Monday, October 28, 2013

Kaitlin Bevis, author of Persephone



Author Bio:
Kaitlin Bevis spent her childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn't agree with her, she rewrote it. She's always wanted to be a writer, and spent high school and college learning everything she could so that one day she could achieve that goal. She graduated college with my BFA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and is pursuing her masters at the University of Georgia.

Her young adult series "Daughters of Zeus" is available wherever ebooks are sold. She also writes for truuconfessions.com and Athens Parent Magazine.


Title: Persephone
Author: Kaitlin Bevis
ISBN: 978-1-61937-243-6
Page count: 203
Genre: Young adult Greek Mythology
Price: 4.99

Tell us about your book:         
                                                                                                                                                 
It's a modern day retelling of the myth with a twist. Hades isn't the bad guy and the Underworld is an awesome place. It's a bit of a coming of age story with a dash of romance thrown in there. Ultimately it's about how sometimes things are completely different than how you'd expect them to be. And that's a good thing.

Here's the Blurb:
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.

How long did it take to write the book?

I started writing Persephone summer of 2010, just about the time Clash of the Titans came out. That quote "damn the gods" just got in my head and wouldn't leave. Somehow I got to thinking about the Persephone myth, and how much more there may be to that story. I wrote an outline but wasn't able to devote much time to the story for another six months. In that six months I had a baby, graduated college, and moved to Athens where I joined a local writers group. With a lot of help from that group, I managed to write something worthy of publication in about a year.

What inspired you to write the book?

            I'm just very interested in where everything comes from. We tell the same stories over and over again. Persephone, phantom of the opera, beauty and the beast. There's something about the Greek myths, Persephone's in particular, that pull at us, inspire us to rewrite it. Maybe because it feels incomplete. Everyone wants to finish it. To put their own spin on it. I caught the bug and it still hasn't let go of me.
           
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
The writing process for Persephone was complicated. I came up with the idea the summer Clash of the Titans came out, drafted the entire thing in my head during the movie (really, it was that bad), and went home and wrote a very rough first draft. 

I was six months pregnant at the time. Pregnancy affects everyone differently, but for me, at a certain point, it made me feel like an idiot. For the first time ever my college classes resembled the classes I'd seen on television, where the professor asked students and answers would fly out of their mouths over my head. My brain just couldn't keep up. Writing felt about the same way. I'd sit down to tinker with my rough draft and stare blankly at my computer screen before realizing all I really wanted to do was eat breadsticks from Olive Garden.

I was also finishing up my last semester of college, moving to Athens, and dealing with all the chaos that comes with pregnancy, graduation, and moving. So I shelved the idea for a few months, returning to it when my daughter was three months old. I fleshed out my rough draft, wrote a second draft from first person, and found a local writers group, and took the whole draft through writers group in five thousand word chunks every other week.

I can't even begin to explain how much of a difference a good writers group makes. My writers group, rocks. We have a content editor from a small publishing house, a copy editor from the same house, several published writers, lots of writers with academic credit, and an incredible amount of talent. There are two members of this group that could sit down, half asleep, and type out a book that could be published and hit bookshelves across the country tomorrow.

I'm not jealous or anything.

With their help, I whipped my book into shape. The pacing had to be improved, subplots had to be expanded on, character motivation had to be clearer. There were a few changes they suggested that I resisted, and kept the same.

And they were the first things my editor had me change, so lesson learned.

My next draft was practically unrecognizable from the first. I took it through again, then had several friends that hadn't spent the last year working on my story read through it. Finally it was ready for submission.

I sent my story to a few agents known to the group, and never heard back. I sent my book to TOR, and Belle Bridge. I never heard back from TOR but Belle Bridge rejected me because two popular young adult writers were apparently in the process of having books about Persephone published. Which is actually funny, because after I got my contract with Musa, I sent an arc to one of my favorite writers, and she said it was very similar to a book she and a group of well known young adult writers had worked on together, but ultimately decided not to publish.

My editor tells me that's very common. An idea gets in the air between writers that have never communicated, and suddenly everyone in the writing community is working on the same story.

Obviously my story was accepted by Musa publishing. It went through two rounds of content editing, and then a round of copy editing. Now it's out in the world and waiting for readers. 

It was a lot of time, and a lot of work, but I've enjoyed every step in the process. I hope you all enjoy reading my book as much as I enjoyed writing it.


What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

            I just hope that people enjoy reading Persephone because it's a fun twist on a well known myth. Plus, Persephone is dealing with all the big questions about life, death and the Gods, while trying to figure out who she is and what kind of person she's going to be. I think pretty much anyone can relate to that feeling of the world dropping away beneath you and everything changing at once. 

            I don't have an agenda and I'm not trying to pass on any pearls of wisdom, I just like good stories. i did a ton of research so if you're familiar with the myths, there's all kinds of fun references in there, but I'm not trying to teach anyone anything. I just want people to have fun reading my book.

Excerpt from book:

        The branch crashed in front of me, scraping my legs. I ran for the parking lot as fast as I could. The frost closed in, surrounding me. Id never been claustrophobic, but as the frost cut off my escape path with a solid white wall, I panicked.
          Fog rolled in, like cold death, cutting off my view of the park. It curled around me, brushing against my face, arms, and legs. I turned back to the tree and ran faster, my dress tangling between my legs as the fog and icy wind blew against my skin.
          The parking lot is the other way! my mind screamed. The other way was cut off by a mountain of ice. I felt as if I was being herded. By ice?
          I slipped on the icy ground, falling face first into the frost. Ice crept up my toes and along my legs. I thrashed and screamed. I felt the fog becoming a solid mass above me, pinning me to the ground. The ice piled around me. Am I going to be buried alive?
          I dug my nails into the frigid snow in front of me and tried to claw my way out of the frosted death trap. I was so panicked I didnt feel it when my nails broke against the impenetrable wall of ice, leaving red crescents of blood welling up on sensitive skin. An hysterical sob worked its way out of my throat as I gouged red lines into the ice. The ice was above my knees, snaking its way up my thighs. I shivered.
          Shiverings good, I reminded myself. It means your body hasnt given upyet. The cold was painful, like a thousand little knives pricking my skin. A violent tremor went up my spine, sending waves of pain through me.
          Help me! I screamed, knowing it was futile. I was going to die here.
          Except I couldnt die. Could I? Mom said I was immortal, but was that all-inclusive? Did I have a weakness? Was snow my Kryptonite? If I got hurt, would I heal or would I be trapped in an injured body in pain forever?
          I suddenly didnt know if immortality was a good thing or a bad thing. The cold hurt. I was kicking, screaming, and clawing my way out of the frost, but for every inch I gained a mountain piled around me. I thought I heard a mans laughter on the wind, the sound somehow colder than the ice freezing me into place.
          The ground before my outstretched hand trembled. The shaking increased. The earth lurched beneath me. The surface cracked and the sound was so loud that for a moment all I could hear was high-pitched ringing in my ears. The ground split into an impossibly deep crevice. My voice went hoarse from screaming as I peered into the endless abyss, trapped and unable to move away from the vertigo-inducing edge.



Where can we go to buy your book?
Musa: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=326&zenid=b864b1f25dd8379c4372cbee6ca0b106

Any other links or info you'd like to share?

Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6150699.Kaitlin_Bevis
Twitter: @kaitlinbevis
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kbevis1/
ARE: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
promocave: http://promocave.com/kaitlinbevis/
Romance Reviews: http://www.theromancereviews.com/mypageprofile.php?location=kbevis


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