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Our guest this week is no stranger to the Thrice Read blog. Sam reviewed her first two novels in previous posts, and this week, we have the pleasure of hosting a promotional post for her newest release in the series. Today, we’d like to welcome Gabriele Russo to our blog!
Jenn: Welcome, Gabriele. Before we really dive into the books, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Gabriele: Yes, anything in particular that you would like to know?
Jenn: I gather from your name and where you went to university, that you have a rich cultural background, and that life has brought you a long way from where you started out.
Gabriele: I was born in Québec City, and I now live in Virginia, which is not that far, but not exactly where I thought I’d end up. I love it though – at least it’s warmer. I did live in Europe for a few years (my mother was German and so I still have family there), and South America, in Paraguay, for a bit.
Jenn: So, you’ve really been all over the world. What a fantastic experience! Have you always wanted to be an author? Or did you discover writing more by accident?
Gabriele: I did try writing a few times before these novels, but it never quite meshed… I never finished anything, anyhow. Then I discovered Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, and I thought “This! This is what I want to write.” Something quirky, where I can have fun with words and dialog. And so, when my life changed, I sat down and tried to write. It worked, even if I still had ways to go into perfecting my craft.
Jenn: What advice would you offer to would-be authors?
Gabriele: First, I guess I would tell them to be certain that’s what they want to do. It can be heartbreaking at times. You need a thick skin. Then I would advise them to take classes, maybe not as I did, but at least a few – and most importantly to verify the credentials of the person giving the class. Which brings me to my third item of advice: to be very careful. The world of publishing is now filled with scammers.
Jenn: Indeed. We see a lot of warnings to would-be authors and published authors seeking homes for their new work.
Alright… On to the good stuff. Book Three in the Gods, Inc. series comes out in just a few weeks. I know that Sam reviewed the first two books in the Gods, Inc. series, but could you summarize the series up to book 3 for our readers?
Gabriele: The series takes place in a world where the ancient mythological gods live alongside humans. They now mostly work at Gods, Incorporated, a huge multinational that polices the interactions between mortals and immortals, which is led by its CEO, Queen Louhi Pohjola, a mortal demigoddess turned vampire on a diet.
Jenn: A dieting vampire?
Gabriele: She doesn’t drink human blood, or at least tries not too. In the first book, Goblin, a bitter goblin with childhood issues takes over the company, to then take over the world and turn it into hell. In the second book, a fanatic atheist at the head of a powerful lobby/terrorist group has found a way to kill gods.
Jenn: The series plot sounds complex.
Gabriele: The thing to remember is that all the novels are independent stories. The third one is even more to the side. It takes place in the Gods, Inc. zoo, and pits Louhi and the gods against an old evil witch that doesn’t actually want to take over the world, just destroy it.
Jenn: Right. How would you classify this series? I’m getting a Young Adult/Paranormal vibe here. Maybe with a dash of fantasy?
Gabriele: It is not Young Adult, that’s for sure. There are almost no characters younger than thirty, and most are centuries old. Paranormal certainly. Fantasy, of course – other dimensions, magic being omnipresent… And if you take the official definition of naturalizing the supernatural, that fits too. This mixed with a humor that is also probably not very juvenile, more social satire.
In fact, this third novel is the first one with a young character.
Jenn: Speaking of book 3, Now sounds like a great time to talk about that.
Gabriele: The story revolves around Hercules, Jupiter’s great-great-great-…-great-grandson. He’s the manager of the zoo, and lately, his charges (mostly immortal animals or gods in animal shape) have been going insane. When Louhi (accompanied by Jupiter, her fiancé Ba’al, and bodyguard Andrew) goes for her yearly visit, he tries to hide this from her but fails – let’s not forget to mention that he has a huge crush on her. When they investigate the matter, they realize that this plague of insanity is not natural and that the real target is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if Yggdrasil loses coherence, then so will the fabric of reality – meaning that there will be no more way to move between the planes of existence: the dead will be stuck on earth, souls meant to reincarnate won’t be able to come back, etc… All this because the evil witch Chiloe doesn’t want to go to hell, which she knows she richly deserves (she is quite the unapologetic villain).
Jenn: LoL… You have to love a villain who’s fully vested in her destruction!
As we draw closer to the end of our time, is there anything else readers should know before they embark on this witty, satirical, mythological journey that is Gods, Inc.?
Gabriele: I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers by inadvertence. Maybe just that I hope my books bring a little joy to them in these turbulent times.
Jenn: That’s a valid purpose to any book!
How can readers connect with you on social media, or follow you on a website or newsletter?
Gabriele: They can follow me on Twitter or on my facebook page. My website also has a contact form and quite a few links to articles and interviews.
Jenn: Awesome! Thank you so much for sitting down with us and sharing about your upcoming release. We wish you all the best for your launch.
Gabriele: Thank you very much for having me.