Monday, January 27, 2014

Mythical Monday (34)


It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.


This week we have:
Fantasy author Donna Cook
Talking of the Phoenix.



Gift of the Phoenix

I’ve always been fascinated by the myth of the Phoenix. While perusing a book about mythological creatures, back when my idea to write a book about a Phoenix was still fuzzy around the edges, I discovered the Phoenix myth has variations worldwide. The myth I knew said the Phoenix rises every 1000 years. In Chinese mythology, the Phoenix rises somewhere between 600 and 1400 years. I thought that would be a fun element to play with (and it was). In Egyptian mythology, the Phoenix rolls its ash into an egg and delivers it to the temple of the sun god, Ra.

What an explosion of thought that fact generated!

I asked myself, What would they do with that ash? I wondered what would happen if the Phoenix brought its ash to a group of witches and wizards. I ended up creating a magical order of seven branches, each of which uses the ash in a unique way. One branch creates magical glass objects, infused with ash. Another sings magical songs. I won’t tell you about the other branches, for fear of giving out spoilers, but one branch is closer to what we think of as typical spell-casting, potion-brewing, staff-toting witches and wizards.

The idea of the ash coming to a group of wizards gave me the setting for Gift of the Phoenix. When I imagined the Phoenix in danger, and this group having to defend it, that gave me the beginning of a plot.

Since you specifically requested this post be clean and appropriate for teen readers, I’ll tell you the entire book is appropriate for teen readers. I get asked this question a lot anyway. :) I would say half the readers I meet at signings are teens. I even have some precocious readers as young as 10 who’ve read books like Lord of the Rings and the entire Harry Potter series. Readers of any age who enjoy those books will probably like Gift of the Phoenix as well. I often encourage potential readers to test the waters by reading the first few chapters for free at my website (www.giftofthephoenix.com). That’s probably the best way to decide if it’s the kind of fantasy they’ll enjoy.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about my inspiration for Gift of the Phoenix. I’m looking forward to Mythical Mondays. That’s such a fun idea!



Author Bio:
My passion for writing began at a tender age and has persisted throughout my life. As a reader, I enjoy a wide range of fiction from the classics to modern tales. My criteria for a good book has less to do with genre and more to do with the quality of the writing.

After graduating college in 1995 with a strong literary background and a creative writing degree, I discovered fantasy in 2002 when the popularity of the Harry Potter books was too much for me to ignore. I fell in love with the whimsy and adventure of the genre and began working on Gift of the Phoenix shortly thereafter. Events in my life pushed writing to the background for several years, but Gift of the Phoenix finally released in 2012. Nashua’s Choice is set to release in April 2013.

I’m currently working on the sequel to Gift of the Phoenix, as well as the next installment of the Nashua Chronicles.


You can Find Donna Cook:
Google+:  Donna Cook
Facebook:  Gift of the Phoenix


Pick Up Gift of the Phoenix:
Amazon: 
Barnes & Nobles
Book Depository

16 comments:

  1. Fascinating post! The myth of the Phoenix sounds really inspiring.

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    1. Silvia, I'm with you on this one. I love the myth here with the Phoenix, and the take on it. :) Thank you for stopping.

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  2. I had no idea about all of this, seems I do not know anything about this myth

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    1. Blodeuedd, Oh, we have a myth new to you. That's cool. :D Glad to share a new one with you then. :)

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  3. Thanks for letting me participate Melissa! I'm looking forward to the rest of your Mythical Monday series. Silvia, when I was in 5th grade, a friend had a video game featuring a Phoenix that rose from the ashes. I remember being fascinated by it, and thought it would be fun to write a story about a Phoenix. I forgot all about that until I was well into the draft of Gift of the Phoenix. Blogeuedd, sometimes I run into people who've never heard of the Phoenix myth. It's fun sharing a new mythology with them. Thanks for the comments everyone! :)

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    1. Well, aren't video games one of the best resources of inspiration ever? ;) Thanks for sharing this, Donna!

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    2. Donna, I'm so glad to have had you by. It was great to learn something new and see your take on it. Sounds amazing! :) Thank you!

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  4. I like to keep my blog family friendly too. :)
    I honestly had no idea this myth had so many different versions. I love to learn new things so thank you for this post. And I do like the direction Donna took with it.

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    1. Maja, Oh yes. I like the blog friendly too. I feel better that way. And glad to share a new myth version with you. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  5. Thanks Maja! Lovely blog, by the way. :)

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  6. Interesting take on the phoenix. I always equated it with the ouroboros. Still, I like the sound of it being based on different branches of magic. Great post!

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    1. Melissa (B&T) Thank you for visiting. I'm taken with the idea of the different magics too.

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  7. I knew that the phoenix rose from it's ashes, but never knew there were so many different variations of the myth! Thanks for a great post! Really enjoying Mythical Mondays, as I've already learned a few things. :)

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    1. Alexia, Oh you are so welcome. I didn't know much about phoenix myths. I was thrilled to learn this. :) Thank you.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this post! I think the phoenix is a fascinating creature, and I'm really intrigued by the Egyptian views! :)

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    1. Franny, Oh you are so welcome! Thank you for stopping and commenting. :) Glad you really enjoyed it.

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