Today I`m thrilled to welcome Maz Evans ( the delightful author of Who Let the Gods Out, which has been one of my favourite books this year) . I’m also very excited about reading the sequel, which comes out today, soon .Let`s get started with the interview!
Hi Maz! Welcome to Golden Books Girl, it`s so lovely to have you.
Lovely to be here! I`ll try not to break anything…
1. To start off, can you sum up Who Let the Gods Out in 5 words for anyone who hasn`t read it yet?
Fun mythological adventure with feels (I hope).
2. What inspired you to write the series?
My life-long love affair with Greek Mythology. I had a random thought one day: “If the Gods are immortal, they would still be here. What are they doing…?” And so it was born.
3. Even though Who Let the Gods Out is hilarious, it also explores the more serious issue of Elliot`s mum and her dementia. How did you go about researching the condition and the young carer aspect of the story?
Given their nature, both were quite hard to research second-hand. I was lucky enough to come into the orbit of Spurgeons, a charity that works tirelessly to support young carers and I’m honoured to be their inaugural ambassador. But I also met a lot of these heroic kids through my creative writing work in schools – there are so many beneath the radar. Both my maternal grandparents had dementia, so sadly I had a lot of experience of this cruel condition first-hand – I’ve related many of their behaviours through Josie.
4. The Greek gods are such fun supporting characters in the book. Did you always want to use Greek gods as characters, or did you consider other myths before deciding to focus on the Greek myths?
Originally (and I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this!) the idea was that each book would have different Gods from different mythologies. But the Greek Gods have taken such root in my (and I think my readers’) heart(s) that Zeus et al had to stay! It is certainly the mythology I know the best, so it was an easy choice.
5. You write some of the best villains I`ve ever read between Thanatos and Patricia Porshley-Plum! Who are your top 3 villains from books, films or TV shows?
Oooh – great question. There are so many, but I think they’d have to be:
1. Dolores Umbridge: So disingenuous in her evil – drawn perfectly by the master.
2. Hades: From Disney’s Hercules (criminally underrated IMHO!), he has such great lines, a fiery head and is voiced by James Woods – what’s not to like?
3. Frank Underwood: From House of Cards. I love villains that play with your own sense of morality. We shouldn’t root for him. But we do.
6. What is your writing routine/process like? Do you have any unusual habits?
I don’t have a lot of time to fetishize my writing – and I passionately believe you shouldn’t as that way madness lies. I write wherever and whenever I have time. But certainly I have my quirks. I always work in pencil, never pen. I have to print my book out and annotate it at every stage (I recycle, I promise!). And I can only listen to classical music when I write, nothing with lyrics!
7. What has been your most exciting moment since Who Let the Gods Out was published?
It sounds so naff, but there have been so many it’s hard to say. Finding out Gods was Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month was huge – that is such a massive break for a debut author. Selling to America was a dream come true. Every message I get from happy readers fills me with joy. The Hay Festival this year was incredible…I won’t go on. But I’m under no illusions. My book isn’t better than anyone’s – but it’s been a lot luckier.
8. What`s been the funniest thing a fan has ever said to you?
Actually, one of the funniest things happened just today – and they weren’t exactly a fan. Teachers have been hugely supportive of Gods and one tweeted how much he was enjoying it. So another chimed in saying that she didn’t get what all the fuss was about, she thought it was “meh”. But she didn’t realise she’d tweeted me in! I made a cheeky remark about it and she was so mortified – after a million apologies, she went and pre-ordered Simply the Quest to make amends.
9. Finally, before we move on to the quickfire round, can you give any hints about what`ll be in store for Elliot and the Gods in the 3rd book in the series?
Just kidding! The third book is all about the Odyssey. And wow, does Elliot have some stormy waters to navigate…
1. If you could be any of the Greek gods/goddesses, who would you choose to be and why?
Aphrodite. I’d be a great matchmaker and with four kids, I’d get to choose their partners.
2. What`s your Hogwarts house?
Gryffindor. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be in a different one. All the exciting stuff is happening in Gryffindor and you could be friends with the Weasley twins?!
3. What`s your favourite ice cream flavour?
Pistachio. With a chocolate chaser. I’m a bit of an ice-cream snob – I only like the really, really good stuff.
4. Can you give us three random facts about you?
I was on Blue Peter as a 10yo because my school choir sang to the Pope, I was born with only two wisdom teeth and I gave birth to my youngest child in 20 minutes while watching Bargain Hunt.
5. What`s been your favourite book you`ve read this year?
This is SO shameful… *whispers* I haven’t actually finished a book this year. It has been CRAZY with writing and events and moving house that I’ve yet to finish a book. I’ve read half of Spaghetti Hoop Boy and loved it. But there are so many I’m looking forward to – Beetle Queen, My Evil Twin is a Supervillain, The Island at the End of Everything, Moonlocket… They’re just taunting me atop Mt TBR!
Thank you so much again for agreeing to do this interview Maz, I`ve had so much fun writing the questions!
And I’ve loved answering them – thank you so much for having me!
I hope you enjoyed reading Maz`
s answers as much as I did everyone! Since its probably my favourite question from this interview and I adore Maz's answer, I'd love to hear in the comments which Greek god or goddess you`d most like to be? I`d like to be Athena, I think.
See you soon with a new post