ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eva Pohler writes fiction for teens and adults and teaches writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she lives with her husband, three children, two dogs, and two rats. She is the author of The Mystery Box, The Gatekeeper's Trilogy (Book #3 TBR Dec. 1, 2013) and the forthcoming young adult contemporary novel, The Purgatorium (TBR May 1, 2013). In addition to writing and teaching, she blogs about books she loves at http://www.evapohler.com.
1. Your books incorporate a lot of mythology, legends etc. Was this something that always interested you? If yes, did it grow while you were writing your books?
I have loved Greek mythology since the eighth grade, when I first read the story of Persephone's abduction. In the same year, I ordered Edith Hamilton's book, Mythology, through the Scholastic book club, and read it over and over. I still have that book, though the pages are brown and are barely holding together. Now that we have the internet, I read a lot of Greek myths from my lap top, finding variations in particular stories really interesting. My research for the Gatekeeper's trilogy further fed my obsession, and I've even started tweeting #Greekmythtidbits for fun, to draw others into it as well.
2. What’s a typical day of writing for you? When and where do you write? How often? Do you set a writing goal?
I don't really have a typical day. I'm not the kind of writer who has to force herself to write so many words or so many hours a day. Some days, I write all day long, and others not at all. However, a day rarely goes by that I don't write or read. I consider reading part of the job of a writer, so I don't feel guilty for not writing on reading days. I suppose I don't need the structure and discipline because I have a strong compulsion to write. It's an obsession that sometimes feels like a sickness. Luckily, so far anyway, it's had only positive consequences.
I write on my laptop in my favorite chair with my feet up on an ottoman in my living room. This room is a pass-through to the other rooms in my house, so there seems to be always children, husband, and dog walking by, often attempting to interact with me, and sometimes I hear them and sometimes I don't. I dream of one day having a special place overlooking a beautiful view, like the ocean or mountains, but I have to admit, I enjoy having my family around, even if I often block them out to write.
Goals are a big part of my writing life. Although I set no daily routine for myself, I do set rigid goals. I have publication dates set for the next six or seven years, and so far, I'm on schedule. I've set goals throughout my life. My husband sometimes teases me because when we met, I had a chart with dates, etc., and marriage, first child, second child, etc. were all listed! I have to say that so far, I have met all my goals!
3. Other than the third and final book in the Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, what exciting books can we expect from you in the future?
I listed my projected release dates for furture books on my website at http://www.evapohler.com, but to give you an idea: The first of a two-book YA contemporary series, The Purgatorium, will be realeased this May. The book is finished and is now in the hands of my very talented graphic artist, Melinda Vanlone. The second book, The Purgatorium Revisited, will be launched a year later, in May 2014. I'm very excited about this series, especially because of the response from my beta readers. They have all said they couldn't put the book down. Most read The Purgatorium in one sitting! It's about a seventeen-year-old girl who takes a job with her best friend to try out a new resort unaware that her parents have sent her to an experimental facilty for suicidal patients where they make you fear for your life to kick in your survival instinct.
Although the third book of my Gatekeeper's trilogy brings closure to Therese's story, I feel like she has more adventures ahead of her and so have planned a sequel trilogy: A Different Kind of Goddess, A Different Kind of Bride, and A Different Kind of Triumph. I can't wait to get started writing those books!
I've also outlined and written the first chapter for a book that may be a stand alone (I haven't decided) called Queen of the Bees. This book was inspired by William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Instead of a group of British school boys devolving into savages, however, my story will portray a group of American school girls, some of which devolve, but others which evolve by breaking free from their learned ideas of how girls should behave. Although it has moments of depravation, I want it to mainly be a book about female triumph.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop here.
4. What or who influenced you the most when writing The Gatekeepers Trilogy?
My eighth grade teacher, Mr. Griffin, from Salado Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, first introduced me to Greek mythology and was my favorite teacher. He made me feel like I had a gift for writing and for speaking. He died several years ago of cancer, and I still somtimes cry when I remember he's gone.
But beyond that, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga inspired me by making me wonder about a similar conflict between a girl and a Greek god.
5. How did you come up with the title for your novel. Were there any other options?
The first book was originally called The Sons of Hades, but I thought that sounded too dark and masculine. My target audience is the 14 year old girl, and I didn't think it would appeal to her. So I renamed Hades the gatekeeper, and the new title was born. Of course, there were the really lame ideas, like The Kiss of Death, but, thankfully, I recognized their lameness and dismissed them right away!
6. Are you a pantser, or an outliner?
I'm a bit of both. My method is to outline a book with chapter titles, but this outline constantly changes as I write. I like having some idea as to where I'm going in the story, but I love the thrill of discovery when I just start writing and the ideas surprise me.
I'd like to encourage readers of the first two book to enter my contest to win Athena's locket, Hera's golden apple, and a photo and bio in the third book. The details can be found at http://www.evapohler.com/contest