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The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)
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The Goddess Test > Q&A with Aimee Carter!

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Aimee Carter the author of The Goddess Test series has agreed to stop by the group, she is going to stop by March 15th after everyone has had a chance to read the book! Post your questions and comments in this thread so she can stop by and check them out! Let's give her a big welcome.


Martha  (iread1105) Heart that's cool!
I have a few questions: how do you go about getting an idea for your books?
What inspired the thought behind the while hades, and the olympians,etc.?
Honestly how hard is it to write a book ( I'm thinking if maybe giving writing a shot)?


message 3: by Rory M. (new)

Rory M. I'm just looking over the book again before I dive in. I like to savor the 'before' time by viewing the cover, reading the book summary and any reviews on the book and the reading the first and last lines of the book. It's my ritual...so my question for you, Aimee, is do you have any rituals you perform BEFORE you write?


Emmy Lou  (kagome-chan) | 5 comments Was there ever a time when you doubted yourself and/or your abilities? What would you say to writers who are experiencing or have experienced this?
Do you have certain foods you eat when writing? Or maybe a beverage?


message 5: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Welcome and thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by our YA book club!

Do you have any book tours scheduled for this year?


message 6: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam (samroseg) Welcome to the YA Book Club! :) I love your books and I can't wait till TGI comes out officially.
How did you come up with the idea and descriptions for the Underworld in TGI?


message 7: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Mar 10, 2012 03:27PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
If you were put in Kate's place, do you think you would pass the test? What inspired you to pick the 7 deadly sins for the tests? Are you planning on any other myths to take on for a series?


Megan (mreagle23) | 1 comments I love your books so much. i have read the goddess test several times already and already read the novella and have your next book on pre order. What should we expect from this book? is there going to be a lot of insight into kate and henry's married life? and are there more books in this series on the horizon?


Rosina | 1 comments ~Do you ever get in a writing slump and how do you inspire yourself to keep writing?
~Where's your favourite place to read?


Sandra (shereadsatnight) hey aimee! =)
I just love the goddess test!
I love the characters and everything.
How'd you think about the concept? I love how you made henry.


message 11: by Diana (new)

Diana Murdock | 7 comments We get the pleasure of disappearing for a time into another world when we read your books. What do YOU get out of writing?


message 12: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandakane) What genre of books do you enjoy best? I haven't read the book all the way through yet but it's on my to read list! It's great so far :)


message 13: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer | 1 comments What advice do you have for aspiring authors?


message 14: by Helen (last edited Mar 08, 2012 07:07AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Helen I definitely enjoy reading about greek mythology! I've read several series that dealt with greek mythology. So here goes my questions: Which other greek mythology series have you read and which would you recommend? Since when were you interested in Greek mythology?
I just want to say I love your books, I love your ideas and I'm really upset the book isn't available in the country I am in :(


message 15: by Amanda (last edited Mar 11, 2012 08:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amanda The Book Slayer (amanda_the_book_slayer) | 12 comments Hello Aimee Carter. I just wanted to first say that I really enjoyed 'The Goddess Test' and was lucky enough to get an ARC of 'Goddess Interrupted' and enjoyed that as well. I could hardly put both books down esp. the second book. That ending was just insane. I never saw that coming.
description

Anyway, I have two questions. One is simple and one probably way more complicated then a one sentence answer.

My question about the series is how many books do you see for the Goddess Test? I wasn't sure if it was a trilogy or you if you are going to add more?

My other question is about publishing. I was wondering how you went about selling your book to a publishing company? Do you send your book to several editors or spokes people? Publishing a book is on my bucket list,and the whole part between writing a book and getting it to the publisher is still a mystery.

Thanks.


Azhia | 5 comments Hey , I just wanted tell you the Goddess Test was amazing !!!! I cannot wait for the next one !! Your modern take on it was amazing


message 17: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 14, 2012 07:08PM) (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Thank you very much for visiting, Aimee.

