Saturday, August 6, 2011

THE SUMMER MYTH SPECTACULAR 
WITH GODDESS AUTHOR JOSEPHINE ANGELINI


With this final post, my wonderful Summer Myth Spectacular will come to a close. *sad face*

I was very fortunate to receive a signed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of STARCROSSED from the author—the wonderful and sweet, Josie Angelini. She generously sent me her last signed ARC, and although she doesn’t know this, I did give a little whoop of delight. It was my first ARC, after all. Now, truthfully, I don’t go looking for arcs and I’m not sought out as someone to send them to. I write books, and I blog about them. In fact, I don’t see my blog as a book review blog. Well, maybe it was this summer, but that’s only because so many cool books based in Greek myths were all around me, and I just had to review them. It’s okay that Meg Cabot’s people never got back to me *sob* —no, really, it is—*sob* 

The authors who agreed to be a part of the series (P.J. Hoover, Tera Lynn Childs, Aimee Carter, and last, but not least Josie Angelini) were so enthusiastic and generous with their time that I had a blast putting these posts together. I also got to know some of them a little better—bonus—and know I'm a very lucky aspiring author.

But back to this ARC, and how I scored.

I sent Josie an email to tell her about the Summer Myth Spectacular, but also to let her know how her own personal journey to publication kept me inspired. I poured my heart out to her, telling her that I, too, had been laid-off from my job, turned to writing, and the unemployment checks were running out. She returned my email, right away, with one full of encouragement, kind words, compassion, empathy, and wishes for a bright future and fortuitous publishing outcome. I cannot thank her enough. Because her kindness came at just the right time, I was inspired to persevere and continue toward my dream of becoming a published author at a time when all hope seemed lost.

Now, maybe, just maybe, Josie took a shine to me because I’m also a girl from Massachusetts—wicked! Or maybe it was because I wrote a novel based in Greek myth. It could even be because she understood; based on her own personal experience, what juncture I was at in my life. I like to think it was a combination of all of those things. Whatever it was, fate brought us together, and she’s been hugely supportive of me since.

And, now, about those ARCs, if anyone wants to send one my way for a review, I’m definitely up for it. You can contact via twitter @demetrabrodsky or facebook.

JOSIE’S STORY:



SYNOPSIS:

Helen Hamilton has always tried to hide how different she is—no easy feat on an island as small as Nantucket, and only getting harder as she finds herself haunted by hallucinations and vivid nightmares.

It’s not until she crosses paths with Lucas Delos at school that Helen’s true heritage is finally revealed. Yet even as Lucas helps her awaken to her startling powers, they can never be together—not unless they can break free from the tragic destiny the Three Fates have in store.

STARCROSSED TRAILER:


MY REVIEW:

Told in stunning detail, this breathtaking foray into the world of demigods will leave you staring at the new boy in your town, wondering whether or not he harbors hidden talents, and hoping he’ll choose you to help him explore them.

Josie puts a unique spin on the Greek myths in her debut novel STARCROSSED. In an ambitious undertaking, she manages to weave the Iliad with Romeo and Juliet (heavy weights in the world of myth) to create a unique story that will keep you turning the pages, anxious to see how the story will unfold.

From sexy Lucas Delos—and his entire beautiful family of demi-gods known as Scions—to the extraordinary Helen Hamilton—a girl who doesn’t know the truth of her ancestry—you’ll fall in love with these characters.

What I appreciate about her take on the myths the most was the absence of The Olympians. Been there; done that. STARCROSSED is all about the descendants of the gods, separated into houses, and the rivalries they’re left to deal with over centuries. Twists and turns in the plot will give you both the “ah ha” moment most of us long for, as well as the “oh no” don’t do that, heart-stopping thrills that make a story worth reading to the end.

And Helen’s mother…I can’t even get into that or I’ll ruin the one-two, knock out punch that makes the ending so spectacular.

INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPHINE ANGELINI

WHY I YA: How did you come up with the idea for Starcrossed?

JOSIE: I had a nervous break down? No, seriously, it was a very fortuitous accident. I was pitching a different idea for a supernatural YA series to my husband, who is a screenwriter. For the life of me I couldn’t spit out a logline or sum up that other series is two or three concise sentences. He gently told me that maybe it would be better for me to start with a simpler idea for my first book—just to get my feet wet.

I bawled like a two-year-old throwing a fit in the grocery store. I sucked, and there was nothing I could ever do to stop sucking. Then about ten minutes later I saw a copy of Romeo and Juliet sitting next to The Iliad on my bookshelf, and I stopped crying immediately.  

I asked my husband, what if I took Homer amazing characters and set it up so that if two teenagers fell in love they would start a war? It’s Romeo and Juliet, but set in modern day on a Greek backdrop.

He told me it was a brilliant idea. Suddenly I no longer sucked.

WHY I YA: Have you always wanted to write a book for young adults?

JOSIE: I wanted to write fantasy, or sci-fi, and I found that my idea fit best in Supernatural YA. I think my voice is just suited to this genre. Maybe that will change someday, but so far I feel very comfortable here.

WHY I YA: What drew you to Greek mythology?

