The Genre Traveler (Carma Spence) chats with author Sherry Ficklin about her teen fantasy series, The Gods of Fate. The first book, Foresight, is available now, and the second, Secondsight, will be released in September. During our conversation, we discuss Greek mythology, in particular Pandora, Lilith from Jewish mythology, the nature of good villains, key transition points in a young person’s life, the rise and importance of strong female role models, what makes a young adult novel a young adult novel, her literary influences and how there are no new stories under the sun.
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Note: The book based on the New Zealand pantheon that I mention and couldn’t remember the title of is Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey.
The daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, she was the goddess of vegetation and fruitfulness. Hades, god of the underworld, coveted her beauty and abducted her, holding her captive until she agree to be his queen. Eventually, she ate a pomegranate seed, which tied her to the underworld. Because she could never leave, she eventually agreed to be Hades bride and became queen of the underworld.
However, her mother, distraught by the loss (and rape) of her daughter stopped performing her goddessly duties and plunged the world into winter. Zeus eventually had to step in and made Hades agree to let Persephone see her mother once a year. It is because of this arrangement that we have the four seasons.
The analogy to Eve in Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman and was created by a collaboration between the gods. Each one gave her unique gifts and she was molded my Hephaestus, god of the forge, from the earth. Originally, she was a punishment to mankind for the theft of fire by Prometheus. She had a jar that contained all the evils of humankind. Out of curiosity, she opened it, letting the evils escape, only re-closing the jar when one item — hope — was left.
Because the myth of Pandora is so old, there are many interpretations. In one she was married to Prometheus, in others she married Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother. At one point, the jar may have contained only good things.
Found earliest in the Babylonian Talmud, Lilith is thought to be related to a class of Mesopotamian female demons. In later texts she became Adam’s first wife, created at the same time as Adam (and sometimes a day or two before) by God. In at least one version of the story, Lilith left Adam because she refused to be subservient to him. Also, she mated with archangel Samael and would not return to the Garden of Eden.
|The White Plague by Frank Herbert
Published in 1982, this novel opens up with a IRA-planted bomb going off and killing the wife and children of molecular biologist John Roe O’Neill. Driven insane by the loss, he plans revenge, creating a plague that kills women and releases it in Ireland, England and Libya. The White Plague was nominated for a Locus Award for best science fiction novel in 1983, but lost to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation’s Edge.
- The Golden Spiral and The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
- City of Bones and Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
- Laurell K. Hamilton
- Christine Feehan
- Terry Goodkind
- Terry Brooks
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
For more information about Sherry Ficklin: