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The Deep End of the Sea: Author Interview & Giveaway

Monday, February 24, 2014
I'm delighted to have author Heather Lyons here on the blog today to talk about her book The Deep End of the Sea!

The Deep End of the Sea

by Heather Lyons

Genre: NA Mythological
Paperback: 256 Pages
Publication: February 13, 2014
by Cerulean Books

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

Author Interview

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I’ve always loved telling stories, from elementary school up into high school, where I was president of my school’s writing club. Unfortunately, I convinced myself that I could never make a living at it, so I went into archaeology and teaching instead. After I became a mother, I decided life was too short to not do something I’d always dreamed about. So I sat down and wrote a book and haven’t looked back since.

What inspired you to write The Deep End of the Sea?
I’ve always loved world mythologies—maybe that comes from the historian/archaeologist in me. I found it fascinating to see how the ancients believed the world began and ran. A number of these legends have stuck with me over the years, including that of Medusa. Her story always rubbed me wrong—it seemed so unfair. Most stories have her being raped by Poseidon because he was enchanted by her beauty; subsequently, she was cursed by Athena for having the, I don’t know, audacity to be raped within one of her temples. It’s really misogynistic and a filled with far too much victim blaming. I wanted to give this girl a different path, one where she isn’t the villain. One where she had the opportunity for a happy ending.

I saw on your blog that, when you saw the cover image for the first time, you knew that it was the one for you. How do you feel it represents what the book is about?
For most of her life, Medusa feels trapped by her situation. She’s isolated on an enchanted island, surrounded by Poseidon’s waters. Her eyes are deadly, no matter how much she wishes differently. She tries really hard to be a good person, to not lose the vestiges of humanity she desperately clings to. The picture, painted by a very talented teenager named Kelsey Patton, is called Fear of Drowning. To me, its symbolisms really highlight a lot of Medusa’s fears of being trapped by Poseidon and of her inability to escape a horrible situation. Plus—I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it fits a scene in the book pretty well.

Not only is Medusa unfairly cursed, she's lived far from civilization for the past two thousand years. Did you face any challenges developing her character and how did you work through them?
I knew, going in, that a lot of people view Medusa as one of the greatest villains of Greek mythology. Look at Clash of the Titans—everyone cheered when her head was cut off. So I knew it was going to be a challenge to construct a person who readers want to root for. I researched a lot for this story, making sure that, while I took certain liberties for various plot points, a lot of the bones of this story are based straight out of mythology. I also made sure I did a lot of research into sexual violence and how victims deal with their situations and heal. Plus, I had to really look at what a person would be like, having been isolated with so few people to interact with for so long. There are a lot of intentional internal moments in this story and awkward social situations she doesn’t know how to deal properly with, because books and movies could only tell her so much about society. Hopefully, in the end, readers will come to love her as much as I have and maybe even relate to her.

So I read this swoony scene between Medusa and Hermes. Where did you find this hot god and the ingenious idea to bring him and Medusa together?
There have been a lot of stories out about certain Greek gods over the last few years with mostly Hades and Poseidon featured. While I knew those characters would be in my story, I also wanted to introduce readers to a different god for them to grow to love. Hermes was always my first choice—of all the gods, he would be the one who would have the most reasons to interact with Medusa. In addition to being a messenger, legends have him as ferrying souls to the Underworld, so chances are, when she turned somebody to stone, he might be the one to take them to their rest.

What do you enjoy most writing The Deep End of the Sea? What difficulties did you face?
I loved visiting Olympus and seeing what the gods would be like in today’s society. I also consider this story unapologetically romantic, so it made me so happy to tell its story. As for difficulties . . . I really strove to write this character and story realistically, even though it obviously features mythological characters. What happened to Medusa (outside of the cursing) occurs far too often, unfortunately. I wanted to do justice to the story and her journey.

What music did you listen to while writing The Deep End of the Sea?
It’s going to sound weird, but I got one of the first sparks to this story while listening to John Mayer’s Born and Raised album for the first time. So, there’s a lot of that album within this story. The divine A Face To Call Home, so very ironic in its title, is a key song. Outside of that album, I listened to Augustines, Poe, Noah and The Whale, Lady Antebellum, Soft Swells, Phosphorescent, Eminem, Cheyenne Mize, and Lucy Kaplansky. My playlists are pretty intensive. I’m such a music junkie!

What are you working on right now?
I’m working concurrently on the fourth book in my Fate series, A Matter of Forever, a novella from that series, and a standalone about royals. I’m completely fascinated with royalty!

About the Author

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Connect with Heather
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

This post is a part of the tour hosted by Inkslinger PR
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3 comments on "The Deep End of the Sea: Author Interview & Giveaway"
  1. I'm really stoked on the sound of this book! And it's NA! Awesome!

  2. This sounds really good -- can't wait to check it out. And, not that it matters, I love the cover. :)

  3. Wow, this one sounds intriguing! I am always intrigued when familiar stories are turned on their heads, and Medusa is a pretty fascinating figure. Swoony romance too, huh? ;)

    Thanks for the feature today, I hadn't heard of this book at all before this.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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