Zeus and Me

5 Unique Things About My Novel In Progress

Satori Dog | Friday 17 February 2017


To paraphrase an old Woody Allen joke, I guess the character I identify with the most in my work is my main protagonist, Zeus — an old blowhard, legend in his own mind, God's gift to women, eternally obsessed with his hair — who will rule the universe after the New Dawn of Creation rises. You don't have to know me for too long to see just how closely correlated the Greek god Zeus is to my conception of myself. So, this is one thing that excites me about the work, and which keeps me interested during the rewrite process, since on one level it's really about me working through certain aspects of my selfishness and ego.


The original inspiration for the work, thematically speaking, was in direct response to a film by David Gordon Green, "All the Real Girls," in which he appeared to be suggesting a double standard when it comes to cheating in relationships. Seems like it's okay for the guy to have full on sex with another girl and expect forgiveness, but if the girl so much as texts an ex, it's all over. (Who knew I was such a feminist?) This is the primary source of conflict between lovers Zeus and Shakti, and is the one thing Zeus needs to get over to make the story complete.


This work has a long pedigree. It's epigenesis can be traced back to a one-act play I wrote many years ago about Oedipus who, at Thanksgiving Dinner, announces to the entire family that he and his mother are lovers. I loved those characters so much, and all their literary baggage, so I decided to write an award-winning screenplay with Zeus et al (I didn't decide the award-winning part, it just happened), and then did a fully-staged reading with a group of ace comedians in San Francisco, and then turned the whole thing into a novel.


The work also furthers an idea in my development as a writer where the protagonist becomes acutely aware that he is involved in some kind of narrative artifice, and he is given control of the steering wheel, so to speak. Near the end, Zeus comes face to face, in real time, with a character who is reflective of the author of the book. They discuss story points, narrative drives, and Zeus is given control of the story's outcome.


I also wanted this story to signal the sea change in careers I was making from screenwriter to novelist. So, of course, I had to destroy Los Angeles. And I figured, since I already had the ol' apocalyptic paintbrush out, why not blow up the whole world while I was at it? (Don't judge me, you'd do the same thing given half a chance if you've ever had to get from Pasadena to the Valley at any time of the day on any day.)

Somethin' keeps him driftin' miles and miles away, to jump on the Facebook bandwagon and sign up for my mailing list! Love, Greg