X is for Xerxes #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

Queen Esther’s account in the Bible has long been one of my favorites, and as I mentioned before, it was one of the inspirations for Echoes. In fact, in the second half of the book (which was originally going to be Book #2), there’s a set of Echoes who are named Esther and Hadassa. Esther and Hadassa are the Esther’s from the Bible Greek (I think?) and Hebrew names, and I always thought it would be rather neat to name twins after them.

King Xerxes was a historical figure that sometimes I think I’d like to know more about, and other times I’m quite happy with my lack of knowledge about him. To make a long story short, this guy (who happened to be a very powerful king) got mad at his wife and disposed of her, then had his men gather up hundreds of girls who then spent a year or so readying themselves for meeting the king. Then, the king choose one of them to be his queen.

In my Echoes book, King Dalan wasn’t supposed to be like King Xerxes, but he ended up being a bit of a villain anyway. Thankfully King Dalan at least tries to have a good relationship with his daughter. King Xerxes was the kind of king that if his wife approached him without him asking for her to come, then she’d be put to death unless he extended his scepter to her. #ouch

I’m pretty sure Echoes has my first ever human villain – the rest of my books contain villains like Lyme disease and such, so this book has been a fun challenge.

Do you generally read books with human villains?

18 thoughts on “X is for Xerxes #AtoZChallenge

  1. Denise says:

    Lyme disease is a pretty scary villain. My county health department keeps insisting it is not a problem here and that reported cases must have come from outside this area. I’m not convinced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Yes! It’s really hard to get people in the medical field to realize how huge of a problem, so therefore it is a rather ominous villain.

      Like

    • Lydia Howe says:

      I havne’t read a ton of mysteries since my childhood when I was all into Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I’d like to read more of them though. 🙂

      Like

  2. Claire says:

    Most books I read involve human villains, but I think it’s so interesting when the villain is something like Lyme disease instead. Provides a whole new writing experience, I’m sure. And I love the names Esther and Hadassa for your characters! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Yay! I’m glad you like the names Esther and Hadassa. There was a time when I even considered changing Nicolette and Raquel’s names to Esther and Hadassa, but I’m glad I didn’t. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Celia Reaves says:

    Human villains are definitely more common, but I love stories where people work together to overcome impersonal forces. For instance, in Andy Weir’s book The Martian, the only enemy is the planet Mars itself, with its general tendency to be lethal to humans. The book is awesome, and the movie even more so.

    I stopped by from the A to Z challenge – thanks for visiting me! Your story sounds great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      That does sound really interesting! And yes, I think it’s a challenge, but a good challenge, to write a book where the villain isn’t an actual human.
      Thank you for your kind words about my story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shawna Atteberry says:

    In another life as a feminist theologian Esther was always one of my favorites. And in history Xerxes was a very volatile man with a terrible temper, so the Bible is not overstressing how dangerous he could be. I always loves how Esther continued the trickster tradition started by Rebekah and continued by her daughters-in-law Leah and Rachel in basically manipulating Xerxes to do the right thing like the Matriarchs manipulated their husbands to get them to do the right thing. She’s part of a rich tradition in the Bible. And I love your idea of making Hadassah and Esther twins! That is truly inspired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Thank you for stopping by. Your studies sound like they are interesting.
      I think it’s so neat how God put Esther in just the right place and gave her the wisdom so she could save her people. 🙂

      Like

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Haha, yes, I can see how it would be confusing if you didn’t grow up knowing the account. His name is kinda pronounced “Zerk-zees.” Or something like that anyway. 🙂

      Like

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Oh! That’s cool that we both choose the same person to post about. I guess there aren’t really that many people who’s name starts with “X” 🙂

      Like

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