Today I have a special guest on the blog, here to talk about her new book Abandon .... Meg Cabot. I enjoyed her fresh take on the Persephone myth (I love Greek mythology!). Take it away Meg!
My new book, Abandon, which is partly based on the myth of Hades and Persephone, takes place on a fictional island in the Florida Keys called Isla Huesos.
Persephone (in case it’s been a while since you’ve brushed up on your Greek myths) is a young girl who was pretty much minding her own business when the earth opened up in front of her, and from out of the chasm came Hades, the god of the dead, who kidnapped her and took her to his palace in the Underworld.
Key West (a non-fictional island in the Florida Keys in which I live) was the inspiration for Isla Huesos, which means Island of Bones. The original name for Key West (Cayo Huesos) is said to have come from the Spanish explorers who discovered it in the late 1500s, because the beaches there were covered in bones . . . human bones. Why human bones?
Well, come on down to the Southernmost point in the USA, and I’ll tell you.
With its palm trees and margaritas, most people think of Key West as a great vacation paradise.
But if you wanted to find perfect location for a horror movie (or a paranormal romance novel), all you have to do is use your imagination, and you couldn’t dream up a more perfect locale than Key West, where we have to bury our dead in stone crypts above ground or when there’s a hurricane, the coffins will float away.
Maybe that’s why the local high school here in Key West has a yearly ritual called Coffin Week, in which the senior class builds and hides a coffin somewhere on the island and the juniors have to find it.
Or maybe they do it because of the reasons in Abandon . . . .
But that’s not all Pierce, the heroine of Abandon, discovers when she’s forced to move to Isla Huesos after a few too many incidents at her old high school get her expelled. See, Pierce has been to the other side . . . .
And by the other side, I mean Pierce is an NDE. She’s had a near death experience, and someone she met there wants her back.
She thinks she’ll be able to make a new start on Isla Huseos.
While I was writing Abandon, I spent a lot of time in the Key West cemetery. I even made a video in the cemetery about the book (click here to see it). We were pretty much convinced the entire time we were filming that the lord of the Underworld was going to come out of the one of the crypts (like he may or may not do in Abandon) and try to kidnap us.
In fact, I find the Key West cemetery so chilling (even though it’s a pretty big tourist attraction) that I had to beg the camera people to finish filming back at my house where I'm pretty sure there aren't any ghosts wandering around.
Happily, they obliged because I don't think they liked hanging around crypts anymore than I did.
Unlike Isla Huesos, Key West is a real place in which tons of ordinary people live and work . . . probably a lot like your own town.
But like anywhere, if you take a moment to learn its real history, look beyond what you see on the surface, and use your imagination, it can become something magical . . . and maybe even supernatural . . .
And the basis for a paranormal romance that could even rival the myth of Hades and Persephone.
To see more of Meg’s pictures, check out her Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/megcabot/
Find out more about the book at Meg's website.
Oh, and by the way - Scholastic has launched a new online community called This Is Teen to connect readers with their favorite YA authors and books. Visit their page on Facebook for all the latest news on Meg Cabot and her new book ABANDON www.facebook.com/thisisteen