Monday, November 12, 2012

Interview with Helen Boswell



We want to welcome Helen Boswell to the Crazy Book Chicks blog. She agreed to take some time out of her busy schedule to meet with us so we can get an insight into her awesomeness! If you haven't read Mythology yet, you're in luck. Make sure you read through to the end for the giveaway. We've been doing a few interviews with authors as well as a few characters, so be on the look out! I, being Dani, seem to take lead in the interviews, I apologize to Christina, so if you see an I instead of a we you know why! We read Mythology this past weekend and absolutely LOVED it, you can check out our reviews if you like. The point in doing this interview is to get you, yes YOU, to see how amazing these writers are and how it actually takes thought and work to produce something magnificent. So be sure to leave a comment on Facebook or Tweet them, you can even leave a small review on Amazon, B&N or even goodreads. They love to hear feedback, and if you have something really negative to say, be classy about it. IT's one thing to provide constructive criticism and another to bash and authors work. Please keep that in mind, we are all entitled to our own opinions, just me cautious in the way you express it! Now that's been said, lol, enjoy the Interview, Helen was awesome and we tried to be original in the questions we asked!

So we’ve read your bio and notice you have a Ph.D. in Biological Science and teach Biology, does that have an influence in the way you write?
 Being a biology teacher and an author is like living in two different worlds at the same time. Me being a teacher doesn’t influence the way or style that I write, but it definitely makes me a better writer overall because I’m used to thinking critically almost all of the time. And it almost makes it a little easier to go through my own work with a red pen because I’m so used to grading papers J.   

What made you want to become an author?
 When I was a kid, I read TONS of books. My mom even let me read at the dinner table (thanks, Mom!). For me, reading that much naturally led to writing stories. My dad recently found a notebook of mine from when I was a kid and said that it had “fantasy stories with all of these adorable characters that were all mapped out.” (Umm… thanks, Dad, but “adorable”?)

Mythology seems to have a deeper message, was that your intention?
 I wove the thread of the Fates (Moirai) as a theme throughout the story. Fate or not, Hope and Micah are both able to overcome everything despite all of the obstacles that were set out in front of them –I wanted that to be one of the main messages. I also wanted to redefine mythological characters and how people perceived good versus evil. I did that mainly with Micah but also with Jonathan’s character. 

Most authors would say that the characters told them their story, was that the case for you?
 Don’t think I’m crazy, but MYTHOLOGY was the result of Hope basically coming to life and writing her own story with a little help from me. No, but seriously, the story eventually had a momentum and life of its own and once I figured out who Hope was, it wasn’t too difficult to come up with the storyline.

Most of the people I know who have a science background need proof to back up a claim. In Mythology your characters are classified as human, demon, guardian, or soul-seer do you believe that there is a possibility of those classifications being real or do you need science to substantiate the claim?
Science is just one way of questioning things about the world. It’s a powerful tool for examining the natural and physical world, yes, but it’s limited because it can’t truly answer questions about the supernatural or paranormal. I guess I’m kind of like Hope in that way – she divides up her brain into the “logical” and “emotional” sides. My logical/scientific side of my brain rebels against the notion that these entities are real, but my emotional/creative side of my brain says not to discount the possibility of anything. 

Most people with a scientific background as yourself, places no credence to mythology, what brought your attention to it?
I’ve always loved mythology in general. It was my favorite subject in high school – I took an honors English class (like Hope!) and we studied mythology all semester, reading Homer’s The Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno. I use science in part of my life, but I still love and appreciate the more romantic and mythological explanations for things.

How long did it take for you to develop and name Mythology?
I started writing MYTHOLOGY a little over two years ago, and it was a very different story back then. It started as an adult or new adult story and focused on Hope and Micah with very little from Jonathan. But I realized along the way that it would be better as a YA story, so I rewrote the entire thing. And I’m very glad that I did, because I think it’s also a good coming-of-age story for both Hope and Micah.

I adored Micah and the struggle he faced to try to remain true to himself. It showed tremendous courage to fight his demonic nature to be worthy of love, but is love going to be enough?
Micah’s relationships with his family (and of course Hope) are motivating factors for a lot of his actions. If anything, love may be his one salvation. Will it be enough? We will have to see what happens in books two and three… :)

Hope has known she’s been different from the get go and helps Micah deal with who he is. I knew Hope was going to be the key to everything, did you know what was going to happen from the beginning or did it change as you wrote?
I knew what would ultimately happen to Hope from the very beginning (no spoilers here for those of you who haven’t read it!). Getting her to that point was the tricky part. I tried a couple different storylines before finding the one that is in the final version of MYTHOLOGY. What was crucial to the storyline was that Micah had to be involved in her ultimate “Fate.” 

