Saturday, 1 March 2014

Guest Post : The story behind the novel/series by V.C. Birlids

Today I'm delighted to welcome V.C. Birlidis, author of Muse Unexpected, to my blog. As you read his post, you'll probably guess what attracted me to his book.

Over to V.C. Birlidis

The story behind the novel/series

Vasilios Birlidis
Okay, I'll try to keep this somewhat brief. LOL. So, I was working at Ernst & Young as a proposal writer. Yes, it's as boring as it sounds. My partner, Joel, suggested I find some sort of a creative outlet. Prior to joining EY, I was an independent consultant for marketing and communications, which required a lot of creativity. A proposal writer position for a Big Four accounting firm, not so much. So Joel suggested I write a book.

Naturally, like everyone, I thought, well, I bet I could do just that. How hard could it be? So I sat down and began typing on my laptop. It was a story about a girl who wakes up in the middle of the night, during a terrifying thunderstorm, and has a premonition that her father was going to die. I sat back thinking it was the start of the next great American novel.... then realized it was crap because I had just written a newer version of "It was a dark and stormy night".

I shut my computer off and decided writing wasn't for me. About a month later I sat back down and started crafting an outline. I knew I wanted it to be about the Greek Gods, but with Percy Jackson becoming a hit, I was concerned I couldn't come up with anything original. So I decided to take one of the most harmless and boring Greek Gods and make them interesting, powerful and the hero in my novel. Enter the Muses, who's claim to fame was whispering in the ears of artists and for opening up a roller disco called Xanadu.

When I felt I had a good grasp on what I was going to write about, I made up my mind that the Gods needed to be my own. So that meant changes to what was known about the Gods. I didn't want them to be lofty, non-relatable Gods. I wanted them to be thrust into the mortal world, dealing with mortal issues/problems. My Gods would be comical and extremely creepy. Not in the physical sense, but in their actions. It's like a gnawing at the back of your mind that something isn't quite right with them.

The main focus of my novel, when you strip away the whole supernatural side of things, is about three, extremely strong women. One ran towards her supernatural gifts and has given up everything in her quest for power. Another ran away from her supernatural life, wanting to have a family, car pool, pta meetings and macaroni art on the fridge. The third woman is Sophie, a sixteen year old girl thrust into a world she didn't know existed. These three women struggle with the choices they make, the life they are living and how to forge a relationship without trust as part of the foundation. The woman are all based on women I've known in my life. My mother, who passed away when I was 21, can be ound in both Callie and her mother, Georgia. Sophie is a morph between several young women I've known. My niece, my sister...etc. I guess this book serves as a love letter to those women who have made me who I am today.

Muse Unexpected

“We’re Muses. Not vampires, not fairies, not werewolves. We’re Muses.” Sophie was sure her mother had reached an epic level of crazy. ‘We’re Muses?’ She thought Muses were lame, not to mention she found the idea ridiculous. However, Sophie couldn’t explain away her physical transformation that made Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries look like a bad Walmart make-over, not to mention why her mood swings triggered an uncontrollable ability to shoot powerful bursts of energy out of her hands.

Sophie soon realizes modern day Muses have evolved into powerful guardians of humankind, tasked with keeping mortals on the right path and the original Olympians locked away from the world. But old hatreds don’t die easily, especially for immortal enemies that have an eternity to plot and gather their forces. Well aware of the Fates’ foretelling of another Olympian war, and a young Muse that would rise up as a warrior and defeat them, the Olympians have vowed to either possess Sophie or destroy her. Either way, they will make sure everyone associated with their imprisonment will reap an eternal damnation in the Underworld, leaving the Olympians to restore Mount Olympus and force humankind into a future of never-ending servitude and misery.

Praise for Muse Unexpected
“Ripe with conflict, skin-crawling creepy that is sprinkled with a wonderful sense of humor and a plot fraught with horrific danger in every step taken by Sophie, this book should be on the top of everyone’s must read list. Simply put, I loved it and can’t wait for book 2 to come out.”
~Olive (Amazon Review)
“I remember learning about mythology & Greek gods in elementary school….boring! Well, this fantastic book takes everything you thought about gods/mythology and turns it on it’s ear, sort of like “Wicked” did to the “Wizard of OZ”. At times funny at times gruesome and scary, this story definitely kept my interest. I loved the way the writer made the gods “human”. I also liked the subtle, blink and you’ll miss them hints sprinkled throughout the story. Don’t let the young adult genre scare you away. This is an engaging story that can be enjoyed by all. Can’t wait for the next one!!!!”
~Paula (Amazon Review)

Author V.C. Birlidis

V.C. Birlidis was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has always been involved in the arts. He attended the New World School of the Arts and was a member of The Miami Ballet.

Mr. Birlidis moved to Ohio to attend college where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Capital University. He currently is the Director of Marketing at one of the top midwest advertising agencies, SBC Advertising. He has freelanced as a writer for Outlook News and Tickled Pink Magazine, where he wrote a comical advice column named Ask V.

Five years in the making and inspired by the numerous Greek myths his father would utilize as demented bed time stories, Muse, Unexpected is Mr. Birlidis’ first novel. It is the first book in his Muse series.

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