- Can you tell us the story behind the Gods Inc. Series? Like how was this book made, when did you decide that you will be writing this series and what sparked the motivation to write the books?
The idea of the Gods Inc. series, or rather Incompetent Gods, since it wasn’t clear at first I was going to be writing a series, came at a very peculiar time in my life. Associates had bankrupted one of my restaurants, and I was being pushed out by my partner from the other (perhaps because I had gone slightly mad from working there 80 hours a week). On the other hand, I had just gotten engaged to the wonderful man who would become my husband. He was willing to let me take a break to figure out what I wanted to do at that point, and hey, it also gave me time to plan the wedding.
The spark for Gods Inc. came with a story I told a friend’s children: My friend had lost her keys, and while she looked, I explained to the kids that Ba’al, an old god, had been recycled into the Eater of Lost Objects when the Romans had conquered his city Carthage, and while he was now more commonly known as the Sock-Eater from the washing machine, he still ate keys when it tickled his fancy. All we had to do to help mommy, was slip a quarter in between the sofa cushions while whispering that this was payment to Ba’al in exchange for returning the keys.
The idea of divinities being subjected to the laws of capitalism was born.
- Which among the three books of Gods Inc. Series was the hardest one to write and which the easiest one to write? (Is there even such a thing as easy to write?)
Without a doubt, the third one, Incoherent Gods. No matter what some people say, it helps quite a lot to know what you’re doing. I wrote the first two before doing my Master’s, and I must have rewritten them 5 or 6 times, to correct all my amateur mistakes. However, I’m a turtle writer, and very fussy, so easy is certainly relative.
- Given the chance to travel back in time, what would you change in your past?
Perhaps not gone into the restaurant business? But then I might not have met my husband… I think the one thing I regret most was giving up my diplomatic aspirations because studying the anatomy of politics was making me ill.
- If there is one thing that you want to teach your readers through your book, what would it be?
My ambitions are not so lofty; I mostly aim to make people smile. This being said, I do enjoy highlighting what I consider to be the absurdities of our world, so if I make my readers think, or consider something in a new light, then I’m a happy writer indeed.
- What does it feel like to be a published author?
First, there’s relief. Relief that someone else besides me likes what I’ve written enough to invest time and money in the project. Then, there’s pride, or a feeling of accomplishment, like: Hey everyone, I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs for the last five years, look, there’s physical proof!
- Can you name some hesitations, challenges, and anxieties of a writer?
The hardest thing for me is the relatively new imperative of self-promotion. My family was a bit old-fashioned, and I was taught that modesty was a virtue… And maybe it still is, but it’s not a valuable one in today’s world. Add to that a tendency towards timidity, of not wanting to bother people, and you might get an inkling of how putting myself on display can make me cringe. I even have a hard time seeing others do so – it’s like my vertigo that way.
- As a reader, which one do you prefer, a happily ever after or a tragic ending? Why?
There was a time, back in my brooding drama queen days, when I might have said tragic. Now that I’m older and wiser, I lean more towards happy – who wants to be sad? Isn’t there enough misery in the world? In truth though, what I really want is a satisfying ending, one that fits with the story. A tragic ending that feels right is infinitely better than a happy one that feels pasted on.
- If you were going to give a piece of advice to your 10-year-old self, what advice would you give?
This is a hard question for me: my mother died of a long battle with cancer when I was nine, and I was a very angry ten-year-old. I guess: “This too shall pass” or “Stop being such a little B¾”. But I guess you mean for later in life, so maybe: “Get a head start, start to write now. Don’t give up Ballet. Study with an actual career in mind. Be careful with money – don’t go investing your inheritance in something stupid like a restaurant and don’t get addicted to expensive sheets…” I could probably go on all day, but a) knowing me at 10, I wouldn’t listen, and b) my numerous mistakes brought me where I am today, and it’s a pretty good place to be.
- What was the most rewarding situation that you have been through for choosing the path of being a writer?
It might be a little early in my career to answer this one. The sweetest moment, however, was taking this picture of my book amongst my brothers’ – finally being part of the family tradition if you will.
- What is your favorite quote from Gods Inc. Series and why did you choose that certain quote?
I’m not sure I have a favorite – I love them all equally 😉 – but I chose this one from Incoherent Gods for it well illustrates how, despite their claims, gods don’t control everything.
And the baboon appeared in the circle of light, dancing gleefully.
“Well,” said Jupiter. “That’s something you don’t see every day.”
“Thank the gods,” said Andrew.
“We do our best,” said Maât.
“Sorry about this time,” said Jupiter.
When you live in a world pullulating with gods, can you truly be an atheist? Well, yes…if you know a way to get rid of them. Mysantheos, a fanatic atheist at the head of a powerful lobby/terrorist organization, has created a weapon able to kill gods and his kamikaze army is ready to attack.
As the divine bodies pile up, resentment builds at Gods Incorporated and violent factions start pushing for the extermination of the human race, and the CEO/Queen Louhi is running out of ideas to calm them down. Hopefully, her black ops teams are doing better. But will the Nerds and Richard (a down-on-his-luck private eye), saddled as they are with a group of angry gods, manage to find Mysantheos before all hell breaks loose?
In a dimension created by the ancient gods, most are now stuck working at Gods Incorporated. CEO Queen Louhi Pohjola, a mortal demigoddess turned vampire (on a diet), holds the planet in the palm of her hand and while she cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called a nice person, there’s worse lurking in her shadow.
Goblin, a bitter hybrid with childhood issues and shape-shifting abilities, has a grudge against the world. First on his to-do list is getting rid of the Queen and take her place by forcing the titan Ba’al to devour her.
As her friends and allies fall one-by-one into Goblin’s traps, the Queen’s fate seems inevitable. With no one left to fight, will Ba’al’s friends, a bunch of over-the-hill incompetent gods, be enough to stop Goblin from turning the world into hell?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gabriele Russo, AKA Lucie-Gabrielle Jolicoeur-Rousseau, was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors.
Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to the University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.
She now lives with her husband in Culpeper, Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, ripping apart and reconstructing her recently bought historical home, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.