Author Interviews

Author Interview – Amalia Carosella

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Hello friends and fellow bookworms! The Page Maiden and I have been tossing around the idea of adding author interviews to our line up and we are proud to present our very first interview!

We had the great fortune of getting to interview an author we both love for our first interview. But beyond being an author we both enjoy, Amalia Carosella has greater significance as our first interviewee.

In college, the Page Maiden and I we great friends, always talking books and recommending our latest reads to each other. After college, life took us in separate directions for several years. And then, last year, Amalia published Helen of Sparta. The Page Maiden and I were both active on Goodreads then and noticed that we were reading
Helen of Sparta at the same time. Suddenly, it was if no time had passed. Even though we were, at the time, separated by hundreds of miles, we were back to our bookish ways.

Shortly afterward, she moved to the town I lived in and we began meeting at bookstores and coffee shops to discuss books, movies, and television. During this time, I was working on the blog and began telling the Page Maiden about it. The rest is history.

Without further ado, Amalia Carosella:


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Amalia, thank you again for the opportunity to interview you for our blog. Tell me, what has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?

 

 

 

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Ahhh. This is a tough one. The release of Helen of Sparta was fantastic — it was incredible to see my book climb the way it did, and know that it was reaching so many people. I remember my brother telling me that he’d suggested it to one of his co-workers, and they replied that they already had it, and that was such a novelty for both of us. Ha! But the Historical Novel Society conference in Denver was incredibly rewarding too, in totally different ways. Being in a group with so many other authors, people who totally get the trials and tribulations of your profession — it’s an incredible thing. And I felt like I made so many valuable connections, too. But honestly, just finishing every book is a thing of wonder.

 

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I can imagine. As an aspiring author myself I have worked on countless ideas but have yet to finish any. I admire any and every author that has had the courage and strength to finish one, even if only a first draft. 

 

 

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I think that’s the hardest thing to master — the finishing part. It can be easy to START things. But the excitement of the Starting will only get you so far, and then you really have to figure out how to push through and keep going and stay focused, and that can be anything from trying to exhausting to soul-destroying, sometimes, depending on the circumstances!

 

 

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Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?

 

 

 

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The difficulty of the process — how hard it is to carve out a toehold in the industry, generally. So often there’s this idea that once you sell a book you’re instantly rich, or everything is all down hill and easy from there. But it’s not. It never is. And really post-release, I think, is the most difficult time for an author, because there’s so little we can do at that point to influence the outcome — you just have to hope and pray that the book will take flight and start gathering its own momentum, and if it doesn’t… Well. It’s incredibly difficult to shift the course of things at that point.

 

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What advice do you have for any aspiring authors?

 

 

 

 

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 I would say this: write the stories that are in your heart. Write the books you are driven to write. Worry about the publishing stuff LAST. But when you make it that far, be prepared for the roller coaster. Emotionally and mentally it’s a really difficult business to be in — any creative field, I think, is especially difficult and maybe that much more taxing, because we put so much of ourselves into our work. Rejection of a personal book or a book of our heart can feel like rejection of us, personally — of what we bring to the table, to our community, to society or the world. And that’s hard to take. I don’t think it ever really gets easier.

 

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What does a typical writing day look like for you? Do you have any particular rituals or processes?

 

 

 

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We kept odd hours in the Dillin household even before I became a writer, but basically when I’m drafting my day looks like this:

Get up, try to get words on the page first thing (and on a good day I can get a solid 1000 or even 2K in during that first two to three hours — if I don’t get distracted by email or social media). Then take a break for lunch with el husband — it’s our main meal of the day — and maybe watch a couple of sitcom episodes with him before he leaves for work. See him off, then get back to drafting again. Work until either a) I’m falling asleep, b) I’m too hungry to keep going and stop for a very late dinner, c) el husband gets home, d) I’m wiped out and staring blankly at the screen. Generally speaking once I stop for dinner, that’s the end of my work day. Getting my focus back is too hard, so I just call it. That goes triple if my dinner is a social one, so if I have any kind of plans to eat with someone else I have to really drive myself hard in the morning and early afternoon to hit a word count that allows me to enjoy myself guilt free. Much as I hate to admit it — those first couple of hours after I get up are the most critical. If I’m super productive and get myself in the groove that sets the tone for the rest of the day — if I fritter them away, the rest of my words that day will be like pulling teeth.

