PITCH WARS 2017: #PIMPMYBIO

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.
  • Betrayal.
  • Family drama.
  • And strong/fragile family bonds that supersede blood bonds.
  • Secrets.
  • 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.
  • wars!
  • 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. *

About me…

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!

Outside books?

I love

  • 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.
  • quotes.
  • purple. And silver.
  • Harry Potter.
  • organization.
  • owls.
  • animals, in general.
  • my mom.
  • my best friends. *You know who you are.*
  • bilingual people.
  • candles,
  • and random facts.

 

I don’t like:

  • rudeness.
  • arrogance.
  • hatred/intolerance. Black, Latino, gay, straight, man, woman, tall or short; we’re people.
  • red wine.
  • green tea.
  • tomatoes.
  • heat and high temperatures. So not my thing.
  • waiting,
  • 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,

Athena Freya

New Page. New Project.

Hey, everyone!

I hope this post finds you well, healthy, safe, and loved.

As you may know, I have been looking for a theme regarding a new series of posts for my website. But I couldn’t find anything. So I kept trying to invent something interesting, original, and frankly something I could do. My specialties are literature, history of literature, languages, and language history. I’m not sure who would be interested in learning Swedish or the history of the Swedish language. *If you are, please let me know!* **Seriously!** In the end, I was left with no ideas whatsoever. Except…

Wait a minute.

I can write. I love quotes. Boom!

This page { https://athenagreyson.wordpress.com/posts/quotes/ } will be updated with quotes crafted by me. They will talk about life, inspiration, perseverance, confidence, books, and everything in between. Feel free to share them, but please make a reference to me as the quote’s author, and even this page if you’d like.

Feel free to share them, but please make a reference to me as the quote’s author, and even this page if you’d like.

By no means, I am no master of quote crafting but words need to flow, and I can’t always tame those beasts. Feedback is encouraged, of course, but within the frame of positivity.

I hope we can have some fun and inspire and motivate each other toward a creative path.

As always, thank you for visiting and reading.

Love,

Athena

My YA fantasy novel is ready!

I am extremely, out of this world, happy to announce that my YA fantasy novel is complete; edited; revised; beta-read; partner-critiqued; and polished.

It is ready to fly to the world, and I’m so proud for this book.

My MC from Elusive Heart, Emily, is a kick-butt heroine with a darker personality. Her tragic past drives her motivations. But the MC from my YA fantasy novel is completely different. She is light and optimistic and innocent. She sees the good in people. She has hope.

We all love the strong-minded heroines and heroes with sass, wit, and power. We love the bad-good characters. Ha, I adore those. But I have come to realize that a different yet still powerful person is the one who rises above expectations and rises above themselves. To become a better person is one thing. To become great is another.

A very important theme of the book, and the series, is friendship. A true friend will stand by you whatever happens. They will tell you when you screw up. They will listen to you. But friendships are complicated. Messy. Personal. Intimate. What if your friend was never supposed to be your friend? What if you’re supposed to be their superior, and not their equal?

That becomes trickier for a person who doesn’t want to be superior, for a person who is humble and grounded and simply a very decent being.

The book is set in a fantastic Scandinavia, meaning the Scandinavia we know but different. With magic. And a different culture, structure, etc. In fact, I can say that I have taken real contemporary elements and I have twisted them, which may have become my next favorite thing to do.

It is a stand alone but it’s intended as a first in a series. I am currently plotting the second book and trying to picture this universe and the storylines as a whole. The series will probably be longer than a trilogy. There is too much story. At this point, I can say with certainty that you will learn everything that you don’t know from the first book in its sequel. Think of the series as the two seasons of Blindspot. During season one, you’re trying to figure out what’s going on, and on season two, Boom! But I suggest observe closely in book one, for the hints are there…

I won’t be revealing the title as of yet. But I assure you that it has one. As does the series.

I am very excited about this book. Of course, I’m also very nervous. But if I wasn’t, I would have a different kind of problem.

Thank you for reading and for your interest in me and my writing.

Fellow authors, don’t give up. Keep on writing. Fellow readers, never stop reading.

