Today I am pleased to welcome Jennifer Estep to the blog! I've devoured every one of the Mythos Academy books. Dark Frost, book three in the series, comes out May 29!
Here's a little bit about the Mythos Academy books from Jennifer's website:
The Mythos Academy books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. Gwen’s magic lets her see everyone who has ever touched or used an object as well as feel their emotions — the good, the bad, and the ugly.After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen finds herself shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendents of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, and more. The academy is located in the fictional suburb of Cypress Mountain, North Carolina, and the kids there are training how to use their magic and various skills to fight Reapers of Chaos. The Reapers are some seriously bad guys who want to free the evil god Loki from his mystical prison so Loki can take over the world and enslave everyone.Gwen doesn’t think that she belongs at the academy or that she’s any kind of warrior, but she’s wrong — and she’s a lot stronger than she realizes.And now for the interview...
YA Bibliophile: I'm a sucker for any type of mythology. With all the different mythologies worked in the Mythos Academy books they are such a treat! What made you decided to incorporate multiple mythologies instead of focusing on one culture's?
YAB: Even with all the crazy things that go down at Mythos Academy it seems like such an awesome school! Whenever I read about boarding schools I totally regret my boring public high school experience. Where did the idea of Mythos Academy come from?
JE: One of the first things I thought about for the academy was the Library of Antiquities. I just thought it would be really cool if there was this huge, slightly creepy library with all these statues on it that also contained all these mythological artifacts. Once I had the idea for the library, I just sort of built the rest of the campus around it, and that was how I came up with the academy.
YAB: Spartans, Vikings, Valkyries, Romans, Amazons, Gypsies and more! They all have different powers and characteristics. I can imagine that makes it fun to craft your different characters. Which is your favorite type of "warrior whiz kid" to write and why?
JE: I like writing about all the different warrior whiz kids and showing how they use their different powers and abilities. I’m always trying to think of new and interesting powers and ways that they can use their magic.
YAB: While each book in the Mythos Academy has had it's own story they all work together in an overall arc. The way authors do this always impresses me! When you started writing the series did you know what each book was going to be about or did you only know the overall arc? How do you make it all work together?
JE: I generally know the overall story arcs and the big things that need to happen in certain books to drive the characters and the various arcs forward. But I’m also a panster in that I don’t do extensive outlines of what happens. For example, I don’t plot out each book chapter by chapter. Usually, when I start writing a book, I know the characters and the major turning points of the story. Once I have those in mind, I just sit down and get to work and see how the plot fits in with the larger story arcs that I want to tell.
YAB: I'm assuming you've read a number of myths and the mythos of some different cultures. What's the most interesting myth or belief you've come across in your reading?
JE: One of my favorite stories is the one of Psyche and Cupid because it’s a myth but it also has a bit of fairy-tale quality to it. Plus, it has a happy ending, as Psyche and Cupid are finally reunited. I just like the idea that love conquers all.
YAB: If you could be a part of the pantheon for any culture which would you choose?
JE: That’s a tough one, but I think it would be cool to be Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. I would imagine that being the goddess of victory that you would always win at everything. I think that would be an interesting power to have.
YAB: There are a number of mystical artifacts and supernatural creatures in the Mythos Academy books. If you could have any artifact or any creature for a pet which would you choose and why?
JE: I think it would be fun to have a pet gryphon that I could fly around on.
YAB: Logan. Quinn. Oh man. I just love him! I mean, Gwen is kick butt and awesome too but the bad boy with a kind heart? SOLD! Is there a character that you enjoy writing more than the others?
JE: I probably have the most fun writing Vic, Gwen’s talking sword. He’s so bloodthirsty and completely unapologetic about it. I always have a good time imagining the outrageous things he would say in any given situation.
YAB: Mythos Academy has it all.... action, romance, mystery, humor, and more! Is there a type of scene that is easier to write than the others? Is there one that is hardest?
JE: I really like writing fight scenes. I always enjoy trying to think of ways that Gwen can use her brains and magic to defeat the bad guys. It can be tough for me to write some of the scenes between Gwen and Logan. There are so many things I want to capture about their relationship – how they feel about each other, what they like about each other, their insecurities, and the things that are keeping them apart. I just really want to pack a lot of emotion and feeling into those scenes, and that can be challenging sometimes.
YAB: So... read any good book lately?
JE: I recently finished Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas, which I enjoyed, and I’m looking forward to reading Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore; Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter; and The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, among the other books in my TBR pile.
Thanks so much to Jennifer for stopping by! I love these books. Getting to learn more about them is such a treat! And now a treat for you lovely readers... Jennifer has offered a copy of Dark Frost for you to win! US only. 13 or older to win. Use the google form below to enter! Ends May 31.