I want to ask a question about your books covers. They are simply gorgeous. Did you take part in deciding how your books will look like? Did they meet your expectations?


message 18: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 14, 2012 07:24PM) (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) As a writer, what do you hope your readers will take away after reading your novels?


message 19: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 14, 2012 07:20PM) (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) What writers do you feel have inspired you the most? And what kind of books do you personally prefer to read in your spare time? (If you have it, of course:)


message 20: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 14, 2012 07:27PM) (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Greek mythology is something that a lot of readers are familiar with. How much of a challenge was it for you to write a story based on something very known and thus predictable, but make it your own and unique enough to surprise the readers?


message 21: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 14, 2012 07:30PM) (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) How difficult (or easy) was it for you to adapt an ancient myth to present time, to make it relatable to contemporary readers and modern sensibilities? Did you feel like you had to sanitize the portrayal of Greek gods in your interpretation? After all, they were a rather unpleasant, often violent, spoiled bunch, who partook in many unsavory acts.


message 22: by Oscar (new)

Oscar | 51 comments I was thinking about this while reading your book, that is, the issue of death and tragedy as it pertains to the YA genre and in general.

What challenges would you say you encounter when writing about death in your stories and how do you deal with some clichés, for example, the melodramatic type of death in stories channeling classic tragedies?


message 23: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Martha wrote: "Heart that's cool!
I have a few questions: how do you go about getting an idea for your books?
What inspired the thought behind the while hades, and the olympians,etc.?
Honestly how hard is it to ..."


Hi Martha! I tend to think in high concepts, which means my ideas can usually be described easily - more commercial than literary, if that makes sense. For me, ideas can really come from anywhere. Songs, movies, conversations, articles online, etc. And most of my ideas never make it past the scribbling down phase. It's all about finding an idea that has legs and an entire story behind it rather than one that just happens to sound cool/trendy/etc.

As for what inspired the whole Greek gods aspect to the series, I've loved Greek mythology from a very young age, and one day I had an idea for a story about a girl who makes a deal with Hades. The details - particularly about her mother, the tests, etc. - came much later on in the process, but from the beginning, I knew it would have something to do with a variation on Greek mythology.

And as for how hard it is to write a book, it gets easier the more you do it, I suspect, at least in some ways. But putting 60-100 thousand words down in a coherent, cohesive fashion is always going to be tough, not to mention the story, the world building, the character development, etc. And if that's something that you really want to do, definitely give it a shot! It took me two dozen manuscripts before I finally wrote Goddess Test, and I learned a ton from each of them.


message 24: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Rory M. wrote: "I'm just looking over the book again before I dive in. I like to savor the 'before' time by viewing the cover, reading the book summary and any reviews on the book and the reading the first and la..."

The question is: do I have any rituals I perform before I write? Not so much, really - for me, sometimes it's a struggle just to get my head in the right space, especially if the shiny newness of a story has worn off, and I'm in the trudging through it stage. If I go out to a bookstore or a cafe to write, I do make sure to have headphones in, get a drink, etc. But at home, mostly I just have to drag myself to my chair, turn off the internet, and get to work.


message 25: by Aimee (last edited Mar 16, 2012 03:56AM) (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Emmy Lou wrote: "Was there ever a time when you doubted yourself and/or your abilities? What would you say to writers who are experiencing or have experienced this?
Do you have certain foods you eat when writing? O..."


Always. ALWAYS. I still do. Doubt's a natural part of writing, and I think that only increases with each step, especially when things like critiques, rejections, edits, and reviews are introduced into the mix. Not every book is for everyone, obviously, and sometimes it's tough when I accidentally stumble across a negative review. I make a point of not reading reviews at all unless my publisher sends them to me, not because I don't appreciate the hard work the bloggers and readers do - the only reason The Goddess Test is in this position is because of bloggers and readers supporting it and passing it on! - but because, to me, reviews are for readers. And I have no business nosing around in them, especially when I know they're going to upset me and make me doubt myself.

But really, I think doubt is actually a good thing, in moderation. It makes me push myself to be a better writer and a better storyteller. It pushed me to make my unpublished manuscripts better, allowing me to grow as a writer and get to this stage. Even now, the difference between The Goddess Test and the last manuscript I completed is huge, and it's all because of that doubt and desire to grow as a writer no matter what stage you're in. It's universal. You just have to push through it, tough as it may be. You are your own worst critic, and that doubt can either crush you or propel you forward. Try to make it the latter.

I usually don't eat or drink anything when I'm writing, mostly because that involves using my hands, and if my hands are off the keyboard, they can't type. ;D But when I write at a cafe or bookstore, I always by a drink so I'm not just taking up space.


message 26: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Angie wrote: "Welcome and thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by our YA book club!

Do you have any book tours scheduled for this year?"


Thanks for inviting me! These are such great questions, and you're all so welcoming. Right now I have at least one signing planned for the spring in Ann Arbor (details coming soon), and in August, it looks like Lara Zielin, Courtney Allison Moulton, me, and possibly a few others will be doing several stops across Michigan.

I'll also be signing and doing panels at Ascendio in July, and I'll try to make BEA and LeakyCon as well!


message 27: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Samantha wrote: "Welcome to the YA Book Club! :) I love your books and I can't wait till TGI comes out officially.
How did you come up with the idea and descriptions for the Underworld in TGI?"


Thank you so much!! I can't wait for you to get the chance to read it as well. :)

I'm SLIGHTLY confused with this question, because to me, TGI is The Goddess Inheritance, which is actually the third book. But I'm pretty sure you mean GI, which is Goddess Interrupted (so confusing! Not my idea, I swear! Also, a lot of people do this, so no worries!), which also has tons of descriptions of the Underworld. So I hope I have this right!

Mostly what I wanted to do with the Underworld was flat-out not favor any religion at all, not even the ancient Greeks. Hence the reason why everyone has the afterlife they think they should have, unless serious crimes have been committed or they're not sure, etc., in which case Hades/Henry comes in. And there has been such a variation of beliefs (and non-beliefs) throughout history that it gave me a lot of wiggle room to work with, hence the various scenes you see in the sequel.


message 28: by Aimee (last edited Mar 15, 2012 04:31PM) (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Angie wrote: "If you were put in Kate's place, do you think you would pass the test? What inspired you to pick the 7 deadly sins for the tests? Are you planning on any other myths to take on for a series?"

You know, I THINK I would pass, but it's impossible to say without going through it. Especially since I wouldn't know what the tests were. The tests are meant to discover who we really are rather than the person we want everyone to think we are, or the person we try to convince ourselves we are, so it's very hard to say.

As for the seven deadly sins, this was one of the very last details that fell into place. I went back and forth on what sort of test to put Kate through, and I initially balked at the idea of using the seven deadly sins because they do have such a religious connotation. And I don't personally believe those specific morals necessarily have anything to do with good character. However, they wound up fitting what I wanted to show - as cool as Kate rescuing orphans from burning buildings would've been, I wanted her to go through a test that discovered her true reactions to things that she would have to face as a goddess. In other words, it wound up being the best way to show the way the council judged her. After all, immortality would give her the physical strength, and they first needed to make sure she had the emotional and mental strength to handle it. And if you're going to make someone immortal, it's probably a good idea to make sure they aren't going to use their powers for evil. I also wanted to tie the test into something that most people would be at least passingly familiar with, though I wanted to work around the religious aspect in the sense that clearly this test was around long before the Catholic Church. As you can probably tell from my previous answers, religion was something I tried to be very careful about in the book.

On the subject of the tests, one of my favorite parts about writing the sequels was getting to show how hypocritical the council is, putting Kate through these tests when they themselves don't necessarily uphold them. And in the book The Goddess Legacy, out July 31, you get to see exactly how the tests originated.

As for whether or not I'm planning on taking on any other myths for series, several other myths show up in the other Goddess Test books and novellas, but right now I have no plans on writing another series that has to do specifically with Greek mythology. My next series with Harlequin Teen started off with a book called Masked, which will be out in 2013, and it's a sort of dystopian (the term gets thrown around so much that I'm hesitant to use it). In short, it's about a girl in a not-so-future society who is forced to take the place of the Prime Minister's dead niece. There's an aptitude test that determines a brutal caste system, some pretty nasty antagonists, lots of blood, and not a single Greek god to be found. And none of the manuscripts I've written since have anything to do with mythology either. I would always be up for a fourth Goddess Test book though, so there's that!


message 29: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Megan wrote: "I love your books so much. i have read the goddess test several times already and already read the novella and have your next book on pre order. What should we expect from this book? is there going..."