Love,

Athena

My New WIP

As you may already know, my first YA novel is finished. Well, the first draft is. Before I delve into the editing phase, I am taking a break from that story, as much as it pains me.

I need time off, so that I can have a clear head in order to properly edit it. In the meantime, I will be reading A LOT. I have that Cassandra Clare novel staring at me every day, and it’s time to embrace it. BUT I won’t stop writing.

As a matter of fact, an interesting first clue for a book idea came to me when I was writing my now finished YA novel. On the other hand, my head still remembers another wonderful world I had created months ago. It is high fantasy, though, and I don’t want to mix the stories and confuse myself with two different high fantasy worlds.

A fact that made my decision so very easy…

My new WIP is a YA fantasy > urban fantasy > paranormal novel. I have already outlined it, and all the major events are in my brain waiting to be unleashed. It has a title, too!!! Suffice to say I had a very creative and productive morning!

I don’t know if it will be a stand-alone novel, or book one in a series at this moment. I may outlined and named it, but I haven’t even written its first chapter yet.

I won’t leave you like that, though.

I believe in strong women of all ages. I ferociously support equality in every aspect of life. I dislike stereotypes of any kind.

Those beliefs are easy to discern from my books. And this novel won’t be any different. It focuses on a kind and strong young woman, surrounded by equally strong and fierce women –adults and teens.

So, um, don’t expect to see any character bowing to stereotypes…

Lastly, my WIP will feature (young) strong-minded females, and supernatural elements in the realistic world, and will highlight complex relationships between family members. Oh, and murder…

I estimate its first draft to be completed in mid-April, for I’ll have to edit the other YA. I will keep you updated!

Thanks for reading!

~Athena

On the way to YA…

This is my journey toward my YA fantasy project.

I’ve always been a fan of “YA Fantasy” and I admit that I must have read  TOO MANY books in this genre. My icon, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and authors such as Jennifer Estep, Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, Sally Green have made me adore this genre with a passion. Yet I never thought I would write in it. I always saw myself as a NA and Adult author. Well…I’m glad that illusion is over!

How did this idea come to me?

In bed.

One night in the beginning of December, I was having trouble falling asleep. I remember thinking, “Book one in the Emily Winters saga is done. What now?” I could continue with its sequel, but I wanted a change. I needed to write something else, about someone else –despite my fierce loyalty and affection toward Emily.

“Hmm. I’ve written 30K in my NA Contemporary and another 30K in my Romance Suspense novels. I had even edited those. Perhaps I could continue with one of them. The Romance Suspense novel is clear in my head so the choice should be obvious.”

It was NOT. It didn’t feel right. Something was missing, but I had no idea what.

“Okay,” I said to myself. “If you don’t want to write any of those books that you have already started writing, what DO you want to write? Perhaps one of the many ideas you keep in your precious notebook?” I sighed, for the answer was a big no. Those ideas are great –naturally– but they weren’t developed in my brain. They weren’t ready.

“What would I like to write?” I asked myself then. With no genre or age group in mind, I started brainstorming. In bed. At night. When I should have been sleeping, because it was THAT late. But alas, the wheels kept on turning.

One of my best friend’s books is set in a colorless world. (Yes, that’s you, Julianne.) “Hmm, color. What a different and special concept to play with.” Color may be the source of racism, but it can also bring joy. It can make us feel more alive, and it can tear us down. “This I like.” I’m a sucker for ambiguous concepts that are open to interpretation.

Color. This was my base to build an entire story! Color. It didn’t intimidate me at all. Something about this first clue made my tired brain giddy and ready to burst from excitement. I was intrigued by something I hadn’t even thought of yet. That intrigued me even more.

What about color, though?

THEN it came to be. Everything fell in place. I’m not kidding. EVERYTHING. One detail brought an element which raised more and more and more. Until few minutes later when I had an inspiring young woman to write about in a world that I was looking forward to building.

Suddenly not only did I have a brand new idea to write, but also a story that made me want to screw sleep, get off my bed, and start writing it that very moment.

