I have loved Greek mythology since I was a kid. I read every story I could get my hands on when I was younger and couldn't help but love the cheesy greatness of shows like "Hercules" and "Xena." So I'm always on the lookout for books that remind me of those well-loved stories. When I was asked if I would host a guest blog for author S.G. Browne, to help spread word of his new book Fated, well, I was sold as soon as I read the summary. I think you will be too...
One of the questions I’ve been asked several times at my readings and signings since the launch of Fated has been a variation of:
Did I model my characters after the gods in Greek mythology?
My initial answer is: No.
I definitely didn’t start writing Fated with the intention of channeling Zeus and Aphrodite and Dionysus. But when I sit and think about it, I realize that even though I may not have consciously infused the characters in Fated with the attributes of the Greek gods, it’s possible that my familiarity with the mythology played a role.
A quick explanation before I continue:
Fated is a social satire about fate and destiny told from the point of view of Fate, who deals with the majority of the human race fated to live normal, mediocre lives. Or, more often than not, worse than mediocre. He also has a five-hundred-year-old grudge with Death and has regular lunch dates with Sloth and Gluttony. Meanwhile, Destiny enjoys shepherding her humans to fame and fortune and award-winning careers. Which makes for a sullen and discouraged Fate, who goes by the pseudonym Fabio. That’s for another blog.
But in addition to Fate, Destiny, Death, and the Seven Deadly Sins, Fated is populated with numerous other personified concepts, including Karma, Lady Luck, Secrecy, Failure, Temptation, Honesty, Wisdom, and Love. Any emotion or attribute, any deadly sin or heavenly virtue, is an immortal creature with a specific job to do in relation to the human race. Even Justice gets a cameo.
The idea behind all of the different characters is that Fate and Destiny are not allowed to get involved in the lives of their humans but instead are charged with assigning the futures of their humans at birth and adjusting them accordingly along the way. Those adjustments are made in response to how their humans deal with the challenges thrown at them by the other characters in the book, since it’s the way in which humans deal with their luck or anger or temptation that ultimately determines their futures.
Which brings me back to the question about Greek gods. Much the way Zeus and Hera and Apollo and the rest of the Mount Olympus HOA often cavorted and connived and behaved inappropriately, the immortal characters in Fated exhibit rather human attributes. And they don’t manage with the wisdom and integrity and good judgment you’d expect from gods.
Of course, the characters in Fated aren’t gods, but they’re definitely flawed like their Greek cousins, with hang-ups and addictions and emotional baggage, not unlike the humans they’re in charge of overseeing. And to that extent, I think that’s what makes them, and the Greek gods, so appealing to me. They’re like us. They’re not some perfect example of enlightenment.
They’re narcissistic and paranoid and lazy.
They’re manic-depressive and passive-aggressive and lactose-intolerant.
They suffer from ADD and bulimia and alcoholism.
While obviously a bit more severe, it’s not unlike what happens when someone moves to a new region with a different dialect or accent or way of living and they start talking and acting like the locals. After dealing with humans for tens of thousands of years, my immortals have taken on a lot of our less-than-desirable qualities. Which I think makes them even more appealing.
So yes, after further consideration, the gods of Greek mythology definitely had an influence on the immortal characters who populate the pages of Fated. And personally, I think that’s a good thing.
S.G. Browne is the author of BREATHERS (Broadway, March 2009), a dark comedy about life after undeath told from the perspective of a zombie. His second novel, FATED (NAL, November 2010) is a dark, irreverent comedy about fate, destiny, and the consequences of getting involved in the lives of humans.
Synopsis of "Fated"
From the acclaimed author of Breathers--an irreverent novel about fate, destiny, and the karmic consequences of loving humans. Over the past few thousand years, Fabio has come to hate his job. As Fate, he's in charge of assigning the fortunes and misfortunes that befall most of the human race-the 83% who keep screwing things up. Frustrated with his endless parade of drug addicts and career politicians, Fate has to watch Destiny guide her people to Nobel Peace Prizes and Super Bowl MVPs. To make matters worse, he has a five- hundred-year-old feud with Death, and his best friends are Sloth and Gluttony. And worst of all? He's fallen in love with a human. Getting involved with a human breaks Rule #1, and about ten others, setting off some cosmic-sized repercussions that could strip him of his immortality-or lead to a fate worse than death.