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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway with Constance Sharper, Author of Airborne!

Bringing the mythology to life: On the set with harpies
by Constance Sharper

Vampires, werewolves, and harpies, oh my!

It doesn’t take much looking to find the effect of mythology in modern day fantasy. I’d point you to any of the best sellers ranking the YA charts to see this effect. This appeal of mythology isn’t a surprise—it’s an amazing way to bring the fantastic into your ordinary life.

I find the best part of mythology is being able to give it an artistic spin. There is no limit to how you can rewrite the legends, modernize the stories, take the same topic and make it absolutely original.  Sparkling vampires anyone?

Dozens of original ideas on werewolves and vampires have exploded the YA market recently. Considering the dynamic texts already out there, I decided to go in a new direction with my debut novel. Airborne follows a classic mythological creature that’s new to the YA world. The creature is a harpie. If you’re picturing your old Greek history books then you are on the right track. Harpies in mythology are vicious bird creatures that have it out for anyone who gets in their way. 

The most rewarding part of fantasy writing is bringing mythology to life. To do this, I looked at the legends and had to think: what would harpies be like today? They’d have to blend in with the 21st century, unnoticed, so that they could show up on your doorstep tomorrow! So I created them to be tall, thin, and virtually human. I absolutely kept the most awesome and fantastic part of harpies—their wings. The harpies’ nasty temperament was intriguing, and I also saw it lending itself to a fault of conceited pride. 

So cue Mason, the cocky and occasionally dangerous, harpie slipping into the human world. 

Mason has a mission, and it leads him right to the doorstep of our heroine, high-school-student, Avery Zane. Avery can cope with the existence of a mythological race. She can also tolerate the idea that she has accidently found herself in the middle of a vicious harpie conflict. But having to rely on an arrogant harpie boy who gets under her skin? Now that is something Avery isn’t sure she can handle.

Airborne is another stab at bringing fantasy to life. The best part of writing this particular book was joining the ranks of the legend based YA authors and exploring ways to recreate the old stories. After all, where bringing mythology to life is concerned, the opportunities are endless.

Excerpt from Airborne:

“The image waiting in the newly formed clearing made her slide to an abrupt stop. Laying limp over muddy snares of weeds and chipped branches was a man. Brown hair covered his glassy green eyes and scratches marred his porcelain smooth skin. Massive white wings, strewn to either side of him, rested crookedly under a fresh layer of falling snow.

“Mason!” Avery dove to her knees beside him, careful not to make contact while he looked so fragile. “Are you okay?” 

His entire tan shirt was splotched red with blood. Eyes darting over him, she sought the origin of his most grievous injuries. The lack of light made it difficult, but gently tracing her hand over his limp wing, she found the source of the hot liquid near the wing base. He’d been sliced badly and the wound hadn’t even remotely healed. Crimson blood continued to steadily soak his white feathers. She swallowed before any bile threatened to rise in the back of her throat.

 “What do I do?” She asked desperately.

Mason shifted to life and unexpectedly jerked forward. Lashing an arm out, he dragged her down to his hard chest. Long fingers clasping over her mouth, he forced her silent. Mason didn’t need to say anything. The distinctive flapping of wings sounded overhead. She shut her mouth, pressed her cheek to his chest, and stayed quiet. The flapping continued, forming circles in the sky above the clearing with some persistence.

Anxious, she wanted to move right then and there but knowing she couldn’t lift Mason, she was forced into a silent submission while waiting for the danger to pass. Her mind spun, only landing on the same repetitive question: how exactly did she end up here?”


When I'm not found slamming back coffees at Starbucks or writing too much, I can be found at my blog: http://constancesharper.blogspot.com/ 

I keep the most up-to-date information about my books on there. You can also check out giveaway information and chapter sneak peaks on the blog.
Be prepared.
The harpie invasion is coming.

(March 31, 2011) 

 Avery knew she had a knack for attracting trouble, but even she is shocked when a six-foot-something harpie shows up on her doorstep. Coping with the existence of a mythological race? Okay. Unwittingly finding herself in the middle of a vicious harpie conflict? A little less okay. Having to rely on an arrogant harpie boy who gets under her skin? Now that is something Avery isn’t sure she can handle.


Leave a comment for Constance along with your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.

Must be 13 years or older to enter.
Contest is limited to entrants with a valid U.S. or Canadian mailing address
Contest ends May 19th 2011 at midnight eastern standard time



Martha Lawson said...

This one sounds different!! Please enter me for it.

follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

blackroze37 AT yahoo.com said...

i love finding new authors to myself, and new storys
i would love a chance to win and read this

Jessie Harrell said...

I'm a mythology junkie and this sounds right up my alley. Very lovely excerpt too btw. Thanks for the chance to win.
jessieharrell at me dot com

Laura said...

Awesome! count me in!
thanks for the giveaway


Lieder Madchen said...

Your book looks wonderful, Constance! Definitely on my to-read list. :)


Bethie said...

I love idea of bringing fantasy to life. Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

LindsayWrites said...

yay!! thanks!!

americangirlie1991 AT yahoo DOT com

Valia Lind said...

Wow, harpies is such a neat concept! I cant wait to read this book! :)


Tore said...

I love starbucks coffee too. I am addicted to it lol. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read your book. It sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

Roshini said...

I love the excerpt! I really want to go out and somehow buy your book right now!


Ricki said...

I love that you used harpies - how unique!

Anonymous said...

