Title: Polaris Awakening
Author: Kellie Sheridan, Erin Latimer, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Terra Harmony, Hannah Davies, & Meghan Jashinsky Series: Polaris Anthology #1 Published: May 26, 2015 from
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
ZEUS PROTOCOL 000101:
THREAT LEVEL: UNKNOWN.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: INCREASE MILITARY
Kellie Sheridan,Erin Latimer, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Terra Harmony, Hannah Davies, and Meghan Jashinsky are the authors who have brought this YA science fiction anthology to life!
THREAT LEVEL: UNKNOWN.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: INCREASE MILITARY
There’s trouble brewing on Polaris. Under the watchful eye of the space station’s supercomputer, Zeus, the lower classes are awakening to the corruption of their wealthy, privileged, and protected leaders. When the quiet voices of protest get louder and alliances form, change dawns on the horizon. But the small acts of resistance won’t be enough to subvert the system for long. Zeus is alert to the growing threat level, and he will do whatever’s necessary—including purging the lower levels of Polaris—to preserve stability for all. Inspired by the mythology of the constellations hung around Polaris, the seven stories in Polaris Awakening reimagine the classic characters in a futuristic world where alien creatures are commonplace, combat arenas are used for entertaining foreign dignitaries, slaves and soldiers stand side by side, and music orchestrates a revolution. And their first acts of defiance are just the beginning. Polaris will never be the same. ZEUS PROTOCOL 000099: ENGAGE THREAT.
Hannah Davies's story, inspired by the constellation Scorpio. Scorpio has a few different mythologies to chose from, but the one Hannah chose was a story about Orion and Artemis. Orion boasted that he was the greatest hunter in all the land and could kill any animal. Artemis -- Goddess of hunting and also protector of beasts -- sent a scorpion after Orion to defeat him. The scorpion stung Orion's ankle, killing him. Zeus was impressed by the scorpion, so he made a constellation for it. In the sky, the scorpion is at the opposite side of the horizon to Orion to keep them apart.
Thank you so much Hannah for writing this guest post! Hannah is a really great friend of mine so I hope you read through this amazing post. Also, check out Polaris Awakening which has her first published story.
Thank you Dana for inviting me to do this guest post!
Okay, first of all, when we all started to discuss the new Patchwork Press anthology and the theme of constellations came up, my mind went into overdrive. I'm a big astronomy nut and I knew there were loads of little details about the night sky that would make awesome plot points. As such, it took me ages to actually settle on a constellation. I danced between Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Scorpio for a long time, but it wasn't until the character of Seth came to me that I knew it was going to be Scorpio. Writers often talk about characters being fully formed and the author sort of just discovers them; it was pretty much the case that Seth and Astra were waiting for me to get my act together and figure it all out!
There are various mythologies attached to the constellation of Scorpio but I went with the one that was about revenge. It seemed to fit best in the collection as a whole and was the easiest to adapt from the Ancient Greek origins to a sci-fi genre. Instead of a scorpion, Seth hails from a desert world. Instead of a vengeful Artemis, I have Nara - a wronged Maiden with a vendetta against the Orions. And the Orion family are just like the Orion of legend - getting too big for their boots!
The only main character that wasn't derived from the legend is Astra, but I have my reasons for that. If you like her, you can expect to see a lot more of her in the follow up anthology, which promises to be pretty dark and destructive. She's definitely one of my favourite characters to write - hopefully, you'll learn more about her in the next story!
Once I have a story idea, I generally turn to one thing first of all: Pinterest. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a rabid pinner and as soon as I have a story developing, I'll make an inspiration board and get pinning! Since this was a group project, I had one board for all the authors, on which we could all add pins that inspired us. This was so useful in familiarising ourselves with each other's view of Polaris, so that the continuity of the anthology would be really tight. I also made a Scorpio one just for me so I didn't spam my fellow authors with endless pictures of Bob Morley because let's face it, Bob Morley is gorgeous.
Music is really important to me when I write, but I don't listen as I write. Instead, I'll make a playlist of tracks that inspire me and I will listen to those tracks TO DEATH. On the bus, coming back from uni? Listening. In the shower? Blasting it out to the whole flat. Having some friends over for a hang out? Heck, they're going to have to listen to them too.
