Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Guest - Stephanie Julian

Good morning all! We have author Stephanie Julian visiting us again. Today she'll be discussing how she researched the Forgotten Goddesses of her books. I think you'll find it very interesting!

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Several years ago, I had this idea to write a book about witches. But I didn’t want to go the traditional Celtic/Neo-Pagan route. I wanted something different, something that could tie into my Italian heritage.
So I plugged “Italian witchcraft” into Google, and was amazed at the wealth of information. The first information to pop up were several books by Raven Grimassi on La Vecchia Religione, the old religion, otherwise known as the magical folk traditions of the Italians.

Jackpot! But I didn’t stop there. I kept pushing farther back. From Grimassi, I found Charles Godfrey Leland’s ETRUSCAN ROMAN REMAINS and things started to fall into place. Then I discovered Etruscan scholar Larissa Bonfante’s ETRUSCAN LIFE AND AFTERLIFE and immersed myself in Etruscan history.
I’d visited Italy three separate times as a teenager. I’d visited Tuscany but I hadn’t known that the ancient Etruscans, who came before the Romans and from whom the Romans assimilated much of their culture, had their own pantheon of gods and goddesses and their own mythology.

The first book that came out of that research was SPELL BOUND (Amazon, B&N) and it dealt with a group of 500-year-old cursed witches. Then came the Magical Seduction series, which focused on the fairy races of the Etruscans. Next up were the lucani, the Etruscan werewolves in the Lucani Lovers series.

Finally, I decided to explore the love lives of the deities in Forgotten Goddesses and what happens when deities become obsolete.

First, I had to decide which goddesses I was going to start with. That was easy. I’d start with the Goddess of Dawn because, well, dawn is the start of the new day. And I also had this idea about playing off the concept of light and dark.

And so Tessa—bright, sunny and sweet—and Caligo—dark, a little bitter and definitely not sweet—came about. They were the perfect pair and I got to play off the whole light and dark aspect.

Obviously, the next book should be the Goddess of the Moon. And Lucy, who had created the lucani, the Etruscan werewolves, needed a man strong enough to break through the walls of the goddess who had faced down Titans. Since I love hockey players and think they’re the toughest of all professional athletes, I knew exactly what Brandon would be. Or course, Brandon also has a secret that even he doesn’t know about.
Next July, readers will get to read about Amity, Goddess of Health, and her men, Remy and Rom. Yes, there are two of them. And they need her as much as she needs them.

When I’m working on a new story, I always start with character first. I have a general idea of what the plot will be but the story is always more about how the character reacts to the situation. Then I follow along with the character learning the plot as I go.

And finding out so much more about the character than I could ever hope to discover if I’d simply plotted out the book and followed a strict synopsis.

Yes, I’m a pantser and proud of it. But all that research I’ve done is always in the back of my head, weaving its way through every story.

HE'S EXACTLY WHAT SHE'S ALWAYS WANTED,
AND SHE UNLEASHES HIM LIKE A FORCE OF NATURE...

Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood...

Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could surely fall hard for a distraction like that...

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-- Lynda Again
     It's always fascinating to see how other people work, isn't it?
     Stephanie's latest book is the second in her series. You can see my review of it here. Let me know what you think.

     Have a Blessed Day!

3 comments:

Callie Hutton said...

Very interesting post. Somehow I would never associate "Italian" and witches.

Pauline B Jones said...

Wow, did not know that! Most interesting! Congrats on the books!

Kari Thomas said...

Really enjoyed the post! I love doing Research for plot ideas too. Your books sound great and Im adding them to my TBB list now!

HAPPY HOLIDAY HUGS,
Kari Thomas
www.authorkari.com