 

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I read on your blog that Helen of Sparta was written as a National Novel Writing Month book (which is extra amazing as I am a NaNo participant. It makes me feel hopeful.) That must have added an interesting bit of pressure on you. 

 

 

 

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Yes! Helen was a NaNo novel! And so was the first of my Orc Saga books, actually. I was writing full-time, so that made it easier to pull off. I didn’t have to balance it with a 9-5. I honestly am not sure I’d be a writer today if I had not been unemployed at that time, so I REALLY admire people who are able to be writers as a second job, or write while raising kids — that is superhuman awesome, from my perspective.

 

 

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What do you do in your free time when you aren’t writing?

 

 

 

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Read 🙂

Also El Husband and I love going to movies. There are a handful of television shows we watch, too, but if left to my own devices I’m more likely to pick up a book than turn on the TV.

Um, what else… lots of family stuff. My parents and some of my extended family live nearby and that’s probably my biggest time investment after writing! Not really a hobby, but definitely something I “do” in my free time!

In the summer, on hot days in my Air Conditioning-free home, I like to skip out and spend some time in the pool at my parents’ house, and in the winter I love going for walks in the snow — I have these awesome retired firefighter’s boots and they’re SUPER toasty and perfect for that kind of adventure.

 

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Under Amalia Dillin, you have two other popular series: “The Fate of the Gods,” in which we see the likes of Thor,  Adam, and Eve, and “The Orc Saga,”  that has been likened to a Tolkienesque Beauty and the Beast. Are there any other myths or figures of mythology/religion that you are planning to put your own spin on? For example, could we expect to see something like the story of Hades and Persephone or some Egyptians gods?

 

 

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Probably not Hades and Persephone just because I don’t feel like I’d be doing anything that hasn’t been done there — it seems like a lot of people are covering that base right now! But I did do a little bit with the Egyptian gods in my Fate of the Gods trilogy, and I’ve got a novella focused on Ra and Athena in that universe that I’ve been fighting with for a while now, but just haven’t had the time to devote to the research I need to do to get it right (it takes Ra to India, actually and I really don’t want to do a half-job when digging deeper into a major world religion). I’d LOVE to do a Moses/Ramesses book, maybe, one day, and I’ve written (but not published) a Samson and Delilah short story. I definitely have more Bronze Age Greek Heroes in me and I’m also really interested in the Saga of the Volsungs — some kind of Sigurd and Brynhild retelling. And of course I just releases Tamer of Horses, which is about a much younger King Pirithous and his marriage to Hippodamia… So. Um. Yes.

 

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We loved Pirithous’s character, so we’re really excited to the see more about him. What more can you tell us about the book?

 

 

 

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Tamer of Horses takes place about 30 years before Helen of Sparta (give or take) and tackles the Centauromachy — the war with the centaurs that began at his wedding feast. It’s really Hippodamia’s book, but Pirithous being Pirithous… well, he doesn’t allow himself to be ignored. And he’s a true son of Zeus, so the book is definitely a little bit sexier in parts! Hopefully no one will mind that Theseus and Antiope play a role in TAMER, too. 🙂

 

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We definitely don’t mind! We love Theseus and are excited to see more of his history in any capacity!

 

 

 

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Also, I wanted to say I definitely understand you not wanting to write a new story centered around Persephone and Hades, but I would have loved to see your interpretation of the pair, as well as the Underworld. Even if just for a moment.

 

 

 

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I definitely think you would add such an amazing spin to them. Truthfully, I think that we are just spoiled with having had your interpretations of so many myths and mythological characters that we just want to see your versions of almost everyone. Ha!

