Book: Thirty Seconds Before Midnight by Helen J. Bealcategories: Book, Literary Fiction, Tortoise, Orpheus and Eurydice, Rock and Roll, English Countryside, Commercial Fiction, Menagerie, Comedy, Tragedy, Greek Myth, Music, Contemporary Fiction
Helen J. Bealabout this book: I've always loved the Orpheus and Eurydice myth so when I set out to write my first book it seemed fitting that I base it on this story. I wrote the book to halfway a couple of times but felt it was a bit 'dirge-y' until I moved into the English countryside and was inspired to set the novel in a menagerie - fitting with Orpheus' talent for hypnotizing animals with his music. I was also inspired by my pet tortoises to imagineer Herbert - a giant land tortoise living in the menagerie who tells the story of Stella (the zookeeper's daughter) and Ollie (the rock legend's musical son) set in the present day.
I was also exploring my faith and spirituality when I was writing this book and considering concepts such as pantheism but also evolution.
Although the book is ultimately a tragedy and literary rather than genre fiction, readers also report that they find it funny and all fall in love with Herbert and want to meet him again - he has his own Facebook page and blogs regularly on my site as a result.
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