Please give a hearty welcome to YA author Kaitlin Bevis! Today she's going to tell us about her inspirations for her novel Persephone.
I love fiction. I love reading it, writing it, watching it and editing it. I can't seem to stop myself from writing or "fixing" plots more to my liking. I've imagined a new ending to dozens of movies, marked up hundreds of books with what "should" have happened, and written multiple stories of my own. Some were truly awful, and others may find their way into the published world someday.
Persephone came about when I was watching a trailer to Clash of the Titans.
It was the quote "damn the gods" that really got to me. I started thinking-- if there was ever a god that was damned, it was Persephone. I mean, come on, being forced to return to your rapist every year because you ate some seeds? That couldn't be it. There had to be more to the story. Plus I'm a happy person who likes happy things, so why not make the story a happy one?
In my version, Hades brings Persephone to the Underworld to rescue her. The marriage, which means something entirely different to the gods, only happened so she could enter the Underworld without, you know, being dead. Making Hades a misunderstood good guy isn't an original concept. It's been done over and over again in my lifetime (Beauty and the Beast anyone?). But my version is a bit different in that Hades is just a good guy. Not misunderstood, not a deformed agoraphobic, just a good guy who happens to rule the Underworld.
Something must have been in the air the year I wrote Persephone, because I wasn't the only one who caught the Persephone bug. Meg Cabot, Aimee Carter, Brodi Ashton, and Rick Riordin all introduced their own versions of the Persephone myth completely independent of one another at the same time. The books weren't published or advertised yet, so there was no way to know. I even heard Karen Hesse and several other writers had started work on a Persephone anthology but shelved the project. It's strange how ideas spread like that, but it happens all the time. I'm just thrilled to be tuned into the creative whateverness of the universe to catch the same idea as so many of my literary idols.
It took me a long time to get to the point where I could write Persephone. I took creative writing in high school, majored in it in college, and joined a writers group after I graduated college. Everything I learned came into play while writing Persephone. But the most helpful thing I ever did was join a writers' group.
It can be hard to sit still and listen to people critique your book. But eventually I got past the knee-jerk reaction to dismiss their criticism because "they just don't get it," and matured to the point where I realized the stuff they didn't get was the same stuff my readers wouldn't get. Even knowing that, there were still some suggestions I ignored. Three guesses what the first thing my editor wanted me to change? Lesson learned, for real this time.
So I've finally been published, what's next? My second book, Daughter of the Earth and Sky, comes out on January 4th. While I'm waiting for edits on the sequel, I'm working on the last book of the Persephone trilogy, The Iron Queen. When I've finished with that, I'll be moving on to a new daughter of Zeus. Aphrodite.
About the author:
There are worse things than death, worse people too.
The "talk" was
bad enough, but how many teens get told that they're a goddess? When her
mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It
isn't until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she
realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order
to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride.
But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing
feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm.
Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.
Musa Publishing (includes excerpt!)
Thanks so much for being with us today, Kaitlin!
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