People who enjoy my books but don’t usually read fantasy ask me how I get my ideas. One piece of an answer is that I read different versions of the Greek myths, constantly. And often these spark an idea.
When working on Before the New Moon Rises I wondered what gods were traditionally enemies of Poseidon. I came across this story:
Born with a limp and with skin burnt by the forges he worked, Hephaestus the god of metal-working still managed to catch the attention of the goddess Aphrodite. They married, but the goddess of love was not inclined to fidelity. When he suspected that a relationship had developed between her and Aries, he designed a special net to catch the lovers in the act.
The net did its job, and he dragged them to Olympus to show others her weakness and lack of honour. When he did, Poseidon laughed. Loud and long, he laughed declaring that this showed the foolish trust of Hephaestus.
As metal holds its shape, so Hephaestus held his desire for revenge for the ridicule expressed by the Earthshaker, the god of storm, Poseidon.
With this story, I not only found a suitable ally for those who opposed Poseidon, but since he was the god of metal-working, I also found the spark of a solution for the sailors who sought to defeat Poseidon’s monster, a shark who could tear through wood as if it was a ripe olive. But to find out more about the solution Hephaestus developed for the beleaguered people of Corfu, you have to dig into the book.
What can beat the classics as a source of inspiration? As with you, they have inspired some ideas for my imagination to play with.