Sunday, 3 April 2011
Author Interview: Aimee Carter
Aimee Carter is the author of The Goddess Test, which is due to hit shelves on the 26th April. The Goddess Test (check out my review) is her debut novel, which is already highly popular in the YA community. Aimee has already signed a contract with Harlequin Teens promising a dystopian series and two more books in her series The Goddess Test, the second Goddess Interrupted is due to be released in 2012.
I believe Aimee Carter is a great inspiration for all young aspiring authors out there.
Here is the interview:
When was it you first decide that you wanted to become an author?
I didn't really decide, exactly. It was more the part where I didn't love anything else like I did writing stories, and maybe it would be kind of cool if they were published someday. I worked hard and wrote every single day for over a decade - sometimes just a few words, sometimes thousands - forcing myself to learn and grow as a writer. I started writing when I was eleven and began my original work at age fifteen, so around that age was the time that I really decided I wanted to try to do this. Finally I was fortunate enough to land an agent, and then the real work began.
Where did you get your inspiration for your book 'The Goddess Test' and how
much research did you have to do?
The idea for The Goddess Test has been batting around in my brain for literally most of my life. I've loved Greek mythology since I was a little kid, and I always wondered what happened to Persephone and Hades. The story felt unfinished to me, and finally in 2007, the idea of my protagonist trading herself to save someone she loved - originally a sister, then her dying mother - popped into my brain, and I went from there.
Have you always have an interest in Greek Mythology?
Ever since I first read about the Greek myths. I've been studying them in one form or another since I first began to read, and I remember in fourth grade, we did a unit on Ancient Greek, and I was the annoying kid going around correcting everyone. And the teacher. I devoured everything kid-friendly that I could get my hands on, then
when I was a teenager, I moved on to the edgier stuff. I don't pretend to be an
expert, but I very much enjoy every bit of it.
Did you intend for your books to be directed more at the YA reading audience, or did your book end up appealing more to YA?
I didn't initially sit down with a specific genre in mind, but I've always written YA (I have somewhere around two dozen manuscripts that will never see the light of day). Kate is older for a YA protagonist - eighteen in the first book - but it never occurred
to me that it might be anything other than YA. This was before the paranormal romance genre was much of anything, or at least before it was on my radar, and I never consciously decided to make it so. It just turned out that way.
Why did you choose to in someways change Henry from Hades the God he is
I think there is a huge misconception out there about what kind of god Hades really was. Today he's so often depicted as a dark, evil, manipulative god when in Greek mythology, he was actually lonely, quiet, and very much an observer rather than a participant. He never attempted an overthrow of Olympus or had any real bad blood with demi-gods, and it has always, always bothered me that everyone seemed to think he was a villain. In reality (or as close to reality as mythology gets), it was Hera that was often the bad guy in mythology, especially when it came to Zeus's children. Hades merely drew the short stick and was stuck with the lonely and depressing job of ruling over the dead while his siblings got to hang out together in sunny Mount Olympus. I tried to remain as true to that as I could, and I really enjoyed writing his
What made you add in the storyline of Kate being the caregiver of her ill mother?
That particular plot thread wound up being the glue to the whole story. Before that idea occurred to me, her mother being sick, I went through probably dozens of ideas for how Kate got stuck in this situation, and none of them felt wholly true. This, however, really struck home for me - a girl who would do absolutely anything to buy more time with the only family she has left. Maybe it's because I lost my mother when I was a kid, but whatever it was, it was the catalyst to me finally sitting down and writing this story.
Did you intend on creating a story with so many twisting, turns and
I prefer lots of twists and turns and unexpected outcomes (that still make sense to the story) when I read, so I suppose I just wrote something that I would've wanted to read. Though I'm very pleased that so many readers haven't guessed the ending, giving the heavy clues that are given throughout the story.
You look quite young, have you ever had to deal with any discrimination in the world of writing due to your age?
