Thursday, May 28, 2015
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Effrosyni Moschoudi
1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, but it had always been a hobby of mine and I didn’t regard myself as a writer, nor did I aspire to becoming one when I was young. Instead, I got a university degree in IT and did office work for twenty years until the credit crunch rendered me unemployed five years ago. That’s when my whole world crumbled. I had no clue what to do next. That’s when my writing hobby saved me. Not only did it give me something to do but it opened new opportunities for me too. Once I discovered indie publishing, I knew I had a new career prospect and what’s more, it struck me as a dream come true, one I never even realized I had.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
As a youngster I used to devour stories of science fiction and the supernatural, as well as books of esoteric philosophy and self-help. Some of the authors that come to mind from that time are Philip Dick, Brian Aldiss and Carlos Castaneda. Nowadays, I enjoy historical fiction and thrillers more than anything else, i.e. authors like Kate Morton, Katherine Webb, Stephen King and Dan Brown.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novels The Lady Of The Pier and The Necklace of Goddess Athena?
The Necklace of Goddess Athena is my debut novel and this is a book that has helped me express my love and admiration for my country, its people and massive heritage. I’ve always had foreign friends and found it hard to explain what makes the Greek psyche so different, why it’s hard for other nations to relate. I am confident this book said it all (*laughs*). As for The Lady of the Pier, you may be surprised to know that the first volume of this trilogy, The Ebb, is a memoir in a way, when it comes to young Sofia holidaying in Corfu. I have a huge affinity for this island where my mother was born and raised. I used to be a youngster just like Sofia, holidaying with my grandparents there every summer. I have a myriad of fond memories and I guess the inspiration stemmed from those; I felt the need to record them on paper and to share them with the world. My readers tell me Sofia’s story feels like you’re actually on the island. It always pleases me to hear this; it means there’s truth in my novel and therefore, that my work is done.
4. Living in Greece obviously influences your writing quite a bit. For those who aren't familiar with the locale, what is it about the country that is so inspiring? (I want to visit there one day!)
What can I say about Greece? My country is a scatter of sun-bleached stones thrown into the sea. The foreign visitors find here a beauty that is unique to the rest of the world, not just because of the deep blue or the clarity of the water, but also because of the unique Greek light that doesn’t compare to any other in the world. I remember when Hollywood filmed
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin in Kefalonia, I read in the papers they couldn’t get over the natural light. Only a filmmaker or photographer will really know the difference, I guess. To the Greeks the sun and the sea are mainly what Greece is all about and I think these are what stay with the tourists the most in the end, more even than the warm hospitality of the people, the delicious food and the awesome museums and archeological sites on offer.
5. Why did you add sci-fi to The Necklace Of Goddess Athena?
The time travel element to the story serves as a symbolism, along with its main character, Efimios. The book is about the famous Greek triptych: Country-God-Family. Having Efimios time travel through the ages to help Athens in its difficult times, serves to symbolize the immortal Greek spirit that draws strength from the divine and its own history as to stoically endure difficulty and never lose heart.
6. Were any of the characters’ personalities or emotions taken from real life?
Yes. Mrs Sofia, the elderly woman who runs the guesthouse in The Necklace of Goddess Athena, was inspired by my Corfiot grandmother. Back in the 80s, she, my sister and I used to clean the rooms in a small family guesthouse we owned on Corfu. Also, as I said earlier, Sofia in The Lady of the Pier derived from my own experiences. I was the same in my early 20s, an overprotected young girl that yearned for freedom. Like her, I also had to endure awkward family members but wasn’t allowed to vent my frustration or show them my displeasure.
7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?
A few! Paranormal, mystery, scifi, women’s fiction and children’s stories among them.
8. If you could be any of the characters in your novels, who would you be and why?
As I said earlier, Sofia’s story is autobiographical in many ways. I’d love to be her even for a day, simply to spend a day with my grandparents again on Corfu. My granddad died at the age of 97 five years ago and my grandma is 81 now living alone on the island.
9. In The Lady of The Pier, why did you decide to write of a decade-crossing story of forbidden love?
This story is a sweet romance with a paranormal twist. I had to have two different stories far apart in time for the paranormal element to work. This paranormal element becomes more and more prominent in the second and third book of the the trilogy as the two worlds slowly merge until they become one. I can’t say more as that would give spoilers!
10. Would you like to see either book as a film? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters?
Oh yes, of course! Isn’t this every author’s dream? I have The Lady of the Pier fully cast in my head. The hero is Robert Pattinson, the heroine is Amanda Seyfried and the villain is Jonathan Rhys Meyers. He plays a wicked baddy!
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
Hopefully selling books and still being around, writing, and enjoying the indie universe!
12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
I’d be in another dreary office somewhere, bored out of my head and still suffering stress, I guess. I can’t thank my lucky stars enough for saving me from the treadmill!
13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
It’s a women’s fiction novel with a supernatural element, the likes of stories by Cecilia Ahern, an Irish author that delights me with her quirky plots. I won’t say more though, as I never like to give details about my WIPs. But I’ll also say I am working on a children’s story too.
14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
Although there’s a multitude of authors I admire and would love to meet, pick their brains, hear their stories and ask for tips, I could never collaborate with anyone. I am a one man show, I am built this way. Any kind of distraction is catastrophic to my writing, so a collaborator would be out of the question for me.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
Whereas normal people have a craving for coffee or chocolate, mine is hazelnuts. I can always say no to chocolate, but keep those hazelnuts coming and I’ll never stop!
The sight of Robert Pattinson makes me weak at the knees.
While working for an airline in an Athens office (2003-2005), I used to go to work every day dressed as an air hostess.
Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she often sat alone in her granny’s garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. She’s passionate about books and movies and simply couldn’t live without them. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix. Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, is a #1 Amazon bestseller in Greek & Roman literature. The first part of her romance trilogy, The Lady of the Pier - The Ebb, is an ABNA Quarter-Finalist.
Purchase link for The Ebb (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LGNYEPC Purchase link for The Ebb (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LGNYEPC
Purchase link for The Necklace of Goddess Athena (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I5GXHCO
Purchase link for The Necklace of Goddess Athena (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I5GXHCO
See my review for The Necklace of the Goddess Athena HERE.
See my review for The Lady Of The Pier--The Ebb HERE.