Whenever I'm writing a new Atlantis book, I always go back and conduct a little research, mainly because I like to add flavor to the plot. Sure, two characters can talk about the strange circumstances of a fellow soldier's death, but wouldn't that scene be so much better if it takes place in a bath room? Or what about adding a scene that takes place around an ancient game? Sometimes, the best cultural/governmental traits in a novel comes from real life.
The goal is to add a little truth behind the make-believe. When I wrote the first novel, I used Plato's writings only. I was fifteen at the time and
therefore didn't realize how big of a topic Atlantis really was. I've discussed
before the crazy theories behind the myth, but I always like to stray more
toward truth...in other words no Alien assistance. On my research for the
second novel, I came across one theory that the Mayans were descendants of
This struck me as an interesting twist. First, there's the fact that the
origins of the Mayan culture is unknown. Theorists add this to the idea that
"old world" architecture is very similar to the "new
world"--i.e. artwork, column design, temples, and mummification. How did
these designs become so similar if the two societies were completely separate? This is not the article I used for my research (I couldn't find it), but it does discuss the connections between Atlantis and the Mayans.
When I built Zeus society, therefore, I thought it was only best to add a
little Mayan culture to the mix. I find fantasy literature is not about
uncovering truths, but taking mythology and expanding the idea. Does it matter
if I can prove a connection between the two cultures? No. But speculating and exaggerating the idea is so much more fun than proof anyway.