 

 

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Well, you never know 🙂 I mean, Persephone and Hades could pop-up in other books even if they don’t get their own retelling. And I’ll never say never! Except for Jason and the Argonauts. I’m definitely not writing that book. 😉

 

 

 

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Do you think you might try and branch out into other genres in the future or do you plan on staying in the awesome niche that you have created?

 

 

 

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I think I’ve got at least one straight contemporary romance up my sleeve, and I could see myself doing more paranormal romance, maybe, with mythic figures. I think mostly right now I’m focused on historical fiction/historical fantasy, but it’s hard to say what I’ll be writing in five years. The other day, watching a movie with my cousin, I got an idea for a different take on a Cinderella story, for example. So it’s one of those things where I’m not sure where the wind will take me, and I’m trying to be open and flexible, obviously, because there’s a certain amount of practicality and necessity in focusing on what people are willing to pay you for — but I hope I’ll stay true to me, too, and keep writing books that are meaningful FOR me, no matter what.

Coming down the pipe non-hypothetically, I’ll be breaking a little bit out of my comfort zone with Daughter of a Thousand Years next year, which is a dual narrative, half set in Viking Age Greenland and half in contemporary New Hampshire. It’s the most personal book I’ve ever written (and the most difficult) and release day/week/month/year is going to be utterly terrifying, so fingers crossed 🙂

 

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It looks like you’re batting a thousand with so many new books! We’re looking forward to reading more of your work!! Can you tell us more about Daughter of a Thousand Years, or is it still under wraps for the time being?

 

 

 

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I’m actually not sure what I’m allowed to say yet! I just got my copyedits though, and the style sheet is a pretty hilarious mix of contemporary expressions and historical bits and bobs. I’ll add this much: the historical half of the book focuses on Freydis, Erik the Red’s daughter. And I LOVE her. She’s difficult and challenging and not always likeable — she’s so flawed! — but I think that’s what makes her so interesting.

 

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We are excited to read it and we’ll keep readers updated as new information is released.

 

 

 

 

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We do have some cover art now, so I feel like I can say a little bit more — Freydis and her contemporary counterpart, Emma, are two women living a thousand years apart and ultimately fighting the same fight: They both want to live and worship freely. For Freydis in the Viking Age, this is a life or death struggle. For Emma, as the Heathen daughter of a congressman who runs on a platform of Christian values, it could be the scandal that destroys her family and her father’s career. It’s kind of a “The more things change…” book, I guess.

 

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On your blog, you have many many entries where you discuss different mythological tales and timelines. For anyone who really wants to really get into Greek Mythology but doesn’t know where to start, where would you suggest they begin? Do you have a “reading list” per se?

 

 

 

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I think Edith Hamilton’s Mythology is a good place to start for a beginner — it’s very readable and approachable as an overview. After that, I’d probably recommend just reading The Iliad and The Odyssey, and probably Pseudo-Apollodorus in translation, along with Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths. I’m a big believer in going to the primary sources (or at least the translations of the primary sources) early and often, because I think it’s important that we read them and find meaning for ourselves before we find out what meaning we’re supposed to get from them — engaging with them directly is the best way to keep the myths relevant to our modern lives and the world we live in, and I definitely don’t believe that mythology is meant to remain static. It should be evolving with us!

 

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We completely agree! On that note, what do you think of the resurgence of mythology in contemporary Young Adult fiction books such as the Percy Jackson series? Do you have an opinion on them?

 

 

 

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I LOVED the Percy Jackson books. The first five were phenomenal. The way that Rick Riordan thoughtfully brought the gods into modernity was just awesome and so fun. I think he did a great job of making the gods relevant again for a new generation, and I couldn’t be more excited about that. I hope he’s raised a whole generation of mythology-lovers and they’ll all grow up to read my books 🙂

In all seriousness, I think it’s great that mythology is getting a little bit of a renaissance through fiction, be it Middle Grade, Young Adult, or Adult Paranormal Romance! Some of them I ADORE and some of them I don’t (I can’t get behind Loki’s popularity, for example) but if it gets people looking up the myths and learning more about the Classics, that’s the most important part.

