Interview: Meet Author Hannah Lokos
Hello Dear Readers!
I’m delighted to welcome Champagne Book Group author, Hannah Lokos to my blog.
Hi Hannah. Thanks for visiting today! Tell us something about yourself, not in your bio.
I have seven cats, play piano, love cookie dough ice cream, and think that parasailing sounds like fun.
How long have you been writing? What genres do you write?
I have been writing since I was 5 years old. Back then, I couldn’t spell most of the words I used and I mostly wrote short stories and poetry, but as I grew older, I became more interested in novels. My recently released novel, Labyrinth of Lies, is historical fiction, but the novel I’m working on now is what I would describe as a heartwarming psychological thriller.
You’re a pre-med student. When do you find time to write? In other words, describe a day in the life of Hannah Lokos.
Wake up. Coffee. Check emails, work on promotion for my book, and write a couple articles if I have time. More coffee. Go to my organic chemistry class or whatever other morning class I have that day. Grab lunch and more coffee. Study for physics, if I have time, or write papers. Go to the rest of my classes (physics, ecology, labs, etc.). Grab dinner and try to be somewhat social. Go to night class if I have one. Get back to my dorm room around 8 or 9 at night. Make coffee. Do homework until midnight or later, and start writing after that.
What’s on your bookshelf and/or in your To Be Read pile?
I have recently taking to buying antique books. I currently have early additions of books by Louisa May Alcott, Washington Irving, and Sir Walter Scott sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. I have also been asked to read a couple works written by some friends of mine.
Do you have a favorite author?
When I was thirteen, I read Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. I liked the book, but I loved the author. I learned that he was fifteen years old when he wrote his first novel, and I was thoroughly amazed. I had wanted to be an author since I was five, but I had always thought that it would have to wait till I was grown up. Finding out that he did it as a teenager inspired me to try it too.
Macaroni and cheese! I know, I know, but do we ever really outgrow it?
Blue. I think it’s beautiful and calming and deep.
Favorite music and, do you listen to music while you write?
I typically listen to instrumental music while I’m writing, but I also sometimes listen to rap or rock if I’m in the mood for it. I like many styles of music, but I absolutely hate screamo, jazz, and country.
Favorite supernatural creature?
When I was in middle school, I was highly obsessed with dragons. To this day, they still hold a special place in my heart.
Tell us about your new release!
I started writing Labyrinth of Lies when I was 17 years old. I was trying to break into the publishing world, and was having a very hard time of it. I kept hearing “You can’t get published without an agent and you can’t get an agent without being published.” As nonsensical as this sounds, I found it to be frustratingly true. Breaking in was beginning to seem impossible. But then I thought of something: what if I went through the back door? What if I wrote a small book, did all of my own research and representing, and got into a small publishing house? If it worked, I would be published and I would have done it without needing an agent. So I decided to try it.
When I was 18, I submitted my finished novel to about 30 different small publishing houses and was rejected about 30 times. It was a crazy year. It was during my freshman year in college, and I was attempting to balance my studies and my book. Finally, in the spring, right after getting out of a biology lab, I received an email from Champagne Book Group with an offer of publication. My strategy had worked! I was so very excited.
I came up with the idea for Labyrinth of Lies when I was still in high school. I was doing a research project for an art history class when I stumbled across the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. I had heard the myth before but had never really been amazed. It’s pretty simple. Two kings went to war. King Minos of Crete won and forced King Aegeus of Athens to sign an agreement stating that he would send 14 Athenian youths to Crete every year to be fed to the terrible Minotaur, which was locked in a maze. Year after year, this went on until Theseus, son of Aegeus and prince of Athens, decided to stop it by going to Crete himself and killing the Minotaur. And that’s about it. Just your average Greek myth. But then I discovered something.
Some historians believe that Theseus actually lived. Based on historical evidence, it seems that Theseus might actually have lived. Furthermore, his father, King Aegeus, appears to have been real too. As it turns out, the Agean Sea is named after him. Even King Minos really lived. The ruins of his palace at Knossos still stand to this day. You can even see pictures of his throne room on the Internet. This all was most intriguing, but then I learned something else: amidst the ruins at Knossos, there stands a structure that looks like a maze.
This got me thinking. Everything about the myth, it seemed, had basis in the reality, everything except one thing, that is: the Minotaur. Even if everything else about the myth was real, we know that Minotaurs cannot possibly exist. So this merited the question: why would you need a labyrinth to house a monster that did not exist? Why would you annually sacrifice 14 innocent people if there was no beast to devour them?
The answer: you wouldn’t, not unless you were hiding a secret. Yet, what secret could be so terrible that it would demand the shedding of blood? And this is what my book is about. To put it simply, my novel is situated at that unique junction where historical fiction meets Greek mythology meets adventure meets romance meets conspiracy theory. It’s an odd mix, I know, but it actually worked out well.
Something foul is afoot in Ancient Greece.
King Minos of Crete annually demands fourteen Athenian youths to be fed to the Cretan Minotaur, which is locked inside a maze. Theseus has grown up amidst this tangle of pain. When his own beloved, Zosemine, is taken to be fed to the Minotaur, Theseus finds himself at the heart of a web of conflicting motives, with the sense that even those closest to him cannot be trusted.
Questions abound. Why is his father so ashamed? What is King Minos hiding? Is the Minotaur even real? And if not, what truly lies at the heart of the labyrinth?
Little does Theseus know that all the various plots, motives, and secrets weave around one terrible secret. Theseus must navigate the labyrinth and see past the masks to slay the Minotaur.
About the Author