Happy Halloween, I’m gonna make a post later about that:)
1.- Welcome Chrystalla! Thank you so much for stopping by. Rex Rising is your debut novel. How does it feel to have your story out there after, I can only imagine, a lot of hard work?
Hi, thanks for having me over. 🙂
To your question: it’s an amazing feeling, a mixture of elation and fear – elation because it’s out there, at last, and a tiny bit of fear whether it’s good enough, whether readers will enjoy it. Typical feelings, I suppose.
2.- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do when you’re not writing?
Well, I’m Greek Cypriot and I lived abroad for many years – in France, England, Germany and Costa Rica. I’ve just recently returned to Cyprus to stay. I have a degree in English literature and translation and I’m working as a freelance translator and text editor at the moment.
When not writing… I’m editing. lol. OK, I have some more interests. I read a lot, mostly fantasy and science and history books. I also love watching movies, mostly science fiction. I like to wander the countryside and visit archaeological sites (an old passion of mine: I wanted to become an archaeologist). I also cook dangerously spicy Indian dishes, draw and spend time with my family. I know, very exciting… 🙂
3.- What was your biggest source of inspiration before and while writing the book?
Difficult question… I will have to say ParasiteRex by Carl Zimmer (http://www.amazon.com/Parasite-Rex-New-Epilogue-Dangerous/dp/074320011X). This is a non-fiction book about parasites and their strange behavior and abilities. It reads like a mixture of horror and science fiction but it’s all true! Terrifying and amazing. When I read it back in 2004 (I think!), I immediately thought, “what if I could apply such facts to humans?” (most of the parasites in the book have insects and marine creatures as their hosts). In fact, there was one parasite I found so fascinating, it gave birth to my all-women race (the Gultur race). It’s called Wollbachia. This tiny parasite changes its hosts (flies) so much that they cannot survive without it, nor can they reproduce. It is a very interesting creature and worth reading about. (http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/wolbachia/index.html)
4.- Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write?
I always sacrifice a black cat and draw a pentagram… kidding. 🙂 Rituals: I brew myself a pot of strong coffee, and if it’s warm and dry, I take my laptop with me to the balcony to write. I usually have a half dozen websites open – from websites I use for research, to dictionaries, to Facebook and Twitter. I can’t concentrate for very long on one thing, so I hop from one to the other, and then back to writing. My brain appreciates small breaks. 🙂
5.- What are you reading right now and what book(s) have you had your eye on lately but haven’t gotten to read yet?
Right now I’m reading an author I’ve just discovered, SM Reine. I’m reading her “Descent” series. Awesome gritty urban fantasy, with demons, angels, zombies and a kick-ass heroine.
As for what I have my eye on: I recently bought “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi. It looks very interesting, featuring the New People, a race of engineered humans, and a crazy post-apocalyptic world. It’s sitting next to me right now, and I can’t wait to read it.
6.- How many books do you plan on writing for the Elei’s Chronicles? Do you have a set plotline/ending in sight or are you just seeing where the characters and the story take you?
Good questions… There will be four books in the series. Rex Equilibrium (book 3) is coming out on November 6th, and Rex Aftermath (book 4) is scheduled to come out in late spring. I do have an ending in sight, but I admit that my characters are willful and insisted on more books than I initially planned. It’s my story, but they decided they had a lot more to say and do before we reached the end.
I also have plans for a book (at least one!) from Kalaes’ perspective, and maybe more will force themselves out of me…
7.- How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Well, apart from getting inspiration from “Parasite Rex” as mentioned further up, I had this vision of a boy running for his life, not knowing why everyone was after him. Something like the Bourne Identity, I guess (although I didn’t know Ludlum’s work back then.) Add to that the parasites fighting each other, the post-apocalyptic world of the islands, and a situation where the protagonist doesn’t know if to trust his gut feeling or facts about the people surrounding him, and you’ve got Rex Rising.
8.- If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
Funny, we had a discussion about this on the Rex Rising group on Facebook the other day (https://www.facebook.com/groups/282489681801529/)… Someone suggested Luke Pasqualino (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Pasqualino) for Elei. I think Zach Roerig (but with darker hair) could also be good.
I think Ben Barnes (but with spiky hair) would make a good Kalaes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Barnes_%28actor%29).
This was fun…
9.- Vampire or werewolf? Why?
Vampire, definitely. I don’t like furry men. 😉
Now, seriously. I prefer vampires because they’re very old and wise and cruel. They’ve been around for a very long time and they have magic. Werewolves, apart from shifting when the moon is full, don’t seem to have much going for them, (in my opinion) although I do like cat-shifters, like panther and puma shifters.
10.- What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?
Black magic isn’t enough; what matters is hard work. Write every day, or as often as you can. See what works and what doesn’t in successful stories, learn about story structure and characterization, and be open to criticism from other authors. Learn your craft, and trust in yourself.
Thank you for stopping by:)
REX RISING GIVEAWAY!
In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life — until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive.
His pursuers aren’t inclined to sit down and talk, although that’s not the end of Elei’s troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won’t be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret — a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known — or die trying.
To enter to this giveaway you need to leave a comment with your name and your e-mail adress.
I will give 3 e-copies of this book.
The giveaway ends on november 14 and the winners will be chosen with random.org.