November 19, 2011
Today it's not just me here, but we also have a very special guest, Jessie Harrell, author of Destined, answering a few of our questions!
"When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.
As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.
Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell."
DESTINED is based on the Cupid & Psyche myth. The version we have is contained in a Roman story called The Golden Ass, by Lucius Apuleius. I feel in love with the myth while I was in college, so when I decided to start writing, I knew Psyche's story was one I wanted to tell. However, I also wanted to change the myth a bit so that Psyche was more a smart girl who made some poor choices rather than an airhead who plays a more passive role in the tale.
What are some obstacles you had to over come writing this book?
For one, since the version of the myth we have comes to us from a Roman, the gods' names in the myth are Roman instead of Greek (hence Cupid instead of Eros). Most people, I've found, do not know this detail. (Shocking, I know.) So, when I used the Roman names in my original draft, it was received very poorly. Most readers thought I'd made a major gaff with the names. I fought it for awhile, but eventually gave in and changed all the names to Greek.
Another obstacle was just learning how to be a writer. I wrote a great number of words that will never see the light of day. And that's a good thing. But making this story as good as I knew it could be was its own special challenge.
Did you know how your book was going to end, or did it come to you while you were writing?
Because I was basing DESTINED off the myth, I pretty much knew how it was going to end. But there's a twist thrown in that I didn't anticipate until a much later draft (I can't tell you what without spoiling it for those who haven't read it yet). I also had to do some significant rewrites to the ending after deciding to edit out the marriage/baby details from the original myth and make this a story truly for young adults. The epilogue came to me as I was writing, and although it's probably not entirely necessary, I wanted to include one final tender moment between Eros & Psyche. I thought their story deserved that kind of closure.
Do you have more books in the works?
I do, actually. I've co-written another novel with Nikki Katz, called Beneath the Surface. It's a present-day YA novel with heavy Greek myth influence but that isn't a retelling -- it's got its own original mythology. The tagline is: "An endless curse. A timeless love Which one will survive the summer?" We hope to find a home for it soon.
If you leave your e-mail address in your comment, you'll be automatically entered to win an e-copy of Destined. The contest will stay open for 48 hours after the post goes live, and then Jessie will use random.org to select a winner. Available formats include .mobu, .epub and .pdf.
And please be sure to visit the other stops on Destined's official blog tour for chances to win copies of Destined and other goodies.
Jessie's website: www.jessieharrell.com
Jessie's blog http://jessie-harrell.blogspot.com