A few weeks ago Christine and I reviewed (one might describe it as “glowingly reviewed”) The Goddess Test by the most-awesome Aimée Carter. After we both read the book, we had a lot to discuss with one another (mostly about Henry, but some other things as well) and somehow in the midst of our discussion, we ended up pelting Aimée herself with a bunch of our questions.
And she was nice enough to answer them. I’m not sure why, she should know this just encourages us. But, nonetheless, here is the interview. Oh, and I threw in the final question late, as a little surprise for Christine. And all the other Henry lovers out there.
What spoke to you about the Persephone myth?
I’ve loved the myth of Hades and Persephone from a very young age, and I’ve had this story brewing in the back of my mind for as long as I can remember. Truthfully I always though Persephone was a bit of a twit – a helpless goddess who had to rely on others to save her, and it bothered me. I loved Demeter’s angle – the mother trying desperately to save her daughter. And Hades, the older I got and the more I thought about it – how lonely must he have been to kidnap someone who clearly didn’t want to marry him? What sort of life did he live, stuck in the Underworld and surrounded by death every minute of his eternal existence? I’m a sucker for a sympathetic character who’s been through tragedy, and that was what really sucked me into the myth.
I liked how you modernized the gods behind the myths. Why did you include the gods you did?
I can’t give too much away without spoiling certain plot points, but I went into the story not thinking about the gods, but thinking about the characters the story needed. I tried to make the characters as organic to the story as possible, as opposed to the common types you tend to see in popular culture.
Some of the council members were a bit of a shock at the end. Was that your intention all along?
Yes and no – it’s hard to explain, but the ending to this story in the original draft was very open. I tend to outline, and I did extensively for certain things, but I really had no idea how this story was going to end when I wrote it. But when I got there, I realized what the ending was, and that I’d managed to subconsciously pave it into the rest of the story along the way. It was a nice surprise for me!
Will we ever know who Kate’s father is? Can you tell us if that plays into a future storyline
By the end of the third book, you’ll know who Kate’s father is (and even get some major hints in the second, if not the entire answer). It doesn’t really play into the storyline, but it does answer questions that several readers have asked me about. I hope.
How much research on greek mythology did you have to do before you wrote anything? And what was your favorite myth? A part from the Persephone one, of course.
I did a TON of research, but I’ve also studied the Greek myths in their various forms since I first began to read, so I knew a lot of the basics already. The books aren’t so steeped in mythology as, for instance, the Percy Jackson series – it’s much more concentrated on the ramifications of the myth of Hades and Persephone. But there are hints of other myths, especially in the second book. And several of them come into play in a big way.
My favorite myth…that’s a tricky one. Probably the story of Orpheus, who went into the Underworld to ask Hades and Persephone that his dead wife, Eurydice, be returned to him.
Have you always liked greek mythology?
Most definitely! One of my favorite books growing up was D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, and I really couldn’t get enough of the stories.
How does it feel knowing people are reading your story and loving it?
Absolutely amazing! I never, ever dared to even hope for this much enthusiasm, especially over a month before the book’s even released, and I’m beyond thrilled with it. I can’t thank the readers, reviewers, and bloggers enough for giving it a chance. Every morning is like Christmas because of you.
If you hadn’t become an author, what would you be doing with your time?
I majored in Screen Arts and Culture (a fancy way of saying film) and Screenwriting at the University of Michigan, so even if I wasn’t writing novels, I really hope I’d be writing screenplays. I’m pretty much useless at everything else.
What are some of your favorite authors/book right now?
Oh, wow, too many to count! My old stand-by favorites that I reread once a year typically are Orson Scott Card (especially the Ender’s Game series) JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series, Anne Bishop, David and Leigh Eddings, Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games, etc. With recent or soon-to-be released, I’m loving Lauren DeStefano’s Wither, Courtney Allison Moulton’s Angelfire, Leah Clifford’s A Touch Mortal, Beth Revis’ Across the Universe, and so many others.
What can you tell us about the next book?
GODDESS INTERRUPTED will be released in January 2012 (only ten months!). It’s the second of three books, and talking more about it would spoil the first book for anyone who hasn’t read it, so let’s leave it at that!
Do you have any advice to give to the members of the “I Wish Henry was Real Support Group?”
I recommend regular doses of Ben Barnes/Henry Cavill/Thomas McDonell/(insert your favorite face for Henry here). And know that I’m with you. But hang in there! January 2012 is only ten months away.
Remember, The Goddess Test is in select stores today, and stores everywhere on April 26th. I highly recommend you pick up a copy and fall in love with Kate and Henry. They are such fun to fall in love with.
PS: Aimée has promised to write two extra scenes if The Goddess Test has been added to four thousand shelves on Goodreads before then. I suggest you do this. I need those extra scenes. Go here.