Usually it'll be five to ten tracks that I call trigger tracks - songs that specifically trigger certain feelings that help me to get in the mood to write a certain story. For Scorpio, Warriors by Imagine Dragons kind of spawned the whole idea of Seth and the Academy. I listened to it on repeat for ages until I had a fully fledged idea, and whenever I would sit to write, it was my main trigger song. Not only do the lyrics remind me of the Academy and how the cadets are all training to be 'warriors' but it also makes me think about how they're waiting to rise, whether that's to fulfil Zeus' grand plan, or to be part of a growing rebellion. Also, it has this thumping energy that was so important for visualising the Academy, but more importantly Seth, Astra and Orion.
Mars was an easy choice for me too. I love Sleeping At Last, and their Atlas albums are all named after star related things so it was super inspiring. All the stories in the anthology are based on constellations and the mythology behind them. Mars is the Roman God of War (and counterpart to the Greek God of war, Ares). When we were planning the anthology, we talked about the figure running the Academy being a Mars/Ares type figure in the stories, which fit perfectly with my story in two ways - the concept of an Academy of soldiers, and that Scorpio's biggest star is Antares, or 'rival of Ares'. That fit perfectly in my head (don't you love it when that happens?) and set up the Major, and his relationship with Seth. The song itself talks about the reality of war, and not knowing what you entered into until it was too late, which fits so well with the U.R.S.A and reminded me of Eury's plight in Erica's story too.
I found I Found by Amber Run last of all (see what I did there?) but it quickly became the song that I listened over and over again as I reviewed the conclusion to the story. It's one of those songs that taught me something about my own story! Seth is very much a character that needs to be grounded by the people around him; the whole story kind of looks at how lost he is as a result of his father's death. Yes, he's driven in his scheme, but it's not necessarily the best way to direct his passion. Thinking about all the people in Seth's life, that he's either met or heard of - Astra, Eury and Orpheus, Nara, his father - it's important for him to remember what's important, and how he fits into the bigger picture. He'll use what happened to them as a 'warning sign', or a 'makeshift gauge' to keep his focus at the top, and to always be his father's son.
Bonus tracks for Scorpio include:
- We Have It All by Pim Stones
- Wolves by Rag N' Bone Man
- The Draw by Bastille
- Breath of Life by Florence + The Machine
- Final Test by Junkie XL
MY WRITING PROCESS
I think there is a misconception that there is some magic spell you can do to make your writing sessions successful but that just isn't true; you have to find what works for you! This is something I'm still trying to establish and I'll let you into a secret: I did not find my groove with this story. As I'm sure Kellie (my boss at Patchwork Press and fellow author) will tell you, I missed all my deadlines! It didn't make sense to me; the story was so clearly outlined in my head, I knew the world intimately but getting it out on the paper...not as easy! I think I let the pressure of it being my first published piece get to me, and my writing patterns...well, there wasn't so much of a pattern as a HANNAH SIT DOWN AND WRITE THIS IN EVERY SPARE SECOND THAT YOU HAVE OR IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.
When it did go well, and I sat down and churned out a good amount of words, it was because of three things: good triggers, a quiet environment, and having gotten enough sleep .I know I just said that I didn't listen to music, but sometimes when I was finding it hard to shut off (I live in student halls, so it can get a little noisy and there is a near constant thumping bass line), I would light a candle, lock my door and stick on RainyCafe. It's an ambient white noise generator with the option of just having the rumble of thunder and the patter of rain. That would calm me and soothe me enough to enter the allusive 'WRITING ZONE' (whatever that is...images of Tibetan monks serenading me with 'hmmms' come to mind).
Another big help was having supportive writer friends and taking part in organised word sprints like the ones hosted by Write All Year. Just being able to talk out my plot with people (like Dana - thanks!) or share lines in word sprints that garnered enthusiasm from my friends gave me the encouragement I sometimes needed to sit down and just get on with it. So thanks to people like Dana, Tim, Kel and everyone who sprinted with me!
About The Author:
Hannah Davies is an intern with author powered publisher Patchwork Press and is one of the admins for the Write All Year site. She writes YA and NA fiction in various genres and hopes to publish in the future. Currently, she is part way through an English Literature and Creative degree at Greenwich University in London, where she spends much of her time writing essays, riding buses and trying to keep up with reading.
@AG_Author | Pinterest | Goodreads
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