I had the honour of being interviewed by Smashwords, a major eBook retailer and distributor. OK, I am exaggerating - Smashwords allows authors to interview themselves as a way to get readers to learn more about authors. I think it's a great tool so I thought I'd share it with my readers. Please enjoy.
Interview with Vasiliki
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That I have been given the gift to have a new day! That this is another opportunity to achieve my goals, to grow and develop as a person, to hopefully make a difference. And sometimes, to just BE.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I live a pretty quiet, uneventful life. So how do I spend my time when I'm not writing? With family and friends. I read a lot, I volunteer at an animal shelter (one of the greatest joys in life!) and I also love to knit - it brings out the grandma in me.
How do you discover the eBooks you read?
it could be either through recommendations or just browsing.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
To be honest, no. I'm sure I wrote some sort of story in primary school then high school but I have no recollection of these so perhaps they weren't so great. As an adult, I did attempt a novel where I explore the theme of 'racism' that has its origins in World War Two but it was way too complicated and touchy a topic and have left it, for now.
What is your writing process?
Ummmm, not sure if I have one. With Daughter of Odysseus, the process was simply - I am writing as therapy, as I explain on my website: www.vasilikim.com. I'll have an idea and start to jot down notes, work out the structure and themes and take it from there I guess.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Unfortunately no, but I do have some memory of a book where children discovered a magical world via a cupboard that I am sure I read when I was young. This is of course C.S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This story took me into a world full of excitement and adventure away from the mundanity of everyday life and I realised - this is the magic of writing and storytelling.
How do you approach cover design?
I prefer simplicity but at the same time something that reveals what the novel is about and its theme. My cover for Book One of the Daughter of Odysseus Trilogy was intentionally simple yet I believe striking. I am pleased with it. I think the cover design must be a story in itself.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Firstly, the Life of Pi. Just wow, brilliant and the ending was an amazing twist. Secondly, The Mirrored World by Debra Dean. This is a story of a Russian Saint, St. Xenia and it is told in such a beautiful way that I fell in love with the novel and the saint herself. Thirdly, The Odyssey by Homer, of course. I've read it countless times but the imagery, the detail is simply incredible. I can honestly say I still need to read the book another hundred times to fully understand it - if that's possible. Fourthly, George Orwell's 1984. I see this book as somewhat prophetic and the whole concept of Newspeak and Big Brother is eerily too real in our world today. Lastly, I will have to choose 'Christ Re-crucified' by Nikos Kazantzakis. This tells the story of a rural Greek community in Asia Minor still under Turkish control where the main character becomes a Christ-like figure with Kazantzakis using the Gospel story to reveal the hypocrisy and corruption of too many of the Greek people.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mainly fiction, but I love to read good blog posts and on occasions, poetry. I must read poetry more though.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is the art of writing itself, which I see as something divine and beautiful. It is the ability to inspire and edify and even change people for the better (and of course, for the worse). I love creating characters with all their idiosyncrasies and I love playing with imagery. Writing is also very therapeutic for me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Australia but of Greek descent so this has strongly shaped who I am and hence, my writing. I see myself as stranded between two cultures but not really belonging to either. So I'm kind of in limbo, which is reflected in my character Christine. I also have a strong love of history which I'm sure I developed from my father so historical information features very strongly in my novel.