Rummanah Aasi
Today I am happy to introduce historical fiction and fantasy young adult author, Coreena McBurnie, who will talk to us about her new series Prophecy which retells the story of Antigone. Prophecy is the first book in the series and is now available. See below for more details about Prophecy and Coreena down below. 

Hi, Coreena. Thank you for stopping by the blog today for an author interview! Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

I had always wanted to write about Antigone, but wasn't sure where to start, especially because I envisioned a young adult novel and some of the subject matter is delicate -- like Antigone being the child of incest (her mother is her grandmother and her father is also her brother). I also really love Sophocles' plays involving Antigone -- she has always been one of my favourite characters from Greek myth -- and I wanted to do her justice. About four years ago, I was signed up to do National Novel Writing Month (a challenge to write 50,000 words in November) and didn't know what to write. I finally decided to tackle Antigone. I sat down and decided not to worry about what was in the Greek myth, that was all set and done, and instead decided to write without trying to tiptoe around the sticky issues. Once I did that, Antigone found her voice, one that was surprising even to me.

Why did you decide to retell the Oedipus myth from the point of view of Antigone when Antigone has a story of her own?

I decided to do this because I wanted to start the story at the beginning. Oedipus' and Antigone's stories are most famously told by Sophocles in his Oedipus plays, the last of which is called Antigone. My book, Prophecy, is the first of a planned trilogy mirroring these three plays. I wanted to get to the roots of Antigone's amazing sense of duty that we know her for and thought the place to start would be with the profound impact her family story must have had on her life.

Who is your favorite Greek god or goddess and why?

I love Athena, the goddess of wisdom. She is strong, independent, and smart, which has always appealed to me. She even has an owl as her animal symbol. And, her temple is the Parthenon in Athens -- an amazingly fantastic building!

What is your favorite Greek myth?

That's a tough one, but I'd probably have to say Theseus and the Minotaur because it is the first myth that I remember learning about way back in elementary school. I wrote a report on it and I was fascinated -- I think my love for Greek myth began there.

What are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?

I have just started reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, a Swedish author. So far it is very good, and promises to be a funny, quirky read. It's about a young Swedish woman who has never travelled before and is now visiting her elderly pen pal in a small town in Iowa called Broken Wheel. However, when she arrives, her pen pal friend has died, but the young woman ends up staying for her visit anyway. I am really enjoying Swedish writing in general right now because the sense of humour appeals to me.

What are the top 5 reasons readers should pick up Prophecy?

  • It has a powerful, strong, yet fallible heroine.
  • It takes place in ancient Greece and has gods and goddesses in it.
  • It is a fresh take on an old story that most people know.
  • Even though Antigone is an ancient Theban princess, her struggles to find herself and do what she thinks is best, despite what everyone else says, is pretty universal and applicable, even today.
  • I have studied Classical myth and culture for years, I even have degrees in Classical Studies, and I have put my love for Greek myth into this book.

About the Book

 A hidden prophecy.
 A chosen princess who speaks with snakes.
 A family duty.

Sixteen year old Princess Antigone, daughter of the infamous ancient Greek King Oedipus, wants to lead a normal life and fulfill her duty to the gods, her city, and her family, but fate has other plans. The Olympian gods bless her, the snakes talk to her, her parents want her to marry a foreign prince, her embroidery looks like burial shrouds for dogs, and she has fallen in love with the wrong boy. When the mysterious and devastating prophecies surrounding her family are revealed, Antigone must choose where her allegiance lies: With the gods who have betrayed her family but who she is obliged to serve? With her plague ridden city? With her family which lay in ruins? Or even with herself?

Find the Book at: Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

My name is Coreena McBurnie and, ever since grade 5 when I had to do a report on Theseus and the Minotaur, I have had a soft spot for Greek mythology. When I hit university, I was drawn to the Classical Studies department (earning both a BA & MA), where I explored the archaeology and culture of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds — and also where I managed to read Homer’s Odyssey, one of my absolute favourite books, in the original Greek, something which was thrilling for me (I know, sounds crazy, but the poetry and scope of the original text is amazing). After a lifetime of “what is that?”, “why did you study that?”, and “what can you do with a degree in Classical Studies?” I have decided to write novels based in ancient myth and to bring so many of the stories I love to life for a modern audience, with my own spin, of course.

Prophecy, Book 1 in the Antigone Series, is my first published novel. Currently I am working on Book 2 in the Antigone Series, called Fate. I am also in the middle of another novel about Clytemnestra who is notorious in Greek myth for killing her husband, Agamemnon, when he returned home from the Trojan War. I love exploring the motives of strong women in ancient myth.

I live in BC, Canada with my husband, our three kids, and our cat, in a beautiful part of the country, on two rivers, surrounded by ranches, near ski hills, and only a couple of hours drive to the ocean.

6 Responses
  1. Unknown Says:

    Thanks for having me on your blog!

  2. I vaguely remember Antigone's story, it was sad if I recall. I love a good Greek myth retelling and the cover is stunning.

  3. Oh this sounds interesting. I think you have me at the 5 reasons to pick up the book. Well done!

  4. Athena is my favourite Greek goddess too. I love reading Greek myth retellings so I'll have to check Prophecy out.

  5. Kindlemom Says:

    I absolutely adore Greek mythology so this looks like something I will love! What a wonderful interview too, I love getting to know author's methods and ideas when writing a book, so much fun and always interesting!

  6. Aylee Says:

    Aw, I always love to hear that a book got its start during Nanowrimo and is now getting officially published :) I'm not super familiar with Antigone's story, but the author's take on it sounds interesting!

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