Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Guest Post: Author Gwenda Bond

The more things change…

Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke all around the world.

The more things stay the same…

This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school because of an argument with her father.

Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., dominated by the embassies of divine pantheons and watched over by the mysterious Society of the Sun that governs mankind’s relations with the gods. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way home, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn't what it seems. She escapes with the aid of Osborne "Oz" Spencer, a young Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous Egyptian relic. The Society needs the item back, and they aren’t interested in her protests that she knows nothing about it or her father's secrets.

Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary Sumerian gods, her estranged oracle mother, and, of course, Oz--whose first allegiance is to the Society. She has no choice if she’s going to recover the missing relic and save her father. And if she doesn't? Well, that may just mean the end of the world as she knows it. From the author of Blackwood comes a fresh, thrilling urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan.

Many thanks for the invite and for being into a slightly different idea for a guest post. Because THE WOKEN GODS is set in Washington, D.C., but a version that's been transformed by the gods' awakening, and particularly by the presence of the seven tricksters whose embassies are located there, I thought it would be fun to do a few posts spotlighting some of the real-life locales and how they changed in the book. Especially since I have lots of photos from my research trip there.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Dumbarton Oaks, which in the book is the site of the Houses of the Gods. I chose it because it's a really cool place in its own right, and I knew I wanted to use a location near fancy Georgetown and Embassy Row. I'm going to intersperse the photos with the relevant quotes from the book...

Dumbarton Oaks (another view)

This area used to be a sprawling park beside a private estate with formal English gardens, before it got annexed and transformed. Now the whole place feels strangely ageless, out of time. It's hard to imagine that it's ever been different, and even harder to accept that it exists in its current state.

Wild Land

Within the overgrown wildlands are the seven Houses. I see the top of Set House's pyramid and fight the urge to shiver because he's probably in there. There's a majestic temple beyond it that belongs to ladies' choice god, Hermes. Opposite, the black castle of Loki. Then the grove of massive trees surrounding Legba's home. The slanting sides of Coyote House. The bright, flat-topped pyramid of Tezcatlipoca House. But once I fix on our destination, the rest fades into the background.


Enki House is to our right. The forest gives way to marshland around the enormous ziggurat, its angles sharp, golden. What look like birds wheel through the clear sky above the temple at the top of it, but they're so large they must be gods.

Me Scaring You

Annnd...boo! And here's me being silly in the gardens. Y'all can come visit the Houses anytime, and thanks again for hosting!

About the Author:

Gwenda Bond is the author of the YA novels Blackwood (out now), The Woken Gods (Sept. 2013), and Girl on a Wire (2014). Blackwood is currently in development as a TV series by MTV, Grammnet Productions, and Lionsgate TV. She is also a contributing writer for Publishers Weekly, regularly reviews for Locus, and guest-edited a special YA issue of Subterranean Online. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the Washington Post, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among others, and she has an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, author Christopher Rowe, and their pets: Hemingway the Cat, Polydactyl, LLC; Miss Emma the Dog-Girl, CPA; and Puck the Puppy, INC

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