An Ancient Matriarchal Society

Karen Martin
Karen Martin Author Interview

Dancing the Labyrinth follows a young woman from an abusive background who discovers the veiled history of the Minoans. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The kernel of this idea came from a concern: How, as a mother, can I raise my son to be a decent human being? The unspoken part of this question is – ‘in a patriarchal society.’ Australia has escalating numbers of domestic violence, and because I am contributing to raising the next generation, I feel I have some accountability. As a theatre writer I was surprised the idea came as a novel, so I thought, having planned to live in Crete for a year, I would write it there. At that time I had no idea about the Minoans. So you can imagine my delight to find myself walking the paths of an ancient Matriarchal society. The more I researched, the more the story blossomed. I could never have written it anywhere else. Crete is a very strong land, and is very inspiring. It is full of stories.

Cressida is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

To be honest, it was always Cressida’s voice I followed. I have tamed her down a bit – initially she swore like a trooper. In writing, I believe there are aspects of oneself that seep through and I drew on my love of Greek mythology and some of the experiences I had in Crete – like getting sick and being told that “Kriti has me” – which it does. I also drew on my experience of running circus workshops for young women who were survivors. I used their experiences as appropriate. For example, traits such as anxiety, lack of self-worth and distrust. In terms of character development, I am aware of the stages of the ‘hero’s journey,’ and this worked beautifully for Cressida’s growth and development. I also included concepts from psychologists Carl Jung and Erich Newman.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

All my creative work tends to explore transitions. I am really interested in those undefined areas between boundaries where something is transitioning from one thing to another. In Dancing the Labyrinth one theme was the movement from matriarchy to patriarchy. The Minoans didn’t have any weapons for war and yet were the most advanced civilization in the Bronze Age. Patriarchy from the north brought violence with it. I also explored transitions in consciousness, where our mind shifted in ways of thinking: from the mystical to magical, introducing rational thinking, and because it was a different way of thinking we were unable to contain both. Vrados exemplifies this shift. This research drew on a great book called The History and Origins of Consciousness.

What can readers expect in the next book in the The Women Unveiled series?

I have just finished the first draft and started my editing process. It is called ‘the Bringer of Happiness.’ My pitch to date is: Imagine if Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a daughter who could time travel. This could be her story.’ I would be very happy with your feedback on this 😊

Sara floats into other people’s bodies. Through her we witness early Christianity – leading up to the Cathar’s massacre at Montsegur. It refers to Greek mythology, especially Persphone and Ariadne, and references the connections between the Eleusinian Mysteries and that of the Mysteries purportedly taught by Mary Magdalene in the South of France – Languedoc region.

My third book in the series will return to Cressida, and follow Ashtar as she leaves the community and establishes Delphi.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When Cressida falls pregnant, her overwhelming fear is that she will pass on her father’s violent DNA. It takes an ancient matriarchal culture to teach her otherwise.
Dancing the Labyrinth moves between contemporary and ancient Crete in this tale of a young woman from an abusive background who discovers the veiled history of Europe’s most advanced civilization of the Bronze Age – the Minoans. 
Karen Martin’s spellbinding debut brings women’s history to the fore – relevant in the landscape of the #MeToo movement and #EnoughisEnough

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 29, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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