Author Stephanie Draven: Goats, Dragons and Lions. Oh My!

Author Stephanie Draven writes her Silhouette Nocturne Bites based on ancient mythology with modern twists. Stephanie is here to blog about her newest novella Wild, Tethered, Bound, and why she chose a chimera and dryad for her hero and heroine

by Stephanie Draven, author of Wild, Tethered, Bound and Midnight Medusa

Ancient myths are often dismissed as simplistic stories our ancestors created to explain things they didn’t understand. I take a different view. I love mankind’s oldest stories because I believe they tell us about things we no longer understand–things about ourselves that we’ve forgotten, or buried under the polite veneer of modern society.

The chimera of ancient myth was a monstrous creature–an amalgamation of a goat, a lion and a dragon. I see the story of the chimera as a metaphor for detachment. A cautionary tale, if you will, about the way people com I see the story of the chimera as a metaphor for detachment. A cautionary tale, if you will, about the way people compartmentalize their lives.

There’s a lot of horror in the world–sometimes so much that we want to shut it out and bury the part of ourself that cares. A lot of soldiers do that especially. They see so many bad things that they give themselves different personas to deal with it. If you have friends or family in law enforcement or the military, you probably already know that they sometimes make some part of themselves numb, just to survive. And when they come home from a war zone, it might even seem like they’ve become two, or even three people in the same body.

My novella, WILD, TETHERED, BOUND is an ode to those heroes and to the families that love them.

Lt. Nick Leandros is the hero of my story and he has experienced the kind of trauma that shatters a soldier. He transforms into a chimera, detaching himself into three different men just so that he can cope. But there’s a danger in detachment. It alienates your loved ones and it keeps you from making a difference in the world, which is why Nick needs our heroine to help put him back together.

But she’s no ordinary woman. Dessa is a dryad–a tree nymph who is the very embodiment of attachment. It’s her magic that holds together the last forests of Afghanistan. It’s her unique strength that allows her to love a fractured soldier like Nick.

I chose Dessa for the heroine of my story because, for the Greeks, nymphs were a primal symbol of feminine power. Dryads didn’t need men–though they did fall in love with them. They were strong and independent in their own right, and their deep attachment to the natural world stood in stark contrast to the lives of soldiers.

It seemed to me that today’s warriors–male or female–need that kind of grounding from their loved ones. And that’s what inspired me to tell this tale.

Check out my book trailer and enter the contest I’m running on my website (, and you could win an advanced review copy of WILD, TETHERED, BOUND and a $15 gift certificate to Amazon.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear from soldiers or military families on how they have helped integrate back into normal life. Even if you’re not involved in the military or don’t know anyone who has served, have there been times in your life that you felt like you had to have a split personality to deal with the cards life dealt you? I know as a writer, just having a pen name can sometimes feel like a dissociative disorder, so I’d love to hear from authors too!

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