Bringing a great Greek myth back to life

Reviving a great Greek myth

MISE À DAY

Fascinated by Greek mythology, American novelist Scarlett St. Clair offers a dark, gripping, contemporary take on the myth of Hades and Persephone in a hugely successful new romance series. First self-published and sold 200,000 copies, the series was then published by a publisher, where it sold 170,000 copies in one year, in 11 countries. Quite a success for the writer who cannot believe her eyes.

In an email interview, Scarlett St. Clair explains that she has always been interested in mythology and that she was particularly intrigued by the millennial story of Hades and Persephone. Hades, god of the underworld, falls in love with Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and kidnaps her in his chariot to have her with him in the world of darkness.

In the series, Persephone is the goddess of spring…in title only. Ever since she was little, the flowers have shrunk on contact with her. After settling in New Athens, she hopes to lead a discreet life as a deadly journalist. But everything changes when she visits an underground nightclub and meets an extremely attractive stranger who has built a gambling empire in the mortal world. An idyll is born…bewitching and forbidden.

“Despite the cruel aspect of the myth of Hades and Persephone, we all prefer to think of it as a story of forbidden love”, points out Scarlett St. Clair. 

“When I was in middle school, I read a lot of epics from ancient Greece and always found two interesting things in them. The gods, despite their superpowers, had very human flaws. And these myths, though ancient, are still relevant in modern society,” she explains.

Still revered

The writer notes that the concept of gods and goddesses fits our lives today. 

“There are still many people around the world who worship these deities. While many believe they do not belong to a dominant religion, gods of all kinds are still relevant. Several of my readers have written to tell me that their god or goddess is called Hades, Persephone or Hecate. They were telling me that I portrayed them fairly, which is a big compliment. »

Nevertheless, in A Touch of Darkness, Scarlett St. Clair felt that if gods and goddesses came to life on earth today, they would hold a role resembling that of royal families. 

“They would be public figures who once made history, then who would have adopted more of a celebrity status,” she observes.

The real power

Persephone, in her novels, has some commonalities with her. 

“She grew up in an environment similar to mine. So what I admire about her is her ability to step out of the way she was raised and decide what she wants to believe in and who she wants to be. In doing so, she learns where her true power lies. It has nothing to do with magic, but rather who she is.

Would she fall in love with a man like Hades?

“Absolutely not! Physically, Hades is very attractive, but emotionally he is a complete wreck. He's an alcoholic with communication issues and I'd really rather not have to deal with that. »

Besides, Scarlett St. Clair is still in shock at the huge success of the series. 

“I find it to be a surreal experience and no matter how much I dreamed, seeing that happen is a totally different experience. I don't know if there will be a television or film adaptation, but I think anything is possible! »

Scarlett St. Clair is a member of the Muscogee First Nation.

She has a bachelor's degree in English literature and a master's degree in library and information science.

She wrote the hit series Hades and Persephone, an international hit that topped the USA Today charts.

The series has three volumes: A Touch of Darkness, A Touch of Ruin, A Touch of Malice.

On Instagram: @authorscarlettstclair.

EXTRACT

Seated in the sun, Persephone had chosen her usual place at the Coffee House, a table on the terrace overlooking the pedestrian street lively. This was lined with trees and planters teeming with purple asters and pink and white fragrant alyssum. A light breeze carried the scent of spring, and the sweet air was rather sweet. It was a perfect day and, if Persephone had come there to study, she had difficulty concentrating, because her gaze was constantly drawn to the bouquet of narcissus planted in a small vase on her table. A meager bouquet, made up of only two or three slender stems, the petals of which, dry and brown, curled up on themselves like the fingers of a corpse. »

– Scarlett St. Clair