WHY I WROTE OH MY GODS | GUEST POST BY ALEXANDRA SHEPPARD

Today, I have the incredible Alexandra Sheppard on my blog; chatting about why she wrote her debut novel, Oh My Gods - which is out now! Check out the synopsis - and Alex's post below!

Life as a half-mortal teenager should be epic. But, for Helen Thomas, it's tragic. She's just moved in with her dorky dad and self-absorbed older siblings - who happen to be the ancient Greek gods, living incognito in London Between keeping her family's true identities secret, trying to impress her new friends, and meeting an actually cute boy, Helen's stress levels are higher than Mount Olympus. She needs to rein in her chaotic family before they blow their cover AND her chances at a half-normal social life. Or is Helen fated for an embarrassment of mythical proportions?

To remember why I wrote Oh My Gods, I need to go back a few years. You see, I had the idea for OMGs bubbling away in the back of my mind long before I put pen to paper (was the waiting part of the creative process or just plain old’ procrastination, I wonder?). And it all began with a film.

I’ll bet that you haven’t seen or heard of this movie. Down to Earth is a 1940s musical starring Rita Hayworth. She plays the Goddess of Dance who, after finding out that a Broadway producer will make a mockery of Greek mythology in his next play, disguises herself as a mortal actress so she can intervene.

The truth is, although it has some killer dance scenes, the film isn’t all that great. But it did introduce to me the idea of Greek gods on earth: powerful, beautiful, immortal beings that are just as petty and dysfunctional as the rest of us. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What would Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, do for a living if she lived in my neck of the woods? How would Apollo, god of music, cope with having to keep his divine talent secret? The potential hilarious and ridiculous scenarios replayed in my head.

So, I asked, myself. What would happen if the tempestuous gods of Mount Olympus found themselves in North London? What if one of those gods had a child with a mortal woman, and they grew up surrounded by a family of immortal beings? Your average dysfunctional family with a mythical twist! Now that sounded like a story I wanted to read.

When it came for me to actually start writing, I knew that I wanted to tell this story from the perspective of a teen girl. As a teenager (and a grown adult too), I loved fictional teen diaries. Books like The Princess Diaries and The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series were the backdrop to my childhood - hilarious, heart-warming stories told by bold protagonists. It made perfect sense for me to write this book in a similar vein, in homage to the YA novels that made me cry with laughter in Double Maths.

In short, OMGs is the slightly bonkers product of all the things I loved most as a teen. Who’d have thought that a 1940s musical, Greek myths and teen diaries would ever have something in common?


Check out the other stops on the Oh My Gods blog tour here:

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