Interview – H.Allenger (Part 2)June 24th, 2011 by Sara
Here is the second and final part of Inspired Quill’s interview with the ‘Polyxena: A Story of Troy’ author, H. Allenger. We hope you have enjoyed this interview, and urge you to leave comments and questions at the end of the article!
5. Do you stick to a strict writing schedule, or do you write when you’re inspired?
I stuck to a basic schedule wanting to do at least three pages a day. I have to say that I remained quite upbeat throughout writing this story. I would wake up in the mornings eager to get to it and spent my morning hours after breakfast on it -rarely did I continue on it after midday. That’s inspiration. I never encountered any writer’s block while working on it and completed it in seven months.
6. How important do you feel is historical accuracy?
I consider it important to be true to the basics, but when writing in the first person, you have an advantage in that the story is from the protagonist’s perspective so there can be personal interpretations of the events being described. My novel deviates from the Trojan myths in two major ways: first, in Polyxena being sent to the Amazons to enlist their services to Troy’s defense. In the Trojan myths, the Amazons come to Troy shortly after Hector’s death but we are not given a clear explanation how and why this came about. My novel fills this void. Secondly, I linked Polyxena’s death to her having spurned the love of Neoptolemus -thereby making her own actions the real life causality for her fate. In the myths, Neoptolemus kills her, but it is assumed that he was avenging his father’s death. Other than that, I tried to be faithful to the stories about Troy. After Polyxena returns to Troy, the events described in my novel closely follow the myths. Paris being slain; Oenone killing herself in her grief over denying him aid; Helen next marrying Deiphobus; Helenus being captured by the Greeks (intentionally in my novel -a minor deviation); Troy’s fall. I’ve incorporated all the separate accounts written about the individuals connected to the Trojan myths into a coherent sequence of events witnessed by Polyxena.
7. Do you have any current writing projects? If so, are we allowed to know what they are?
I have written an earlier novel about Aztec Mexico which I am now seeking to have published. It is titled Water Dog and is about Montezuma’s predecessor, Ahuitzotl, the most ferocious of the Aztec warrior-kings. It covers a sixteen year period -the last year of the emperor Tizoc and the reign of his successor, Ahuitzotl, with a basic theme of pride leading to fall. Ahuitzotl is conceived of as a classic tragic hero who himself generates into being the events that culminate in a cruel retribution against him. Unlike Polyxena, which is based on Greek mythology, this novel is a true historical fiction work with all of the main characters having actually live. I am presently in the process of refining this work to make it tantalizing for a publisher.
8. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the Inspired Quill readers?
Writing Polyxena was a true labor of love. If there is such a thing as an author falling in love with his main character, then that is the case here. She was meant to be your typical teenage girl, brighter than most, but still having the flaws and vulnerabilities that come with her youthfulness. She reacts as any normal person would to the horrors that war inflicts on her, trying, through her rationalization, to keep her sanity in a world gone mad in its brutality. Despite the cruelties she is exposed to, she manages to cling to her humaneness (for the most part), which, in this novel, translates to her basic kind-heartedness and forgiving nature. I think Polyxena is a beautiful creation.
As do I! Thank you once again for not only agreeing to this interview, but also for writing such wonderful responses!