Hi Megan! Thank you so much!! That's amazing, and I hope you enjoy the sequel. ;D As for what's in store, I can't spoil too much, but I will say Kate goes through hell (literally) to save what means most to her, and the novella (The Goddess Hunt) actually sets up the main emotional plot of Goddess Interrupted. So in other words, if you want some pretty big hints as to what happens in the second book, I'd definitely suggest reading (or rereading) The Goddess Hunt.


message 30: by Aimee (last edited Mar 15, 2012 04:42PM) (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Rosina wrote: "~Do you ever get in a writing slump and how do you inspire yourself to keep writing?
~Where's your favourite place to read?"


For me, writing isn't so much about inspiration now as it is having to get work done. So I can't really wait for inspiration anymore, much as I'd like to. It's a job, which means I have to hit a certain word count each day, and I have deadlines. But on days when it's impossible to write for some reason, I usually put on some music that fits the story, read a little bit of my favorite books, watch a movie, that sort of thing. Anything to give me a jolt of creativity.

I usually read while I'm eating, actually, so at the table, in booths at restaurants, etc. I'm a terrible dinner companion. I also read before I go to bed. I can read anywhere though - for me, it isn't so much the place I'm reading as it is the place reading takes me.


message 31: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Sandeelovesbooks wrote: "hey aimee! =)
I just love the goddess test!
I love the characters and everything.
How'd you think about the concept? I love how you made henry."


Thank you so much! ;D Really, the concept was originally about a girl who made a deal with Hades. That was it. I didn't know the how or who or when or why, but slowly I pieced the story together, and it merged with another question I had in my head ever since I'd read the myth of Persephone - what would happen if Persephone found the courage to leave Hades? What would happen to her, and what would happen to him?

Funny story - out of all the characters in the book, Henry is probably the most like his Greek counterpart (in my head, at least - Kate's perspective is very, very limited as to how the gods really are, especially in the first book). Pop culture loves to turn Hades into a major villain (Disney's Hercules, anyone?), but in the actual mythology, he's a pretty neutral guy just going about doing his less-than-pleasant job. There's a certain sense of sadness to him that I wanted to include in Henry's character as well, and Persephone leaving him definitely helped with that.


message 32: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Diana wrote: "We get the pleasure of disappearing for a time into another world when we read your books. What do YOU get out of writing?"

I absolutely love creating stories. That's really what it boils down to for me - putting the pieces of a new story together, almost like a puzzle. Finding out where the characters fit, what twists and turns might make it interesting, etc. It's very much a brain exercise for me, as odd as that sounds, and I love the feeling of having everything fall into place, both during the outlining process and the writing process.

Mostly I write the stories I'd want to read, and I got lucky that others happened to want to read them, too.


message 33: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Amanda wrote: "What genre of books do you enjoy best? I haven't read the book all the way through yet but it's on my to read list! It's great so far :)"

Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy the rest of it! I'll read absolutely anything that catches my attention. I tend to gravitate toward YA lit, but for me, it isn't so much genre as it is story. I love Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Ender's Game series, The Black Jewels series, David and Leigh Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean series, etc. But at the same time, I also love titles like The Time Traveler's Wife, Lucas (by Kevin Brooks), The 39 Clues series, etc. So my tastes are pretty varied, but they all have one thing in common: the story pulls me in immediately.


message 34: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Jennifer wrote: "What advice do you have for aspiring authors?"

Write like crazy. Read like crazy. Learn like crazy. Give yourself at most twenty-four hours to mourn a rejection, then move on. Remember that there is more than one agent, more than one publisher, and more than one reader out there. Your book won't be for everybody. I don't care if you're JK Rowling - you will not please everyone. Some will love your characters. Some will hate them. This has nothing to do with you. Your critiques have nothing to do with you. And on that subject, try not to view critiques as a commentary on your imperfections. Try to see them as ways to improve and make your story that much better.

