Thursday, September 6, 2012

Humanless by Teodora Kostova: Interview & Excerpt

The Gods are trying to kill her.
The Gods are trying to protect her.
The Gods will fall at her feet.

When Ava - a 18-year-old student from a wealthy family - meets Blake, she is stunned by his extraordinary beautiful appearance and unexpected rudeness. Little did she know, that he is Ares – the God of War himself, sent down to Earth to kill her. Something else she doesn’t know – he’s human and he has no intention of fulfilling his mission.

“If you even think about hurting anybody else ever again remember this moment. Remember that I spared your life. And don’t make me regret it,” said Blake and threw the man to the ground in disgust. He immediately stood up and ran. Blake turned around to face Ava who had wrapped her arms around herself and was shivering uncontrollably, more from shock than cold. He took off his jacket, draped it over her shoulders and, on an impulse, pulled her towards him and hugged her. She rested her head right under his shoulder and willed herself to stop shivering. 

“Did I scare you?” he asked. 

“No,” she replied. “I knew you were a show-off already.” He felt her smiling against his skin. He smiled too. 

“Nothing good ever comes from running away from me,” Blake said, referring to her storming out of the restaurant. Ava smiled again and felt her whole body relax against his. Sensing that, his arms tightened around her and she could hear his heartbeat quicken. “Come on, let’s get you home safely,” he said and she reluctantly separated herself from him. 

* * * 

The front door opened and Jason walked in, red faced and still puffing from his morning run. He passed by the two girls in the kitchen, opened the fridge and almost gulped an entire bottle of water in one go. They both stared at him because he looked quite sexy in his running gear, all sweaty and drinking water in a pose out of Men’s fitness magazine. 

“What’s up?” he asked after finishing the water and smiling at the girls. 

“Oh, nothing,” said Ava. “Posy’s got a date with my tutor,” she continued, smiling at Jason and fully enjoying Posy’s horrified look. 

“And Ava went on a date with a possibly very dangerous psychopath, enjoyed it, got attacked and almost killed somebody!” said Posy in revenge and walked away from the kitchen. Jason stood still for a moment processing the information. 

“You girls have very eventful lives,” he said at last and walked upstairs to get a shower. 

Tell us about your current release.

It’s the first book of a new paranormal YA series called Humanless, aimed at older readers. It’s set in London, for the most part, and it’s inspired by Greek mythology. But it’s not your usual myths and tales. I’ve changed and mixed them up so much, you won’t even recognize them.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story makes you feel. It doesn’t matter if it makes you laugh, cry or shout, or if you want to throw the book against the wall. If it extracts a strong reaction – it’s a good story.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career? Do they read your stuff?

The only person that reads my stuff is my sister who’s constantly nagging me to sit down and write because I have a huge tendency to procrastinate. My husband has never read anything I’ve written for some inexplicable reason. I might have to actually tie him up to a chair and make him read the book and threaten him that it’s either that or the whole 5 seasons of The vampire diaries.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve had so many different jobs from translator, editor and journalist to PA, interior designer and entrepreneur. But once the novelty of the new job wears off, I always come back to writing. I find myself thinking of scenes and dialogues in every day-to-day situation – at the supermarket I imagine the check-out lady telling me she’s just won the lottery but intends to keep her job and me yelling at her that she’s crazy, for example. Sometimes it’s so messed up in my head, I don’t even make the difference of what’s real. I need writing as a release outlet for all that otherwise I might go insane in the very near future. It was on my 30th birthday that I decided I wanted to do that for a living, it’s obvious I can’t do anything else for too long because my attention span is shorter than a 5 year-old’s.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

First I wanted to be a chimney sweeper because if people touched me I’d bring them luck. I don’t think I’d actually thought the whole I’d-have to-clean-chimneys part. Later, I wanted to be a witch, to my mother’s horror. I still think it’d be so cool to be a witch!

If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?

Please don’t come in the morning! For the first 2 hours after I wake up I’m so grumpy and moody my own mother doesn’t want to talk to me. After that I magically transform in my usual sunny self. I love evenings, I could solve a math problem for you at 1 am but please don’t make me do it in the morning!

What one word best describes you?


If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Oh my God, where do I start? I love rewriting books in my head as much as I love reading them. It’s exactly what I did with the Greek myths for Humanless – I shattered them to pieces and something completely new and amusing rose from the dust.



Hi, my name is Teodora and I was born in 1981 in Sofia, Bulgaria. I've been living in London for the past 10 years with my husband Ted and my son Jason. 

I love writing for young adults - it's very challenging because teenagers can be a very tough, demanding and intelligent audience. I never run away from a challenge, though. High expectations make me step up my game and never get bored. And boy, do I get bored easily! My son has a bigger attention span than me. That's why I've been changing jobs constantly over the past few years - I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things. However, when the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. When I'm procrastinating, I love going to the cinema, run in the park, watch True Blood re-runs, cook Italian meals or get beaten at every Wii game by a 5 year-old.

Contact details and links

Email  |  Twitter  |  FacebookHumanless on Facebook  |  Blog  |  Goodreads 
Enter for a chance to win a Kindle formatted copy of Humanless.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Follow the author on Twitter for another bonus entry.
Giveaway ends September 29th 11:59 PM Central Time.


koddabear said...

Looks like a good book. I'd like to read it.
Thanks for the give away

Lizzy said...

I've met a few teenage boys that reminds me of Ares.

Looks like a great story.

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lokigsd said...

I help with actual paranormal investigations, this should be an interesting book.

desitheblonde said...

i like the way you did the book and did you have the idea for it or was some one who pick it for you sound like great read