Hi Glynis, great to meet you!
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
Fantasy, science fiction and children’s stories. As to why, do we really choose our genres, or do they choose us? I love to write in these genres because it feels natural to me, the words flowing out. When I try to rationalize it I come up with things like, “because they’re imaginative,” “for the freedom they give me,” etc. But the truth of the matter is, it’s what feel right for me.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Yes, I usually do, although one of them is the “main” one. Still, every now and then an idea will pop into my head and demand to be written, so I’ll oblige.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
I do have a circle of wonderful author friends and beta-readers who are the first to read my work. I incorporate their comments into the stories before I ever send them to my editor, so in that sense, yes, I do. It’s not an official group, though.
Can you remember your first reading book?
I don’t know if it was my first one, but I do remember the book my mother used to teach me how to read. Naturally, it was a book of fairy tales, and I was very moved when I saw it a couple of years ago at my parents’ place.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
No snacks for me, I’m afraid, as the only thing growing faster than my waistline is my to-read list! If this goes on, I’ll probably join the circus in the capacity of the Amazing Elastic Waistline.
A cup of tea is always welcome, though. Hot in the winter, cold in the summer.
It’s fairly tidy but let’s not get crazy with the concept, right? I use two monitors, so that I write on the left and research on the right. As we have had frequent visit from a neighbour’s puppy lately, and as she has shown an unusual fondness for my slippers, the most unusual item on my desk is the afore-mentioned footwear, safe atop a magazine…
Are you published in the traditional manner or self-published? Share your journey.
The concept of Pearseus itself came to me after I had read Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice books, followed by Jim Lacey’s The First Clash and Herodotus’ Cyrus the Great and Rise of Persia. The main battle between Greece and Persia took place at the Bay of Marathon. I grew up on the mountain overlooking the bay, and Marathon itself is a short 20’ drive from my home. As a child, I’ve often visited the tomb where the ancient Athenians buried their dead. So, after reading Martin, I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be great if someone did what Martin did for medieval England, only with the story of Greece vs. Persia? And in space? How cool would that be?” Then it occurred to me: so, what’s stopping me from writing it?
It took me four months to finish the first draft for the first two books, and four times as long to write it again and again, 17 times in total. I had great characters, epic battles and a beautiful story, full of suspense. But my writing was passive and lazy. In the past, I had written hundreds of theses, dissertations, corporate presentations and business plans, but never a fast-paced action scene. What did I know about sword fights, let alone an epic battle scene, except for some basic Tai-Chi?
So, I took courses, bought books, watched videos and tried to dissect my favourite books, to see what made me love them. During that time, I rewrote the books on a daily basis, until enough people told me it was good enough to publish. Then, I worked on it for another six months, until I, too, was satisfied with it. My writing still improves daily, but I believe it’s now at a professional and enjoyable level.
So, on October 17th 2013 I published it, after trying for almost a year to find an agent. Then, ha! I found out why people say books are 20% writing and 80% promotion. I’ve now learned enough to write my own book marketing guide. Still, it’s all worth it for that magical moment when you see your book live on Amazon, or hold that first copy from Createspace in your hands.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Mostly Philip K. Dick, whom I consider a modern-day prophet, visions and all.
Frank Herbert, especially his amazing third book, God Emperor of Dune.
And Lao Tzu, whose Tao Te Ching I have spent a year translating into Greek. He has influenced not just my writing, but also my way of thinking.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
It’s impossible to be objective when it comes to our work. I’m a great editor when editing other people’s work, but I’m constantly surprised when I read their feedback on my own work, going, “how did I miss that?”
The more beta-readers you have, the better your book will turn out. However, you also need a professional who will iron out any remaining problems with the manuscript at the very end.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
I would love Mark Harmon (from NCIS) for the part of Parad, the stoic general. I imagine Teo Altman being played by Danny De Vito. For some reason, I’m convinced that he would be able to bring out the character’s more unsavoury parts. And Meryl Streep would make a great justice Styx. Anna Hathaway would be perfect as Gella, and Sol has the golden hair of Daryl Hanna.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
Well, I’m not sure that this qualifies, but back when I was in the navy (Greece still has conscripts, and I served 23 months), I was secretary to a naval base Commanding Officer. One day, I was filing away reports, which more than qualifies as an everyday and boring event.
Out of the blue, a number of MPs (military police) filed into my office and asked me to call a certain sailor. As soon as he arrived, they arrested him and dragged him away in handcuffs.
That evening, the TV announced the arrest of three people for multiple ritualistic murders. I had been serving with this person for months, and had no idea…
Oh my gosh! We never know!
Mad Water Tagline:
Yesterday’s crime. Tomorrow’s retribution.
In the third book of the best-selling Pearseus series, the incessant scheming of the various players and their nebulous puppet-masters has brought about major change. Cyrus is now the new ruler of the Capital, struggling to fight Jonia’s revolt along with his own demons. Gella strives to keep abreast of Teo’s devious plans in order to end the war with Jonia. David returns to the First in an effort to overcome his loss of the Voice. Lehmor’s struggle to reunite with Moirah brings him to uncharted territories, where the enigmatic Iota play with minds, senses and the future of the entire planet.
Old foes and unlikely new friends appear as invisible forces continue to pry humanity apart. Masks drop to reveal the ultimate truth: on Pearseus, everyone has their own agenda. And they’ll stop at nothing to achieve it.
What people say about Pearseus:
“He simply tells a story of corruption, people struggling as pioneers seeking to do with what they have… The measure of this book is that the triumph is not a textbook description, but a sense of a living struggle.”
“A cross between Game of Thrones and Dune”
“Astonishing, intriguing, thoughtful”
“It will be hard to put this book down long enough to eat and sleep, never mind doing responsible things like going to work and taking care of the kids”
“[It] hits on those big archetypal themes of invasion, loss, leadership, death… and high tech. It gives the reader plenty of material for discussion.”
“Warning: May cause loss of sleep, lowered work productivity, and missed meals”
Nicholas C. Rossis bio:
Author. Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh.
Nicholas loves to write. Mad Water, the third book in his epic fantasy series, Pearseus, was just published, while his first children’s book, Runaway Smile, is currently being illustrated. He has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories.
He lives in Athens, Greece, in the middle of a forest, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard…
• Pearseus: http://nicholasrossis.me/pearseus
• You can also read Books 1 & 2 (special edition) on http://amzn.to/RqjNbU and
• The Power of Six: 6+1 Science Fiction Short Stories can be found on http://amzn.to/1kKVduI
• Also available: Tao Te Ching (translated into Greek) on http://amzn.to/1ovrc4n