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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Heroes of BY HELEN'S HAND: Paris

Since it's been a while, and most of my posts relating to the research and reading I did to write HELEN OF SPARTA and BY HELEN'S HAND are buried in the archives, I thought it might be a good idea to bring some of them back to your attention, hero by hero and topic by topic, so when May 10th rolls around, you'll be as ready to read as I was to write!  

NB: The Myths are the Myths, but most of these posts will include my perspectives and approaches to them, which could be spoiler-ish, so proceed with caution! 

***Let's DOUBLE DOWN on the Spoiler Tag in Advance here -- but if you don't know the general myth of Paris and Helen already, um. Don't read ANYTHING beyond this point.***

Rubens - Judgement of Paris
(Pictorial Interlude to save your eyes from potential spoilers Go!)
Peter Paul Rubens [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"Hero" might be a generous title but you had to know he was coming. There is no way to write the rest of the Helen's story without Paris of Troy. None. And in BY HELEN'S HAND, I wanted very much to give him a strong foundation from which to act. And that foundation -- the character of Paris I wanted to bring to life, comes primarily from Ovid's Heroides.

**There are general Spoilers in this SUMMARY, and in the post.**
Maybe Paris isn't a Theseus, but Ovid certainly shows us an Odysseus-like schemer. charismatic and brilliant, charming and wily. And it makes sense -- it takes an incredible amount of self-confidence and cunning to show up as a guest in another man's house and devise a plan to seduce said man's wife underneath the nose of his host with the sole purpose of stealing her. It takes nerve to challenge that man later on the field of battle, knowing his reputation as a warrior. And as for the bow and arrow, Heracles was known for employing one, too, and I don't know anyone who would consider him a coward.

I also talk a little bit about Paris of Troy and my perspective on his character -- give it a listen if you missed it before! (Yes, general mythic spoilers abound. I mean. Not spoilers SPECIFIC to the book but general if you don't already know the myths style spoilers.)

And lastly -- as a semi-related post of context:

The beginnings of the Trojan War go back even farther than Paris's ill-considered judgement. (There be, again, general mythic spoilers -- not necessarily spoilers specific to the book itself so much as just discussion of the myths from which it is drawn.)

By Helen's HandIf you enjoyed Helen of Sparta don't forget to pre-order your copy of BY HELEN'S HAND -- available May 10th in paperback, audio (cd, mp3, and audible), and for kindle! Or maybe just mark it to-read on Goodreads in the meantime :) And don't forget to subscribe to THE AMALIAD for a free short story prequel to HELEN OF SPARTA: Ariadne and the Beast!

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