And always, always trust your gut. But don't be stubborn on the things that aren't so important either. Pick and choose your battles, and always keep your goals in mind.

Most of all, keep learning and growing, and don't be afraid of making mistakes. Writing is an imperfect art, and no one gets it right the first time.


message 35: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Helen wrote: "Which other greek mythology series have you read and which would you recommend? Since when were you interested in Greek mythology?
I just want to say I love your books, I love your ideas and I'm really upset the book isn't available in the country I am in :("


I'm sorry it isn't available either! Have you considered ordering it from The Book Depository?

I've read a considerable chunk of the books out there that deal with the direct myths - e.g., Edith Hamilton's Mythology. As for fiction, the only ones I remember reading off the top of my head is the Percy Jackson series about a year after I wrote The Goddess Test. Someone mentioned there was a popular middle grade series out there that dealt with Greek mythology as well, and I had a mini panic attack and bought the whole series to make sure TGT was nothing like it. :)

Otherwise I tend to avoid myth retellings for the sole purpose of not accidentally "copying" them. I do, however, plan on reading as many as I can get my hands on as soon as I'm completely done with this series. I'm especially excited about Meg Cabot's Abandon series.


message 36: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Mommaseymour wrote: "Hello Aimee Carter. I just wanted to first say that I really enjoyed 'The Goddess Test' and was lucky enough to get an ARC of 'Goddess Interrupted' and enjoyed that as well. I could hardly put both..."

Thank you! ;D Yeah, that ending, man. But it had to be done, timing-wise. Otherwise it would've made the third book difficult to tell.

"My question about the series is how many books do you see for the Goddess Test? I wasn't sure if it was a trilogy or you if you are going to add more?"

Okay, so - right now I'm only contracted for the trilogy, plus a few other stories, which I'll list. However, I would love to do a fourth or a fifth book, and I very much hope I have the opportunity to do so. I don't want to run the series past its prime, but there is an organic fourth book inside my head.

The stories in order are:
#1 - The Goddess Test
#1.5 - The Goddess Hunt (enovella)
#2 - Goddess Interrupted (3/27/2012)
#2.5 - The Goddess Legacy (7/31/2012; five novellas that combine to form the history of the council, and it will be on shelves)
#3 - The Goddess Inheritance (4/2013)


"My other question is about publishing. I was wondering how you went about selling your book to a publishing company? Do you send your book to several editors or spokes people? Publishing a book is on my bucket list,and the whole part between writing a book and getting it to the publisher is still a mystery."

I would highly recommend checking out agent blogs for this, especially http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/, http://pubrants.blogspot.com/, and http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/. They have a TON of advice that would be much, much more helpful than I could ever give you.

However, the very basics of how I published (and there are definitely other ways to go about it): I queried agents and signed with one. That agent (Rosemary Stimola) sent the book out to editors, and from there, my editor offered to publish the book.

Important thing to remember: the author does not pay a cent. All the money - and I do mean all of it, at all stages - flows TO the author. If an agent demands a reading fee or if a publishing company demands you pay them any amount, it's a scam.

Hope that helps at least a little, and good luck on your road to publication!


message 37: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) book lover wrote: "Hey , I just wanted tell you the Goddess Test was amazing !!!! I cannot wait for the next one !! Your modern take on it was amazing"

Thank you so much!! I'm so thrilled you enjoyed it! ;D


Amanda The Book Slayer (amanda_the_book_slayer) | 12 comments Aimee wrote: "Mommaseymour wrote: "Hello Aimee Carter. I just wanted to first say that I really enjoyed 'The Goddess Test' and was lucky enough to get an ARC of 'Goddess Interrupted' and enjoyed that as well. I ..."

That helps a ton. Thanks for taking the time to answer. :0)


message 39: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Tatiana wrote: "Thank you very much for visiting, Aimee.

