Thursday, August 23, 2012

Authors Are Rockstars: Kelly Keaton (A Beautiful Evil)

Kelly loves ancient history, fantasy, and mythology. She dreams of one day attaining magical powers, discovering the secret to immortality, ridding her home of pet hair, and being crowned Mardi-Gras queen. As Kelly Gay, she writes the popular adult urban fantasy series, Charlie Madigan, for Pocket Books. While she calls Raleigh, NC, home, she can also be found chatting about books and life on Facebook and Twitter.

What is your favorite myth? 
I've always loved the Osiris/Isis myth; how Set betrayed and murdered Osiris, and how his wife, Isis, restored her husband and conceived a son, Horus, while Osiris was subsequently relegated to rule in the Underworld...

What about it appeals to you? 
The conflict. The human-ness of it-the jealousy, the anger, the loyalty and love, how things change, but how the constant struggle between good and evil remains - though the Egyptians would call it order and chaos.

Athena is also known as the goddess of wisdom, as well as of war. What led you to focus on her martial side? 
Athena is one of my favorite Greek goddesses. In the world I created, though, a couple thousand years have passed since the ancients wrote about the gods. So a question I had to ponder was, what was going on during this time period, from ancient times to the present day? Surely, personalities would change, experiences during this time would shape and change the gods. It's the same for Athena. Some very significant things have happened to her in the last thousand years, which have reshaped her and led her to become more war-like, more brutal, and unforgiving than ever before.

Will we eventually get to see the wise side of her personality? 
Yes, I think so. Underneath all of Athena's pain is still an extremely intelligent being, one who hasn't forgotten how to be wise, but simply chooses other paths. We will definitely see her at some very honest/wise moments in the future.

One of my favorite things about Ari is how strong and independent she is. What do you think makes for a strong heroine? Who are some heroines you admire? 
Thank you! Perseverance, resilience, character, integrity, and will are all things I think go into a great heroine. It's that never say die attitude. It's continuing on, day after day, even when you've been defeated or feel all is lost. It's sacrifice, being willing to put your safety, your time, or your energy to helping someone else. Strength doesn't always have to be flashy or epic to have an impact. Strong heroines, to me, aren't necessarily the ones who always win, but the ones who keep going despite what life throws at them. Some of my favorite heroines: I loved Morgainne and Vivienne from THE MISTS OF AVALON. Cleopatra, not only the historical figure, but her as a character in THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA.

The Medusa legend is particularly dark, as are many (if not most) of the Greek myths. Why do you think mythology tends so much toward the macabre? 
Because often they're a reflection of human nature. Birth, death, hate, love, lust, envy... And the human experience, especially in ancient times, was fraught with dangers. The macabre was commonplace. Men carried clubs, axes, blades... we're talking close contact, intimate fighting. Health concerns like wounds, disease, childbirth, took lives regularly, and things like thunder, lightning, earth quakes, floods, they were all unknowns, all mysteries and as such attributed to gods. Myths tried to explain the unexplainable-why the sun rose every day, why the seasons came and went, why the mountains spewed fire. And they highlighted what it means to be human. Myths taught, and warned, and guided early mankind, too.

Do you think you'll work with mythology again in future series? 
Without a doubt. I cannot see myself writing without some mythological inspiration. Mythology is what first sparked my creative/storytelling mind as a child; it's always going to be a source to draw upon or be inspired by.

Thanks so much to Kelly for stopping by to answer a few questions, and to Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books for putting together the Authors Are Rockstars Tour!

Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari.

Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine....


Fiktshun said...

What a fantastic interview this was! It gave the author such great talking points. I loved learning more about the mythology - especially how the author envisioned Athena to have evolved over the millennia.

And while I knew the author wrote her stories that were based on mythology, I had no idea she was so passionate about the subject. Which of course has now made me desperate to dive into book two in this series. I love knowing how excited and passionate an author is about the subject they are writing about.

And I loved getting to know Ari and am dying to squeeze book two onto the top of my pile.

Thank you so much for being a part of this tour! You picked the perfect questions to ask and Kelly Keaton's answers not only got me excited to grab A BEAUTIFUL EVIL and start reading, but to try out a few classics that I might not have enjoyed the first time around.

Lisa Mandina said...

I had not heard of this book or author before, and now I'm eager to read the book! Thanks for the great post!

javalotta said...

Thanks for the great post! I love this series and can't wait for the third book.;)

Two Chicks On Books said...

I love mythology and especially Greek mythology. I remember being in grade school and going to the library and getting every book on the Greek gods that I could find. I can't wait to get started on Kelly's books.

You guys did a fantastic job with the interview questions! Thanks so much for being a part of the tour. :)


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Wonderful interview, and wow! Book 2 already. Dang, I'm behind. *sigh* Thanks!

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