, lots of writers have told a story with that theme and basic plot—but those stories are going to be different from your story. Your story will be just as individual and distinct as you are—so why not tell it?

Once I learned this lesson, creating a new storyline became a lot easier for me. It enabled me to go back into the stories of history—Greco-Roman mythology, for example, and utilize those sources for my work. In my Mythos series, I'm gleaning all the original classical sources about these individual myths and retelling those ancient stories in my own narrative style.

So don't worry yourself into a fret trying to come up with a perfectly original story. Instead, concentrate on telling the best story you can, in your own particular and original voice, and you'll find that no one else in the world has told your story.

Mythos 3: Beloved of a Mortal

Blurb: After a prophecy that Thetis’ son would be greater than his father, the male gods of Olympus shun her. She is now an outcast, wandering the mountains in Greece and seething against the petty motivations of the other immortals.

Peleus is a Greek hero and warrior prince. On a visit to the king of Iolcos, he fends off the advances of the Queen. When she lies to her husband and claims Peleus is in love with her, the King strands Peleus on a mountain. Only the intervention of a beautiful immortal saves him from a horrible death.

Peleus and Thetis fall in love, but their future is uncertain. Can Peleus overcome the obstacles the gods have set in his way? Or will Thetis be strong enough to fight for the man she loves? When a goddess is the beloved of a mortal, only the help of those who love her can save her from the anger of the gods.


lbgregg said...

I wonder how many of us have a history in the theatre?



Dominique Eastwick said...

Another theatre person here. I was a Costume designer/ costume craftwoman. :)

Love the blog learned things about you I didn't know.

Congrats on this latest release with its awesome cover art :)

Lizzie said...

About the only theatre exprience I can brag about is playing a tree in a school play...LOL

Lena Austin said...

Got typecast as the villainess or the mother so much, I left the theater.

lbgregg said...

I was type-cast as the slutty next-door-neighbor.

No just kidding. I was a costume slave too.

Where's Celina? HELLO?

hotcha12 said...


Anonymous said...

Great post!

Had you gone to law school instead, then your books will be totally different. Now, there's a story idea. :)