I find inspiration in the oddest places. I was writing a story about dogs when I stumbled upon the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. I’d read it before–it’s not obscure or anything–and I suddenly wondered how it would play out in a Tennessee town.
I went back and forth for a while about whether I should have my main characters–the lovers in the myth–both be guys. On the one hand, I wanted as many people to relate to the story as possible, and gaying it up might narrow the audience. But I couldn’t get these characters–Charlie and Theo–out of my head. The more I tried to find another way to do it, the stronger Theo and Charlie became. Within a couple of days, they were so well-defined as characters, that I knew no one else could tell this story but them.
One of the things I hate most about retellings of myths or fairy tales is the writer being too literal. I used Orpheus and Eurydice to tell a story about bullying, love, lose, and the end of the world. Because what if Orpheus hadn’t gone down to the world of the dead? What if he’d brought the world of the dead to him?
And…that’s where I started. I’ll post the first drafts of my first chapters next, and you can rip me apart.