The core idea for The Necromanteon came to me on a short hike through one of the oldest cemeteries in town a few years ago. I had just gone through a pretty devastating break-up. I often go to graveyards to write or get advice or clear my head. But I certainly wasn’t feeling particularly creative at the time.
Maybe it was the Universe throwing me a lifeline. Maybe it was the sun coming through the clouds after the storm had passed. Or maybe, like Elizabeth Gilbert explains in her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear:
“…ideas are alive, that ideas do seek the most available human collaborator, that ideas do have a conscious will, that ideas do move from soul to soul, that ideas will always try to seek the swiftest and most efficient conduit to the earth (just as lightning does).”
Maybe I was in the right place (a graveyard), at the right time (after a break-up with someone who had been the love of my life), and this idea came up and whispered in my ear, “How would you like to tell the greatest love story never told?”
Well, according to Gilbert, there’s only three things you can do: you ignore the idea, you outright say no, or you do what I did and say Yes.
I’ve always loved mythology and folklore. But I’m also an Aquarian with a very Aquarian knack for taking something normal and accepted and rebelliously turning it on its head, just to see what happens. Combine my love of myth with my love for just generally fucking with things and it’s not too hard to imagine why that idea picked me.
That idea hasn’t been letting me sleep for almost three years now. I started out pantsing — that’s a writer term for sitting down and just writing by the seat of my pants without much of a story skeleton in place. It’s the equivalent of freeform clay sculpting, I guess. I thought I had a pretty good book idea so I just dove in.
That didn’t last very long, most likely because my favorite question ever is Why? And as I wrote and asked why this or why that was happening in the story, that idea began to unfold and unfurl in a wondrous — and, to be frank, overwhelming — way. My one-shot little Greek myth rewrite became a trilogy, became four, no, five books. It was so big, I had to stop pantsing and start plotting.
I spent a good year plotting and researching Greek myth, looking for traces of things-that-had-never-been-but-were-true. I have a strong background in esoteric and arcane research and that certainly helped. At one point, I sat down and explained the whole thing to my writers’ group. My friend and fellow author, Paul Cagle, put me on the spot, telling me, “I think you’ve got enough research, Mel. Time to start writing.”
Fast forward to now… a writer with 33,000 words and a plan!
BOOK: I am aiming to begin querying agents this year once the manuscript for The Lost Daughter is completed, edited, beta-read, and given a final polish. I’m also working on a sextuplet of short stories to introduce my project as well as some other creative freebies!
BLOG: I’ll be blogging here regularly about my progress, writing tips, and life in general.
PODCAST: I’m having a blast with my writers’ group hosting our Method and Muse podcast for writers-in-process. If you haven’t tuned in, you’re missing out.
TWITTER: If you like me in smaller doses, you can catch me on Twitter, @melodywingfield, where they rein me in at 280 characters — I accept your challenge, Twitter! Ha!
Stay tuned! And thanks for your interest and your support — it means the (Under)world to me. *smile*