It happened gradually and naturally, mostly with names. I noticed several of the character's names had connections to Greece, and it went from there! (Many of those names changed in the final draft, but the inspiration stuck.)
It also fit the culture. I wanted Aeonia to be a place of scholarship with impressive architecture, mountains, and beautiful beaches. And of course it needed to have goats and donkeys. Art included marble statues and mosaic tiles. I wanted to do a bit about how Greek statues were originally painted bright colors, but in the end it distracted from the story.
I realize these are all surface similarities. My knowledge of Greek culture comes mostly from studying ancient music, Biblical history, and classical philosophy. I also had a Greek professor and classmates while at university. I really wanted to take a trip to Greece to soak up more of the culture, but schedule and budget didn't allow for that.
In the end, Aeonia is its own place with its own history, but the creation of that world was very much inspired by Greece. Also, have you seen pictures of Greece? That place is beautiful!!! The perfect setting for a fairy tale.
I made a Pinterest board of Greece to help me keep the landscape in mind.
Check it out if you want a glimpse into my inspiration for Aeonia!
A. G. Marshall
Bonus scenes, glimpses into my writing process, and more!