Debut '19 Interview: Emily Roberson & The Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, twitter chats and more! 

Today we are sitting down to interview Emily Roberson the author of the most highly anticipated LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS! Amber was able to read LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS a few months ago and loved every single moment of it. Here is blurb from her review:

I love Greek Mythology retellings, so a modern day retelling of the Minotaur myth? Sign me up! Now lets add in reality TV and fight to the deaths and its basically a kick ass book. This book is basically: Keeping Up With The Kardashians + Greek Mythology + The Hunger Games = Lifestyle of Gods and Monsters. -Amber

About Emily!
Emily Roberson has been a bookseller in Little Rock, a newspaper reporter in Vicksburg, a marketing manager in Boston, and a writer in Chapel Hill and Dallas. She is an Arkansas native who graduated from Brown University and has a masters in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and three sons. 

Keep up with Emily: 


The Book Bratz: How does it feel that LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS is debuting this year?
Emily: I’m super excited that LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS is going to be out in the world. It’s a book that I had so much fun writing, so I can’t wait to hear what readers think. Also, getting a cover and bookmarks and all the other things has been a dream come true. (Literally, I’ve been wanting this since I was in the first grade).

The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS?
Emily: Ariadne has a reality TV family and a job she hates leading teens to their deaths fighting a monster. When a gorgeous, mysterious boy shows up & asks for her help, she is pulled into her family’s vicious livestreamed game, and she must find her destiny or lose everyone she loves.

The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS come from?
Emily: I’ve always had this question about stories and myths – What if it was true? And then, a few years ago, I was thinking about people who are famous just for being famous. In a way, they are like some of the characters in mythology. Not the heroes, but the people (and gods) who are known only for who they slept with or were friends with or partied with. And then I wondered how did everyone know who was getting up to what with whom? Who was telling? And then, I had the mental image of the paparazzi in the trees getting pictures of the wooden cow, which is the origin story of the Minotaur, and the whole thing started from there. The first chapter is mostly the same as when I first wrote it. The problem was figuring out who was telling the story, and the rest of it came from that.

The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS?
Emily: The summer after I graduated from high school, I went on one of those weeklong trips tour group trips to Italy and Greece. I saw the reconstructions of Knossos in Crete, and that setting has been stuck in my head since then. Not that I used anything exactly, more the idea that people actually lived there, and they weren’t different from us. The other thing I used as an inspiration is Ariadne’s aimlessness and desire to make her family happy, which I have a fair amount of myself. And especially when I was younger.

The Book Bratz: Can you share a secret about LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS that not many people know yet?
Emily: Ariadne’s sisters have a reality show called THE CRETAN PARADOXES, and the Cretan Paradox is an ancient logic problem. The paradox is: if someone who is from Crete says, “all Cretans are liars” can you believe them? For some reason, I love that the sisters’ over-the-top reality show would have a reference to something so old and dusty.

 The Book Bratz: If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?
Emily: Ariadne would not be having anything of the kind, since her whole goal is to stay out of sight, but Theseus might have @heroofAthens and he’d make everyone wonder if he was kidding. Ariadne’s best friend Icarus would be @showrunner because that’s what he does. Ariadne’s sisters Acalle and Xenodice would have their own names @Acalle and @Xenodice, and everyone would know exactly who they were.

The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after the LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS world?
Emily: I don’t feel like I’m done with mythology. There are so many stories, and I’m playing around to see which one is the best for next.

Title: Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters
Author: Emily Roberson
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: October 20th 2019

Summary:  Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won. When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving. Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?

Thank you so much Emily for stopping by to answer some of our questions. We loved LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS and can't wait for it to be out in the world! 

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