Hello there, #PitchWars contestants & mentors, and everyone who has subjected themselves to read about me.
This is the first time I’m trying for #PitchWars. I wanted to do it last year, as well, but my then WIP wasn’t ready. I’m both excited and nervous about entering, but the book community has made me feel safe and embraced. At the end of the day, no matter what happens, I will walk away with valuable lessons and wonderful new friends from all over the world. That’s why I consider myself and every other hopeful a winner. Not to mention that we wrote an entire book (!!!) and edited and revised it until we knew it by heart. We truly are warriors.
Now that I mentioned the word, my #PitchWars book is about warriors. And witches! It’s a YA fantasy stand-alone novel with series potential. It’s set in our modern world and features many references from it, most of all are sarcastic. I wanted it to reflect our real world but with doses of magic and fantastical warfare in the vein of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It also features diverse cast and mythologies like the Norse, Greek, Latin/Roman, etc, which is why many terms are in other languages.
My MC is a 15-year-old girl, Emily, who is both a warrior and a witch but only identifies herself as a warrior. She is driven by her need for revenge. She wants to take revenge on her mother’s murder and make the killer pay for what she did to Emily’s family. But when she infiltrates the academy for witches and warriors, she comes across teenage drama, gossip, new friendships, and a multi-faceted truth–hence, my book’s title, VERITAS.
The book is basically about a girl with a tragic past who hasn’t learned how to embrace herself yet and wants to avenge her mother’s murder, and it is set in a society of magic based on mythologies, warriors, stereotypes, and inequality.
How did I come up with the idea, characters, and world?
When I first played with the idea of writing a novel, a series of must-have-elements was born, too.
- A badass heroine.
- Who takes responsibility for her actions but also
- does what is right.
- Mature young adults and immature ones who will grow.
- Family drama.
- And strong/fragile family bonds that supersede blood bonds.
- MYTHOLOGIES!! from all over the world
- diverse characters that reflect those mythologies and our world.
- languages that empower and complete the diverse world of mythologies.
- Adorable yet fierce friends.
- magic! that stems from mythologies and doesn’t need wands but words.
- breaking as many stereotypes as my MC can.
- a world with magic that faces the same problems and inadequacies ours does.
And the plot came alive in my head right away. I started extensive research on names, gods, terms, and places–because I wanted them to have a meaning. I didn’t want to just make up everything as I went, which is totally cool, by the way. That was what this story needed. Therefore, every name of a character or world building element means something. The academy Emily infiltrates? That is located in a real place with history and a meaning that is perfect for my world. I couldn’t believe it when I had found it. A place that signifies and represents the very essence of the world I had created in my head. And it’s real! It felt like it was meant to be.
And I still feel that every time I read or work on this book. It feels right.
*For more information, you can visit the storify of my daily #PitchWars challenges at https://storify.com/AthenaGreyson/pitchwars. *
Hmm, let’s start with the basics. My name is Athena Freya, I’m 25 years old, and I live in Sweden. In August, I’ll start studying to become an English/Swedish/Spanish teacher. Yes, you’ve guessed right; I LOVE languages. I speak four: English, Swedish, Spanish, and Greek. I also love the history of languages. It’s fascinating to see the evolution of each language and the reasons that propelled each change. And yes, I LOVE mythologies, too. I’m a nerd, and I’m proud of it!
I’m also a proud Hufflepuff! An interesting fact is that Hufflepuffs and Slytherins get along extremely well. My best friend is a ferocious Slytherin, which is proof of the awesomeness of the Hufflepuff-Slytherin combination.
What else? Hmm. Maybe something about my writing journey. Okay, let’s do this. I started out as a book blogger and reviewer in 2013. I’ve worked mostly with romance and fantasy in both adult and YA. Due to workload and drastic changes in my personal life(I moved from Greece to Sweden!), I’ve put a pause on reviewing. But I’m lucky to still be friends with awesome authors and be proud of their successes. One of those awesome people pushed me to write, and another has supported me since that day. So I owe a major thank you to Nicola Haken and Alicia Rae.
I’ve written 3 YA fantasy novels: two of those are realistic fantasy and set in our real world. I should note that my newest WIP is my first novel, my precious baby. I wanted to rewrite it because I needed it to be written the way it was supposed to. I’m sure you’re all dreading over reading your first books. I didn’t know what I was doing then. But now, I’ve gotten better at it, and the story kept playing in my head, so I took another leap of faith and rewrote it. It wasn’t a mild rewrite, either. I’ve changed everything: from tense and age group to characters and plot points/events. Some may disagree with me and say it was a waste of time, and that I should have written something completely new. I mean, I have over fifty book ideas in my head and my super duper special book ideas notebook. But I couldn’t give up on it. I couldn’t let it go. This story deserved better, and even if it leads nowhere(which I pray to all the gods and saints and the entire universe will not happen) I can say to myself that I did my best. That I did everything I could for these characters and this world I built. This story had distracted my mind from a hard period in my life and made me happy and hopeful when I was nothing but. I owed it and myself to write it again. And I’m in love with it. Which is why I’ll try for Pitch Wars with this book.
But I couldn’t give up on it. I couldn’t let it go. This story deserved better, and even if it leads nowhere(which I pray to all the gods and saints and the entire universe will not happen) I can say to myself that I did my best. That I did everything I could for these characters and this world I built. This story had distracted my mind from a hard period in my life and made me happy and hopeful when I was nothing but. I owed it and myself to write it again. And I’m in love with it. Which is why I’ll try for Pitch Wars with VERITAS.
My other 2 books need editing and revising. In fact, I’ll revise one in August as I wait for #PitchWars to announce the mentees. My goal for next year is to delve into a new genre. Romance Suspense. I have many different book ideas in this category, and I still haven’t decided which one will be my next book. We’ll see!
- wine, especially white sparkling wine!
- black tea.
- music (Adele, Coldplay, OneRepublic, The Killers, Ed Sheeran: my heart is yours!)
- TV ships. Oh, how I obsess over them. I may not know what they’re called but I do obsess over them; hence, my fascination with fan fiction. Examples: Jeller from Blindspot, Malec from Shadowhunters, Bellarke from The 100.
- Sweden. What can I say? I love my country.
- big cities with strong cultural elements.
- diversity in all things.
- purple. And silver.
- Harry Potter.
- animals, in general.
- my mom.
- my best friends. *You know who you are.*
- bilingual people.
- and random facts.
I don’t like:
- hatred/intolerance. Black, Latino, gay, straight, man, woman, tall or short; we’re people.
- red wine.
- green tea.
- heat and high temperatures. So not my thing.
- and surely many more things I don’t remember right now.
My idol is Jennifer L. Armentrout. My favorite authors are J.K. Rowling, Samantha Young, and of course, Jennifer L. Armentrout. My favorite series are Harry Potter, On Dublin Street, Covenant, Mythos Academy, Percy Jackson, and the With Me series.
And this is me, guys. I’m a Swedish Hufflepuff dreamer who won’t stop until her dream comes true.
I hope I didn’t bore you to death. Thank you so much for reading, and please, don’t hesitate to follow me on Twitter and spark conversation with me! *especially if you’re having a bad day or want help with querying etc.*
Believe in yourselves. Believe in your dream. That alone is a huge step on your way to success.
Love and greetings from Sweden,