JOSIE: I’ve always been a fan of any kind of fairy tale, fantasy, myth, or tall tale. I love anything that has gods, magic, and danger in it, and that pretty much sums up Greek mythology. I started reading mythology when I was very young and the stories just stuck with me. And I studied all the Greek plays in college as a classical theatre major. What can I say? I like dudes in togas.

WHY I YA: Who was your favorite character to write and why?

JOSIE: Claire!  She has some of the best lines. I wish I were the kind of girl who could think up come backs like she can, but I need time and a laptop to mull over anything clever. Hector was pretty fun, too. There’s something about being a girl and writing such a dick of a guy. I like his swagger.

WHY I YA: What ran through your mind the first time you saw your book in print (or the cover for your book?

JOSIE: I was expecting to be all bouncy and squealy, but I wasn’t. I didn’t get choked up or anything, but it was a thick moment for me. I took a second and really thought about all the stupid choices I’ve made in my life—really just dumb stuff I’ve done—and I was humbled.

My father’s always told me I’m the kind of person who runs around the block to get across the street. I may have taken a bunch of wrong turns, but I must have figured something out along the way because I accomplished something, and there were times when I seriously doubted I ever would. I’m very fortunate.

WHY I YA: How long did it take for you to write the book, and how many rounds of revisions did you go through?

JOSIE: It took me one month to outline and eight months to write Starcrossed. Revisions… well, revisions go on until the printer tells you that if they don’t lock the manuscript, you won’t publish in time. I’m serious. Writing is rewriting, and you can tinker with a story forever.

WHY I YA: What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

JOSIE: Write every day-- even when you don’t want to. Writers write, so write. My husband told me that, and then to back it up, he told me to quit my job so I had the time to write. It was simultaneously the best advice I’ve ever gotten and the most generous thing anyone has ever done for me.

WHY I YA: How do you deal with negative criticism or reviews (if any)?

JOSIE: I don’t read reviews. I know that sounds like a bunch of baloney, but that’s one of the many joys of being married. My husband reads the reviews and he only lets me see the good ones.

Look, here’s the thing. By the time reviews come out, the book is already written. No criticism, no matter how insightful, is ever going to change a book after it’s gone to the printers. By that point, it’s out of the writer’s hands, so there’s no point in any of us reading a negative review. My reviews (the ones I see, anyway) are all unicorns and lollipops!  J

WHY I YA: What’s next from Josephine Angelini | What can your fans look forward to?

JOSIE: Well, I finished Dreamless, the second book in the trilogy. It’s in copy-editing now, so that means all the major revisions are done. I’m so happy with how it turned out. I can’t wait for you to read it!  *giggles* And I’ve already started book 3, so my plate is full for another year or so.

AUTHOR BIO:


Josephine Angelini is a Massachusetts native and the youngest of eight siblings. A real-live farmer's daughter, Josie graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

IN HER WORDS:

I was supposed to be a boy.

At least, my mother was convinced I was going to be a boy when she was pregnant with me. She claimed that I "carried" like a boy, but since I'm the youngest of eight, and I have six sisters and only one beloved brother, it is reasonable to assume that my mother was simply suffering from a massive case of wishful thinking. Whatever the reasons, my parents were so convinced I was going to be a boy they had even decided on a boy name for me—Joseph.

But I'm a girl.

My mother, always a frugal woman, figured, why throw out a perfectly good name just because the gender's wrong? She put a handy “ine” on the end of Joseph, and I'm rather glad she did. I like my name, or at least I realize it could have been much worse. They could have been planning on calling me Ralph or something. Not much you can do with Ralph.

I grew up surrounded by women.

And not just normal, average women, either. My sisters are, without exaggeration, a pack of Amazons. They are all tall. They have masses of thick hair, gigantic smiles, ringing laughs, and unfortunately for me, they all have fiery tempers. You see—I'm not only the youngest, but the smallest as well. I also happen to be a natural wiseass. Not a healthy combination.

Lucky for me, I'm fast.

STARCROSSED is the first in a trilogy from Josephine Angelini, with the follow up novel, DREAMLESS slated for release in May 2012

An enormous thank you to all the authors who participated in these interviews. Your generosity with your time, your encouragement of me as a writing, and your outstanding example of professionalism has made the last few months SUMMER MYTH SPECTACULAR. 

9 comments:

  1. It was a pleasure to be a part of your Summer Myth Spectacular!! :)

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  2. Great interview--loved all the videos and links! So much fun, thanks for sharing :-)

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  3. Hey,

    Have given you an award!

    you can check it out on http://nehasbookshelf.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-award.html

    This is for blogs which have less than 200 followers.

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  4. Wonderful idea to do a summer myth spectacular, and what a great interview. I love Josie's candor.

    Thanks so much for following my blog, Demetra. Delighted to discover yours, too!

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  5. Geez, what a freaking amazing series!!!

    Happy bday to you too! Did you party in style?

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  6. Thanks Sophia, Megan, Neha, Rachel and Josie! : ) And, yes Sophia, I did party in style. I don't even have to ask if you did. I already know. : )

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  8. Oh, awesome review. I really enjoy coming back to your blog. I havent beenn comment -cuz i am a wuss. But I figured i would take a leap of faith. I hope that all is well, that you are writing up a storm and doing well.

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  9. Thanks Russo. Much appreciated! : ) -- I am, indeed, writing up a storm. LOL.

    ReplyDelete