My obsession with mythology started at age six, when my parents handed me D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. The stories combined everything wonderful about fairy tales—magic, adventure, and romance—with something much deeper: answers to the universe’s great mysteries. After all, to a child, the myth of Persephone seems a more comprehensible explanation for the seasons than the orbit of the earth around the sun. Over the years, my interest manifested itself in ways both fanciful (creating a miniature set of cryogenically frozen Olympians as an eighth grade English project) and scholarly (studying Greek heroes at Harvard University).
Alongside my passion for the fantastical, I have an abiding interest in actual history. Growing up in Northern Virginia, I was surrounded by historical homes, museums, and battlefields. No summer in the Brodsky house felt complete without a visit to Colonial Williamsburg or some other historical recreation. As a twelve-year-old, I seriously entertained thoughts of breaking labor laws to work at Plymouth Plantation after finding its lack of child reenactors disturbingly ahistorical. A proud graduate of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, I ignored the school's supposed mandate and spent all my energies on theater and the humanities instead. At Harvard, I focused my studies in History and Literature most intensively on the nineteenth century, writing my honors thesis on Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and (to my parents’ everlasting chagrin) their relationship to the era's fascinating anti-masturbation movement.
After moving to Manhattan, I found myself completely entranced by my new home: a city that seems quintessentially modern yet harbors secrets and stories centuries old. The perfect hiding place for an ancient immortal goddess.
While writing the Olympus Bound series, I traveled to Italy, Turkey, and Greece, prowling through Pompeii, Rome, Delphi, Delos, Athens, Ephesus, and more looking for any and all references to Artemis, Apollo, and the rest of their immortal kin. An avid hiker, I also took the opportunity to explore the gorges, islands, and mountains that the Huntress might have called home. With a little help from my much more athletic husband, I even made it up Mount Olympus. Some of my favorite photos of those trips appear on this site.
For The Wolf in the Whale, my research took me to the frozen shores of Nunavut, in the Canadian subarctic. There, I met with brilliant, talented, and incredibly generous members of the Inuit community who invited me into their homes and onto their snowmobiles, sharing everything from their iglu-building expertise and whale hunting stories to their narwhal-skin stew, raw caribou, and frozen char—all of which were surprisingly delicious. In Iceland and Norway, I explored the Norse aspects of my tale, enjoying lessons in medieval spinning techniques, visiting Viking longhouse remains, and, of course, hiking through some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. Check out the Photos & Places page to see the pictures.
When I'm not writing, I'm likely either tromping through Central Park, hiking the mountains of Acadia National Park in Maine, traveling the world, reading Star Wars novels, watching far too many movies, singing along (badly) to Broadway musicals, or playing Settlers of Catan. I live with my husband in an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, not far from where Selene owns a much nicer brownstone.
© Jason Mills
JORDANNA MAX BRODSKY