2021 Debut Author Interview: Claire M. Andrews!

In 2019, we made it our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and to spread the word about their debut novels. It was such a success last year that we decided to continue the fun for years to come! Follow us this year as we pick the minds of the 2021 debuts and chat with them about their writing process and what it's like to be a new author. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats, and more!

At the end of 2020, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Claire M. Andrews and her novel DAUGHTER OF SPARTA, and we have been interested in it ever since! We are so excited to have Claire on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

Claire was raised in both Alaska and Scotland, but currently lives in Vermont; when not writing, she can usually be found outside swimming, skiing or hiking across the state’s famous green mountains. 

Keep up with Claire: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads

The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?

Claire: Honestly, it’s exhilarating! It’s a mix between anxiety and excitement for me. Publishing is definitely a marathon, not a sprint, and that is driven home so many times during the entire process. There are so many hurdles, so many different things that can trip you up, but overcoming each of them fills my heart with joy every time. It’s been an especially long marathon for me (I finished the first draft of DAUGHTER OF SPARTA back in 2015!) and it is such a relief to finally see her off into the world.

The Book Bratz:  In your opinion, what's the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?

Claire: The best part is talking with the people that love my story. The people that see themselves in Daphne, find strength in her strength, and understand the story decisions I’ve made. By contrast, and this is probably a pretty contrived answer, doubt is one of the hardest parts of writing. Every writer receives rejections in some way, shape or form, and knowing that not everyone will love your story as you so is a tough pill to swallow. Even my favorite books have negative reviews, and that is a part of creating art.

The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for DAUGHTER OF SPARTA?

Claire: I was tired of watching and reading about my favorite heroines not getting the stories they deserved. Especially in Greek mythology. If you grew up with Greek myths, as many of us did, then you know that the women in the stories often get the short end of the stick. When I was in middle school, I read the Iliad and Odyssey for the first time and actually hated both because the women were treated so terribly. My mum told me to write a book that I liked, then. I did and it was terrible. I revisited the idea a handful of years back on an archaeology dig when I was commiserating the tragic end of my favorite TV Ship (Spoiler: Klaroline deserved better!). I dreamed about Helen and Cassandra and Briseis and Hippolyta. And then an idea formed of recreating a better story for Daphne.

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the most difficult?

Claire: My favorite to write is definitely Hermes. He’s tricksy and mysterious and vain, as all the gods are to an extent. They were all incredibly difficult, though. People are quite emphatic when it comes to Greek mythology. We’ve all heard different variations, and already have our favorites. An itch was ever-present in the back of my mind, telling me that I better get these characters right or I’ll face the wrath of a thousand Greek myth aficionados. But, we’ve each heard our own version of every Greek myth. None are the original stories that were passed down eons ago.

The Book Bratz: What made you decide to reinterpret a Greek myth? Was that a topic that you've always been interested in? Do you have any other Greek myths that you enjoy?

Claire: I’ve always loved Greek mythology, and have been just as fascinated by Greek archaeology. I actually annoyed some of my professors in undergrad, because my research focus always tended to return the ancient Greece. My favorite myth would have to be Cupid and Psyche. One of the few that has a happy ending for a woman.

The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from DAUGHTER OF SPARTA? 

Claire: That they are strong enough to accomplish anything. That the doubts, though real, can be overcome. That women can save the world. That women can have their cake and eat it too.

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of DAUGHTER OF SPARTA in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?

Claire: Yes! I just got to announce the sequel - BLOOD OF TROY! Daphne and Apollo get themselves in quite a mess. Daphne has to decide what she values most in her life: her kingdom, her queen, her family, or the gods? Either way, it’s going to be bloody and some of your favorites will likely die. *cackles*  If I manage to stick to my deadline, BLOOD OF TROY should drop on shelves Fall 2022!

Title: Daughter of Sparta
Author: Claire M. Andrews
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Publication Date: June 8th, 2021

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior, hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis—who holds Daphne's brother's fate in her hands—upends the life she's worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods' waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother's life will be forfeit. Guided by Artemis's twin-the handsome and entirely-too-self-assured god Apollo-Daphne's journey will take her from the labyrinth of the Minotaur to the riddle-spinning Sphinx of Thebes, team her up with mythological legends such as Theseus and Hippolyta of the Amazons, and pit her against the gods themselves. A reinterpretation of the classic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, Daughter of Sparta by debut author Claire Andrews turns the traditionally male-dominated mythology we know into a heart-pounding and empowering female-led adventure.

Thank you so much to Claire for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about DAUGHTER OF SPARTA and can't wait for it to be out in the world on June 8th

Celebrate So Excited GIF by Hey Violet

No comments

Please note that if your comment doesn’t appear right away, it’s because we have to approve it. Make sure to click the Notify Me box so you can check back once your comment has been approved! ❤️