by J.G. Zymbalist
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Song of the Oceanides is a highly-experimental triple narrative transgenre fantasy that combines elements of historical fiction, YA, myth and fairy tale, science fiction, paranormal romance, and more. For ages 10-110.
Blue Hill, Maine.
3 August, 1903.
From the moment Emmylou heard the song of the Oceanides, she recognized something godly in the tune. As it resounded all across the desolate shoreline of Blue Hill Bay, she recalled the terrible chorus mysticus ringing all throughout that extinct Martian volcano the day her father went missing down in the magma chamber.
Aunt Belphœbe followed along, guiding Maygene through the sands. “Why don’t you go play in that shipwreck over there?” Aunt Belphœbe pointed toward a fishing schooner run aground some fifty yards to the south.
When Maygene raced off, Emmylou refused to follow. By now the chorus of song tormented her so much that an ache had awoken all throughout her clubfoot. Before long she dropped her walking stick and fell to the earth. Closing her eyes, she dug both her hands into the sands and lost herself in memories of the volcano. How could Father be gone? Though he had often alluded to the perils of Martian vulcanology, she never imagined that someone so good and so wise could go missing.
The song of the Oceanides grew a little bit louder and increasingly dissonant.
Opening her eyes, Emmylou listened very closely. The song sounded like the stuff of incantation, witchcraft. And even though she could not comprehend every word, nevertheless she felt certain that the Oceanides meant to cast a spell upon some unfortunate soul.
Interview: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
I would have to say vanilla if for no other reason than I have always been fascinated by cherries jubilee. Most people malign British cuisine, but I really really like it. Oh, one other thing. In my upcoming NA fantasy, the Judeo-Christian legendary figure Lilith acquires great powers by bringing a dish of cherries jubilee to a powerful demon who then agrees to help her as payment for the seemingly-divine treat.
Which mythological creature are you most like?
Probably the Minotaur because he seemed rather slothful and spent a lot of his time aimlessly wandering the halls of his big empty house.
First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Every single chapter was a discernible scene in a specific place during a moment in time. There was very little narrative voice. It felt like a morality play.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I structure the plot very carefully using the passage of time as my guide. I begin knowing the start date and end date of the story and then use time itself to dictate just what the character ought to be thinking or saying or doing or feeling relative to that point in the chronological sequence. For me, the movement of time itself is just as important as plot.
(For whatever reason, I have a similar quirk when it comes to cinema. For me, the cinematographer is as important as the director, if not more important. If I don’t like the cinematographic look of the movie, I can’t bear to watch it. This is why I cannot subscribe to French auteur theory.)
Describe your writing space.
It’s a big austere room with a hardwood floor and cream-white walls. My writing table is an old kitchen table that I dragged up the stair. Aside from my dusty computer, there’s really nothing else. The shelves are pretty much barren, and so is the closet. The best thing about my writing room is that there are three big windows and lots of light. Nothing is more destructive to a book than sunlight, but nothing is more important for writing than having plenty of light. I guess that’s somewhat ironic.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J.G. Źymbalist began writing Song of the Oceanides as a child when his family summered in Castine, Maine where they rented out Robert Lowell’s house.
The author returned to the piece while working for the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, May-September, 2005. He completed the full draft in Ellsworth, Maine later that year.
For more information, please see http://jgzymbalist.com
NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99. Free for Kindle Unlimited Members or as part of Kindle MatchBook.
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