My series, Sons of Apollo, revolves primarily around the mythology about centaurs. In all of Greek mythology, the centaurs are positioned as the bad guys, defeated and driven off or slain by men who are the heroes. The story of the Centauromachy, the biggest battle involving the centaurs, is no exception. My stories were inspired by the question: wouldn’t the centaurs have their own version of the events?
My love for Greek mythology began at an early age when I first encountered the stories of Persephone and Medusa. I already knew I loved fairy tales and folklore, and particularly the fantastical creatures therein, so my introduction in elementary school to these stories was a natural gravitation into the realm of myth with its own heroes, heroines and creatures.
As I continued my study of mythology there were several themes that stood out to me, piquing my interest and fueling my imagination. Most of these themes have been woven into the series. These ideas became the seeds of creativity from which my story was born. The foremost being the way the centaurs were depicted in the mythology. Regarded as little more than animals, the centaurs are driven from their homeland, hated, hunted, feared and slain by men. All but one, Kheiron, (pronounced Kay-ron and sometimes spelled in the Latin, Cheiron) the centaur teacher and trainer of all the famous Greek heroes including Hercules, Jason, and Achilles. Kheiron was revered by gods, men and centaurs alike. This discrepancy intrigued me. I read and researched and filled in the missing information with my own ideas where I felt sufficient explanations were lacking. Though nowhere in mythology does it explicitly state it, I was convinced that such a generous and benevolent being would have offered the same training to his own kin which he offered to men. And thus, in my mind, a culture was born.
Another idea was the fact that there is only one female centaur mentioned in all of these myths. I wondered where she came from, why is she the only one? And was the absence of the female sex in their race the reason the centaurs always seemed to get themselves into trouble when it came to mating and producing offspring? If there were no female centaurs, or even very few of them, then women would be necessary for procreation. This conundrum became the catalyst I needed to first put pen to paper and begin to elaborate on all the “gaps” in mythology that I had begun to mentally refer to as my story. With my own struggle with infertility, the themes of procreation became more and more prominent in my writing. And my story grew.
Every story involving centaurs followed a similar pattern. The centaurs are always portrayed as drunken, riotous and lustful, easily provoked, easily riled and quick to steal away women in every opportunity they found. And always, in any altercation, they were the bad guys needing to be defeated. They were the antagonists in their own stories. But isn’t every villain a hero in his own story?
Book I: Mate For A Centaur is in the latter end of the revision stages, then on to editing and publication.
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