Rosie Hewlett is an incredibly talented debut author. Today, I’ll be talking to Rosie about her new release Medusa!

What inspired you to write Medusa?

I have always been fascinated by Medusa's myth. I remember studying her back in high school and how surprised I was to discover the truth behind her tragic backstory. Ever since then, I have always found it so sad that so many only know her as a villain. She is such an interesting, complex and misunderstood character, I thought it was time she was given her own voice so that she could finally set the record straight and reclaim her story. I felt this was especially important and relevant given the current MeToo climate. It’s quite astounding that such an ancient story can still be so relevant today.

Do you prefer drafting or editing?

There’s a quote by Terry Pratchett “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story” and I just love that. I’m not really a planner, so when I write the first draft I’m discovering the story as I go, which is always really fun and exciting. Editing is also very rewarding, it is an amazing feeling when you can finally see your book taking shape and coming together. Although, I am very overcritical of my writing, so editing can be a never-ending process. I find it very hard to stand back and think: “Okay, I’m done!”.

Who was your favourite character to write and why?

I loved writing from Medusa’s perspective. Her voice was so clear and powerful inside my head, it really felt as if she was telling me the story and I was writing it down for her. She is such a fascinating character and I love her personal growth throughout the course of the book, not just in the story she’s telling us, but also in the present-day. As she opens up about her past, Medusa is going through the motions of facing her grief and trauma, and at the end of the novel I believe she finally makes peace with her demons, through speaking out.

What book are you currently reading?

I just started Ariadne by Jennifer Saint. I am so excited to read another feminist myth retelling and so far, I am loving it. Saint’s writing is beautifully poetic, and I am so glad she’s given Ariadne a voice to tell her story.

When did you decide to become a writer? 

It wasn’t really a decision, as such, I just love to write. It’s my favourite thing to do whenever I have a spare moment. Even when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing and spinning stories inside my head and making mental notes to jot down later. For me, it is the ultimate escapism. Being able to transport yourself to different worlds and build your own adventures where literally anything is possible - what's not to love?

Which authors inspire you?

Madeleine Miller is a huge inspiration to me. Song of Achilles and Circe are two of my favourite novels. I just love the way she writes and how she breathes new life into these ancient stories. I would recommend her books to anyone, even if you don’t know a thing about mythology.

What was your experience with publishing? 

I self-published Medusa through an indie publishing agency called Silverwood Books. They assisted me throughout the whole process, which was incredibly helpful as the world of publishing is entirely new to me! I would definitely recommend their services to someone looking to self-publish who isn’t sure about doing it alone!

What’s one thing you’d like people to know about you and your writing?

For a very long time I never showed anyone my writing. I was terrified of what people might think and worried if they didn’t like my writing then it would ruin my love for it. It was my partner, Peter, who eventually encouraged me to face those fears and share my work, and I am SO glad that I did! The response to MEDUSA has been so amazing, I've been blown away by all the lovely reviews.

It is scary putting yourself out there, but if you let your fear hold you back, you’ll never know what could’ve been. You’ve just got to take that leap and trust yourself. Take the chance.

You can pick up a copy of Medusa here, and let us know in the comments what you thought! A huge thank you to Rosie for chatting to me!