Today I got to interview the lovely Rebecca Hahn, author of The Shadow Behind the Stars. If you haven't heard of the book, here's some information!
Title: The Shadow Behind the Stars
Author: Rebecca Hahn
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1st 2015
A girl’s dark destiny could cause the unraveling of the world in this spellbinding novel from the author of A Creature of Moonlight, which Kirkus Reviews called “cumulatively stunning” in a starred review.
Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world…
Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape.
So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.
You can also check out the review I did for the book here.
InterviewRi: Describe The Shadow Behind the Stars in five words.
Rebecca: Greek fates encounter mortal tragedy.
Ri: What inspired you to write The Shadow Behind the Stars?
Rebecca: The first inspiration was an image in my head of a girl standing by the ocean, the wind blowing through her dark hair. She seemed separated from humanity: she was young as a girl but also ancient as a god. She was Chloe, the narrator of the book and the youngest of the Greek Fates. I liked the idea of writing from her point of view. It seemed a unique sort of perspective.
Ri: What sort of research did you do for the novel and is there something weird or interesting that you discovered?
Rebecca: I mostly did research on the everyday lives of ancient Greeks. A lot of it was interesting! For instance, I thought it was interesting that they kept hardly any cows—most of the dairy ordinary people would have eaten came from goats and sheep.
Ri: What's your favourite Greek Myth?
Rebecca: I’m not sure that I have one particular favorite. I like the story of Atalanta (she beats the warrior men at their own games). I like the Muses a lot too—they have the best jobs. These are their nine domains: epic poetry, history, music and song, lyric poetry, tragedy, hymns, dance, comedy, astronomy. They would be the most entertaining and well-read party guests.
Ri: What are you currently reading?
Rebecca: Recently I finished a biography of David Foster Wallace called Every Love Story is a Ghost Story—very sad and very fascinating. Right now I’m in the middle of Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner. I’m not sure yet what is going to happen, but there is much intrigue and politics!
Ri: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Rebecca: I like to read, of course. I love being outside, hiking and sitting by lakes. I like playing board games and card games. I like watching movies and bingeing on television series. I like cooking food—Indian is a favorite.
Ri: If you were stranded on a desert island, what one book would you have with you?
Rebecca: I’d bring a blank notebook. I could pretend it was my friend and write to myself in it.
Ri: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Rebecca: Write whatever you want to write. You are the only person who can see the world in exactly your way. Use that. Don’t be afraid to experiment, to fail again and again. That’s how you find out what sort of writer you want to be.
Thank you so much to Rebecca for answering my questions and to Audrey for giving me the opportunity to interview her!
I really enjoyed reading THE SHADOW BEHIND THE STARS, and if you're into Greek myths, ancient history or fantasy, you should check out this novel!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Hahn grew up in Iowa, attended college in Minnesota, and soon afterward moved to New York City, where she worked as an editorial assistant and wrote her first novel, A Creature of Moonlight, on the side. Her fate has since led her to Minneapolis; she misses the ocean but loves to watch stars shine bright.