Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Guest: Yelle Hughes

This week's Guest is going to help all who have problems finding inspiration for their novels - been there, done that, right? Her approach is to look back to a time long, long ago... Ladies and Gentlemen...



Yelle Hughes



Yelle? What’s a Yelle, you ask?

Well, Yelle is my nickname, as well as my author name. It came from two sources and my family still fights over its origin: My mom says she named me Yelle because I was very loud as a child. My grandma (God bless her soul) said I was named after Ellie May Clampett, from her favorite show, “The Beverly Hillbillies”.

My uncles still call me Ellie to this day.

Now that you know this little tidbit about me, let me tell you some more.

I became a writer some twenty odd years ago and only recently became a published author. What do I write
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about? Why, I write about everything pertaining to Greek mythology. From Sci-Fi to Historical Fiction to Romance, maybe even Horror one day. I consider myself a Greek freak and have been this way since I was a kid.

From reading my first ever story, Cupid and Psyche, I became an avid reader and studier in all aspects of these fascinating myths and teachings. I learned how it influenced the English language, architecture, our daily lives, and especially, our films. I could go on for days about how the world of Greek mythology is inundated in our movies. I am an unpaid critic you know. So much so, our stars, galaxies and space movies drip with ancient names. Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and even the USA’s own NASA program was bitten by the Greek bug.

The great visual arts creator, Ray Harryhausen played a vital role in my obsession. He brought to life on screen, the very creatures and characters I loved to read so much about. The first “Clash of the Titans” was the catalyst for my writing career. There was love (Perseus & Andromeda), there was action (a lot of sword play and flying Pegasus), monsters (Medusa, Kraken and Calibos) and there were the gods in all their selfish and foolish glory (they always meddled with mortals for no apparent reason) J

I was riveted.

But, real life made me make a choice back then. Either wallow in my fantasies or grow up in the real world. I chose to grow up. Got married, kids and a career. Now that the kiddies are grown and out of the house, it’s me time!

First thing I did, I booked a flight to go on an architectural tour of Greece and its islands. I was in heaven, I tell ya!
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It was a magical moment for me. I’ve never left the US…well, Canada, but it’s like a second home to me, and I’d been there so much. I guess I can say, I’ve never been to a country where English was not the top language. And all by myself! At first, I was too scared and then a friend of mine told me, “Stop being a little bitch. You have the money, the kids are gone…you’ve been talking about Greece for all the time that I’ve known you. If you don’t go now, I’m going to hound you for the rest of your days.”

So yeah, I went and so glad I did. I went to the Acropolis. Saw the Oracle of Delphi, visited where the original Olympics started and got to see the great Mt. Olympus. But what really brought me to tears and still does when I think about it, was when I visited Thermopylae. Now the story of Leonidas and his 300 was a true story, but there are a lot of fantastical memes that went along with this historical event.

The trip to Thermopylae was not on our itinerary, but since I talked the ears off of our guide, Michael, he announced we were making a quick pit stop, all because I asked so many questions. I have to tell you guys and I’m not kidding, I went to the monument…couldn’t read a darn thing, then I crossed the highway over to this large hill that had steps leading up. Know what I saw? I saw a large oval stone with Greek wording. Still didn’t know what it said but, I felt a quietness, a calm and something told me to honor this stone. I looked around the grass and saw a single red poppy flower among a bunch of yellow ones. That same intuition told me to place it on the plaque. I did and bowed my head for all those who lost their lives in that area. From historical maps, Thermopylae looked vastly different from before. There was no goat pass and there were no “Hot Gates”. It was all filled in with dirt and rocks, so I couldn’t grasp where the fight actually was. I felt a peacefulness the rest of the day till we were taken back to our hotel. I had internet, so I looked up the wording that was on that stone.

I freaked!

That hill I was standing on, was the actual burial mound where they buried some of the Spartans and the Greeks who helped ward off the Persians. Here’s the actual picture I took of the stone:

That was a little bit more about me, now on to what I’ve written. Jumping into the indie-publishing world was not as easy as I thought. I had to put down what was in my head in neat, coherent sentences that made sense to someone other than myself. So I joined a group of like-minded individuals and studied up. My very first, published, legit (I say legit because even though I published short stories on blogs and websites, I never actually had a published book) story was for Janet Morris’s “In Hell” series. This was dark, historical fiction and I’ve never written anything so gloomy and have it entertaining at the same time. Mrs. Morris saw my work and said to me, “I want you to write a short story for me”.

Of course, I was scared pantless and told her so. Her comeback, “If you don’t try, you’ll never know.” I did
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it, I wrote “Essence Helliance in Dreamer’s in Hell”.  I took mythological characters, placed them in hell and had a ball. In my work, my life influences the story and my character Medea in hell, ran a plasma donation center, which is what I did in real life, only, I didn’t damn people’s souls when I took their blood.
J Mrs. Morris liked it so much, that she asked me to write another story for her upcoming anthology, “Poets in Hell”.

Now my stuff? I like to have a good time and for my characters to have a good time. My first short story “Tritonium (Greek Gods in Space)" introduces you to my main guys that star in my EK Chronicles series.  It’s all in the title, the gods of Greece are sent on a mission, to save a world from the wrath of a fickle goddess. I put an astrological twist to a classic mythical tale.  If you read this first, you’ll find out why they all have nicknames.

"Triton the Aegean Chronicles" is all about romance, there’s the girl, the enemy, gods and goddesses acting straight fools, and you will be entertained. If any of you are familiar with the story of Perseus and his birth, well, you get a glimpse of what happened. How he and his mother, Danae, affect the mortal Ariadne Phillips in today’s time. From then on, I wrote, Triton, from my imagination. You’ll meet Taz “Triton” and why he’s sent to protect the little human. Once he lays eyes on her, he comes up with a crazy scheme to keep her safe and spend a little time together. They go on an adventure through Greece and the Greek Isles to keep one-step ahead of the enemy. Along with the antics of Ari’s girlfriends, and Taz’s fellow immortals, you will find yourself laughing and shaking your head.

I invite you all into my world of the Greek gods in the modern age. I want to make you laugh, cry and yell at the bad guys for being so stupid, and to enjoy my visuals I’m going to include with the books.

BIO

Hi guys. I'm Yelle Hughes, mum of three and now a proud grandparent. I'm an avid reader as well as author. I enjoy canoeing, studying the Greek myths, watching action and western movies, and I'm also an unpaid movie critic. My work is written from the heart and pays homage to people who have passed through my life, just as the seasons pass each year.

I discovered the world of Greek Mythology in Jr. High and the idea of adding the modern and fantasy worlds together began to take form. Twenty years, a marriage, three rugrats and a trip to Greece finally brought to life my series, the Aegean Chronicles (coming soon). A mixing of cultures, humor, sadness and weird sex takes you on an adventure in finding out that romance can be achieved, no matter who you are.

When Yelle is not communing with the (Greek) gods, she can be found at:

Website and Blog: http://yellehughes.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/11825146-yelle


As Yelle mentions, the history of many bygone civilizations has been the inspiration for many a contemporary novel and movie. So if you're stuck for ideas, check out Homer (and I don't mean Simpson!).

Eric @ www.ericjgates.com


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