Alysia Helming: The amazing story of the American novelist who came to love Greece and was inspired
Alysia Helming is an American novelist and although she has no Greek origin, through the writing of her debut book series Protogenesis, she has come to love Greece and has gained inspiration from the country’s natural beauty and culture. For her writing, Alysia researched the Greek culture and the Greek mythology which had been an inspiration to her.
Up until 2014, Alysia had never traveled to Greece. Since then, she has visited Greece 10 times. On one of her random google searches, while she was looking for pictures of faces to gain inspiration for one of her main book characters she came across a picture of Greek music star Kostas Martakis! The singer who had the looks of a “Greek god” impressed the author who not only got to meet him in person when she was in Greece, but also ended up collaborating with him.
TLIFE met Alysia Helming in person at an ideal location in Athens, the 360 bar at Monastiraki square, with a panoramic view of the Acropolis… The photographer of TLIFE took exclusive photos of her in Plaka.
Read her story.
In addition to the book series, Alysia’s real life story, which led her to a series of visits to Greece, is full of intrigue and synchronicity. Now, her mission is to help Greece, the country that she came to love through her research trips, by offering a message of hope and to drive tourism there through her book series.
She visited twice and worked hands-on at the Ancient Agora archaeological site with famous archaeologist, John Mck. Camp, whose nickname among his colleagues at the American Classical School in Athens is “Indiana Jones”.
She further developed her writing research at one of the world’s most important Hellenic cultural centers, the Blegen Library at the American Classical School in Athens, which contains Greece’s most precious archaeological and historical archives, including Homer’s Iliad and Hesiod’s Theogonia.
Alysia and her 17-year-old niece, Hannah Emerson, started writing about Greek mythology together. Both decided to write separate stories which led Alysia to write Protogenesis, with Hannah on her side as a junior teen editor who would enhance the teenager’s point of view in the story.
She has a 9-year-old son, Zander, who helped write a chapter in Protogenesis and which helped him overcome his troubles in learning to read and write. He has now written his own 6-book series!
Currently Alysia owns with her husband Troy Helming, the leading independent developer of small utility scale solar farms in the US, Pristine Sun. Together they started the first wind farm development company in the Midwest with her husband which is now the largest wind energy company in the region.
On her honeymoon, she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and almost died from altitude-induced pulmonary edema and then she had a second near-death experience when she fell off the side of the Grand Teton during another climb, another near-death experience. The experience of these extreme situations made her appreciate life in a different way and go after her dreams with an even greater passion.
She has studied finance and in the beginning of her professional career she has been a lead analyst for the CFO of large American companies such as Wells Fargo Bank and Hallmark and then went on to become the CFO of her own company which she established with her husband Troy Helming and is now the leading independent developer of small utility scale solar farms in the US, Pristine Sun.
Writing and dancing had always been Alysia’s greatest passions, while many years ago she was an accomplished ballet dancer but can no longer dance due to injury. Today, she is a proud contributor to one of the world’s top Ballet Companies, the San Francisco Ballet.
Alysia Helming’s collaboration with Kostas Martakis & Panik Entertainment Group for Protogenesis.
Alysia Helming recently joined forces with Greek music star Kostas Martakis and the record label Panik Entertainment Group, with a common goal, to promote the Protogenesis story in Greece, but also to promote the Greek culture on a global level through the promotion of Protogenesis on an international level.
The collaboration between Alysia, Kostas and Panik is a very original one, as they brought together two different cultural fields: literature and music. Together they created a song which would become the original soundtrack of the book, titled Forever and Tonight. Kostas Martakis performed the song (music by Marios Psimopoulos and lyrics by Vicky Gerothodorou) which is included within the book while several lyrics out of the song are mentioned in multiple chapters throughout the story. Forever and Tonight combines Greek music with English lyrics in a unique way, as well as the characteristic sound of the clarinet, through a solo instrumental break. The main objective for Forever and Tonight is to transport the magical Greek sound all around the world!
Alysia discovered Kostas Martakis in a very random way. It happened while she was still in the beginning of her writing in San Francisco, as she made a Google search for the physical characteristics of one of the main male characters in Protogenesis, Ever Sarantos, the inspiration came from the picture of Greek music star Kostas Martakis, whose identity she didn’t know at that moment.
Six months later, on her first research trip to Athens, she was driving from the airport when she was shocked to discover from a night club billboard on the street with Kostas face appearing on it, that the inspiration for her character Ever Sarantos, was a very popular Greek singer, Kostas Martakis.
On her third visit to Greece, Alysia finally met Kostas in person, told him all about Protogenesis and the message that the story wants to convey and he instantly showed his enthusiasm and was on board to become part of this new exciting project!