 

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I think Loki is really only popular now because of how Tom Hiddleston portrayed him. He gave him a “lovable villain” feel.

 

 

 

 

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I know many of his “fangirls” (having been one myself) had their interest expanded to Norse Mythology. After watching him as Loki, I delved deeper into the myths and I feel that the movies and comics accomplished what you did with your books: to inspire readers to look deeper into the story.

 

 

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Oh, definitely Tom Hiddleston is a large part of the reason, and I think he did a fantastic job as an actor, but for personal reasons, it makes me a little bit uncomfortable to see this kind of… almost cult of Loki that’s resulted. I’m THRILLED that people are discovering and rediscovering the Norse Myths because of it, and my own personal #ThorLove was definitely sparked by the comic books (Ultimate Thor in the first two Ultimates titles is a phenomenal twist on his character, making him a hippie, “save the whales and the planet” tree-hugger was inspired. And J. Michael Straczynski’s Thor run totally blew me away. Particularly the first volume.) But I also am the kind of person who thinks that myths aren’t just stories, and if there’s a chance that there is a Loki out there — well, I’m not sure we want to be accidentally inviting him in. If that makes sense? (That probably makes me sound crazy. Sorry. I’m strange, I know.)

 

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Not at all! Ha! However, I do have to ask a question about your blog. What can you tell us about the #namethatbutt contests? How did they begin?

 

 

 

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Ha!

I think it began with “I took all these pictures of the backsides of sculptures — what am I going to do with them?” At first it was just the novelty — I mean sculpture is meant to be seen in 3 dimensions, 360 degrees, and there are some works that have some really awesome small elements that if you don’t look at the back you’ll miss out, like Farnese Hercules, with his apples behind his back. But then, after people seemed to get such a kick out of #NamethatButt I got a lot more deliberate about it. Whenever family and friends travel to places where there might be sculpture I ask them for Front, Back, and Plaque shots of mythological figures for the game. Sometimes I get usable images and sometimes I don’t, and of course I prefer to take the pictures myself, but I find that it’s something that people remember, and it’s a piece of branding that kind of sets me apart, so it’s been pretty valuable! As long as people enjoy it, and I can find enough butts to keep it going, the game will go on!

 

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I think it is an awesome and fun feature! If I go to any museums in the future, I’ll let you know! Ha!

 

 

 

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Hahaha!! Yes!! Please do! Full length shots are preferred! 

 

 

 

 

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As lifetime fans of books and films/shows adapted from books, we understand that 99.9999% of the time, authors have no say in what actors get to portray their characters on the screen. Just for fun though, if Helen of Sparta and By Helen’s Hand were adapted for the screen, either television or film, who do you feel would best fit the main characters, such as Helen, Theseus, Menelaus, Pirithous, the various gods and goddesses, Castor and Pollux, Paris, etc? We actually discussed this earlier and are extremely curious about your answers. 

 

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Nooooooo! This is my least favorite question. It’s SO HARD for me to cast my characters because I don’t really see faces, so I’d be looking more for the qualities the actors can embody, like Self-possession for Helen. Ummmm. I wouldn’t mind Emma Watson for Helen. For Theseus… maybe Stanley Weber from Outlander? (He has a fantastic jawline.) Maybe Sam Claflin for Menelaus (he’d have to have red hair for the role) and ummm. I wouldn’t mind Liam Hemsworth for Pollux — he seems pretty easy-going but also like he could play it serious, too, and I think Pollux needs someone who can do both. For Pirithous, maybe someone like Gerard Butler who can pull off the not taking anything seriously glint of humor in his eye at all times? Obviously he’d have to be SUPER charming. Sean Bean was the ultimate casting choice for Odysseus (the best thing about the movie TROY), even if he’s a little old for my Odysseus now. But honestly, I don’t do a lot of fantasy casting and I’m not in love with or invested in any of these choices — I’m limited to the actors and actresses that are familiar to me when I’m answering these kinds of questions. What I’d really want if these books became a movie (though this goes for my Fate of the Gods books, too), was a casting director who was invested in bringing some diversity to the ancient world — I’d love to see some middle eastern actors and actresses, at the least, because I don’t think for a minute Bronze Age Greece or Troy was as white as Hollywood would like to make it. People got around!

Also I am REALLY curious about how YOU would cast them — that’s maybe the more fascinating part for me as the author, to see how readers are imagining my characters!

 

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We will definitely have to get back to you on that! We both had some people in our heads that seem to work for us (like Iain Glen from Game of Thrones was my Theseus, even though he looks much older than Theseus should have. His warmth and protectiveness immediately cinched him the look in my brain though.)

We actually tried to make a list but it can be hard because you want to make sure that the actor not only looks like the character should, but because there are so many crossed bloodlines, you want the appropriate characters to have similar characteristics. We discovered very quickly that we are not destined to be casting directors. 

 

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Right? Exactly! It’s SO hard. Also I just looked up Iain Glen and I do not know how old he is in this picture but HELLO. And I totally can see what you’re saying about his character in Game of Thrones. He definitely does have some of that Theseus personality going for him in that role. But yeah. I do not envy casting directors at all — that has got to be an incredibly thankless job, particularly for an adaptation of anything, because no matter who they pick, someone is going to have a beef with it. I remember being put out about the casting for Peeta in the Hunger Games movies, for example, but he really embodied him so well! So they clearly knew what they were doing, even if I couldn’t see it at first. (But I’m still giving the side-eye to the casting choice for Young Han Solo, fyi.)

 

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Quick note to our readers, this question involves spoilers from book one.
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the first book was the loss of Helen’s first child with Theseus (especially considering the circumstances of the loss). The child is unnamed in the first book and remains so in book two. Why did you choose to keep her unnamed and if you could name her, what would you choose? Would you name her Iphigenia like some versions do?

 

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I did actually at one point name her Iphigenia. I wrote a scene that got cut or revised out at some point in the process where after she’s returned to Sparta, Helen is talking to Clytemnestra, who is pregnant again, and musing about what to name her child and Helen murmurs the name Iphigenia — thinking of her own lost child — and Clytemnestra seizes upon the name and ultimately uses it for her own daughter, after she’s born. It’s not really canon, because I don’t think it could really fit in the book as it ended up, but definitely in my personal headcanon, Helen and Theseus’s little girl was named Iphigenia.

 

 

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In many fictional adaptions of mythology, the gods are mentioned and revered but never make an actual presence even though they are a reigning theme. In Helen of Sparta and By Helen’s Hand, the gods have a tangible presence. What led you to take this path, as opposed to them being omnipresent entities whose machinations are felt but not necessarily seen like in other works?

 

 

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Honestly, this is something I feel really REALLY strongly about when writing about ancient civilizations and myths. I think the gods of ancient peoples need the space to breathe, to live on the page in OUR stories as they lived within the myths of their culture. Who am I to say that the gods did NOT engage with their heroes, kings, and champions? Who am I to suggest that their gods and beliefs and spiritual experiences or spiritual traditions are not as legitimate as ours? And it seems to me, sometimes, that that’s what we’re saying by pushing them out of stories like those which surround the Trojan War. Helen and Pollux and Pirithous are children of Zeus. Theseus is a son of Poseidon. The gods literally wade into the battle at Troy, and Aphrodite explicitly saves Paris’s life. And if that’s how the ancient Greeks believed things happened, if that was their personal narrative of their personal history, it seems like it’s only right and respectful to give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

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Considering that most of the main gods made an appearance in the series, we are curious as to why we didn’t get to see Zeus – especially when he is Helen’s father.

 

 

 

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I tried to keep my use of the gods and goddesses to a minimum. So for example, since Theseus’s mythology suggests he has more personal relationships with Athena and Poseidon, it made sense for those gods to make an appearance, and since Aphrodite is very much a part of Helen and Paris’s story, I couldn’t really leave her out. Nor Hera and Hermes, because of the Judgment. Zeus is far more distant. He never reveals himself to Helen as far as I know. But I’m not sure Helen really has much of an interest in seeing her father, either, or having any kind of relationship with him, once she’s old enough to understand how he means to use her. And before that, before she realizes that her beauty is more curse than it is blessing, she already knows that Zeus imposed himself on her mother. (Not once, but twice, in my book.) That she is the product of that imposition, a rape by Zeus in the form of a swan. I’m not sure I’d want to see or know my father under those circumstances. That said, if I’d found evidence of it in the myths, I’d probably have included it — and it would have been a lot of Helen giving her dad what for, I’d imagine!

 

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Oh absolutely! We never expected Zeus to appear to her as a loving or doting father. That would be low even for him. Rather maybe to scold her for her efforts to prevent the war. Or tell her that no matter what she does the war will still occur. It would have been interesting to see your interpretation of the King of Gods even through a very brief scene. 

 

 

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I think Zeus knows where he isn’t wanted — he’s been trained by his marriage to Hera, after all, and she definitely wasn’t shy about giving him grief. Maybe it wasn’t worth it to him, since he knew he was going to get his way regardless. But now you have me THINKING about it, and I wonder, too, if Zeus might have deliberately kept his distance because of Helen’s beauty. Or because he didn’t want to draw Hera’s attention to her anymore than it already was. Maybe in his own way, he was trying to do her a favor and save her that little bit of grief.

But if you’d like to meet a different iteration of Zeus from my brain — it’s a different world but — he makes a couple appearances in my Fate of the Gods trilogy 🙂

 

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Ooh, trust me, we’ll definitely be checking the series out!

Given that Pirithous was such an important character in the first book, it’s tragic that he was condemned to the underworld for the rest of his days. Was there a part of you that wanted to alter the myth or at least feature his point of view as it related to Theseus’s time in the Underworld? For fun, if you could save him, how would you have continued his story? 

 

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Haaaaaaa. For fun, if I could save him — well. I know exactly how I would continue his story, because I already wrote that book. And I would love to publish it someday, honestly, so I don’t want to give too much away. BUT. You can find a little teaser for it on my Amalia Dillin blog. (It was soooo much fun to write and I might be part way into a sequel, too.)

 

 

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We loved the teaser! It is such an interesting concept: Pirithous in the Modern Age. I can just imagine what his reaction to modern things would be. We definitely hope to see more on it in the future.

 

 

 

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Oh man, Pirithous as fish out of water is GOLD. ONE DAY. I’m determined that this manuscript will go out into the world. Of course, since I wrote it before Tamer of Horses, I feel like I’m going to have to do some editing to keep the continuity now. It’s so weird to be hopscotching through the lives of these heroes, moving backward or skipping into the far future of their timelines. I actually wrote Tamer of Horses before I wrote By Helen’s Hand, and I was so glad I’d done it because then I had all the background for Polypoetes’s family — I knew what kind of man Pirithous had been, what kind of father, to an extent. And of course that would have an impact on the kind of man Polypoetes would become and his character in BHH.

 

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If Helen had been upfront with everyone from the very beginning (Menelaus, her mother, her Father) about her premonitions and fears, could things have turned out differently? If Helen had approached and convinced her father about marrying Theseus and they found away for Theseus to aptly rule and protect both Athens and Sparta, what obstacles would they have faced? Would they have succeeded and the future of Helen’s dream be avoided? Or would the Gods still get their war in any way possible?

 

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In Helen of Sparta, Helen is VERY afraid that if she comes clean about her dreams, she’ll be taken by the priests and turned into an Oracle. Would that have happened? It’s hard to say. Maybe it would have. Maybe she’d have been locked up inside a temple for the rest of her days, trotted out to dispense wisdom or prophesy or advice, living her life forever in service to the gods — gods she does not necessarily have a lot of respect for or desire to serve. But I think the best case scenario would have been what we saw in Helen of Sparta — her father and Menelaus discounting her fears and arranging her marriage as they saw fit. I doubt very much Tyndareus would have been persuaded to marry Helen to Theseus, regardless, though. Remember that Theseus has already lost two wives, and potentially misused another woman before that who he had supposedly promised to marry but then abandoned. He’s not a safe bet for a father who dotes on his daughter, no matter how heroic or how wise a king he’s become. Likely if they’d married openly with Tyndareus’s blessing, Menelaus would still feel cheated somehow, and Agamemnon would still be all too happy to go to war — for his own gain, and because, in my novel, Agamemnon promised Helen to Menelaus as a reward for his loyalty and support when he took back the throne of Mycenae. So there would still have been a war, and Theseus likely would have lost his crown even if Athens had won, because it would have been the second war brought to Athens by his choice of wife. The first being the war with the Amazons, after his marriage to Antiope. Maybe Helen and Theseus would be able to retreat then, to Sparta, but Theseus would have been disgraced, and Sparta would likely not have been any more interested in him as a king than Athens would have been at that point.

 

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That makes complete sense. Not a good idea, in retrospect.

 

 

 

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I think if Helen had not been Helen — not the most beautiful woman in the world, I mean — maybe it would have been less problematic for her to come clean. But as it was… Well, I think she was really between a rock and a hard place, no matter what.

 

 

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Outside of Helen and Theseus, who were your favorite characters to write? We imagine that Heracles and Pirithous were particularly interesting to write, but do you have any favorites?

 

 

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I LOVED writing Pirithous and Heracles, and Polypoetes! So much love for Polypoetes!! I was also really excited to be able to write Odysseus — I remember telling myself, when I was just sick about what was coming down the pipe for Helen, and dragging my feet on finishing: “if you just get through this then you can write Odysseus!” so he was kind of a reward to myself for putting Helen through so much awfulness.

 

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You can definitely see that you enjoyed writing them! They were fantastic characters and so much fun to read. And speaking of Polypoetes, we liked how his inclusion in the book really defined the curse that was Helen’s beauty. His change of character was so well written and telling, even if unfortunate.  And of course we adored Pirithous, Heracles, and Odysseus. 

 

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My poor Polypoetes. Ixion’s line really has some pretty terrible luck when it comes to women. But I’m not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind writing a Polypoetes book, maybe. *puts it on list*

 

 

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What would you like your readers to take away from the two books as they finish By Helen’s Hand? Is there a particular feeling or piece of knowledge that you want to impart to them or, as with you said about mythology in general before, do you want them to make their own interpretations?

 

 

 

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Anytime I hear someone say that they immediately went to go look up the myths to see how it “really” happened, I feel like the book did what it was supposed to do. Obviously yes, I want people to feel all the bittersweetness, to be punched in the feels and then be filled with satisfaction at how things end, even to read these two books and adopt them as their definitive headcanon for the lead-up to the Trojan War. But as long as it makes people fall a little bit in love with the myths themselves, that’s the most important part, and what I hope for most!

 

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There were definitely some legends mentioned in both novels that we both had to look up to refresh ourselves. It was great to go back and relearn about the myths and compare them to your interpretations. As for being punched in the feels, we were definitely emotionally wrung by certain scenes. We love it when authors can make us feel such strong emotions and you definitely succeeded at that and more. 

 

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I’m so glad! I’m thrilled that my Helen books gave you an excuse to reread and relearn and look things up! That’s seriously the thing that makes me happiest to hear!

 

 

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Amalia, thank you again for taking the time to answer our questions. We appreciate it more than we can express! We are so honored to have you as our first guest interview on the blog and look forward to all of your forth-coming projects!

 

 
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And thank you so much for having me!! This was one of the most fun interviews I’ve done in a long time!

 

 

 

 


 

 

There you have it! To learn more about Amalia Carosella and her books, visit her blog.

 

Click here to purchase her books on Amazon or here to purchase on the Barnes and Noble website.

 

To read my review of Helen of Sparta, click here. The Page Maiden’s review of By Helen’s Hand will be available soon.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Author Interview – Amalia Carosella

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