Thursday, June 14, 2012

Goddess Interrupted: Interview + Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview with Aimee Carter, author of the paranormal young adult Goddess Test series. Also, thanks to the fabulous people at Harlequin Teen and Media Masters Publicity I have one copy of Goddess Interrupted to give away on the blog, so be sure and check the bottom of the post for details.

I'm a huge fan of all things Greek mythology so this series is right up my alley. While I have a few small issues with Kate and Henry (you can read my full review of Goddess Interrupted HERE), I really enjoy this series overall and cannot wait to get my hands on the third book!

As this interview was provided for me, some of you may have read it already, but I hope those of you who haven't enjoy reading as Aimee dishes on the 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

More information on Aimee and her books can be found here:

Goddess Test Official Website
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Barnes & Noble
Buy at Harlequin
Watch the Trailer


Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Media Masters Publicity, I have a copy of Goddess Interrupted to give away on the blog today! To enter, just fill out the form. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only, and will run through midnight EST on Friday, June 22nd after which time a winner will be chosen and announced on the blog. Good luck everyone!


  1. I love books about greek mythology too! This is such an interesting interview I hadn't realised that Aimee had given the gods and goddesses ordinary names, I like that spin on things! I think I really should get a move on reading this series, this interview definitely has me intrigued! Fab post ladies! :)

  2. Haha I think that writing the first book is always the hardest! x) I'm working on my first one too, but you wouldn't believe how many times I've restarted or come up with a completely different idea and began writing that instead LOL... But I adored The Goddess Test, so it's a good thing you decided to finish this series, Aimee! And I love Harlequin books, so I think it found a great home ;)

    Awesome interview, Jenny & Aimee! :) <3

  3. Ohhhh, great interview! I love Aimee Carter, and this series is SOOOOO good! I can't wait to read the next books in the series. :)

    Thanks for sharing Jenny and Aimee!

  4. Jasprit - I devour any and all books that feature even a hint of Greek mythology, I just adore it:)

    Mimi - You're writing a book? YAY!!!! Hope I get to see it on the shelf in the not too distant future:)

    Christy - I can't wait for the next one either after that ending!

  5. I can only imagine the pressure of following up a good story with another that's as good if not better. Impressive that outlining is your fave part! I'm so not a fan (though I probably should be--I hear it makes writing so much easier!). Great interview.

  6. I love this interview, and you know how I feel about Greek mythology! I didn't LOVE this book, but it was definitely a good follow-up! :)))

  7. Fun interview! I really like greek mythology so it's interesting to hear about the research involved. Plus I love the fact that Aimee picked Apollo as Best Dancer. ;)

  8. Goodness! I LOVE Greek mythology! I've always been especially fascinated by it, I've had The Goddess Test since FOREVER- I need to read it!!

  9. Mary - I've never been a fan of outlining either. I'm so bad at it:)

    Melissa - Agreed. I'm really excited for book 3 though:)

    Sam - I think now we just need a YouTube video of Apollo dancing ;-)

    Ashley - ME TOO!!! I can't get enough of it:)

  10. I'm not a big fan of outlining, but I do love the shiny new ideas. The first draft is hard for me too though because I just have a hard time keeping the story organized with plot points, etc. I didn't know about the book coming out with the novellas! That's great news! But really I'm dying for book 3, I need to know what happens after that cliffhanger!

  11. Haven't I read this interview before?..weird

  12. I'm really intrigued by this series and the modern mythical aspect definitely appeals to me! Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview, Jenny - it's always great to gain further insight into the author and the ideas behind their books :)

  13. Jenny, your interviews are the BEST ever! Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  14. Candace - I'm really excited for all the little novellas, such a great idea:)

    Linda - You have. It's why I mentioned in the intro - it was sent to a bunch of us through a PR company to accompany the giveaway they're providing:)

    Beverley - You're welcome, glad you enjoyed it!

    Savy - Thank you! Wish I could take credit for this one but I can't. It was provided for me, but I'm happy you enjoyed it!

  15. Great interview!!!!! I can't enter this giveaway because I still need to read the first book but wow this interview is perfect!!!!! I'm working on a short story right now and I have to admit that even writing an outline is difficult! I love the covers of the series and mythology so I think I will be reading it soon.

    Following your awesome blog! Can't wait for more interviews :-)

  16. I think I liked this book more than the first. I also love the Greek mythology imagined anew. I can't wait to read the 3rd!

  17. I detest outlining the most. It has always been my least favorite part. I like To just jump in write. Loved the yearbook list!

  18. Grave Mercy is definitely a book I'd recommend reading! I desperately want its sequel but sadly it won't be released until next year :(

  19. How cool. I like that she changed the characters' names, especially that the names she chose have meaning.
    Outlining is something I find really hard. I'm good at it on my organized days - but those are few and far between.

  20. Jaskirat - I hope you pick up the first book, I really enjoy the Greek mythology aspect, though it's not as prominent in book one as it is in book 2:)

    Melissa - I did as well. I'm seeing some growth from Kate and Henry and hopefully that will continue in book 3.

    Heidi - It was always my least favorite part of writing as well. But I'm a planner to the core, so I couldn't not do one.

    Z - I still need to read Grave Mercy! I'm so far behind on so many books I want to read:(

    Alison - I like how she did the names as well. I always like when character's names aren't random and serve a purpose:)

  21. Jenny, I have the first in the series sitting on my dresser now! I really need to read it. The series sounds really good! I love that when Aimee picked common names, she made sure the meaning complimented the god. Amazing interview! Thank you so much for the giveaway. :)