My author friend Phyllis Zimbler Miller invited me to participate in a project with global reach, The Writer’s Process Blog Tour.  She is the author of a screwball romantic comedy novella called HOT POTATO, which you can read for free on Wattpad.  Phyllis is also currently working on a Cold War memoir titled TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY that she’s publishing chapter by chapter, also on Wattpad.  Finally, she is writing the sci fi novel THE MOTHER SIEGE, which takes place only 36 years from now and deals with many of the current issues in our world, including government eavesdropping and genetic manipulation.You can check this story out on Wattpad.

Last week Phyllis answered four questions about her work and process on her blog, and nominated three other writers to continue the chain. I was one of them, so it is now my turn to address my writing and introduce you to three talented writers you may not know. Please circulate this post on your social media, Twitter, FaceBook and so on to keep the blog tour going!

Cover Reveal: Power of Six1) What am I working on?

I’m editing Mad Water, the third book in the Pearseus series. You can read the first book for free on Writersky and Wattpad. I’m also publishing The Power of Six on May 15th.  It is a science fiction anthology that contains six of my short stories.

My first children’s book, Runaway Smile, is currently being illustrated and will be published in Greece and on Amazon on May 28.  You can read it on Writersky.

Finally, I’m publishing my Greek translation of the Tao Te Ching on Amazon. In short, I won’t get much sleep until June! 🙂

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think it’s best if I let my readers answer that.  It seems that they enjoy my more philosophical approach to my characters. I’m particularly interested in what makes them ‘tick’ as it were; the philosophy behind their actions.  I like to think that my work works on multiple levels, giving them a depth beyond the mere value of entertainment.

Mind you, not everyone likes this. A reader complained about it, saying that, “The plot, what little there is, moves agonizingly slowly. Competing philosophies, lots of words; it got boring.” To which another reviewer replied, I enjoyed especially much the philosophical bits that set it apart from any other books I’ve read in this genre”.

Or, as another reviewer put it: “It is often more a philosophical discussion than an adventure tale. That in itself makes it different & interesting compared to many books in the same genre.”

Yet another reviewer described it as, “…more than an action-packed page-turner, this book has another level, if you care to pay attention: ancient Greek myths were skillfully interwoven with Eastern Philosophy.” And a fourth one commented that, “…it illuminates the human condition from war to politics to the human shadow to the expansion of consciousness”.

My greatest influence has probably been Philip K. Dick, so it is his writing and complexity of thought that inspires me. Of course, I can only hope to write as well some day! 🙂

Runaway Smile cover3) Why do I write what I do?

I don’t write just one thing; I write fantasy, sci-fi, children’s books and blog posts. I have also translated the Tao Te Ching into Greek. Why? To be perfectly honest, I write because I have to.  I’ve even tried to stop a couple of times in order to focus on other things that demanded my undivided attention at the time, but I found myself composing phrases and paragraphs in my head at night, half-asleep.

It all started with keeping a dream journal.  Some of the stories I recorded were too good not to share.  I wrote Simulation Over, my very first story to be published, after a particularly vivid dream.  It went on to be published by 9; a Greek sci-fi and comics magazine.  When I was paid some $200 for it, I was astounded.  So I could do something I loved and get paid?  What is this madness? I wrote another dozen or so short stories after that, then the stresses of my day job made me forget all about it.

A few years later, I found myself in a particularly stressful job environment, and I decided to let off some steam by writing.  This time, I chose to write in English instead of Greek, with the express aim of targeting an English-speaking audience.  I completed my first Pearseus draft in four months, then spent almost a year trying to improve my style.  During that time, I would wake up at unholy hours simply because the voices in my head demanded I put them down on paper.

So, to answer the question, I write because I have to.  Also, because the voices in my head tell me to.

4) How does my writing process work?

My daily routine is too hectic for any sort of schedule.  I write when I can, and network as much as possible.  Not because I have to, but because I’m astounded by the amazing people I’ve met on this journey.  I’ve met so many talented, wonderful writers and most of them are incredibly eager to help out a relative newcomer like me.

So, I’ve made it my goal to help my new friends succeed in whatever small way I can. As for my writing process, I start with a general outline in my head and flesh it out. In that sense, then, you could say I’m a planner.

However, I’ve found that the story is much more satisfactory if I listen to my characters and allow them to lead me, instead of going against their will. The most obvious example of that is when a beloved character in Pearseus died on me.  I had his future moves figured out, and he was in my next book as well.  Then, I found myself typing the description of his death at some point.  I spent days trying to cope with the unexpected loss, but I figured that a twist that caught me by surprise me, would definitely shock the reader, right?

So, in that sense, I’m a pantser.

My friends

Now I would like to introduce you to three writers I have met over the past year, who have become friends and whose work and dedication I admire. I am happy to promote them here because if you give them a look, I think you’ll become fans.

Update: Due to a funny misunderstanding, I ended up with four people continuing the hop! So here they are:

Nat Russo

Nat Russo

My lovely friend Nat was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He’s spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing/gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun.

Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenage son, and mischievous beagle.

You can find out more about Nat Russo on his blog!

MM JayeMaria Messini

MM Jaye is the pen name of my dear friend Maria Messini, a bilingual Greek native, who lives in Athens with her husband and daughter.  She is a certified translator and also teaches the art of translation to young adults. Writing was Maria’s idea of therapy, when, back in 2009, her spirits had temporarily nosedived, but she didn’t take it seriously until her first manuscript was completed last year. Since November, she’s been building her author platform aiming at publishing Fate Accomplis, her first contemporary romance in the fall, along with Fate Captured, a prequel novelette.

You can find out more about Maria Messini on her blog!

Joylene ButlerJoylene Butler

Joylene Nowell Butler, Métis, began her first novel in 1983 to honor the passing of her father. Today she and her husband live in the home they built with their own hands on Cluculz Lake. Her first novel Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Her suspense thriller Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal for Canada West. Her newest novel Break Time, the steampunk anthology is now available on Amazon, book and ebook version. Joylene is currently applying final touches to two suspense thrillers. Contact her at cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca.

You can find out more about Joylene Butler on her blog and her website!

Elle BocaElle Boca

Elle is another dear friend, and the author of the wonderful Weeia urban fantasy series set in Miami,
Florida in the United States. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained reading. Elle makes her home with her king cat husband in South Florida (USA).

You can find out more about Elle Boca on her blog!

Do you wish to participate in the Writer’s Process Blog Tour?  Please contact me on nicholas[at]pearseus[dot]com before Friday, May  9th, to arrange it!