I want to ask a question about your books covers. They are simply gorgeous. Did you take part in deciding how your books will look like? Did they meet you..."


Thank you so much, Tatiana! The covers are gorgeous, and I can't believe how lucky I was to get such amazing artwork associated with the series. But I didn't have anything to do with it. My editor asked me what sort of cover I was thinking about for the first book, and I had absolutely no idea. They sent me concept art with a girl in white in a similar pose to the one you see now, and I loved it, but that's about the extent of my involvement. I did ask for a tweak on the cover of HUNT, and they were gracious enough to comply, but otherwise they pretty much send me the covers when they're ready.

The cover for The Goddess Legacy, the five novellas that will be published together in July, is by far my favorite, and I cannot WAIT to show it off.


message 40: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Tatiana wrote: "As a writer, what do you hope your readers will take away after reading your novels?"

Excellent question. Really, I don't write to send a message or preach or any of that. All I want is for a reader to enjoy the story. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but it's true - as long as the reader enjoyed some part of it, then I did my job.


message 41: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Tatiana wrote: "What writers do you feel have inspired you the most? And what kind of books do you personally prefer to read in your spare time? (If you have it, of course:)"

My biggest inspiration is definitely JK Rowling, both personally and professionally. Her charity work is incredible, her devotion to her readers is beyond admirable, and her plotting is to die for.

Suzanne Collins is a more recent inspiration, and I would kill to be able to evoke the kind of emotions in a reader that she evoked in me. I reread The Hunger Games literally half a dozen times in a row, just studying her work and trying to see how the bleep she managed to do that.

As for my favorite kinds of books, I tend to gravitate toward YA, but I read all across the board. If a story sounds interesting to me, I pick it up regardless of its genre (in a previous answer, I mentioned some of my favorites). I'm such a picky reader that this typically isn't a problem, though right now I have a TBR pile a mile high and zero time to read through it.


Sandra (shereadsatnight) Aimee wrote: "Sandeelovesbooks wrote: "hey aimee! =)
I just love the goddess test!
I love the characters and everything.
How'd you think about the concept? I love how you made henry."

Thank you so much! ;D Rea..."


Thank you for responding Aimee! I loved how it evolved to the book that it is now so congratulations for making a good or more of superb book! I will be looking forward to your future books!


message 43: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Tatiana wrote: "Greek mythology is something that a lot of readers are familiar with. How much of a challenge was it for you to write a story based on something very known and thus predictable, but make it your own and unique enough to surprise the readers?"

This really was such a huge challenge. I went back and forth on whether or not to keep the myths exactly as they appear in mythology, but the more research I did for the story, the more I realized that there really wasn't one strict canon. Even the ones we know the basics of - Hades and Persephone, for instance - have a number of variations. And to me, that was a flashing neon sign of opportunity.

In the end, the desire to make the story fresh and interesting for the reader won out, and I decided to put my own twist on the myths. There's plenty out there that sticks to the originals, after all, and though I have the utmost love and respect for Greek mythology, I wanted to make The Goddess Test stand out. So I approached the myths at a different angle, asking myself how these might have really gone if the gods and goddesses had actually existed. If they were real people who had been the subjects of stories passed down orally from generation to generation long before anyone bothered to write them down, what changes might have been made? What might the storytellers of ancient Greece have modified to make the myths fresh for their audience (who had undoubtedly heard the myths before)?

One of the main issues I also faced was making the gods sympathetic. Several tended to be spiteful, spoiled bullies (much of which you'll get to see in the later books), and some of it had to go for the simple fact that I needed the reader to root for these characters. Not all of them, by any means - Walter is one who winds up being nastier than he first appears to Kate - but Henry/Hades especially had to be redeemable. And, quite frankly, the Persephone myth doesn't exactly paint him in the best of lights. So while I acknowledged the myth, I also did my best to show how it could have been changed throughout the years to make for a more interesting story. For me, it was very much a study in the evolution of storytelling - how the size of the fish keeps growing the more the story is told, so to say. And that's how I approached the myths in this series.

