Saturday, January 11, 2014
Book Ideas I Really Wished I Had Written Before "He" Did
1. I swear I thought of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson ideas at least five years before he did.
I have been retelling the Greek and Roman mythology stories for 15 years to children and teenagers. For all those years, I took the myths and retold them so the kids of today connected to them and understood the underlying purpose. I created friends and parents to those who didn't have them. I made Phaeton the school loser, off to show his bullies who his daddy really was. I made kids cry for that stupid boy. And, I made them think twice the next time they thought of bullying someone else or asking for something before thinking it through. Oh, and those boys who wanted a hot rod for their first car, well, at 16, I'm sure they chose a car a little more reasonable. No sense tempting fate.
And, Europa, I made her the worst kind of animal lover there was. It is okay to like your pet, even love it, but it certainly isn't okay to LOVE him, if you get my drift. The kids did. So did the parents. I'm sure I've saved a least a handful of parents the agony of having to have that discussion with their sexually-awakening teenager.
I've have taught boys that "No" means NO and girls that rape isn't okay. I mean, seriously, nearly every ancient myth, told to today's standards, hands that message over ten-fold. Danae - get raped by golden rain and end up locked in a casket and tossed into the sea. Daphne - hold your ground, even when your dad's a jerk who thinks being a tree is better than giving in a man. Rhea Silvia - get raped, sons stolen, and still wind up threatened by your uncle (in some versions, even killed).
Oh, and my favorite. I have used mythology to teach kids and parents about monogamy. You see, once you marry a woman, even if she is a bitch, uh, I mean WITCH, no way should you ever go about and hook up with a cute young girl after your wife has already helped you defeat her father and borne you two beautiful children. Medea reacted like any other normal cheated-on spouse and killed Jason's new wife and her own children. If that isn't good read
ing material, I don't know what would be! By the way, this is a great myth to tell teenagers if they are thinking of breaking up via text...
Though, all that said, Mr. Riordan is still a genius and if the world had been waiting on me to write those books - well, they would still be waiting.
2. Andy McDermott beat me to the punch when it comes to using ancient history/mythology as an action thriller.
Not only that, but he managed to conclusively find Atlantis. Pure genius.
I have been tossing the idea around for quite a while about using Atlantis, specifically, to write a murder-mystery / action thriller similar to a James Bond meets Indiana Jones type deal. And, low and behold, I found out about a year ago it had already been done. Oh, well, the early bird always does get the worm and the late bird, well, she starves. I'm a starving artist - literally sometimes, though more a fault of my own and my inability to write and watch the time past - so it's obvious which bird I am.
I really ought to get my rear in gear. At this rate, there is a good chance I may miss the erotic mythology hit, too, but I'm holding out hope.