I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be hosting the amazing Aimee Carter on my blog today as part of the 2nd Annual Authors Are Rockstars! Tour hosted by Fiktshun, Two Chicks on Books, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.
If you know who she is, you should already know why Aimee is a Rockstar. If you don’t – why don’t you know who she is?! Just kidding. If you don’t, let me tell you a little about her. Aimee Carter wrote the amazing series The Goddess Test (The Goddess Test, Goddess Interrupted, & The Goddess Inheritance plus a few novellas). This series is a fresh take on Greek mythology in a modern world. The first two books got 4 and 5 star reviews, respectively, on this blog (due to circumstances, the third book didn’t get a published review when I read it – but rest assured, I adored it). She also has a brand spanking NEW book coming out in November called Pawn but she’ll tell us more about that a little further down in the Q & A.
Why Is Aimee a Rockstar?
After I posted the first review, I tweeted the link at the author and the publisher as I normally do. What I didn’t expect was to get a reply back from Aimee! I discovered that Aimee loves to interact with her fans and she responds to tweets quite often, even when they aren’t book related. Seeing an @ reply from a favorite author certainly made my day. But then she did something even better that skyrocketed her to the top of my list forever.
I went to BEA 2012 by myself. I made friends with the folks standing in line around me when I was waiting to meet authors, and on the first day – in my very first line – I was chatting with some folks who had been around and knew everyone it seemed like. Then someone with long brown hair walked up and started talking to my new friends. I thought she looked familiar but I really didn’t know anyone and so I just stood there letting them have their own reunion. Until I saw her name badge.
In my excitement, I couldn’t keep quiet so I stated the obvious. “Hey, you’re Aimee Carter!” She was very obviously amused, but she said hi and then she went on her way. I tweeted about it as soon as she left. She saw the tweet, realized who I was from our previous twitter chats, and came back to the line to give me a hug. Not very many people would do that! Heck, with most folks I would have been lucky just to get a reply back! But she went the extra mile to go out of her way to come back and greet me and I will never forget that.
And that is why Aimee Carter is a Rockstar to me.
Not to mention the fact that she didn’t complain one bit about my ridiculously long interview questions. (Seriously y’all – there’s a treat in store for you under the fold).
Thank you Aimee, for being an amazing author, for being accessible and interactive with your fans, and for joining us today here at Never Too Fond of Books. Now, on to the interview!
Q & A with Aimee Carter
I’m sure you get asked this all of the time, but with your background in screenwriting are there any plans for The Goddess Test series to become a movie (or four!)?
Sadly, authors don’t get much say on whether or not their books are made into films. What little control we do have is extremely limited, and while I would love for there to be a Goddess Test movie or TV series, so far there isn’t anything I can say on that front. Fingers crossed that changes, though!
How did it feel when you wrote the final words of The Goddess Inheritance, when you knew that the story was finally over?
It was a strange mixture of relief that I was done, shock that I was done, and sadness that I wouldn’t be returning to this world, at least not for a while. But after all the edits and rewrites I did, mostly relief. 🙂
If you were sent back in time and had to start The Goddess Test series from the beginning all over again, would you keep it the same or is there anything you would change about it?
This is a great question. I think every writer learns and grows with each new book, and because of that, if I still knew what I know now, the books would be different whether or not I wanted to stick to the same material. I do think I would have changed what the tests were and made them a little more action-packed, but that isn’t because I’m unhappy with the first book. Instead, it’s because lately I’ve been gravitating toward more action-packed stories, so it would be natural to include more of that in any book I write right now.
Your next series, The Blackcoat Rebellion, is a very different kind of story than we’ve grown accustomed to from you. Can you tell us about it? What was your inspiration for this series?
I’ll let the blurb for PAWN do the talking before I get into the rest:
YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.
I wrote PAWN (originally titled Masked) five years ago, and let me tell you, the wait to see it published has been torture. There was such a huge trend of dystopian novels for several years, and every new dystopian I heard about, I had a mini-heart attack, absolutely sure it would be the exact same setup as PAWN. Thankfully no other book has come close.
Now that PAWN is about to be released (November 26th!), I’m so excited for the chance for everyone to read it. There’s a lot more action, and the intrigue is ramped up. You’re never quite sure who to trust or what’s going to happen next. I love the story, I love the twists and the characters and the world they live in, and I hope others do, too.
As for inspiration, when I created this world, I tried to relate back to our world as much as possible. It takes place in America, but in the future, after the government has been completely restructured. It’s still there, and the world hasn’t ended, but the government took total control, and the core values America was founded on are gone. I plotted it out right around the time of the 2008 elections, when everyone seemed convinced that the world would end if the other party was elected. I took many of those “what if” scenarios and ran with them, looking into the worst possible outcomes and how a dystopian government might use them to their advantage. I love political science and theory, so it was a lot of fun for me. Eventually everything boiled down to these questions: what would life be like if one test determined everything – your job, where you lived, how much food you were given, how many children you could have, even when you would die? What if our whole lives were laid out for us at age seventeen, and we had no choice but to go along with it? Would people fight back? How? Who?
As for the Masked portion of the story, a lot of that inspiration came from all of the plastic surgery you see these days. I took it a step further – what if doctors could make you identical to someone else? How might that be used in this sort of society, and how might the corrupt government exploit it?
Basically, the entire process of writing PAWN was asking myself question after question after question, until I had built a world and a story I couldn’t ignore.
What’s your favorite thing about being a published writer?
Keeping my own hours. I would never, ever, ever survive in a nine to five job – my brain doesn’t work that way, and I’m a night owl (it’s well past midnight as I write this), so I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do this. And, of course, getting to share the stories in my head with readers. It still stuns me when someone tells me they read my books and enjoyed them, and I can’t imagine it ever getting old.