In short, definitely a challenge, but a fun one I thoroughly enjoyed!


message 44: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Tatiana wrote: "How difficult (or easy) was it for you to adapt an ancient myth to present time, to make it relatable to contemporary readers and modern sensibilities? Did you feel like you had to sanitize the portrayal of Greek gods in your interpretation? After all, they were a rather unpleasant, often violent, spoiled bunch, who partook in many unsavory acts."

It wasn't too difficult, as I approached the story not as a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone, but as more of a sequel set in modern times. I wanted to tell the story of what could have happened if Persephone had left Hades, and what could happen if he needed a new queen to help him rule. I did make considerable changes to the original myth, but not out of a need to sanitize for modern audiences - rather out of a need to make Hades a more sympathetic character. Maybe they could be considered one in the same, although I did so not to knock the rating down, but instead to give Henry a chance at being a character the reader could root for.

As for the rest of the myths, the gods were definitely violent and spoiled, and I love them for it. The first book is different from the rest of the series for the simple fact that Kate is being introduced to this world and only seeing what they choose to show her. However, as she dives deeper into their lives, she starts to realize they really aren't the perfect beings they want her to think they are. And those were the fun parts to write. The Goddess Legacy explores this aspect of their history much more than Kate's story, especially as it's told through the gods' POVs.


message 45: by Aimee (last edited Mar 16, 2012 02:20AM) (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Oscar wrote: "I was thinking about this while reading your book, that is, the issue of death and tragedy as it pertains to the YA genre and in general.

What challenges would you say you encounter when writing about death in your stories and how do you deal with some clichés, for example, the melodramatic type of death in stories channeling classic tragedies?"


This is such a great question. Naturally, writing about the God of the Underworld means writing about death, and it helps to stick myself in the characters' shoes and approach it from their points of view. Henry is more or less neutral toward it, since to him it's simply a soul passing from one existence to the next, and he's been overseeing the Underworld for eons. Kate, however, doesn't see it that way. She's surrounded by death in the first book, considering her mother is dying, and she's fighting the inevitable with everything she has. Coming to terms with that - with losing the only family she has - is a huge part of Kate's character arc, and one of the biggest challenges I faced was making her grief realistic.

I mention this only because it's important to understanding how I approached death in the series: I lost my mother when I was ten, and while it was under completely different circumstances, I have very clear memories of how that felt. More recently, while I was editing The Goddess Test, my father wound up having several life-threatening health issues one after the other. It was a creepy case of life imitating art, and I took a lot of the fear I went through at that point and put it into the edits. Honestly, I think an author who hasn't faced that sort of loss would likely have a more difficult time creating an accurate depiction than someone who has gone through it. Not that they couldn't, of course - just that it's something you really cannot imagine until you've gone through it. And while I wish my own circumstances were different, they did add a layer to the book that wouldn't have otherwise been there.

I can't speak for other YA writers, but I will say that I've seen death handled both beautifully and abysmally throughout the genre. Sometimes it depends on the story; other times I think it's a clear case of the author having been fortunate enough to not have experienced a close loss. Either way, sometimes writers do rely on clichés and melodrama to write about experiences they may not have gone through. And in the case of losing a loved one, I don't think that's such a bad thing, even if it affects the story.


message 46: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (aimeecarter) Thank you all so much for your terrific questions and for giving the Goddess series a shot! I hope you enjoy(ed) it, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your warm reception.

For those of you who are interested in reading the sequel, Goddess Interrupted will be released March 27th, and The Goddess Hunt, an enovella that takes place between the first and second book, is available now.

Thank you so much again for having me, and best wishes to you all!


message 47: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Thank you very much for answering out questions, and so thoroughly, Amiee.

Good luck with your future projects!


message 48: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Thank you soooo much for stopping by! It is great when authors stop by and make the group reads even better!!


Amanda The Book Slayer (amanda_the_book_slayer) | 12 comments Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer questions. You were very helpful. Hopefully we will see book 4 and 5 of the series pop up! Good Luck.


Latoya | 11 comments I just want to say I really enjoyed Goddess Test and can't wait to read Goddess Interrupted!


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