Today I'm excited to have Kaitlin Bevis stopping by for an interview! She's talking about her novel Persephone and she's got a little bit of advice for budding authors out there. Check out the synopsis of Persephone:
“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.”
Tell us a little about yourself.
I love reading almost as much as I love writing. I just got my Masters in English Ed from UGA, and I have an undergrad in Creative writing. I'm married, I have a beautiful, three year old daughter who says really creepy things sometimes, and I drink way too much caffeine.
Your new novel, Persephone, is about... well, the myth of Persephone, obviously! What was it about that story that just got your creative juices flowing and caused you to write about it?
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, and 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.
Describe Persephone, as a character, in one sentence.
Book 1 Persephone has a lot of growing up to do, but she's loyal, and fierce, and kind.
What is the biggest piece of advice you wish you had known before you began writing Persephone?
Take my time querying. I'm really lucky I ended up with the publisher I did because in all honesty, I was so eager to be published that I didn't take much time to find the best place for it. I queried two agents, and three publishing houses. Now, reading about all the predatory publishers that are out there, I'm super lucky I ended up with an honest publisher that was willing to take a chance on me.
Do you have a favorite line from Persephone? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?
Hmm... I think it would have to be this one:
“Did he really expect me to go Okay, strange creepy man, I'll get into your scary chariot of death. No problem.”
I just love how snarky it is. And really, I think someone would think that if they were in her situation. Plus her first reaction to Hades is SO different than his first reaction to her. Its fun to think about them chatting about how they first met somewhere down the road. He was all impressed by how brave she was and she thought he was a psychopath.
I spent my childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn’t agree with me, I rewrote it. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I spent high school and college learning everything I could so that one day I could achieve that goal. I graduated college with my BFA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and am pursuing my masters at the University of Georgia.
My young adult fiction novel “Persephone,” will be released this summer. I also write for Athens Parent Magazine, and truuconfessions.com. I have also published several short stories, my latest, Siren Song, is available on amazon.com.
For more about Persephone check out these sites!