Caitlin Sweet

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The Door in the Mountain

In 2014, the publisher wrote:

Lost in time, shrouded in dark myths of blood and magic, The Door in the Mountain leads to the world of ancient Crete, a place where a beautiful bitter young princess named Ariadne schemes to imprison her godmarked half-brother deep in the heart of a mountain maze…

…where a boy named Icarus tries, and fails, to fly—

…and where a slave girl changes the paths of all their lives forever.


In 2022, I wrote:

Back in the early 2000s, I tried to write a story based on a Greek myth, and set in the Bronze Age Mediterranean. I’d always loved Greek myths, after all; how hard could it be to infuse one with historical and genre elements? 

Hard, as it turned out. I researched and researched. I’d never done so much research, for a book. I wrote a bunch of words—but then I stopped. It wasn’t working, this alchemical melding of myth, history, and fantasy. I figured it never would.

About ten years later, with the sense of failure muted by time, I took another shot at it. I chose a different myth. Though I did do some research, it was minimal. I wrote a couple of chapters, then stopped. Instead of panicking and giving up, this time, I asked myself why it wasn’t working. The internal conversation went something like this:

“Why is this not working?”

“Ariadne’s the main character. She’s relatable and sweet and…boring.”

“So what if Ariadne wasn’t boring? What if she wasn’t the victim of this version of the story? What if she deserved to be left on an island?”

And then I started writing again, and I never looked back.