In my last post, I mentioned how two of my favorite Greek authors, Marina Gioti & Kostas Krommidas, are giving away one of their books this week. Marina is an illustrator and author of children’s books. Kostas is an actor and romance author. They have a lovely 10-year-old and are traditionally published and hugely successful in their native Greece, where they have sold tens of thousands of books. They have now taken the plunge into Indie publishing via Amazon. You can read their books for free until the 21st, so you have a unique opportunity to introduce yourself to their work. You can find out more about them in this double interview.
- This week, you are giving away one of your books each. Want to tell me something about them?
MG: Twice upon a time: Cinderella is the story of Cinderella as we know it and as we don’t! It is the second book in the series, where I revisit some of the classic fairy tales in a unique way. The book includes the classic story for smaller children and continues beyond happily ever after, where kids discover that things did not go down as we thought. Was the Prince as charming as he appeared? Does this fairy tale sound too much like a tall tale? Who was the Fairy Godmother and what part did she really play in the story? What happens after happily-ever-after? It’s a book about the magic that is love, the strength of willpower, and chasing the impossible.
KK: This book is based on a true story which was hidden away for more than half a century. Dimitri, a young actor, is enjoying the lucky break of his life—a part in an international production shot on an idyllic Greek island and a romance with Anita, his beautiful co-star. When his uncle dies, he has one last wish: that Dimitri scatters his ashes on the island of his birthplace.
Dimitri discovers that the past casts long shadows onto the present when his visit sparks a chain of events that gradually reveal the island’s dark secrets; secrets kept hidden for far too long.
- What book has been the greatest influence on you and your writing and why?
MG: So many books, so little time! I love the Harry Potter books and some of Oliver Jeffers books, such as Heart in A Bottle. There are so many books I love and admire.
KK: “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. I loved the depth of the characters and the way that the author describes this particular part of history.
- Where do you find ideas for your books?
MG: My interaction with my daughter and other kids. A word, a phrase, a question can be the start of an amazing story…
KK: Life. I love true stories and most of my six books have been based on one.
- How would you describe your writing style?
KK: Cinematographic. All of my books could easily become movies.
- What do you consider the most difficult part of writing a book?
MG: I have studied illustration in one of the best art schools in NY and I love illustrating my books. However, if you want to do it right, it is the most challenging part of any picture book.
KK: Lol—to actually sit down long enough to write the book!
- What are the things in your life that you’re most grateful for?
MG: My family.
KK: My family, my childhood and the way those years have shaped the way I am as a human being and an author.
- How would you like to be remembered?
KK: As an author that created memorable stories which moved and inspired readers.
- Choose a male and a female character from your book and tell us about them. Who inspired their characters? Would you like to meet them? What would you tell them if you did?
MG: There is a character who connects the three books in the series, a reporter called Tom Flibbertigibbet. He questions the stories, has an open mind, and is curious and smart. I would ask him: what’s next?
As for a woman’s character, I would like to meet Cinderella’s mom. Talk to her about loss and the feeling that we never, no matter what happens, stop watching over our children.
KK: Definitely Manolis. Even though this character was based on an actual person, I never had the chance to meet him since he died many years before I was born. His tragic tale was hidden for so many years and has touched so many. As for a female character, I would say Eleni. The strength of her love was so immense that it lasted for a lifetime and inspired others 70 years later.
- If you had to describe a theme or thread running through your life, what would it be? What’s your life theme?
MG: Love that transforms.
KK: Constant evolution.
- Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Where are you from?
MG: Fantasia, a planet far away and yet so close.
KK: From an island in the Aegean.
- Is it true you’ve been abducted by aliens?
MG: Maybe… or maybe not?
KK: If it’s true, I don’t remember it. Which is probably a good thing.
- Which one do you prefer: Elephants or tigers?
MG: Tigers, I need to be alert in my life.
KK: Tigers, of course!
- If you had to live over again what would you change in your life?
MG: I would have stayed in the US.
KK: Absolutely nothing.
- Marina, how would you have Kostas if you’d stayed in the US?
MG: I still think we would have found a way to end up together.
- Where in the universe would you live if you could travel anywhere?
MG: I do travel everywhere. Imagination is a powerful thing!
KK: On the planet 3268977669/3.
Many thanks for being on my blog! Readers, you can read Marina’s and Costas’ books for free by following the links below: