Hi everyone. Today, I have an amazing post to share with you as part of the Nymph blog tour: a conversation between the seven star-nymph sisters in which they discuss the mythology that inspired author Tonya Alexandra to write her novel. A big thank you to Jaclyn from Walker Books Australia for organising the tour, Tonya Alexandra for sharing her characters with Treasured Tales for Young Adults, and the sisters for their gorgeous conversation.
~ A Conversation Between the Seven Star-Nymph Sisters ~
Merope reclined in the warm waters of the Augustine spring on top of Mount Olympus. She sat alongside her six star-nymph sisters; the Pleiades, daughters of the Titan Atlas.
“You know that book that’s been written about us?” Merope said, trying to sound casual.
Keliano corrected her. “You mean the book about you.”
“Isn’t everything about Merope?” said Elektra with a snort.
“No!” Merope protested. “Not always.”
“Things have changed since you became fond of that mortal,” Sterope said.
Taygete laughed. “Fond? Have you seen them together? Those two are way too salacious for fondness.”
“Yes, it’s monstrous,” Elektra agreed. “How do you get your lips anywhere near his mouth with that enormous nose of his?”
Merope growled at her sister. Elektra grinned back.
“What were you going to say about the book, Merope?” Maia interceded.
“Some mortals want to know about the myths which inspired it.”
Kelaino rolled her eyes. “Always about the myths – never the truth.”
“That Homer has a lot to answer for,” Alkyone said, nodding.
“I think it’s sweet,” Sterope said. “If we didn’t have the myths, how would anyone know about us?”
Maia frowned. “You do know, that Homer himself could be a myth? Mortals are starting to believe the Iliad and Odyssey were written by a collection of storytellers. The tales were passed down orally generation to generation being changed as they were retold.”
“I would believe that,” Kelaino said. “I never remember any Homer in the twelfth century BC.”
“They’re saying he was from the seventh or eighth century BC now,” Maia said. “Not from Trojan times.”
Taygete splashed at the water in front of her. “Who cares?”
“It’s sad, Tay! Homer is supposed to be the father of literature,” Sterope lamented.
“Don’t let Hermes hear you say that,” Maia replied. “He hates anyone getting credit for literature besides him.”
“Either way,” Merope said, “the Greek myths are important. They were the first mortals to write stories down, essentially inventing the book. And it happened almost 3000 years ago.”
“That’s no time at all,” Taygete objected.
“It’s a long time for them,” Merope replied.
“So they want to know about you in particular, I suppose. Not all of us Pleiad sisters?” Elektra said. “My story is pretty interesting if anyone had bothered to look into it.”
Maia ignored Elektra. “So just tell the mortals the truth – that the classic Greek myth is that your star in the Pleiades constellation is the faded one because you are ashamed of marrying a mortal.”
“As you should be,” Elektra muttered.
Maia’s voice was firm. “Elektra. Why do I need to reprimand you like a mortal child?”
“Well she should be ashamed!” Elektra retorted.
“And I was! I don’t deny that. I knew none of you would accept Lukas,” Merope said, feeling a hard lump in her throat.
“I like him,” Taygete replied. “He’s fun.”
“Only because he doesn’t have the power to smite you when you tease him,” Elektra said.
Taygete shrugged. “It could be that.”
Maia turned to Merope. “Lukas is agreeable enough. We have accepted him, Merope. He is much better than what we expected.”
“You expected a barbarian,” Merope replied with a huff.
Maia hesitated. “Well …”
“A barbarian would be better,” Elektra scoffed.
“Or Herc – why not Herc?” Alkyone suggested.
There was an awkward silence before Elektra replied between closed teeth. “Not Herc.”
Sterope sighed. “Please let’s not start on that again. Herc is everyone’s not just Merope’s, not just Elektra’s.”
“I’ll say,” Taygete said wiggling her eyebrows up and down.
“I’m going to go,” Merope said, standing up.
“Have we helped at all?” Maia asked.
Merope held her fingers a fraction apart. “A little.”
Elektra sunk further into the water and muttered, “Well that’s gratitude for you!”
Merope strode from the pool and slipped on a robe. She turned to the muse composing the piece. “Do you think that’s enough for Alishia?”
“Perhaps,” the muse replied.
Merope sighed. “Maybe you should just tell her, the author Tonya Alexandra read a book called Weight, by Jeanette Winterson about my father Atlas. She became obsessed by him and while researching she learned about me and my sisters. When she found out I was embarrassed to be in love with a mortal instead of a god she wanted to tell my story.
There are other different myths about me in Greek mythology. There is even another Merope character. But this is the myth she decided to explore because she could see the potential for love and adventure – and with Herc along for the ride, it is funny too.”
The muse smiled as she noted down Merope’s last words.
“And thank Alishia,” Merope added. “For supporting Lukas’s and my story. It will be cool to see this piece on her blog.”
The muse looked confused.
“Cool means great. And a blog – it’s like a musings on the internet.” Merope wrinkled her nose at the muse’s continued puzzlement. “Sorry, it’s an Earth thing. Don’t worry – the mortals will get it.”
I just love the sisters’ conversation.
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