Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mythology By Helen Boswell Interview + Epic Giveaway!!!

Hope Gentry doesn’t believe in Fate. Born with an unusual power to see the dark memories of those around her, Hope just wants to be a normal teenager. But on the first day of her senior year of high school, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to a transfer student named Micah Condie. At first glance, Micah seems like a boy that most girls would dream about. But when Hope's powers allow her to discover Micah's darkest secret, she quickly becomes entangled in the lives of mythical entities she never dreamed existed. Was this her destiny all along? And will her powers help her survive the evil of the Demon Impiorum?

Mythology isn’t just for English class anymore

Excerpt 1:

Micah’s waiting for me in my bedroom. It was an innocent enough invitation to show him my photographs, but I wonder if my true intentions had been just as innocent. I take an insanely long time to brush out my hair.
When I finally enter my room, Micah’s examining the framed prints on the wall.
“These aren’t yours,” he says without turning around.
I move to stand next to him. “I know. Mine are in a portfolio.”
He looks at me. “Why in a portfolio? Why not hang your own work?”
I think about it for a second. “Maybe because what I photograph represents what I see all the time. It’s nice to look at what someone else sees for a change.”
He smiles and reaches for my hand, and I get that melty feeling again when he laces his fingers through mine. But now he’s looking past me and frowning. I turn my head and see the stack of books on my desk. The picture of Brian Halverson from the back of Man and Mythology is face-up on top of the stack.
“Micah, what is it?”
He lets go of my hand and sinks to sit on the edge of my bed. His head rests on his hands like he has another headache. “He gave me another warning today.”
“What? What did he say to you?” I can feel my anger building.
He raises his head and reaches out to touch my arm. “Please don’t get upset. He was different with me this time. He told me that he could see that I care about you, but that if I do, then I should keep away before you wind up getting hurt. Maybe you’re right. Maybe he knows what I did to my mom. It’s the only thing I can think of that makes sense.”
He looks across the room at the door. He whispers, “I should go.”
I sit down next to him. “Micah,” I say. He looks up at me, and I flounder for the right words to say. “You can’t,” I blurt out.
He seems to relax, and even smiles, if just a tiny bit. “I have to go home eventually, Hope.”
“I just don’t want you to leave thinking you shouldn’t be with me,” I explain. “Because you should.”
His gaze is searching, unwavering. He says, “I know.”
I don’t know why the two words have the effect of making me feel so relieved, but they do. “Okay,” I say smiling. “So maybe to keep the heat off, we should keep a low profile at school.”
He raises an eyebrow. “What does that mean?”
“I mean, don’t act like my boyfriend at school,” I say simply. “Don’t sit next to me in homeroom. Don’t talk to me if you see me in the hallway. I’ll get rides from Sylvia. Just so Halverson leaves you alone.”
“All right,” he says after a moment. “And outside of school?”
I lean over and kiss him lightly on the lips. “Outside of school, you can be my boyfriend all you want.”
He smiles and reaches for me. He puts his hand against my cheek.
“You’re mine?” Although he says it as a question, his certainty of the answer underlies the words.
I usually find it completely and utterly nauseating when other people use possessive expressions like this. But when Micah says his version of these words to me, I think I finally understand it. It’s not that he’s saying he wants to be possessive of me, but that he wants to be able to count on me. And I’m totally okay with that.
I nod by way of answer, and my heart skips a beat as I say, “And you’re mine?” I definitely express it as more of an actual question.
“Only ever yours,” he says, and my heart more than compensates for skipping a beat by fluttering uncontrollably. 

Excerpt 2:

It’s an interesting photograph, the one by Draper. It’s of the crowd at a city train station like the one on Exchange Street. The subjects of the photograph are a man and a woman on opposite ends of the frame. They’re highlighted, but by being transformed to black and white while everything else in the photograph is in true color. There’s almost a tragic feel to it, like they’re forever imprisoned apart from each other in monochrome.
I take a step back to look at the photograph from a distance. But the other person in the gallery must have been standing right behind me, and I crash into him. I step forward and spin around.
He’s wearing all black – a black suit with simple, elegant lines, a black dress shirt, black shoes. He has dark eyes, a dark complexion, jet-black hair. I wonder if he dyed it to match his suit. 
His eyes are fixed on me. And this is exactly where I stop noticing anything about the rest of his face because there’s an eerie white fire blazing in his pupils. I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think it’s an aura – auras always manifest themselves to me as distinct colors, never white. No, not an aura. Something completely different. I realize that I’m in a sort of trance, waiting for the visions to come. But they don’t.
I’m usually pretty good at it, at pretending I’m like everyone else. I hardly ever let the things I see get to me. Except for right now.
“Are you all right?”
His voice breaks through to my consciousness. Given the strangeness of his eyes, I guess I also expected his voice to be different. Resonant or echoing, maybe, but it isn’t. He blinks and the white evaporates into nothingness, leaving just the perfect blackness of his pupils. I come back to myself immediately, my trance broken.
“Are you all right?” He says it in exactly the same tone as before. He doesn’t sound annoyed, even though annoyance would have been perfectly justified. I’ve just been standing here staring at him like he just sprouted a third eye.
“Yeah, sorry. I just thought you were someone I knew,” I say, mentally congratulating myself for the save. Better late than never.
Fiery Eyes smiles at me, and I notice for the first time that he’s kind of a looker. He’s not at all my type with the well-dressed vampire thing he’s got going on, but then again, I don’t consider anyone to be my type. The suit makes me think he must be in his twenties, but he really doesn’t look that much older than me.
His eyes, exactly the shade of hot cocoa, are looking at me curiously. “I would have remembered if we had met before,” he says. His voice has a certain kind of charisma to it now, and I pick up the slightest hint of an accent, one that I can’t quite place.
“Do you want to know the story behind Fate?” he says suddenly.
“Huh?” I immediately wish I hadn’t said anything. I have no idea what he’s talking about, but that doesn’t mean I have to sound so... inarticulate.
“Fate,” he repeats with an indulgent smile. “The title of the piece you were examining so closely.”
I know the placard doesn’t show the title for the photograph, but I glance over my shoulder anyway. Nope, just the name of the artist.
“Is it yours?” I ask.
“Oh, no,” he says. “But I know its story.”
“Okay,” I say gamely. Maybe he read about it somewhere. Maybe he made up the name himself. Either way, I’m too curious not to ask. “So what’s the story behind ‘Fate’?”
“It’s about finally meeting someone. And never meeting someone.”
I don’t want to sound inarticulate again, so I don’t respond right away. But I think I get it. “Not for just the black and white couple in the photograph, but you mean in a bigger sense? Like whether we meet certain people through chance encounters?”
He shakes his head. “Like whether we meet them because of Fate.”
“Semantics,” I argue. “It basically winds up being the same thing in the end, doesn’t it?”
“Without Fate, there can be no end nor any beginning.” He says it simply, and he sounds just like a fortune cookie.

About the author:

Helen Boswell is originally from upstate New York. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo and currently teaches biology at Southern Utah University. Helen enjoys playing with her two little boys, camping, gardening, eating large bowls of ice cream after the kids go to bed, and hanging out on the couch with her husband to watch Breaking Bad, Louis CK, and Wilfred -- and of course, writing. She is the author of the YA urban fantasy MYTHOLOGY. She is also the editor of other novels, including David James' LIGHT OF THE MOON and THE WITCH'S CURSE.

Our Interview with Helen:

1). What inspired you to write this story?

Like Micah, I love to people-watch. I think one of the original ideas that inspired this story was thinking about the differences between what people see and what people really are. All three of my central characters fly in the face of stereotypes, especially my dark angel and my good demon. And all three struggle with what they are, perhaps in respect to what they think they are "supposed" to be.
Also, I'm a hopeless romantic and wanted to write a boy-meets-girl story.

2). Whose POV is easier to write, Hope or Micah?

MYTHOLOGY was written all in Hope's POV, so she's easier for me to write just because I'm already in her head. MYTHOLOGY: THE WICKED will alternate between Hope and Micah, and at first, Micah was difficult to write just because I needed to get a good feel for his voice. He's a little more reactive and a little less introspective than Hope. Now he's just as easy to write as Hope. :)

3). Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Robin is loosely based on one of my good friends from college. I let her know ahead of time that I was using her namesakes and basing the character of Robin on her. She was excited and would like to request that Charlize Theron play her in the movie.

4). Is there a certain message you are trying to portray with this series?

Probably the main message is that even though some of who we are is out of control (what Jonathan calls "Fate" and what Ms. Salazar calls "Nature"), we do have the power to make our own choices. I believe that we all need to play the hand that's given us but don't believe in stereotypes.

5). What character do you feel the closest to?
I think I naturally feel closest to Hope because I'm in her head most of the time. She's strong-willed and speaks her mind. I'm strong-willed but often don't speak my mind (I'm more like diplomatic Robin in that way), and I think some of Hope represents a little bit of my inner me. 

6). How many books are you planning for this series?

I originally had in mind three, but will make that decision after I finish book three. Sometimes I surprise even myself when I get to the end of the story. ;)

7). If you could have any sixth sense, what would it be?
Hehe, that's a great question, and a tough one. If it had to be anything, I wish I could have the opposite power as Hope - I wish I could automatically get a flash/sense of the goodness inside everyone. :)

8). What are your top 3 favorite books?
Ooh, another tough one. I'd have to say Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent, and Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth.

9). Did any of your life experiences, help you shape the story?
Well, thankfully I can't see people's worst visions, but the chapter called "My Own Worst Memory" was influenced by one of my own worst memories. We all have our own "Brendans" that we have to face, whether they are like the Brendan that I wrote or otherwise.

10). If we give you chocolate, can we get a snippet from The Wicked?

It would have to be a LOT of chocolate.... Just kidding. Here's a tiny teaser.... from Micah's POV :)

It’s quiet enough for me to pick up my name from someone sitting at one of the Sweet Home tables. It’s loud in here, but the rest of the conversation flows to me like they’re talking in my ear.

“Micah, prom king? No, that would never happen.”

“Why not? God, look at him.”

“Because it’s not just about looks. He’s dating a nobody. As in, nobody wants her as prom queen.”

“Yeah, but you don’t vote for couples, you vote for...”

Hope. They’re talking about Hope. The darkness churns inside me and spirals outwards. I try to tune them out. But everything is louder now, amplified. Including the screechy voices of those catty girls.

It would be so easy, to take something from them. Just for retribution.

11). What about if you could be any character in your book for one day, who would you pick and why?

I would be Jonathan because (1) I want to know how it feels to be immortal, (2) I would give snarky and appropriately sarcastic comments to people without feeling guilty about it, and (3) he has the coolest car, ever.

12). What advice can you give someone who wants to become an author?

Finish writing your first draft. Just getting to that point is huge - I can't tell you how many unfinished manuscripts I had before I wrote the first version of Mythology. After that, it became more of a do-able process - editing, sending it out for comments, rewriting, re-editing, and again. And then getting it out to readers. I'm not going to lie - the process as a whole is daunting. But if you can just finish that first draft, that's a huge step, and the rest will come.

13). What's it like to have so many fans? And what's the craziest thing a fan has done for you?

I'm not sure that having five fans counts as having "so many" ;)

Okay, so I might have a couple more than five. No one has done anything I would consider "crazy," but one of the nicest things a fan did for me was to make me a charm bracelet with special charms for Hope, Micah, and Jonathan. Other fans have sent me drawings of my characters, which is also amazingly sweet.

14). Team Micah? or Team Jonathan? and why?

If I had to pick a "team," it would be Team Micah, just because I think he and Hope are meant for each other in many ways. I personally love Jonathan, but there are specific reasons why he can never be with Hope. ;)

15). If you were ever offered the chance to make this series in to a tv show or a movie would you?

OMG, YES! When I write, I picture the scenes as scenes from a movie, and I've been told by many readers that they can see the scenes play out in their minds as they read. I would die if I could ever walk down a red carpet on the movie premiere. Preferably on the arm of Micah. Or Jonathan. Or both. 


16). If you could write a book with another author, who would it be? and why?

Someone who can deal with my craziness. Haha. No, seriously, I do have some top secret plans to write something collaboratively with Elise Valente, author of Vendetta of the Amaranthine series. ;)

Thank you again, for letting us interview you Helen!!!

Thank you so much! It was fun!

Fan Art by Megan! 


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  1. WOW, great post! So much awesomeness :). And I loooooooove the fanart!!!

  2. Thank you so much for hosting MYTHOLOGY on our tour! And I also LOVE LOVE the fanart and the great job you did putting together this post! Very lucky to have readers like the both of you. xoxo

    1. Thank you :) We were more than happy to do this for ya :), thank you for letting us it was great fun :)!!