Jeanne Reames on Why He is Alexandros and Not Alexander and her new release Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (giveaway)

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Dancing with the Lion: Becoming by Jeanne Reames

Riptide Publishing
Published June 29th 2019

Cover Art: L.C. Chase
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Xairē! That’s ancient Greek for “Howdy.” [KHAI-rae]

Welcome to my blog tour for Becoming, Book 1 of the Dancing with the Lion duology, about the young Alexander before he became “the Great.” It’s an historical coming-of-age tale with a love story embedded.

 

Best known for conquering most of his known world before the ripe old age of 33, Alexander made even Julius Caesar weep (for not being him). But who was he before his meteoric rise? And how did his best friend and lover, Hephaistion, give him the emotional support needed for him to become Megalexandros (the Great Alexander)?

 

WHY IS HE ALEXANDROS, NOT ALEXANDER?

From the very beginning, I wanted to use Alexander’s real name. I did so for the same reasons I chose to write in his point-of-view in the first place, not in the heads of people all around him.

I want to make him real. “Alexander the Great” is a legend. Alexandros of Macedon, or really Makedon, was a living, breathing human being. That’s who I’m writing about.

Some readers may think it’s “pretentious,” or that I’m making all those weird Greek names harder. But again, I’m not writing about the legend, I’m writing about the boy. And the notion that “Alexander” is easier for English-speakers to say than “Alexandros” strikes me as rather silly. Same thing with Philip and Philippos. Now I might give you that Aristotle is easier than Aristoteles, but for the most part, the name thing affects a bare handful. If readers can handle Hephaistion and Erigyios, I think they can manage Aristoteles! I dislike underestimating or insulting my readers.

ALL these Greek names look strange to English-speakers, and a lot of folks will just gloss name. They’ll become the Eri-guy or Heph, or Leo (for Leonnatos). That’s okay.

My students love to make up nicknames in class for ancient figures, and if people think Greek names appear odd, try Suppiluliuma (a Hittite king). But so fun to say! I get my whole Ancient Near Eastern class to pronounce names together, at once, just so nobody felt stupid for having no clue how to say something that’s six syllables long. At first, they were a bit reluctant, but after the first few times, they really got into it. Suppiluliuma was dubbed “Soupy,” but I think the funniest was “Mega-bus” for Megabyzos, a Persian general.

Obviously, I don’t want to make fun of people’s names, but teaching gives me a good idea of how readers are going to see these. While on the one hand, readers can certainly handle the real Greek, I fully expect a lot of readers will shorten them in their heads. I’m cool with that. (Send me your funny nicknames for them! I love that stuff.)

Yet if readers would like to hear the names, on my website I have audiofiles of me pronouncing them. Sometimes readers can guess, but accents might be a surprise. For instance, with Alexander’s own name, as we say it al-ex-AN-der, most readers probably assume it’s al-ex-AN-dros. It’s actually a-LEX-an-dros.

So if, like me, you love language and hearing the names, pop over to the website and take a listen. Otherwise, as you read, you can pronounce/remember those suckers however works for you!

 

 

Dancing with the Lion Website:

Contains everything from cut scenes, to videoblogs of Macedonia (Northern Greece, where Alexander grew up), to audio pronunciations of those weird Greek names!

https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/DwtL.html

 

For our GIVE-AWAY, I’m going to offer something a bit different. Yes, there’s a $10 gift certificate from Riptide Publishers. BUT, for the lucky winner, you get your very own scene request. Want to see a scene in the novel from a different character’s point-of-view? Want to know what happened after a scene ended, or before it began? Or is there something you’d like to see that wasn’t in the novel? Ask for it! I’ll write it just for you.

 

About Dancing with the Lion: Becoming

 

Two boys, one heroic bond, and the molding of Greece’s greatest son.

 

Before he became known as Alexander the Great, he was Alexandros, the teenage son of the king of Makedon. Rather than living a life of luxury, as prince he has to be better and learn faster than his peers, tackling problems without any help. One such problem involves his increasingly complicated feelings for his new companion, Hephaistion. 

 

When Alexandros and Hephaistion go to study under the philosopher Aristoteles, their evolving relationship becomes even harder to navigate. Strength, competition, and status define one’s fate in their world—a world that seems to have little room for the tenderness growing between them. 

 

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.

 

Now available from Riptide Publishing and where ebooks are sold!

About the series Dancing with the Lion

 

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.

 

Check out the series today!

About Jeanne Reames

 

Jeanne Reames has been scribbling fiction since 6th grade, when her “write a sentence with this vocabulary word” turned into paragraphs, then into stories…and her teacher let her get away with it—even encouraged her! But she wears a few other hats, too, including history professor, graduate program chair, and director of the Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program at her university. She’s written academic articles about Alexander and ancient Macedonia, and does her best to interest undergrads in Greek history by teaching them (et al.) to swear in ancient Greek.

 

Her Website: https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/DwtL.html

On Facebook: facebook.com/jeanne.reames.3

On Instagram: instagram.com/jeannereames

On Twitter: twitter.com/DrReames

 

Giveaway

 

One lucky person will win a $10 voucher for Riptide. But this giveaway also includes something much more personal:

Your very own SCENE.

I’ve committed to write, for the give-away winner, a scene of her/his/their choice.

Would you like to see X scene described from a different character’s POV (point-of-view)?

Or would you like to know what happened just before X scene, or right after?

Or maybe there’s something I didn’t write about at all, but you’d like me to write it for you?

There are some parameters, especially for the third category (write a scene not included). The request is subject to my agreement that the characters would engage in the requested behavior. So keep that in mind. (I wouldn’t write a scene wherein Alexander beat his dog, for instance.)

But I look forward to the winner’s scene challenge!

I have some “cuts scenes” as well as “missing scenes” (in the year between the novels) that will be available on my website (https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/cut_scenes.html) after July 1st

When done, this one will join them.


Each tour stop is a chance to enter by leaving a comment below. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 6, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

11 thoughts on “Jeanne Reames on Why He is Alexandros and Not Alexander and her new release Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (giveaway)

  1. Thanks for the link to the name pronunciations. I like to know what unfamiliar names are supposed to sound like.
    jlshannon74 at gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The pronunciation guide is brilliant, thanks! Can’t for the life of me ever remember which syllable to emphasise.
    penthesileia06 at gmail.com

    Like

    • Glad it helped! I know when I first started reading about these guys, I had NO idea how to say their names, and would have to run to the Greek to figure it out. So while I’m sure a lot (most?) readers won’t really care, for those who do…wholah! One of the useful things about the internet: audio files. LOL.

      Like

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