Thank you! I turned twenty-five in January, and I experience 'age discrimination' on a regular basis in the real world from people who think I'm younger than I really am. I don't mind too much. If anything, it's a compliment. But I've been immersed in the writing world since I was a teenager, and that was the point where I experienced the most difficulty, being fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. Mostly with adult critique
partners. Especially in the beginning, during my first round table workshops, my adult classmates thought I couldn't handle hearing what was wrong with my work, given my age, so instead they only praised me. As a result, I stopped sugarcoating my own critiques in an attempt to make them want to critique mine properly, and while I'm not proud of it, it did produce results. As for the publishing world, so far I've found it to be welcoming no matter what a writer's age, so long as the material is good.
On your twitter you say your shoe size is 5.5, please share your height?
This is might be the hardest question here. I don't actually know for sure how tall I am. Somewhere between 5'1 and 5'3. Likely closer to 5'1.
If you were given the opportunity would you turn your book into a film?
Since I studied film and screenwriting in college, I would jump at the chance to see the story in film. I think most authors would. However, with that comes relinquishing the material and letting the filmmakers do their job, so there would be an element of sacrifice to it - to giving up your story and viewing it with new eyes as the screenwriter and director and actors and producers interpreted in a way that was adaptable and interesting to the film medium.
Do you enjoy reading YA books, if so please share either some of your
favourite books or genre's?
I love reading YA books! I'm a very picky reader, so I have a tendency to read the first few chapters of nearly everything that's out there, and the ones I love, I keep reading. The ones I'm so-so about, I'll set aside for later. I don't read exclusively YA though - I'll read anything that appeals to me, no matter the genre. And weirdly most of my favorites are outside of YA. The books I reread over and over are the Harry Potter series, Ender's Game (by Orson Scott Card), the Black Jewels trilogy (by Anne Bishop and definitely not YA), the Belgariad and Mallorean (by David and Leigh Eddings, more of straight-up epic fantasy than anything), The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins)...and if I keep listing them, this interview would never end. I do tend to prefer fantasy or light science fiction over contemporary, but I will read literally anything that appeals to me.
So you have a dystopian series planned, care to share any information?
I do! I wrote the first book, MASKED, back in 2008-2009, immediately after I signed with my agent. So technically this is the book I wrote between The Goddess Test and its sequel, Goddess Interrupted. I love the story, and I'm so ridiculously excited to be able to share it with all of you! I don't know when it's slated for release, though I have heard August 2013. Whether that will hold true or not, I don't know, so don't hold me to it!
What do you enjoy doing when not reading, nor writing?
I love seeing movies. I'm not a film snob in the sense that I prefer independent films or the films that no one likes - quite the opposite, really. I strongly prefer commercial films, the blockbusters and the ones that are advertised like crazy. And like books, I'll see anything that appeals to me. Except horror. Though I can do a mean impression of that chick from The Ring.
When is The Goddess Test sequel 'Goddess Interrupted' due to be released,and also do you have any information on cover or synopsis release?
Goddess Interrupted will be released in late January 2012 (around my birthday - the 24th - I think!). I haven't seen a cover yet, but I have read a rough draft of what will appear on the back of the book. I am SO excited for all of you to get the chance to read it, and I'll be sure to update my website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts with more information as it becomes available.
And finally do you have any advise for any aspiring authors out there?
I have three key pieces of advise:
First, don't be afraid of failure. You will fail, and you will get another chance if you let yourself have it.
Second, write what you want to read, not what anyone tells you to write or what you think will sell. If you want to read it, chances are someone else will too.
Third, work your fingers to the bone and be open to criticism. The first manuscript you write will probably not be publishable, but you need to write it, and you need to keep learning.
The second might not be either, or the third, or the fourth. No one can promise that you will ever make it, but if you love it enough to keep trying, then do. There is only one guarantee in publishing, and that is if you stop, if you give up, you will fail.
Stay tuned for The Goddess Test giveaway...which will be up when I have money to get the book!
Find Aimee Carter at: