Thursday, April 8, 2010

Goddess Girls Blog Tour: An Interview with the Authors!

Today I have for you all, the two authors of the Goddess Girls series; Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams. For this interview, they each will ask each other a few questions along with asking a few other people some questions having to do with the Goddess Girls books. Enjoy!

We’re thrilled to be here as guests, and are excited about the release of the first two books in our Goddess Girls series. Of course it takes lots of people to create a book, not just authors. So we’ve included some Q & A with three of the fabulous people who also worked on Goddess Girls: Editor: Emily Lawrence, Book Designer: Karen Paprocki, and Cover Artist: Glen Hanson.

Joan: I’ll start us off. So, Suzanne, what went through your mind that night over dinner, when I asked if you might like to co-author a chapter book series? Was your “yes” instantaneous, or how long did your “yes” take?

Suzanne: As I remember it was almost instantaneous—after I got over the initial surprise at being asked, that is. Collaboration was just something I’d never thought about before. But as soon as I’d wrapped my mind around the idea, I thought it would be fun. Especially since it would give me the chance to work with you!

Let me ask you a question. It’s the one I’m asked most often about collaborating: What are the plusses and minuses of working with a co-author?

Joan: Like other authors, I’m used to making all of the decisions about my work, with the exception of input from the editor and copyeditor. I think compromise got easier as we went along and began to really trust each other. That went surprisingly well. One plus is that you get to share the workload. On the flip side you also share the money, so it’s basically half the work and half the pay. Collaborating was like having a super-invested critique partner. It was great. Unlike in a typical crit situation where one author makes suggestions, we often actually rewrote each other’s work.

I’ll ask you something I get asked a lot. Which goddess would you like to be? First, I’ll admit that part of me wants to be Athena and part of me wants to be Aphrodite—brains and beauty!

Suzanne: Brains and beauty sound good to me, too! (But in practice, I’m more like an Athena/Persephone combo.)

Joan: I co-authored a picture book, The Man Who Named the Clouds, with my mom, Julie Hannah, and that was a good experience for me. She and I worked long-distance, via phone and email, just as you and I did, Suzanne. Had you ever tried collaborating on a book with another author before?

Suzanne: No, I hadn’t. That’s why I was so surprised when you brought up the idea. I’d just never considered it. But it was such a positive experience that I’m glad we’re busily thinking up new series ideas for possible future collaborations.

Joan: Yeah!

Suzanne: So, let’s visit with the creative team at Aladdin now. A question for our editor first. Emily, it took almost two years to polish and sell Goddess Girls. What made you want to acquire the series?

Emily: The idea of a fun, modernized setting -- but still mythically correct -- series about the Greek pantheon really appealed to me. And, my imprint, Aladdin, focuses on kid-friendly, commercial fiction for young readers so Goddess Girls was the perfect fit in a both a business and personal sense. It doesn’t hurt that the Percy Jackson movie released in the same season as the Goddess Girls, and interest in classical mythology is on the rise… We’ll just call that a hunch since I signed the series over a year ago.

Joan: Glen, Suzanne and I really love the cover illustrations for Goddess Girls. As the illustrator, you added many fun details true to the actual myths, so we wonder if you have a personal interest in mythology or if you are just really good at researching these things?

Glen: Thank you. I’m so complimented that you both feel I did your books justice with my illustrations. Creating the covers was a complete joy because I’ve been obsessed with Greek Mythology since my early teens.

Joan: That shows, Glen. Your covers truly shine, and working with you was a pleasure.

Suzanne: Karin, can your share with us something about the process of designing this book?

Karin: Well, I have to say I really enjoyed reading through the manuscripts. I find the stories fun, light, and full of appealing characters. I especially enjoy working on series’ for tween girls, and I was geared up to find some cute art/graphics, girl-centric fonts, and work with Glen’s gorgeous palette for this series. I think all the elements work very nicely together to marry the adorable cover image with the fun modern-meets-myth story.

Joan: Now’s our chance to thank you for those fonts, Karin. We particularly like the swoopy, swirly one you chose for the “Goddess Girl” logotype and chapter headings.

Joan and Suzanne: Thanks, Emily, Glen, and Karin. And now we have a couple of questions for our blog host. Zoe, you have over 250 followers and are asked to review many books. Why this series? Are you a mythology fan?

Zoe: I wanted to read something new. I'm not necessarily a "fan" of mythology, but I've always been interested in it. The series sounded really interesting to me. I don't usually read Middle Grade books or books that include mythology... so this will be a pretty refreshing thing for me to read.

Joan and Suzanne: Which goddess are you most like: Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, Artemis?

Zoe: I don't know! I don't really know much about any of the goddesses. I suppose I should learn more!

Joan: I think I got hooked on mythology in 7th grade, Zoe. I had a great lit teacher that year, and that helped boost my enthusiasm.

Suzanne and Joan: Many thanks for having us as guests here today, Zoe! We hereby crown you a teen blog goddess for agreeing when we asked you to participate in the Goddess Girl blog tour.

Suzanne: And lastly, for those of your readers who can’t get enough of all things goddess, here’s a quiz I created:

Your favorite color is:
a. Yellow when I’m happy, black when I’m not.
b. Dark pink, light pink, hot pink, bright pink. PINK!
c. Whatever. As long as it’s comfortable.
d. Ye gods! Why should it matter what color I wear?

Your general outlook on life is:
a. Sunny, but sometimes your mood turns dark, and that’s okay with you.
b. Viewed through the prism of romance. You love to play matchmaker with your friends!
c. Life’s a contest, and you like to compete. You’re very athletic and you also like board games.
d. Intellectual. There’s just so much to learn, and you sop up knowledge like a sponge.

When it comes to boys:
a. You go for the guy who is different and off-beat, and maybe a bit mysterious.
b. Anyone cute catches your eye; you’re an equal-opportunity flirter.
c. Yuck! Who gives a rip about boys?
d. Sure, you notice them, but you’re much too busy with schoolwork and after school activities to concern yourself with boys.

What some people don’t know about you is that deep down:
a. You “dance to a different drummer,” not always liking the same things your friends like.
b. You sometimes worry that other people—especially boys— like you more for your looks than for your other many good qualities.
c. You don’t really dislike boys as much as you claim to.
d. You worry that you’re not as smart as others think you are.

Given an hour or two of free time, you’d rather spend it:
a. Wandering around in a lovely garden or park.
b. Experimenting with make-up and hairstyles.
c. Playing with a pet or doing anything active.
d. Reading a book.

Add up the number of A’s, B’s, C’s, and D’s. If you have more A’s, you’re most like Persephone, B’s, you’re most like Aphrodite, C’s, you’re most like Artemis, D’s, you’re most like Athena. Or you might be a half-and-half mix of two Goddess Girls!


Suzanne Williams said...

Thanks for hosting our interview, Zoe. I think it's fantastic that you like to blog about books--always my favorite topic!

Joan Holub said...

Hi Zoe,

This blog post looks wonderful. Thank you so much! I'll buzz off and post on some social networking sites about it. Looking forward to a winner.

Hi to you Suzanne. See you this summer I hope...

Happy spring!

Emily said...

I liked to read the editor and authors say about writing the books. I want to win them okay?

If we win, please autograph to Sara, age 9. Thank you. Enjoyed the post.

Meredith L said...

Great interview Zoe, Suzanne and Joan. Please enter me in the giveaway - for my best friend's daughter, who is studying mythology in school.

Joan Holub said...

Emily and Sara, thank you for coming by today. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and I love that you blog together.

Meredith, thank you as well. That's so sweet that you're thinking of your neighbors.

Suzanne Williams said...

Let me add my thanks to Joan's. Thanks for stopping by, Meredith, Sara, and Emily.

Zoe, we appreciate you so much!

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