What authors have influenced you in your writing? (Or books, lifestyles, and/or philosophies)
I think everything I read, to an extent, influences my writing. The books I love, the books I can’t stand – everything has an impact. I make a conscious effort to continually learn and grow as a writer, and the only real way to do that is to continue reading. I would say that JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series have had the biggest impact on my writing, simply because I wouldn’t be writing like this if it weren’t for her. I did write a bit before Harry Potter, but that series was what really inspired me to take it siriusly. (I know, I know, most overused pun ever.)
Have you ever found it necessary to introduce a new character to help alleviate a writing slump?
I can’t think of any particular instance when introducing a character has helped alleviate a writing slump. There have been times when I’ve been stuck outlining and realize that, hey, the reason this isn’t working is because there needs to be a character here. But I always outline my plots in detail before I begin, so generally any slump I experience while actually writing a draft is due to something not being right in the logic of the story. What I have to do then is go back, reread it, and figure out where the story isn’t working.
Which book are you desperately waiting to be released? Do you have an author (or more!) who you have to read everything they write as soon as it comes out?
I feel horrible saying this, but I don’t really know what’s coming out. I have a few books I’m looking forward to – Michelle Rowen’s Countdown is one I am dying to read, for instance, along with Katie McGarry’s Crash Into You. I’m also excited to read the conclusion to Kiera Cass’s Selection novels. But while I knew nearly every single book coming out around the time The Goddess Test debuted, I’ve unfortunately been so busy writing that I don’t always have time to see what’s coming up. Mostly now I just wander the shelves every Tuesday and check out the new covers. Today I bought Tarnish, by Katherine Longshore, which is an Anne Boleyn story I’m excited to read.
I read everything JK Rowling writes, including her adult novels. Other than that, it’s very rare of me to pick up a book solely because of an author. Usually the plot has to appeal to me before I read it.
And because I want to know more about Aimee as a person I’m going to delve into the sort of silly:
Coke or Pepsi?
I don’t usually drink pop, but when I do, I prefer Pepsi.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
I’m a mild-to-moderate fan of both. I’ve watched several Star Trek series and seen most of the movies, and I’ve seen all of the Star Wars movies.
Which Doctor is “your” Doctor – Nine, Ten, or Eleven? And also – which companion is your favorite?
And this is the part where people throw things at me. I’ve only seen two episodes, and I believe it was the ninth doctor. But Barty Crouch Jr. will always be my Doctor.
How do you think the world will end? Global warming, alien invasion, or zombie apocalypse? Would you survive it?
I think humanity as a whole will bring about the end of our own existence. I hope not, but there is that Einstein quote – “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” And I have to agree with him. As for whether or not I’d survive, it all depends on which parts of the world are left, and if humans still exist at all.
Other than that, the earth isn’t due to end for, what, millions, billions of years? So we’re good for now.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I have three I go back and forth between. Changing my appearance at will (in any way, into anything or anyone); turning into any animal and being able to communicate with them; and transporting myself to anyplace I wanted with a single thought. So, pretty much I’d want to be either a Metamorphmagus, Animagus, or really good at Apparating. (Also, my brain works in Harry Potter terms, in case that isn’t already painfully clear. 🙂 ) Out of the three of those, I think I would ultimately choose Apparating.
What did your English teachers say about you in school? Did they ever have to send notes home to your parents?
I don’t think I ever really got into trouble with my English teachers – no notes sent home, at least! I hated doing assigned reading, and the five paragraph essay format made me want to tear my hair out, so I didn’t stand out too much in class. But several of my English and Creative Writing teachers were extremely supportive and encouraging about my writing, and I’m forever indebted to them.
I’ve heard you can do the “Cups” song from Pitch Perfect. How long did it take you to learn it?
I can! I refuse to sing it in front of anyone (I’m not exactly the best singer in the world), but I can do it. It took me maybe ten to fifteen minutes to get the hand movements down and another fifteen to twenty to learn the lyrics. I have a background in percussion instruments though, so rhythm is usually pretty easy for me to pick up.
And finally… you’ve been tasked with writing the fortune in a fortune cookie. What does it say?
Every day can only be what you make of it. Let today be a good one.
Thank you so much for stopping by and graciously answering the longest blog interview evar. You are truly a Rockstar Author, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from you!
Harlequin Teen has kindly provided a copy of any one of Aimee’s already released books to one winner! The giveaway will be open from now until midnight on August 31 (that’s when the Authors are Rockstars! tour closes). US/Canada only.
Not sure which one to pick? Scroll down for information about each book!
The Goddess Test
Every girl who had taken the test has died.
Now it’s Kate’s turn.
It’s always been just Kate and her mom – and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld – and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he’s crazy – until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.
If she fails…
The Goddess Hunt
A vacation in Greece sounds like the perfect way for Kate Winters to spend her first sabbatical away from the Underworld…until she gets caught up in an immortal feud going back millennia. Castor and Pollux have been on the run from Zeus and Hades’ wrath for centuries, hiding from the gods who hunt them. The last person they trust is Kate, the new Queen of the Underworld. Nevertheless, she is determined to help their cause. But when it comes to dealing with immortals, Kate still has a lot to learn…
Kate Winters has won immortality.
But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, 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.
The Goddess Legacy
For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.
Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….
Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….
Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….
James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others – but never knew true loss before….
Henry/Hades’ssolitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope….
Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages.
The Goddess Inheritance
Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.
During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can’t stop her–until Cronus offers a deal.
In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he’ll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.
With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.
Even if it costs her eternity.