I wasn’t just excited about this new story. I was stoked. Mesmerized. No, I didn’t have every key event planned. No, I didn’t even know the names of the characters or places. I didn’t know how this book was going to end. Unlike the stories I had already started writing. BUT this story was THE story. The minute the details fell all over me like dominoes, I knew. I could feel it. This is THE story. 

Two months later, I still feel it. Every single day in between I felt it. The nights before significant writing sessions that would occur the following morning, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t fall asleep because I couldn’t wait for the night to pass so that I could return to this story and write.

As I was writing Elusive Heart, I knew everything. I knew exactly what was going to happen, who would do what and when, the ending of the book. The facts were in my head, safely locked and ready to be unleashed. With this one, *enter laughing* I didn’t know a thing. I took it as I went. Honestly. Whatever came to me, I wrote it. And I was lucky, for it fit. Every newly created scene fit in the book, with these characters in this setting. I had taken a huge leap of faith into the unknown, into a story that was laughing at the mere concept of “outlining.” I. Am. Not. Kidding.

But luck ran out at some point. No newly created scenes that fit came to me. I tried. And tried. I tried. Nothing. For the first time, I had writer’s block. I knew it was real, but I had never felt it before. “Did it have to happen in this story that thinks that outlines are jokes?” That was what I kept thinking. “Seriously?”

I took a break that lasted two days. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to write, because I was afraid that this amazing story that came to me out of the blue would run away from me, and that I wouldn’t be able to catch it. I forced myself to sit and stare at my laptop, wishing that Scrivener would give me the answers I sought. The first day after my break, I wrote 1K that is extremely low for me and my usual pattern. The second day, I wrote 2K. Hours after I had finished writing those very important 2K, those newly created scenes that fit returned from their vacation.

This was it. The book was in my head. I knew what was going to happen, how the book would end. I even knew how the entire story that will be a series would end.

Of course I had another problem. The title. Even when every detail was in my head, I couldn’t find a title. Sure, I had –still do– a list of potential titles that made me cringe –they still do. It was ridiculous! The series had a name, but I didn’t call it official.

I wouldn’t name the series before I named book one!!

A name that came to me AFTER I finished writing the book. Yeah. The entire book was finished, and I didn’t have a title. I was extremely happy for finishing the book, and astounded that it was still freaking untitled.

POOF! Title flew to me, and it stuck. I made it stay, to be honest. (Fear of ideas running from me rings a bell? Yeah. Exactly.)

In conclusion, book one in my YA fantasy series is written. It’s done! And it even has a name. In fact, I’m not sure which one is a cause for applause. Naming the book, or writing it? You tell me. Actually, don’t. Stick with the applause. (xoxo)

Congrats to me!!!!

My second book is written!!! 

~Athena

Author of TWO books! (It sounds so cool!!)

P.S.

If you’ve read the entire post, Congrats to you, too! ❤

 

Pottermore

I delved into Pottermore, and I got sorted! A house, and a wand chose me, and I would like to share the news with you!!

 

My house is…………………………

Hufflepuff!!

And my wand consists of……..

Elder wood, with dragon heartstring core, hard flexibility, and 13 inches length

 

wand-black-quite_long-ball_handle

 

I won’t bother you with long extracts from my wand results, but here are some fun facts:

  • The Elder wood is unlucky.
  • I must be superior of its company; otherwise, Adios, Athena.
  • A highly unusual witch will find her match in elder, and on the RARE occasion that such pairing occurs, it must be because of her special destiny. Meaning: save the world, and die, if I ever find my match.
  • The dragon wand tends to be the easiest to turn to the Dark Arts. Wonderful!
  • They can change allegiance, if I lose from a wizard, even though they bond with their current owner. Exciting times!
  • It’s prone to accidents! Accidents! The marvelous news just keep on coming!

 

I may be unlucky –in many aspects apparently– but I am powerful! And I’m in Hufflepuff!! I always thought I was in Ravenclaw, but I guess I was wrong. Hufflepuff, it is! Popular ministers were in this house…So beware of our intelligence and power!

Long may we reign,

Athena

Newest member of the Hufflepuff House