My latest, Apollo Rising, releases on this Friday, September 7, 2012, from Musa Publishing. The idea for Apollo Rising, a novella told through three short stories, came from a winter's drive to work. I'd already turned in two Greek myth retellings - Kalypso's Song and Best Dressed and Obsessed for Shot at Redemption to my editor. He thought that the two stories might be a bit light on the total word count, and asked me to write a third Greek myth retelling. Except, now I wasn't sure what to do. I thought about a Cupid/Psyche retelling but we were too close to Valentine's Day to get it published in time for that holiday. The other ideas that crossed my mind seemed done or just not interesting enough.
In this grim mood, I started my commute into work. We weren't having a real winter. What I mean by that is, the weather was hovering at about 34 degrees Fahrenheit - not cold enough for snow, but plenty cold for ice and sleet. This January morning was no exception. Traffic crawled through a light ice storm which spit from a slate gray sky. As I bumped down the highway, my attention wandered to the side of the road. After all, it wasn't like I was going anyway. Grays painted the winter trees. The dull grey of dormant bark, and charcoal grey where the sleet wet it. It occurred to me that it must suck to be a tree in winter.
I hadn't seen a Daphne/Apollo retelling. What if Daphne hadn't been shot with a lead arrow? She never wanted to marry so shooting her with a golden arrow to make her fall in love with Apollo would just be cruel. What if she hadn't wanted her father to curse her? Could I possibly tell this story from Daphne's point of view? How hard would it be if my main character was a tree? From these thoughts, Laurel Branches was born.
By the time Laurel Branches was ready for my editor, he'd already put another story, Dragon Tales, into Shots at Redemption, and I was trying to figure out how Apollo would break Daphne's curse. The result Apollo Rising, three braided short stories, follows Apollo's attempts to return Daphne to her nymph-form. You'll have to check out the novella to see if he succeeds.
Shot by a golden arrow, Apollo has only truly loved Daphne. He visits her each eclipse, and longs for reunion. He seeks the Fates’s advice and learns he may finally restore Daphne to her true water nymph form by enlisting other gods’ assistance.
If Apollo fails Daphne will be lost to him forever. To regain Daphne’s soul, Apollo must deal with the devil, King of the Underworld. Love-torn and treacherous, Hades would slay the pantheon to remain with his wife for the full year. Apollo’s quest might just give Hades the leverage he needs to do so.
Will Pheobus Apollo surrender the sun to try to reclaim love? Can he break Daphne’s curse or will his attempts destroy her forever? Will she still love him after millennia as a soulless tree? With the end of the quest see Apollo rising, or in sunset?
Apollo Rising, coming September 7, 2012 from Musa Publishing.