Friday, May 25, 2012

Questions & Answers with Aimee Carter + GIVEAWAY of Goddess Interrupted (US/Canada)

Q&A With Aimée Carter, 
Author of the Goddess Test Series 

How familiar were you with Greek myths and folklore before writing the Goddess Test series? Was a lot of research required? 

+ I first fell in love with Greek mythology when I was a kid learning how to read, and my infatuation only grew from there. I’ve studied various kinds of mythology for years, sometimes for class and always for fun, but even then I put a great deal of research into the Goddess Test series. Mostly as a refresher to make sure I was getting my facts right, but I also researched the various myths looking for ways to tie the plots and characters together in unexpected ways. 

Was Goddess Interrupted any easier or harder to write than the first book in the series, The Goddess Test? 

+ It was both easier and harder, in a strange way. I rewrote The Goddess Test multiple times, and I’ve never edited a book more heavily in my life. Goddess Interrupted did require some editing, of course, but it was much easier. 

However, the pressure to deliver a sequel worthy of the series made the writing process for Goddess Interrupted more difficult than I’d anticipated. There’s something called the “sophomore slump”, where sequels or second books generally don’t quite match up to the second, and I wanted to avoid that at all cost. So that added a lot of stress, but in the end, I was very happy with the results. 

You give the gods and goddesses in the series “ordinary names” – Zeus is named Walter, Aphrodite goes by Ava, Hermes is named James. Why did you do that and do the more contemporary names have any significance? 

+ This was something I went back and forth on multiple times. Initially the characters Kate encounters weren’t council members at all – I changed that very, very quickly though. By the second draft, I had a place for each of the Olympians, and I did some heavy rewriting to replace my first draft characters with the gods. I wanted to find a way to keep their names the same, but since they’re supposed to live among us in secret in the modern world, it didn’t really make sense. How many men named Zeus do you know, or women called Aphrodite? On top of that, keeping the council’s identities secret was incredibly important to the plot. So eventually I decided they would have changed their names when Western civilization stopped worshipping them as gods, allowing them to live freely among us. 

I did choose each name for what it means, some more than others – Walter, for instance, means “army leader”, while James means “supplanter”. The exception is Calliope, which in the story was chosen by her counterpart for its Greek roots. The reason the gods changed their names – and why Artemis didn’t wind up with the name Diana – is explained throughout the series, but you get to actually see this happen in The Goddess Legacy (July 31). 

Goddess Interrupted begins with the main character Kate Winters adjusting to her new life as an immortal. Given Kate’s innate strength and stubbornness, was it difficult to switch gears to portray her as a bit more vulnerable and unsure of herself in her new role as goddess AND wife? 

+ Not so much, to be honest – her progression felt natural to me. While Kate is very tough in certain ways, she’s extremely vulnerable as well. She’s emotionally dependent on the people around her (her mother in the first book, Henry in the second), and that in and of itself carves the path she takes in the sequel. She’s spent six months with Henry, falling in love with him and forming a relationship she thinks is going to last for eternity. But Henry is battling his own demons and isn’t ready to be the person she needs him to be, and because Kate is so stubborn, she has a hard time coming to terms with that. In the sequel, Kate really is her own worst enemy emotionally – her entire world has changed, after all, and that’s a lot for anyone to take – but it’s all part of her development into a goddess and queen. 

Kate finds herself trying to work through her rather complicated relationship with James, as well as her relationship with her new husband, Henry (Hades). Neither seems to be black and white, but rather varying shades of gray. Were any of Kate’s feelings or situations based on any relationship struggles you’ve been through? 

+ Not personally, no, but I did try to make Kate’s relationships with the people in her life as realistic as possible. She isn’t perfect, and neither are they, and that’s something they all have to work through at varying points in the series. None of the relationships in the books are based off of specific experiences I’ve been through though. 

What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?

+ Outlining is by far my favorite part of the process. I love the idea stage, where anything’s possible, and it’s such a shiny place. All of that comes crashing down when I write the first draft though, which is the hardest part for me. I tend to get mentally exhausted about two thirds to three quarters of the way into the manuscript, and it’s always a struggle for me to push through it, especially if I’m on a deadline. And inevitably there are a ton of problems I didn’t notice in the outline stage that have to be fixed for the story to work. I’m a perfectionist, so in order for me to continue writing the story, everything I’ve already written has to make sense. 

Do you have a favorite quote or line from a poem or book?

+ I love so many quotes that I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite.

How did you get your first publishing deal and how did that feel?

+ My agent, Rosemary Stimola, sent the manuscript out to various publishers, and after a long submission process, Harlequin TEEN offered to publish it! I was stunned at first, but that quickly gave way to giddiness. It was an incredible feeling to know I’d be published, and to this day, I still can’t quite believe it. 

When is the next book in the series due out? Any hints on what will happen in book 3?

