Stephanie Thornton asked what got my writing about Adam and Eve, and the Classical Mythology of the Greeks, and I promised her a post answering, so this is it!
It began with "what if it was all true?" and it wasn't limited at all to mythology. In my mind, whole worlds and universes opened up-- what if writers had this ability to see beyond the usual limits, and their stories of fiction were more like journals of observation? I had always toyed with this idea in my head, thinking of my favorite book series, my favorite characters, as old friends as a really little kid. Living, breathing people who lived elsewhere. I wanted a way to bring them all into balance-- even from as early as 1996, I was writing on this topic, while I was in middle school. I still have the "book" that started it all in a gray binder, in a pink crate, sitting in my bedroom right now. (It is terrible.)
She wasn't Eve at first. At first she was just a woman, reincarnated. A girl, even. She had been separated from her family at birth somehow. (There may have been cosmic rays and crazy sci fi tech involved. I distinctly recall something about her being stolen from the womb, and exchanged with another baby still in the womb.) But I knew even then that getting the permission to play in other peoples' sandboxes would be nightmarish, so I could never write about a girl who lived and traveled between the worlds of fiction, like I had dreamed about--of if I did, it could never be published. There was a force of evil trying to keep her away from her family, punish her and them with unhappiness, and she was struggling to get back home to them. And in my mind, she was always part of a set of twins. From the very beginning, she had two twin brothers-- the one who was her real brother, pre-crazy-baby-stealing-device, and the one who was her birth brother, post-crazy-baby-stealing-device. I wrote a lot of pages of garbage with this idea, and I was really too young to know what I was doing with it, but it never left my mind.
And then the first scene came, upon which I built everything else. I was, of course, in the shower. Where all the best thinking happens for writers! I remember that first scene which came to me, and the premise behind it in my mind, almost exactly. It was the first time that this woman really became rooted in one world, where she began to take shape as Eve. A woman who was reborn through the generations on earth, who had been reborn more than once to the same family, who could recognize her, who knew her history. This scene has been preserved in essence and emotion and is still in my book today. I cut out the idea that she had been crazy-baby-stolen, and that the man she was about to marry was somehow her brother. But she still had a brother, and there was still a threat.
The thing is, I don't really remember when I first realized that she WAS Eve. So I can't really explain how I got there. I just knew, and now it seems impossible that she was ever anyone else. But once I rooted her into the "real" world, Eve seemed like the most logical choice. If there was a woman who was special, who kept reliving life, who kept coming back again and again, who else could it be? How else could it happen? Explaining how a regular human was doing it would be difficult. Why are they living and being reborn and no one else is? Why not just begin at the beginning? If she was being reborn over and over again, shouldn't it have started at creation?
So I did. It was the only reasonable solution to me. And Eve and Adam began their journey--the journey of antagonizing one another for all of history. As for the gods, well, they were late in coming to the game. I've said before that Thor showed up late, and I couldn't get rid of him. With Thor came every other pantheon. The Olympian gods and the Egyptian, the Hindus, the gods of civilizations I did not even know. Because if one god, other than God was real, it only seemed logical that the rest were there too, moving around behind the scenes. The idea captivated me, of course, for reasons I discussed here. When I rewrote the book, I realized just how much influence they had. Eve and Adam themselves did not explain everything.
As far as working with the Greek myths, it began kind of on a whim. I wanted to write a book about Eve in one of her lives, and I wanted it to be something that wouldn't be boring. Some of her lives are, you know, just boring and normal. I already knew that she was Helen of Troy, so that life seemed like the most action-packed life to begin with. But then I got to really know Helen for herself, and Theseus and Menelaus for who they were-- and I was pretty much hooked.
So, I think that is the answer of how I started writing on these topics-- or at least it's the best answer I can give! Hope I didn't bore you all! :) If you guys want, I can post the scene that started it all, but I thought this post was getting pretty long already so I left it out! Let me know! And hey-- what's your origin story?