Friday, December 9, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway! Goddess Girls: Artemis The Loyal by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub

YAY! Today we have the authors of The Goddess Girls Series here to talk about their books with us!

About the book:

It's time for the annual Olympic Games, and the four goddessgirls are not happy--especially Artemis. Even though she's better at sports than most of the godboys, she can't compete because rules say the Games are boys-only. No fair!

Led by Artemis, Athena, Persphone and Aphrodite, the ladies of Mount Olympus hatch a plan to get Zeus to open up the games to everyone. Will they succeed--or end up watching from the sidelines again?

These classic myths from the Greek pantheon are given a modern twist that contemporary tweens can relate to, from dealing with bullies like Medusa to a first crush on an unlikely boy. Goddess Girls follows four goddesses-in-training - Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis - as they navigate the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most priviledged gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.

What has your writing experience been like, writing The Goddess Girls? Have you enjoyed it?
Writing Goddess Girls together is a blast. It’s so much fun that when the series comes to an end (and we hope that’s still a long way off), we might have a hard time going back to writing solo—at least when it comes to writing middle grade series. In fact, we’ve enjoyed writing together so much that we’ve signed on with our publisher, Aladdin, to write a brand-new Greek mythology-based series for ages 7 – 10. Heroes in Training will debut in August with Book #1: Thunderbolt of Doom.

As for Goddess Girls, after Medusa the Mean (April 2012), our very first Super Special, The Girl Games, will be out in July. The Super Special, which alternates chapters from the points of view of all four of our main goddessgirls, will be followed by Books 9, 10, and 11, which will star (in order) our “P” girls: Pandora, Pheme, and Persephone.
Which one of the Goddess Girls books has been your favorite so far?
Our favorite GG book is almost always the one we happen to be writing at the time. Seeing a story come to life from idea to finished printed (or electronic!) book is what thrills us as writers.
Do you have a favorite character?
We’re probably most fond of Athena. That’s because we both identify with her the most. Like her, we were both good students who liked to read a lot—a typical profile for most writers. Still, our favorite character changes depending on whose story we’re currently writing. We’ve grown rather fond of Artemis while working on Goddess Girls #7: Artemis the Loyal. We like that she’s so take-charge and brave, even when those traits sometimes work to her disadvantage. Truthfully, all of our goddessgirls are dear to our hearts.
What got you started writing these books?
It was Joan’s idea to do a mythology-based series set at a middle school. She’d always been a huge mythology fan. Suzanne quickly became one too in the process of writing the series. After we decided on our four BFF—Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis—we brainstormed other characters and teachers to populate Mount Olympus Academy.
Do you have any advice for young girls who want to be authors one day?
Certainly! This is from Suzanne’s author website. She was an elementary school librarian before she became a full-time writer, and used to teach writing with Grades 3 - 6:

• Read, read, read! Especially, read the type of stuff you want to write. Then write the type of stuff you like to read.
• Write about the things you know about and CARE about (through experience, reading, movies, research, etc.) If you aren’t passionate about your subject, how will you make your reader feel anything?
• Take risks: be honest, show your true feelings.
• If you’re blocked, try freewriting: to discover topics, to get yourself going, to help get past “stuck” points in a story or characterization.
• Let your first draft be as crummy as it needs to be--just get words onto paper. You can fix them up later. "The first draft is the writer’s clay." - Bruce Coville
• Don’t be afraid to throw large amounts of writing away. Cutting words--many times, pages of words--improves writing.
• Word choice: Use interesting verbs and specific nouns. Avoid adverbs and too many adjectives. Simple past tense is usually best.
• Learn how to give and take suggestions for improving a piece of writing. Writers need to know how their writing “comes across” to others. Readers can help by asking questions and pointing out places where they were confused, places where the action or dialogue seemed too “unbelievable,” places where things moved too slowly (or too fast), and, of course, places they especially liked.
• Write, write, write. Keep a journal. Try different kinds of writing: poetry, short stories, nonfiction, plays, picture book, essays, personal experience, etc. You get better at writing by learning the skills involved (the “rules”) and by WRITING. It’s the same kind of process as learning to play a musical instrument or a sport.

Thank you SO MUCH Suzanne and Joan!  I've loved The Goddess Girls Series, and can't wait for more and more books!!

Would you like to win a copy of Artemis the Loyal? Joan and Suzanne have graciously offered a giveaway for an autographed book, bookmark, and a simple beaded Goddess Girls necklace!!  Just enter the form below!


Suzanne Williams said...

Hi Reagan,

Joan and I love being on Reading Tween! Thanks for the super interview questions. Good luck to all the giveaway entrants!

bookmovieguy said...

Awesome giveaway! I haven't read any of these books, but I know my sister will love them. Hopefully I can win this for my sister for Christmas. :)

Nancy said...

My daughter been eyeing Goddess Girls Series for a long time. Great interview.

Joan Holub said...

Reagan, hi! What a cute picture of you! I agree with Suzanne. We do love Reading Tween. Your interview is so fun and I like that you included some stuff from Suzanne's site. And YAY that you are enjoying the Goddess Girls!


Ashley Newton said...

dear Joan and Suzzane I LOVE YOUR BOOKS i have every one single one . you have inspired me so much i want to be a author.i even wrote my own personal book called pandora the puzzled but is my own and not
published and i was thinking that you should use this title persephone the picky it can be about a guy that likes persephone (not hades) and when pheme listined she gossiped and said that peresphone yelled at the boy and the boy ran away so now aphrodite,artemis and athena get into a fight but at the end her friends find out it was just a lie
plz tell me what you think

Suzanne Williams said...

Ashley: Good for you for trying your hand at writing a Pandora story. I love your alliterative titles (all those p's). And your plot idea shows lots of good tension. I think we've already settled on "Pandora the Curious" for GG #9. We'll be starting to write that book right after Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Ashley Newton said...

thank you so much i love the idea of Pandora the Curious. in the book she really is curious. plus i would like to say a big happy holiday to you to. i love your books but don't work to hard on holidays :) <3

Suzanne Williams said...

Happy Holidays to you too, Ashley. We'll take some days off and not work too hard over the holidays. Our editor and publishing company will be enjoying some time off too!