+ Goddess Interrupted, the sequel to The Goddess Test, came out in late March. The next book in the series, The Goddess Legacy, will be out July 31. It’s a collection of five novellas told in the perspectives of Calliope, Ava, Persephone, James, and Henry, and together they form one story. 

The third book in the series, The Goddess Inheritance, is currently scheduled to be released in March 2013. Unfortunately I can’t say too much about it, but the challenges that Kate will face are pretty clear by the end of the sequel! 

After the huge success of The Goddess Test, Goddess Interrupted is on many, many TBR lists for this summer. What’s on your TBR list? 

+ I’m so excited for a slew of books coming out – The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, Grave Mercy, The Selection, The Serpent’s Shadow, Philippa Gregory’s YA novel, and a ton of others. I never have as much time to read as I want, but I’m definitely making time for all of those and more! 

Yearbook Superlatives! If you went to high school with the Greek gods and goddesses, who would you vote for? 

· Most likely to succeed? - Hera 
· Class clown? - Hermes 
· Nicest? – Demeter or Hephaestus 
· Best dressed? - Aphrodite 
· Best dancer? - Apollo 
· Most school spirit? - Iris 
· Most likely to attend summer school? - Ares 
· Teachers pet? - Athena

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Harlequin Teen has generously offered to give away one finished copy of Goddess Interrupted, second book in the fabulous Goddess Test series!

Open to: US/CANADA
Ends: June 10th
Mandatory entry: Be a blog follower and leave a comment on this post!

Enter through Rafflecopter after the page break (click SEE/READ MORE)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Krista Raven said...

I cannot wait till the Goddess Legacy comes out. Wonderful Interview and I loved G. I. great book!!!

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

I always love to read author interviews. Thanx for this. This series is on my TBR pile.

deasuluna said...

Great Interviews, oh her to-read book list of the summer matches mine to the "T" lol its just so hard to find time. Thanks for the chance at this great giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Q&A Evie!!

Like I mentioned on Twitter, your raving about this series has really got me even more interested to check it out!!

Thanks for the opportunity to win Book #2!

Anonymous said...

Such a great series - I'm really intrigued to find out how Aimee continues the story! This was a really compelleing first book for both the male and female readers at my school - they were drawn into the story pretty much immediately.

Anonymous said...

Such a great series - I'm really intrigued to find out how Aimee continues the story! This was a really compelleing first book for both the male and female readers at my school - they were drawn into the story pretty much immediately.

Bethie said...

I love the gods! I love who you picked for the high school awards.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Kristan said...

The Goddess Test is one of my favorite mythological retellings. I'm so excited to finally read Goddess Interrupted. Your review has got me anxious to get me back into this story!

Kristan @ Lost Amongst the Shelves

Anonymous said...

Yearbook Superlatives...Hilarious!!

I think Aphrodite would beat up anyone who didn't vote her Best Dressed, and I can totally picture Ares wreaking havoc during summer school.

Great interview!

Amy said...

Great interview!! I love reading author interviews and finding out how they come up with the story and some of the background on stuff.

Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

Great interview!! I love this series :) I love the yearbook superlatives question, that is so perfect!!!! I also like how Aimee picked the contemporary names based on their meaning and how well each one fits the gods and goddesses. Great job!!

Anna @ Literary Exploration

Emily said...

Great interview! I haven't read this series yet so I'm hoping that if I win it'll motivate me to pick up the first book. Thanks for the great giveaway!! :)

Lexie@BookBug said...

Thanks for the great interview and giveaway! I would find writing a novel mentally exhausting too!

Na said...

I like that the characters aren't perfect and that makes it easier and more interesting to relate to. They'll have to work for something.

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

I can understand why underlining is your favorite part of the writing process. It's the part where you don't have to limit yourself. To me it's the most creative. When you start writing, you start having to keep to the outline. You no longer face endless possibilities.

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

I can understand your enthusiasm for this series in your review. It is also my favorite mythological story. This sounds like a wonderful retelling of the story.

Anonymous said...

Yearbook Superlatives is so funny! :')

TayteH said...

Okay, so why do we have to wait until March of NEXT YEAR for the next book (even though I haven't read this one yet). :D But the review was awesome. :D

Steph said...

Great Q&A!! I like her answers to the Yearbook Superlatives. Thanks for the giveaway!

Michelle @ Book Briefs said...

I love that there are going to be a collection of stories focusing on the other gods! It is going to be so neat to learn more about them :)

Also I just noticed the tag-line on your blog "blogging since 2011" I LOVE it! That is such a great idea.

Danielle Smiley said...

Great interview! You asked a lot of great questions.


Giselle said...

Pfft I know TONS of people called Aphrodite! Lol. I have yet to read this series but I do have book 1 sitting on my shelf waiting for me. Poor soul >.< I'm always fascinated by greek myth since I read Percy Jackson a while back so I think I'll really like this one. I loved the Superlatives! :D

Great post Evie! Thanks for your lovely comments on the blog! I've been keeping up in my Google Reader but I haven't had a chance to come comment in a bit. I'm finally getting caught up on my reading though so I can come leave my unsolicited opinions more often :D

Ning said...

