Thursday, August 18, 2016

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Song of the Oceanides by J.G. Zymbalist @GoddessFish

Song of the Oceanides
by J.G. Zymbalist
GENRE:  YA Fantasy


Song of the Oceanides is a highly-experimental triple narrative transgenre fantasy that combines elements of historical fiction, YA, myth and fairy tale, science fiction, paranormal romance, and more.  For ages 10-110.

NOTE:  The book is on sale for $0.99.  Free for Kindle Unlimited Members or as part of Kindle MatchBook.


Blue Hill, Maine.
3 August, 1903.

From the moment Emmylou heard the song of the Oceanides, she recognized something godly in the tune.  As it resounded all across the desolate shoreline of Blue Hill Bay, she recalled the terrible chorus mysticus ringing all throughout that extinct Martian volcano the day her father went missing down in the magma chamber.
Aunt Belphœbe followed along, guiding Maygene through the sands.  “Why don’t you go play in that shipwreck over there?”  Aunt Belphœbe pointed toward a fishing schooner run aground some fifty yards to the south.

When Maygene raced off, Emmylou refused to follow.  By now the chorus of song tormented her so much that an ache had awoken all throughout her clubfoot.  Before long she dropped her walking stick and fell to the earth.  Closing her eyes, she dug both her hands into the sands and lost herself in memories of the volcano.  How could Father be gone?  Though he had often alluded to the perils of Martian vulcanology, she never imagined that someone so good and so wise could go missing.

The song of the Oceanides grew a little bit louder and increasingly dissonant.

Opening her eyes, Emmylou listened very closely.  The song sounded like the stuff of incantation, witchcraft.  And even though she could not comprehend every word, nevertheless she felt certain that the Oceanides meant to cast a spell upon some unfortunate soul.


If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

I would apologize in a sardonic way to my various college administrators.  I would tell them:  “I’m sorry I ever came to your raunchy hateful rip-off of a school.”

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I think it would be nice to have a talking tree—not like one of the disgruntled apple trees in The Wizard of Oz, but rather a very nice even-tempered philosophical tree.  That way not only could I sit beneath the tree and contemplate the meaning of life, I could actually consult the tree and maintain a friendly dialogue.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

I have a very simple unadorned style—something like that of ancient or medieval Asian poetry.  Perhaps because of that the tone is always rather wistful or poignant.  Tonally there is no spiritual violence or snarkiness or sarcasm.  My attitude toward my characters is similar to the way someone like Hans Christian Andersen felt about his characters.  I think I write this way because I’m so introverted and spiritual.  There is no one in the world more introverted and spiritual than me.  I know this because wherever I go, people always tell me I’m “weird.”

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

Best:  Hire a published novelist to critique your work line by line.

Worst:  Go get an MFA degree. 

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes, of course.  I was a misfit in school, and one of the point-of-view characters is the very same.  Still, I try to put some humor into my fictional version of events.  This is why I stay away from memoir and social realism.  That sort of thing gets too depressing.  Life is more than just abject misery all the time, and writing in the style of magical realism helps translate one’s memories into a more balanced open-minded vision of the phenomenological world. 


J.G. Zymbalist began writing Song of the Oceanides as a child when his family summered in Castine, Maine where they rented out Robert Lowell’s house.

The author returned to the piece while working for the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, May-September, 2005.  He completed the full draft in Ellsworth, Maine later that year.

For more information, please see



$50 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.



Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

JG Zymbalist said...

Thank you to everyone at Avid Reader for hosting! It's a good feeling to end my Goddess Fish tour right here. This is such a nice mellow site.

Unknown said...

Congrats on the blog tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

JG Zymbalist said...

My pleasure Lisa!

Victoria Alexander said...

I've enjoyed following the tour for Song of the Oceanides - the excerpts and reviews have been lots of fun to read. I'm looking forward to checking it out myself - thanks for sharing :)

Rita Wray said...

I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your words with us. Best of luck to you with the remainder of the tour!

JG Zymbalist said...

Everyone, Victoria and Rita and Bea, thank you kindly for your good cheer and positive energy.

Anonymous said...


Maria said...

The interview cracked me up - especially JG's answer regarding who she would apologize to and her mythical paranormal pet of a nice philosophical tree...that is a great choice. Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this interesting excerpt!

Mary Preston said...

An interesting interview.

James Robert said...

I enjoyed your excerpt and interview. Pretty cool you started writing this as a child, I like that. Thank you for an awesome giveaway!

JG Zymbalist said...

Thank you all! I'm going to miss Goddess Fish. You always find the coolest blogs.