0__0 Wow! this sounds amazing!!! simply awesome! and even though I never heard of it nor had it on my TBR list well I'll enter because this sounds to good to pass up


if you want I could give you an alternative email address if the hvc.rr.com thing doesn't work or something (idk lately it seems like everything is gmail so I wasn't sure)

Carina L. Tai said...

Wow! What an intriguing book! I'd LOVE to read it!


Devony said...

Oooh, I'm in Cover Love and even though Harpies have got to be my least favorite mythological creature (the ones in Percy Jackson are overly freaky looking and evil, as are the ones in Voyage of the Unicorn), this sounds wonderful and I'm totally intrigued! Sign me up! wilsondev(At)gmail(Dot)com

Mandi said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Enter me please


Alicia said...

Harpies! That's one I haven't read about yet. Really excited to read this one.


SpadesHigh said...

Oh My GOSH!! your a starbucksaholic too!! pls if you ever find out how to kick the bucket cold turkey from them pls relay me the magic elixir/spell you use. Starbucks is getting rich from all the money ive spent on them. *sigh* n-e-ways, about your story. i havent heard of it, but now that i have - I WANNA READ IT!!! but one question because i'm really curious. did you depict/picture the harpies like the lore say they are? wings, razor teeth, bug eyes, skeleton figures? okay ill end it here. this comment is getting too long i think lol =D

Tezza V.
TValeros18 @ gmail [dot] com
GFC Follower: SpadesHighReads

Vivien said...

Harpies always crack me up. And I really want a Triple Grande Iced Mocha no whip right now....sigh.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Maureen said...

It looks like a unique story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

vvb32 reads said...

always thought of harpies as females. would love to read this story of harpies.
vvb32 at yahoo.com

Margaret said...

This sounds like a wonderful story! Can't wait to read it! Thanks!


Margaret said...

This story sounds wonderful! Can't wait to read it! Thanks!


GirlforChrist said...

This looks so amazing! I can't wait to read it!!

SandyG265 said...

Sounds like a unique story.

sgiden at verizon.net

Julie S said...

This sounds like a really good read. Please enter me.


Kristina said...

I put this on my amazon wishlist, I need to get it. I do love all sorts of mythology especially when an author takes it and molds it to their own creation.

Did you feel you were taking a risk using Harpies? I first thought when I read "Vampires, werewolves, and harpies, oh my!" Harpies? Really, those are terrible creatures are they going to be the nasty bad guys. But I really like what you did!

Thanks for the contest
myworldofbooks18 at hotmail dot com

Vidisha said...

sounds great!!!


Nicole said...

That's how I spend my days. Drinking Coffee and blogging, I love it. This book sounds awesome.


Kate said...

I'm excited for harpies to enter on my reading list. Thanks for the giveaway!


JellyBear7 said...

This seems like a very awesome book! And I really want to read more about supernatural novels.

monicascat (at) hotmail (dot) com

kallosmango123 said...

Sounds like a great book, I'd love for a chance to win.

contact me at kallosmango123@hotmail.com

BrittanyGale said...

Sounds good!


LadyVampire2u said...

Harpies is a new species that you don't read about very much. And you didn't make them absolutely evil like most books portray them which I am glad to see. I'd like to read this book. Thanks for the chance.

LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

Regina said...

I have not heard of this book but glad it was brought to my attention. Sounds fascinating.


Sarah said...

Harpies are creatures I haven't really read about yet. I totally agree with Constance's observation that authors are at creative liberty to make these creatures anything they want them to be. I'm excited to see her take on it. Thanks for the giveaway!

two_of_hearts_101 at yahoo dot com

Lyn Merkat said...

Amazing new take on the harpie mythos! I'd love to see how the settings (world-building) develop in this upcoming series!

Lyn Merkat said...

I love the new take on the harpie mythos! I'd love to read how the settings (world building) develop in this upcoming series!

vampiremonster13 said...

Thanks for the giveaway!


Sarah said...

Sounds interesting, thanks for the chance to win it. Please enter me! :)


Anonymous said...

Love modern takes on mythology...please enter me!

mk261274 at gmail dot com

Irene Sun said...

Thanks for this giveaway! I hope I get the chance to read it in any way possible!

Irene S.

Hoot said...

I love this type of book. Modern day mythology always makes a great read. jessy

hootowl1978 at gmail dot com

Maria said...

Never heard of it, but sounds intresting!:)

Helen Keeler said...

This looks like an interesting read. helenkeeler@comcast.net

Saii:) said...

thanks for the giveaway:)
Count me in!

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

WOW. I loved the excerpt! And the cover is beautiful!

Thanks for the giveaway!

thecozyreader @ gmail.com

Stacy said...

I love the idea of bringing new mythical beings to the forefront of YA. Thanks for the giveaway!

the imagine tree at aol dot com

Erika said...

Such a pretty and intriguing cover. I would love to win this book.


Anonymous said...

This book looks quite intriguing! Please enter my email: bestobooks@gmail com

Anonymous said...

I've never read anything about harpies before. Airborne sounds really interesting!

Joanna said...

Harpies... how cool! I've been harpless since shows like Zena and Hercules went off air. I would be honored to learn about their mythology through reading Ms. Sharper's novel.

Thumbs Up to Starbucks. You can't be a true book lover if you don't like coffee/tea.

Thanks BookButterfly for this chance giveaway.


Jessica said...

Sounds interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!


Meredith said...

I always thought harpies were small and tiny. A six foot one would probably scare me too! Kinda like a little kid first seeing Mickey at Disney World!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Anna said...

This sounds excellent! Regardless if I win, I would definitely buy it. Awesome. ajjorgensen at gmail dot com