I’m delighted to hand over the blog today to talented Aussie author, Kate Belle (THE YEARNING). She is talking about a subject close to my own heart (and featured in my GODS OF LOVE series) – Eros and his sexy brothers, the erotes. Here’s Kate:
Eros. The ancient god of love and the main man when it comes to writing any kind of romantic fiction. With him around the sheets are likely to be set on fire and everything gets a bit sticky. Eros is usually depicted as Cupid, that cute cuddly son of Aphrodite and Mars carrying his cheeky golden bow and arrow, looking for any pair of unsuitable mortals to throw together in a tumult of love. He is also known as one of the earliest creationist gods born out of Chaos, an essential part in the building of the human psyche.
But True Love requires more than love and beauty. Eros can’t operate alone. Did you know he has three brothers? Together they are known as the erotes, a group of ever-young, winged gods responsible for the different aspects of love. They are often depicted as the cherubs circling Aphrodite in old paintings.
Without the full complement of love gods active in a tale any romance is likely to fall short on sizzle. When a writer understands each of them and brings them to life in their characters a romance story will literally steal the reader’s heart and here’s why.
Love is a complicated thing. There’s a push and pull in the forming of a new relationship that makes the whole experience tantalising and excruciating. The pleasure and pain of first love is divine torture because the primitive parts of our brains are programmed to respond to certain basic human urges, each represented by the erotes.
Firstly there’s beloved Eros, god of love and beauty. He is the spark of attraction at the heart of every love story. His love poison blinds us so that we only see the very best, the most beautiful, in our lover. Even if the reader can see the love interest’s faults, the lover can’t. But this alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. We also need…
Pothos, god of longing and yearning. It’s one thing to be struck by Cupid’s arrow, but quite another for Pothos to settle in our heart. Pothos drives us nuts. We obsess – should I call? Is it too soon? I want to talk to him/her, but we only spoke an hour ago. What should I do? Without the intense longing of Pothos we may never find the courage to leap that first frightening hurdle to go in hot pursuit of our love interest.
And why do we feel compelled to pursue?
Because of Himeros, god of lust and uncontrollable desire, stirs the coals of our loins. Himeros is the drive to overcome whatever obstacles we encounter so we can express our love for our beloved in the flesh. Himeros is a call to action. We want to possess, own, penetrate, take our lover for our own.
But what if our lover denies us?
Then we turn to Anteros, god of returned and unrequited love. He loves a lover who loves back, but scorns and avenges those who do not return love (where was he when I needed him?). He reminds us that love can fade. A quick tap on his shoulder and your haughty love interest will be sorely punished for not acknowledging your passion for them.
All four of these delicious deities must be present in the tooing and froing of a romantic relationship if it is to feel authentic. My personal favourite is Himeros, but he’d get awfully depraved and lonely without the other three.
Who is your favourite love god and why?
THE YEARNING by Kate Belle
It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.
Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.
Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. And what happens next will torment them forever – in ways neither can imagine.
Read an extract here.
Buy THE YEARNING
Ebook: Amazon or iTunes or Kobo
Print book: Target, Kmart, Myer, Collins, Dymocks, Big W, Eltham Bookshop and other independent bookshops (http://www.truelocal.com.au/find/book-shop/) and major airports. If not in stock just ask.
Reading group questions here.
Kate is a multi-published author who writes dark, sensual contemporary women’s fiction. She lives, writes and loves in Melbourne, juggling her strange, secret affairs with her male characters with her much loved partner and daughter and a menagerie of neurotic pets.
Kate holds a tertiary qualification in chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Kate believes in living a passionate life and has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternised with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for three days.