Writing fantasy and combining mythology with reality
I would describe my Rebecca Newton trilogy as an unconventional and emotional fantasy adventure that unites ancient and modern, combining myths with atmospheric legendary battles, romance and mystery. So, needless to say with such an eclectic mix of genres combined into one story, I found inspiration for the writing of the series in a variety of places.
As a writer, I have many literary influences, including CS Lewis, Jules Verne and Stephen King, but I consider literary ‘mentor’ to be JRR Tolkien. I admire many aspects of his writing, but what inspires me most is the depiction of the ordinary and the fantastic that he captures and combines so well in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and I thoroughly enjoy building this contrast into my own work.
As a Greek I have studied Greek mythology my whole life and it has been a huge source of inspiration for me since I was young, so it felt natural for me to incorporate Greek myths and mythological creatures into my work. I just hope it is as enjoyable to read as it is to write! I rarely follow the mythology exactly, but rather use it as a guide and tweak it in such a way that fits my stories, whilst maintaining a respect for the originals. I firmly believe that mythology can be an indispensible source of inspiration for any fantasy novelist, screenwriter or director and have noted that Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson series, seems to work mythology into his stories in a similar way.
I believe the combination of mythology with reality provides the reader with a perfect ‘recipe’ for a fantasy, escapism experience, but it is a difficult balance. For example, it is important that the characters and the world they inhabit are written in such a way that makes them almost believable, for it is this space in my books that is most likely to provide readers with a get away from their everyday lives. At the same time, I would advise that a fantasy writer should not completely rid their novels of reality, for in order to truly invest in a book, the reader needs to be able to relate the content to their own experiences, even on the most basic human levels. This is why I like to include an element of romance in my work, love is something that anyone can relate to and I believe it is an emotion, and an experience, that makes my characters appear vulnerable and thus more ‘real’.
The final instalment in the Rebecca Newton trilogy, Rebecca Newton and the War of the Gods (Oak Tree Press), is out now.