21 November, 2011

Jessie Harrell Visits: DESTINED Blog Tour Interview

Thanks to Jessie Harrell, who is at Read My Mind today as part of the blog tour for DESTINED, her fabulous new YA, that's infused with Greek mythology and romance.

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No, THANK YOU for having me. I'm really honored to be a guest on your blog!

I know this is the first thing that everyone asks, but please tell my readers a little about DESTINED. What one sentence would you use to hook someone, that isn't already in the blurb?

Well, I'll give you my "elevator pitch" that I never actually spoke aloud, whether in or outside of an elevator: When Psyche destroys the one relationship she can't live without, she must journey alone through ancient Greece and confront a goddess who would see her dead, if she wants to reclaim an immortal love.

I admit to not having much previous knowledge of the Cupid/Psyche myth, even though I'm interested in Greek mythology. How much research did you have to do for the book? How much did you tinker with the existing myth?

I came across the myth as a Classics major during my undergraduate studies. I learned a lot of ancient Greek history, culture, mythology, etc. then, but I still had to do quite a bit of research (especially since those classes were over a decade ago) while I was writing to make sure the details were accurate. As far as tinkering with the myth, I made sure that I left the big plot elements in place, but the characters got major personality overhauls. For example, in the original, Psyche is sort of a pretty ditz who is redeemed only because she gets help along the way from things like ants and river reeds. I wanted my heroine to be stronger than that; to solve her own problems. I also gave Eros and Aphrodite original backstories, and added quite a few characters who do not appear in the original myth.

DESTINED is your debut novel, so I'd like to know the first thing that you did when you saw your book in print.

Took a picture of me holding it and posted it on my blog and Facebook for everyone to see with a big "SQUEE" in the caption. :)

Novel playlists seem to be very popular with authors and readers alike. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so what are some of the songs you found yourself listening to?

I couldn't write without music. And yes, Destined most definitely has a playlist. You can listen to all the songs on the playlist by going back to my blog tour stop on Nov. 9th with Safari Poet . But some of my top favorites:

Crack the Shutters - Snow Patrol (I consider this the signature song of the MCs and if the book was ever made into a movie, this would be at the ending and while the credits were rolling)

What If You - Joshua Radin

Pieces - Red

I'm going to get a little more personal here:

What are 5 authors that you would consider auto-buys when you have the time to read?

Gayle Forman
Stephanie Perkins
Melissa Marr
Rachel Hawkins
Josephine Angelini (can I have the sequel to Starcrossed, like, NOW?)

Do you have any personal rituals that help you to write?

Other than music? Not really. If I get stuck, I stare at a "picture" of the character I'm writing and try to get inside their head better. (I like to find pictures of my characters off the internet - not necessarily celebrities - so I can attach a face with a name.)

What might a typical day be like for you?

Up at 6:50, out the door with the kids by 7:30. (We're speedy & eat breakfast in the car.) To school and work by 8 (I work across the street from their school.) Drink a cup of coffee, search the web, and then do my hair make-up (there are some MAJOR perks to working at a small company). Then I work my part-time attorney gig from about 9-3, taking time for lunch and e-mail breaks. Get the kids at 3, go home, maybe to the gym, etc. Dinner at 6, homework at 6:30, bath at 7, kids in bed by 8. From 8-10 I'm at the computer, whether it's writing, blogging, participating in #yalitchat. Then I go to bed, read some on my Kindle, and try to catch tomorrow's weather while hubby channel surfs. Aside from True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, I watch no TV -- there's no time for such things in this very tight schedule.

Let's end with your favorite god/goddess in the Greek pantheon. Why?

How could I pick anyone other than my darling Eros? This is not your chubby, little Cupid boy. Think a young Leonardo DiCaprio with a formerly-broken heart and romance oozing from his pores. This is the guy that no mere mortal boy will ever compare to. (Sorry to set your expectations too high, ladies. There's a reason he's a god, after all.) What's not to love about that???

Thanks again for having my by your beautiful blog today!

It was great having you visit, Jessie!

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

**Contest Ended**

Also, as part of the tour sponsored by Jessie Harrell, Mae Day Publishing, and Good Choice Reading, I'm having a DESTINED giveaway! The contest will stay open until November 23rd, 11:59PM. Jessie will use random.org to select a winner. Available formats include .mobu, .epub and .pdf.

What You Can Win:
1 (One) e-book copy of DESTINED

How To Enter:
Leave a comment with your favorite Greek myth, god, or goddess
Leave a way to contact you
Must be 13+ to enter
One entry per person, per email address
Contest ends at 11:59 on November 23rd
Open to International entrants

Come back to Read My Mind to see my DESTINED review on December 5th!

Make sure you check out the full list of tour stops at this page on Good Choice Reading for chances to win copies of Destined and other goodies.


  1. My favorite mythological story has always been about Achilles. My favorite Greek goddess is Artemis. She and Apollo have always been the duo I've loved to read about.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today. I love that you're having your readers post their favorite Greek myths. I will definitely be back to read all of the comments!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I like Prometheus. He was the wisest of the Titans.


  5. I've read several of Jessie's interviews, she seems so sweet. I love Snow Patrol! My favorite Greek goddess has always been Athena.

  6. Awesome interview! Jessie is wonderful and so is her book! (don't enter me in the giveaway as I have it - just wanted to comment :)

    Xpresso Reads

  7. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I have always loved Athena. In fact, me and a close friend got puppies together and we named the girl Athena. :)

  8. My favorite god/goddess would be Artemis, but maybe that's because one of my favorite book characters is named after her. :D


  9. Great interview.
    Demeter Godess of nature,is one of my favorites.
    TLR33960 at hotmail dot com

  10. My favorite mythological story is Persephone and Hades! This looks like such a good book! I can't wait to read it:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  11. My favorite Greek myth would definitely be Helen of Troy and The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships. And Aphrodite...She is the goddess of love, after all ;)
    Email: mayabe23(at)gmail(dot)com

    May Abraham

  12. I my favorite Greek god is Poseidon, because he is Percy Jackson's dad. LOL! just kidding! I love swimming, so the god of Water is the sea is my #1 greek god ;)

  13. Nice interview.My favorite Greek myth is The Trojan War.Thanks for the giveaway!!


  14. My favourite Greek goddess to read about is Athena The Wise because she's intelligent and good at strategising. My favourite Greek Myth is that of Hades and Perephone. I can also relate to the story of Sisyphus and his burden.

    Thanks for the giveaway of this book. I've been wanting to read it for so long now!




  15. My favorite Greek goddess would be Artemis! She's one of the toughest goddesses out there! What I wouldn't give to be able to shoot an arrow like her...


  16. My absolute favorite greek tale is The Siege and Fall of Troy. It' such a classic. And though she isn't a goddess I love Cassandra. Her destiny is just so tragic. She can see the future but nobody believes her. And only because she refused Apollo! Otherwise I always liked Athena. She is a geek like me :)

    endlessly.bookish (at) gmail.com

  17. I've always been fascinated with Hades. I feel like there is so much more to the story, so any version keeps me entertained.


  18. Medusa has always been a fave, I just love her ability to turn you into stone if you look at her, and the snakes for hair are cool.

    Thanks for the chance to win! Destined sounds super good!

    linaramz at yahoo dot com

  19. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Congrats to Donna, who won this round.


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