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Claire M. Andrews: On Reimagining Greek Mythology

Author Claire M. Andrews discusses her mother’s advice that led her to writing her new YA fantasy novel, Blood of Troy.

Claire M. Andrews 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. She is the author of Daughter of Sparta and Blood of Troy, and can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

Claire M. Andrews: On Reimagining Greek Mythology

Claire Andrews

In this post, Claire discusses her mother’s advice that led her to writing her new YA fantasy novel, Blood of Troy, her hope for readers, and more!

Name: Claire Andrews
Book title: Blood of Troy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 6, 2022
Genre/category: YA Fantasy
Elevator pitch for the book: The sequel to Daughter of Sparta thrusts warrior Daphne and her love interest, the Olympian god Apollo, into the middle of the Trojan War in an epic YA fantasy reimagining of Greek mythology.

Claire M. Andrews: On Reimagining Greek Mythology

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What prompted you to write this book?

I’ve been obsessed with Greek myths for more than two decades now, even if I wasn’t always happy with the not-so-happily ever after for the heroines in each story. In seventh grade, we had to read the Odyssey and Iliad and I hated them both, but was also completely enthralled by them.

When I bemoaned the endings for Helen and Kassandra to my mother she simply told me, “Write your own story.” And so I did.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

The idea for Daphne’s story was born the same day my mum told me to write my own story. So many, many years.

In fact, the first chapter of the draft I originally queried agents with (way back in 2015) was very much the same as the first draft of the book I wrote in seventh grade. Of course, that chapter went into the bin soon after (deservedly so), but what I wanted for my heroes was exactly the same—a story where they got the agency they were never afforded in the original myths.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

I think the vast majority of writers delve into publishing with a motly assortment of misconceptions. How much say on the format/cover of your book depends on the publisher. How much say in marketing you get, how much money your publisher will devote to marketing, and how much of your own time and energy goes into promoting your own book—depends on the book and the publisher.

All these things emphasize how important it is to keep your eye on your own paper. No two publishing journeys are the same, even at the same publishing house.

Claire M. Andrews: On Reimagining Greek Mythology

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

How much work I still had left to do. I understood that I would have to revise, for sure, but not how much.

My first book, Daughter of Sparta, underwent probably well more than 30 drafts, from the very first, to editing while querying, after signing with an agent, and after selling to a publishing house. I like to laugh and joke that you will read and revise your book until you hate it, and for some people that is definitely the case. Books that don’t need any revisions are unicorns.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

That just because someone loves you, you don’t have to love them back. This can be romantic, familial, friendships … Nobody is entitled to your love. It is a gift.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

Read a lot, and read widely. Don’t just stick to the genre you’re writing in, or to your favorite. It will broaden both your palette and knowledge of writing styles. All writing genres have their strengths, and reading them is the best way to learn what those are to try to incorporate them into your own writing.

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