Guest post by Jennifer Paquette
Many thanks to Everything Books and Authors for this guest post opportunity. I am honored and humbled to not only introduce my story, “The Awakening of Agnostos” to your readers, but also to share how I came to co-author a mythology series with my teenage son.
It started by answering a submissions call for a fantasy novella. At the time, my fourteen-year-old son, Nicholas was reading a very popular mythology series, so he encouraged me to enter a submission. I am not one for swords, sorcerers or vampires, but growing up half Greek I have loved mythology since I was a little.
I have also always been fascinated with geography and unexplained phenomenons, so decided to make that a central theme in my novella. When I ran my ideas past Nicholas – everything from tornadoes to UFOs and Atlantis to Antarctica – he told me it “had all been done before”. Finally we agreed that I would craft the storyline around the Gods and Goddesses role in the Bermuda Triangle.
I began to run ideas and chapters past Nicholas and he would give his comments, which usually included something to the effect of, “Zeus would never say that” or “Mom, you can’t have a battle scene that is two sentences long!”
He also told me that I had to include a “legend”, and at that point I challenged him to write the legend. He then proceeded to write, in one sitting, the legend of the Garden of Athanasia. His storytelling was refreshing and creative, and if I recall correctly, neither my publisher nor I made any corrections to it.
And so our collaboration began. I would write chapters and email to him. He would read, comment, and sometimes rewrite entire sections. We loved how the Gods of Olympus are usually portrayed as bickering and jealous – how could they not be with egos the size of – well – gods. We thought it would be fun to kick it up a notch and put the gods and goddesses in situations where their quarreling would only make things worse and they would be forced to learn to work together to save what was most precious to them: their status on Mt. Olympus.
“The Awakening of Agnostos” is targeted primarily to young adults, but adults will certainly enjoy it as well. It is the first in the Myths of the Olympians series, and each book will have an educational theme and put the gods in a position where they have to learn an important value, such as teamwork.
When I decided to enter a call for a fantasy submission, I never would have dreamed it would result in an experience with my teenage son that I would come to treasure so much. We had a lot of fun working together on this project, from arguing over characterization and dialogue (instead of homework and chores) to long walks on the beach brainstorming the rest of the series. It is an experience we will both never forget.
“The Awakening of Agnostos” is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, BarnesandNoble.com, Smashwords and throughout the world. Nicholas and I are happy to share with the readers of Everything Books and Authors a synopsis, an excerpt and some reviews for “The Awakening of Agnostos”. We hope you enjoy reading our story as much as we had writing it.
Zeus is at it again and his latest trollop, Hecate, the Goddess of Magic, pays the price. Hera, Zeus’ wife, banishes Hecate to Agnostos—The Triangle of the Unknown—the only place on earth where the gods of Olympus have no power. Once imprisoned, Hecate stumbles upon a gateway to the center of the earth, and uses her discovery to bargain her way out of Agnostos.
But the night after the Council meeting to decide Hecate’s fate, Athena is visited by a Titan who reveals the real story of a mysterious portal hidden beneath the waters of Agnostos. A god more powerful than the Olympians await them at the Earth’s core. To maintain their status as supreme rulers of Olympus, five gods must enter the abyss and fight this unknown god. Can the gods of Olympus learn to work together to save what is most precious to them?
Athena watched her fellow Olympians and realized things were on the verge of falling apart completely. They were not working together at all
and they had no cohesive plan. Time was running out. She quickly took in her surroundings, frantically searching for something that could help them overcome the never ending barrage of fire. All she saw was the golden and red flames, and the walls of their subterranean prison.
Suddenly, it came to her … sand. She rushed to one of the dirt walls and grabbed a handful in her sweaty palm. Perfect. She turned to the others and ordered, “Cover your eyes. Quickly, do as I say!” Before she could see if they heard or obeyed, Athena lifted her hands high above her and swiftly closed her own eyes.
With a great sucking noise, soil and sand flew out of the walls and filled the cavernous tunnel. Athena opened her eyes and watched as the air surrounding the gods and their horses shimmered, blocking the flow of sand and dirt, which flew wildly past them toward the fireballs. She smiled for the first time since they plunged into the abyss. As she watched the sand, the immense pressure and heat of the fireballs caused it to turn into glass. Within minutes, the tunnel before them was transformed into a solid block of glass for as far as they could see.
Stunned, no one moved for a moment. Their hair and faces were dripping with sweat, along with the horses, who were breathing heavily.
“Bravo, Athena,” said Ares sarcastically. “You’ve blocked our entire path with a giant piece of glass.”
Artemis leaned so far over she almost fell off her horse. Pointing her finger at Ares, she replied, “Instead of criticizing her, why don’t you come up with a solution? Obviously, fighting with swords is not going to work down here.”
Ares glared at her, curled his lip in disgust. He sat back with his muscular arms folded across his chest.
Hera pushed past and steered her horse forward until she was right up against the glass. She tapped it with a long, lacquered fingernail then made a fist. The razor sharp edges of the brilliant cut emerald ring on her finger shone brightly in the gloom. She gave the ring a little twist with her thumb to reposition it, then cracked it hard against the glass. A jagged fissure appeared, and then fractured itself into the shape of an archway. Hera gave another tap with her nail. Shards of glass immediately fell away and were suctioned through the length of the tunnel, forming a pathway just big enough for the gods and their horses to travel through. The ground sparkled with tiny glass crystals, crunching beneath the hooves of Hera’s horse.
She turned to her husband with a smirk. “And you didn’t want to bring me.”
“I just finished reading this book and it is fantastic! The story is so much fun! I don’t know a lot about Greek Mythology, but I loved the way it was told here! My daughter said that the mythology was quite accurate, as well! I didn’t love Hera at first, but toward the end of the book, I was feeling a connection with her and started to really like her. And the cliffhanger at the end left me wanting more! I’m excited for the next book to come out!”
“Not only do I love the cover of this book, I love the book itself. I took a mythology class in college a couple of months ago and hated it. It was so boring but this book is amazing! It made the myth gods so much more interesting then the textbook versions! I was a little unsure at first about reading it, but I gave it a shot and was truly amazed. The writers of this book brought to life the ancient myths and made such an interesting story that leaves you begging for more.”
~ Ashlea Burns
Jennifer Paquette grew up in Smithtown, NY and now lives in New York City with her husband John, and sons John and Nicholas. She has had a long career in Advertising and Marketing in the jewelry business, at American Express, and a plastic surgery office. She has published numerous short stories, essays and blog articles and other projects in the works include a medical thriller novel, a memoir with her mother and tell-all about the college application process. She hopes her humor, storytelling craft and art of fine details are what her readers enjoy most.
Nicholas Perrotti was born in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in New York City where he is a junior at Stuyvesant High School. He has an undying love for good books, mythology, movies, art and architecture.
Photo Above: Nicholas Perrotti and his mom, Jennifer Paquette get inspired at the beach.
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