I've yet to read this. I got the Goddess Legacy off NetGalley and plan on catching up on the series before its release. I love books with mythology, so I can't wait!

Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

Jennifer said...

I love the idea of seeing an author's TBR list. Great question!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read this series! I love the mythology aspect of it. I would comment on your reviews for the extra points but I don't read reviews of books I plan on reading, bummer! But thanks for the opportunity anyway! :)

Lilian said...

I'm super excited for this series, and I didn't even know the series had five books (which reminds me that I don't know what a five-book series is called...a pentalogy??)

jacqlineveve said...

I can't wait to read this series :D
It's on my must reads list this year!!!

Kristall said...

great interview . Congrats for it

Anna Dase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna Dase said...

Fantastic Interview I loved it and I am looking forward to reading this series. I added to my TBR Pile. Thanks for Sharing Evie. Anna @ Read Between The Lines

Brooke DeSpain said...

All the books on Aimee's TBR list are on mine too! I just got The Goddess Test, and now I can't wait to read Goddess Interrupted. Thanks!

~Enamored Soul~ said...

First of all, let me say this... I absolutely LOVED "The Goddess Test" by Aimee Carter, and am SO excited about reading "The Goddess Interrupted." That being said, what a fantastic interview. I love it when the questions are so uniquely fitting to the book, and not some generic questions that ask about favorites foods and colors - a job well done, Evie.

Also, I love that author Aimee Carter made sure that she didn't name the Olympians anything similar to their original identities - I think that makes them more palatable, more relatable, more "human", per se...normal people. Also, one of the reasons I love Kate and her character is because she is not a one dimensional character, and that the dynamics of her relationship with the surrounding characters are very complex, not very cut and dry...I think this gives the narrative a certain believability.

The Yearbook Superlatives are super funny. The funniest/ironic thing is, my name is Hira...and Aimee Carter deems "Hera" as most likely to succeed, which is what I was termed my senior year, in the yearbook! lol :P Lastly, thank you for hosting a giveaway for this AWESOME book, which I cannot wait to read.

Name: Hira Hasnain
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com

marian said...

great interview! really love the yearbook superlatives so unexpected to see the choices for the different god/goddess. can't wait for this new book

BJ Kenney said...

I loved The Goddess Test! I feel like this is going to be one of my favourite series. Thanks for the giveaway and the great interview!

Proserpine said...

Hi! Thanks for this chance! I read The Goddess Test in last February and I really enjoyed this book!!! I love that the Gods and Goddess have contemporary names! It goes with are time and I didn't realize until the end that these characters were the Gods/Goddess! Great interview! Looking forward to read the sequel!

brookea_2006 said...

Great Interview! I loved the superlatives! I can't wait to read this :)

RhiannonPaille said...

I haven't picked up on this series yet but I've seen it everywhere and so it may need to be one of my next reads! Especially since there are already three books in the series! Always love your interviews Evie!

Hannah said...

I LOVED Goddess Test so I can't wait for this one! Great post!

Julie S said...

Thanks for the post! This series sounds really good.

Sharon ObsessionwithBooks said...

A fantastic interview Evie! you ask the most wonderful questions.

I have only read book one in this series but have Goddess Interrupted waiting for me on my kindle :)

I have always been so interested in Greek Mythology and love the Goddess books for this very reason.

Loved the Yearbook Superlatives!!

Thank-you for sharing!

Brooke said...

Greek Mythology is one of my absolute favorite things. It's beautiful and tragic and stunning and amazing and i don't think i could ever get sick of a YA Greek Myth retelling! I did like the first book in the series, just not as much as i thought i would, so i really wanna give the second book a go. See if it picked up some for me! Also, i want more James cuz he was a cutie in #1! :P

Brooke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SweetShenanigans said...

I've always had an interest in Greek mythology, as well! Loved the Q&A!

Denise Z said...

I have heard so many good things about this series and it has been on my wishlist. Thank you for taking the time to share with us today. I love your TBR list ;)

Kris Mathewson said...

I am so excited to read this book. Sounds so Great!! Thank you for the Chance!

Nicole said...

I really really want to read this series! I absolutely love this genre :)

Kristie Matheson said...

LOVE Greek Mythology!!! Definitely am excited to read this book!

Bookie Bee said...

Oooh! More about the other gods!?! I cant wait! Thanks for the great interview. I absolutely love Aimee Carter. And the Yearboook superlatives was fun!

Nataly said...

Loving the concept of the book, and the interview was interesting, it's fun to get to know more about authors. Can't wait to read this series, need to get started!

iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

I'm currently reading the Goddess Test and it is amazing! Interesting to see why she chose to give the gods contemporary names- really shows how thorough she is :) Great interview and thanks for the amazing giveaway!


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