I don’t want to reveal much of the book in case we have someone who hasn’t read the book yet, but Hope becoming who she is now and Micah being a demon, should we be worried?
Hope would tell you that nothing is ever certain in life, but that she’s not going to worry about it right now. J And I don’t want to reveal any secrets for the upcoming book, but I’ll just say that not even Hope might be exactly what she seems. *gasps!*

I love how you rounded out each character; Jonathan is definitely someone to reckon with. While each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses, do you find yourself favoring one over another?
Thank you! – I worked very hard to build my characters with depth. Jonathan is actually one of my favorites. But then again, he’s been living for centuries, so he has a lot of background and history to draw from. 

Speaking of Jonathan, is there going to be someone special for him or is he only going to love Hope?
Jonathan’s love for Hope is something that is necessary, and you’ll learn more about why he loves her in the second book of the series. But I agree -- an eternity is an awfully long time for someone to be alone. I think that now that he realizes his capacity to love, this will open him up to more romantic possibilities.

Can we expect to read more from Hope, Micah, and Jonathan?
Of course! I have a lot more story to tell. We still don’t know the answers to several key mysteries in the story. What really happened to Hope’s parents? Why was Jonathan so interested in Hope from the start? Why was Jeremiel so interested in the demon knife? And I can’t say goodbye to Hope, Micah, and Jonathan just yet.  

How many books do you expect to be in this series?
There will be three in total. The second will be told from Hope and Micah’s alternating points of view. The third will also include Jonathan’s point of view, and you’ll learn a lot more about his past that way. 

Are you a happily ever after writer or are you the best love stories end in tragedy?
You probably noticed, but I like to keep things suspenseful and uncertain, but overall I’m a happily ever after kind of person. Hope’s  friend Sylvia actually says to her that “the best love stories are the most tragic ones.” While I think that tragedy makes you truly realize the worth of a love that was lost, I prefer to write about worthy love that can last.

Now a little off the topic of your book, I heard you helped edit David James’ book Light of the Moon. How’d you like that experience?
David is a wonderful writer and an incredible person (although he’ll probably give me a hard time for saying something so awfully mushy). Working with him was a lot of fun, and I’m grateful to have been a small part of the process. 

Are you excited to see how readers are reacting towards the characters in a book you helped edit?
Oh, yes! I loved both Calum and Kate in Light of the Moon, so of course I’m thrilled when others also experience a positive connection with David’s characters.  

What can you tell us about the writing/editing process? How long does that usually take?
I helped with the final edits of David’s book prior to publication, or what you might think of as the “polishing and proofing” phase. I gave him editorial comments, he decided what to incorporate and made the changes, and I helped to do one final editorial check. It didn’t take more than a few weeks for this process.

What was your favorite thing about David’s LOTM? I personally loved how he was able to create a beautifully captivating world that draws your attention to the sky.
I loved how David was able to merge two worlds (Calum’s “real world” and Kate’s “fantasy world”) and carry his characters through these worlds so seamlessly. And his character development was excellent: Calum’s development is the focus of book one and Kate’s is in book two, and when they finally realize what they mean to each other, it’s absolutely perfect.

Do you have a favorite character in his book?
Kate. I loved Kate for both her strength and her vulnerability. She’s kind of a kickass heroine, but she has her emotions and human-like flaws as well. I think that she would get along well with Hope in my book :)

We want to thank you again for taking time out to spend some time with us and answer some questions! We absolutely LOVED Mythology and cannot wait for the next book!
Thank you, Dani and Christina, for having me on your blog! You make a great pair of reviewers!

Helen is an absolute sweetheart, so make sure you guys enter this contest and read this awesome book, you won't regret it! Good luck everyone!


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8 comments:

  1. Helen is a wonderful person! I really do need to read Mythology...it's right up my alley :)

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    1. It's so good! I can't wait for the next book..Good Luck Rachel

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  2. I love Mythology and I can't wait to read more of her books! Especially if she ever writes about Posiedon :)

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    1. Mythology is always interesting right? We're excited too!

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  3. I had so much fun doing this interview. And thanks for the lovely comments, Rachel and Mallory! So nice to be part of this community :)

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  4. I used to read at the dinner table, too! Our parents were obviously awesome.

    Oh, and a Greek goddess is Selene, personification of the moon!

    -Mercedes

    mercedesyardley@gmail.com

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    1. I like Selene, she's one of my favs! Good luck!

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  5. Hi, Mercedes!

    Awesome, indeed!

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