Author Alysia Helming’s debut novel, Protogenesis—the first installment in a seven-novel YA series, the “Protogena Chronicles”— hit number one on Amazon in its category, in less than a month after its release. Protogenesis chronicles the story of a young girl, Helene, whose entire life is uprooted upon her mother’s sudden, tragic disappearance.
Helene moves to Greece to live with a godfather she has never met with a mission to investigate her mother’s mysterious disappearance, which she believes involves the Greek mafia. There, she faces all the usual travails of being a teenager: adjusting to a new school, learning and fitting into a new culture, and navigating her love life.
Soon, she finds herself ensnared in a love triangle, but that is the least of her problems: she finds a mystical portal into a world where Greek mythology and the roots of modern civilization converge. Helene hopes the portal will help her find out what happened to her mother, but whether the Greek gods and goddesses are on her side remains to be seen.
The appeal to teenage girls goes far beyond Helene’s relatable problems—as well as her otherworldly ones—and her love triangle. Think DaVinci Code meets Twilight, but no vampires; and instead, Greek gods…where ancient mythology and science fiction unite.
This story is completely new, never been done before in fiction. As one reader put it, “Helene’s world is a fantasy that seems only a step or two from our reality.”
Although many of Helene’s experiences may be supernatural, much of it is rooted in real-life, highlighting the serious economic crisis that plagues Greece. To bring Helene’s world to life, Helming visited Greece nine times between 2015 and 2016. What really sets apart this story from all others, is that in each of her trips to Greece, Helming crossed paths with people that would eventually play a key role in the creation of her book story – chance encounters with everyday people, and even celebrities, that turned out to be vital sources for her fictional writing.
The original theme song to the book, “Forever & Tonight,” was created with Greek music star, Kostas Martakis, in collaboration with Panik Records (video). Renowned Greek American artist, Philip Tsiaras, designed the book’s cover. These experiences enabled her to grasp and unite the “past” of ancient Greece and mythology with the “present” challenging reality that the Greek people currently face, with science fiction and technology offering a “futuristic” twist.
Now, Helming’s mission is to help Greece by offering a message of hope and to drive tourism there through her book series. To this end, she collaborated with Panik Entertainment and Filmskin, one of Greece’s top Directors, to produce a series of six short films, each cinematically spectacular, in locations following Helene’s footsteps through Athens.
Alysia Helming started writing at an early age, and throughout her successful career in renewable energy, has never forgotten her passion for writing. She has coauthored a pilot for a TV series, written a full-length feature film screenplay, and assisted in the nationwide release of the feature-length movie The Great Warming. She was also a student of Screenwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles