March 04, 2012

Guest Author: Audrey Hart

I'm so happy to introduce my very first guest author, lovely Audrey, the author of The Dig (Zoe and Zeus trilogy) (read my review here!)!

I was so happy, when Audrey agreed to tell us the story behind Zoe and Zeus, something I always want to know when I read a great book! :) So, here you go!

The story behind Zoe and Zeus trilogy by Audrey Hart

Last year, I was lucky to visit the Minoan ruins in Crete. I was in awe of everything. Imagine, people lived here 4000 years ago. And I became so interested in the people who spend their lives hunting down these ruins.

One afternoon, my iPhone buzzed and slipped out of my pocket. I gasped, thinking it had fallen between the cracks. And I freaked out and was really surprised about my reaction. Anyway, the next time I sat down to work on my novel, I kept going over that moment in my head. And then I knew that I wanted to write about a girl who lost her phone in a symbolic way. That was my a-ha moment, I guess. I can tell a story about a girl who will learn that she’s not the disconnected person she thinks she is.

The Dig is the first book in a trilogy that follows outsider Zoe Calder on her travels through time to Ancient Greece where she discovers that she has special powers. She meets Zeus. Hello crush!
And then she endures trials and heads to Mount Olympus with Zeus where she clashes with the clique of gods. They’re all pretty rankled by her budding relationship with Zeus. After all, where did this Zoe come from? Why does she have powers? At school, Zoe understands that her outsidery status is her own doing. But here, the tables are kind of turned. And ultimately, she learns a lot about her own power, the power that we all have, whether or not we can, you know, move actual mountains.

A big decision I made writing The Dig was to adapt the gods to be teenagers. When I meet new people I always wonder what they were like in high school. I think you learn so much about someone when you learn how they evolved, or haven’t. So I liked the idea of Zeus, who has this reputation for being so cold and domineering having had a period in life where he was actually kind of vulnerable.

And who knows? Maybe the image he has now is totally untrue and he never did all these terrible things. Or maybe he got fed up on Olympus and eventually turned into the Zeus we read about it books. Teenage years are formative years, and that’s what makes the stakes so high.
Plus, the Olympian gods are such strong characters. It was exciting to me to make the leap that they might have been real people with flaws and baggage like all of us. Then we have Zoe, who can be cynical about people, learning that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. In high school, we all tend to put certain people on pedestals because of their appearances or their abilities.
And I like the idea of Zoe dealing with a group of kids who are literally on pedestals. What a great journey for a teenage girl who thinks she’s sort of immune to cliques, to be alone, on Olympus with the ultimate clique of teens. And I think the reason she falls so hard for Zeus isn’t just that he’s, you know, Zeus who’s hot and can fly, but also that through spending time with him, she’s changing her outlook on people. And that’s a powerful experience.

This is my first novel. I had always wanted to write a coming of age story about a strong, independent girl learning about her strengths, her weaknesses and her capacity for love.
I want to send out a BIG thank you to all of my readers. I’m so thrilled with the overall response to The Dig thus far. Everyone is so articulate, opinionated and passionate about literature and I feel so fortunate that all of these wonderful people are taking time to read my book.

A friend of mine said I should write a movie instead of a book because nobody reads anymore. And I mean obviously, this friend was gloriously way off base. I also love to hear from readers about what they liked and didn’t like, so I want to encourage everyone out there to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. There’s nothing more fun than hearing what people like and don’t like, especially because this is only the beginning of Zoe’s adventure!

Thanks for the awesome post, Audrey, I just love it! :) And your friend was definitely wrong, people do read! :)

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