Thursday, June 16, 2011

Author Interview: Aimée Carter

Please give a warm welcome to the wonderful YA debut author, Aimée Carter!
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! I'm afraid I can't sing [I asked her to sing a song, LOL], so you'll have to settle for me waving my hands at you like a maniac through the computer screen.

3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models? 
My father writes, but I don't remember ever consciously thinking "He's a writer, so I should be one too!" I think on some level it affected me, letting me see that it WAS possible to write a book, but I never purposely followed his path. It was a much more natural process. 
     As a writer, I admire just about everyone out there on the shelves today, knowing how difficult it is to go through that process, and I admire all of the aspiring writers who don't give up as well. As a person, I very much admire the work that JK Rowling has put into enriching lives of people less fortunate. She's using her fame and fortune in a wonderful way.
3LB: The Goddess Test incorporates some Greek mythology into the story. How much did you research, and what sources did you use?
I love Greek mythology, and I've been reading it since I first started to look through books on my own. A lot of it came from traditional myths and what I've learned over the years, and the stuff that doesn't -- I made a conscious decision to change key points as well to make the story and characters my own. Placing the Greek Gods in the modern world doesn't quite work seamlessly for the story I wanted to tell, so I had to get creative.
3LB: Why did you choose the story of Persephone and Hades among the hundreds of Greek myths?
I didn't set out to write a retelling of a myth, in that general sense. I started out with that myth in mind, many, many years ago. Ever since I read it, it'd been niggling in the back of my thoughts, and I'd always wondered about Hades' side of the story. That's where it came from, really - the desire to explore that avenue.
3LB: Kate, Henry, Diana. They seem like typical, human names, especially for the Immortals. Is there a story behind the names you chose? 
I'm going to talk about a spoiler or two in this, so if you haven't read the book yet, please don't read my answer to this question!
     Kate was born in modern times, hence her name. But Henry, for instance, changed his name because -- as it's explained in the book - the gods had to blend into our modern culture, and walking around introducing yourself as Zeus or Hades is going to raise some eyebrows. Culture changes over time, and therefore so do they. The original six siblings, in my story, started out nameless, and they shed the names they're known by -- or collect them, perhaps - as time passes.
     As for why I chose those names specifically, it was very much a process of matching the names to the characters. Each of those names felt right to me. As for why I chose to change their names in the first place -- that was purely a storytelling decision. It's much more interesting if you don't know who these characters are initially, and I couldn't very well do that by [spoiler alert!] calling James Hermes the whole time. :)
3LB: I felt that Henry seemed the most complex and mysterious character. Who was the hardest character to create and write about that?
Probably Henry, actually. He's such a mystery in this book, and it was interesting to sort of toe the line between having him stay in character and still giving the reader something to hold onto. He's not an open person. He's not the type to spill his life story or his feelings, even to the people he loves dearly. He's suffered a long time, and he a bit like a wounded animal -- he doesn't want anyone to know he's injured, to see him vulnerable like that.
3LB: Can you give us any hints on what will happen in Goddess Interrupted?
The back of the book blurb was just released, actually, so here it is!

 Kate Winters has won immortality.
     But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

     Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.
     As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
Goddess Interrupted will be out in March/April 2012, and shortly after that, I have a dystopian novel called Masked coming out. I'm extremely excited about that book -- about both books! -- and I'm very much hoping 2012 is a good year.
3LB: If you could be any Greek god/goddess, who would you be?
I've been asked this a lot, and in the end, I think I'd have to go with Athena. She's intelligent, brave, and beautiful, and while she certainly has her faults, she's a little more admirable than some of the others. Though I have to say, who wouldn't want to be Aphrodite for a while?
3LB: What are your favorite books of the year so far?
I loved Wither, by Lauren DeStefano, and she's absolutely hilarious on her Twitter feed as well. I very much enjoyed Across the Universe, by Beth Revis; Angelfire, by Courtney Allison Moulton; and A Touch Mortal, by Leah Clifford. There are SO many great books out there this year! You really can't go wrong.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
For some reason these all incorporate numbers...
1. I'm a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, but I'm pretty lame at it and haven't practiced properly in almost ten years.
2. I have two dozen "will never see the light of day" manuscripts that I wrote before The Goddess Test.

3. I can solve a Rubik's Cube in three minutes or less.

4. I was born three months premature.

5. I own over thirty different editions/versions/etc. of Harry Potter books, including some in German and French. Total Potter geek and proud of it.

Thank you so much for having me!! :)
Thank you, Aimée! For more information about Ms. Carter and her books, visit:
The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)


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