author interview: aimée carter

Instead of writing a review of Aimée Carter’s debut YA novel, The Goddess Test, I decided to go the author interview route. Aimée is a good friend of mine, and she was gracious enough to answer a handful of my random questions.

And now, without further ado — my interview with Aimée!

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photo by onyonet studios

On The Goddess Test

Why did you write The Goddess Test?
It was a story that had been lingering in the back of my mind for so long that once all of the pieces fell into place, I knew I had to write it. Something felt different about that one compared to the manuscripts I’d written before, and thankfully my hunch turned out to be right. Mostly, however, it was the kind of story I wanted to read, and the only way I was going to be able to do that was to write it.

Which character in The Goddess Test do you most connect with and why?
I connect in some way to all of the main characters. Kate, for what she’s going through with her mother – I went through something similar after I’d signed with Harlequin TEEN and the book had already been written, ironically. Henry, for that sense of isolation and his loyalty. Ava, for her exuberance and love of life. And James, for his quirkiness and willingness to do what’s right.

On Writing

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve written in some form or another just about every day since I was eleven years old. I didn’t really choose it – one day I just started to write, and I never really stopped. I didn’t realize I could make a living off of it until I was fifteen or so though, and even then, I never expected to ever get this far. I’m very aware of how lucky I’ve been, and I wouldn’t trade being a writer for anything in the world.
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What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
The hours. Not going to lie, not having to wake up at any specific times is wonderful. I work best on nine hours of sleep. And, of course, getting to write stories, make up worlds, create characters – it’s hard work, but it’s the kind of work I love.

What’s the best thing about being published?
The readers who love the book and aren’t quiet about it. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to bloggers who have spread the word about The Goddess Test, and all of the buzz is because of them.

What’s the worst thing about being published?
The pressure of delivering a book that’s just as good, if not better than the first (and second). I know, I know, if only we could all have that problem. But really, it’s extremely difficult to know that people will be reading the manuscript I’m writing now, and they will be judging it (and me, by extension). That’s what I signed up for, and thankfully I tend to work well under pressure, but oh man. I never thought it would be this hard.

On Books

What book that you’ve read do you think has made the most impact on you as a writer?
Harry Potter, absolutely. I wouldn’t have continued on writing so much if it hadn’t been for those books. The way Rowling plots, the way she writes characters – it’s incredible.

Who’s your literary boyfriend / best friend / arch-nemesis?
Ooh, can I choose anyone? Let’s see … my literary boyfriend … Bill Weasley or Remus Lupin. How about both? I’m sure they’d be cool with it. Best friend … Polgara, from David and Leigh Eddings’ Belgariad and Mallorean series. Arch-nemesis … oh man, that’s a toughie. Peter Wiggins, from the later Ender’s Game series books.

Who are your top 5 favorite writers?
In no particular order, JK Rowling, Orson Scott Card, Suzanne Collins, Anne Bishop, and Rick Riordan.

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Tower of Terror: Aimée & Sarah included

Some Random Questions

How do you arrange the books in your personal library?
I have two bookcases, and while I tend to reread books on one more than the other, there’s no real method to how they’re arranged. I also have stacks of books around my room and even on the shelves themselves. Specifically I have two shelves devoted to Harry Potter books (both are stuffed full), and while I try to vaguely arrange the others alphabetically or by type, it’s more my own personal filing system, which has very little rhyme or reason. I also have a larger shelf that’s stacked twice high with trade paperbacks. I think those are (or at least were at some point) alphabetical.

What are you most afraid of?
Being locked in. Namely elevators, rooms without windows, etc. It makes life interesting. On the plus side, I take the stairs a lot.

Hey, what’s the story behind that Tower of Terror photograph?
So Sarah, me, and a few of our friends were taking a day trip to Disneyland. They wanted to go on the Tower of Terror, but – see the above question – I was terrified of this ride, no pun intended. I’d been one once or twice before, and I’d absolutely hated it. Of course, that had been more than a decade earlier, so by some miracle they convinced me to go. After all, if six-year-olds could do it …

Fast-forward to this ride. I knew what was coming; I’d done this before. But when that window opened up and we could see the whole park, I screamed a very loud (and very bad) cuss word, then promptly clamped my hand over my mouth, because – well, see the little kids in front of us? Yeah.

Thus concludes the story of the funniest picture I’ve ever taken. You may have had to be there.

Describe your typical day to us.
I wake up usually around 2-3 in the afternoon (I know, sigh, such a rough life!) and spend an hour or two answering email, catching up on tweets, generally being social. Then, after getting ready, I grab something to eat, run errands, and head to a bookstore, where I proceed to write until closing. I come home, crash in front of the TV for a little while, then head on back to the laptop to write some more. Sometimes it’s whatever I was working on earlier; sometimes it’s completely different. Occasionally I’ll utilize my subscription to Netflix and watch a movie or an episode of a TV show, and I’m usually up until around 6am, sometimes later. Then I hit the hay. Rinse, lather, repeat. Different days have different things in them – I’m a waitress and work on Saturdays, for instance, and sometimes I meet up with friends or take a day off to see a movie. But generally that’s the pattern.

And Finally…

What’s next for you?
I’m currently writing the third book in the trilogy, and I also have a new dystopian series coming from Harlequin TEEN sometime in the next few years. I’m extremely excited about both projects, and I can’t wait to share them with the public.

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