Today, I am pleased to welcome Effrosyni Moschoudi, author of The Necklace of Goddess Athena. Last month, her debut urban fantasy reached Amazon’s number one spot in the mythology category, and was number two in fairy tales. It also received a perfect five-star rating from The Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network, where it was described as “A Rare Gem.”
After her interview whets your appetite, head over to Amazon (US or UK) tomorrow and Friday to download a free copy! Limited time only!
1. You published your first book, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, in January. What can you tell us about that story?
The Necklace of Goddess Athena is a fantasy adventure of Greek myths and time travel that is suitable for all ages. It is about two time travellers from antiquity (a brother and sister) who are sent to modern-day Athens by their mysterious father without knowing his purpose. They team up with two orphaned siblings in this new world and soon realize there is a reason that they stumbled upon them. Together, they wind up tracing their family history, trying to reunite with their parents and in the process, find themselves entangled in an ancient rivalry between two Olympian Gods.
2. What drew you to the urban fantasy genre? What about your novel in particular do you think readers will love?
I didn’t feel drawn to the genre as such but to the specific story. It’s been brewing in my mind, taking shape slowly over the years until it felt right to write it. It is predominantly a story about love for Family, God and Country. The book also highlights earnestly a wide range of human emotions and situations such as the loss of a loved one, bullying in school, shyness, heartache and the bliss of first love.
3. Why do you write? What do you want readers to take away from your work?
As well as to entertain and to take the reader on a journey to a different world, I also aim to inspire with my stories up to a certain extent. I have read a lot of books on psychology & esoteric philosophy over the years as I’ve always tried to understand human behaviour and the workings of the mind. Inevitably, I often advise friends and family as to pass on the knowledge I have gained. I wind up doing the same sometimes through the narrative in my books. So far, I get only positive feedback from readers who speak of ‘gems of wisdom’ – something that encourages me to carry on of course (laughs).
4. What is your writing process like?
When I wrote this book, I wasn’t part of the indie world yet so all my time was my own and I wrote almost daily and a lot. Nowadays, I spend a lot of time on social media and the internet to promote, to blog and to interact with fellow authors and readers. It is hard to find time to write on a set schedule nowadays but I try to manage a bit every week, even if it’s just one hour, even if it’s not the next book but a book review or a blog post. When I do write, I need total silence. No music playing, not even a clock ticking. This is the only way that I can concentrate. I don’t chase inspiration with a club – I wait till it visits me. Most of the time, it comes in the form of a single image and I work from there to make a story. I don’t rush things. I find this way I get better results and I don’t get frustrated when it’s a bad day and nothing gets done.
5. Spreading the word is one of the most daunting aspects of self-publishing. How do you get your title out there?
To me, the following three practices are the best where it comes to spreading the word:
a) Sending timely Tweets 24/7 while promoting others too.
b) Blogging regularly and showcasing my books on my blog as subtly as I can.
c) Cooperating with my circle of author friends. We always engage on each other’s Facebook posts for example. We give advice, we promote each other as best as we can and on the really bad days we also provide the necessary encouragement. I would be nothing without my author friends and I would have quitted months ago if I hadn’t had their daily friendship and support. It is very, very hard to be a writer and a marketer at the same time. What we do doesn’t even feel sane on most days. No one can do it alone! The only way forward is by marching on as part of a team.
6. What are you working on next?
I am currently penning the second part of a duology called ‘The Lady of the Pier’. It is a paranormal romance set in Brighton, England in the 30s and in Corfu, Greece in the 80s. It follows the lives and loves of two young girls who have never met but are connected in a mysterious way. Their two worlds merge into one in the second book when tragedy strikes and everything is revealed. The first part – The Ebb –will be published in the summer of 2014. I am hoping to publish the concluding part – The Flow –by the end of this year.
7. Becoming a published author is never an easy path. How do you make it through the tough days?
Other than my precious author friends that I have already referred to, it is my husband Andy of course who keeps me sane every day. Since I became an indie author, he has been a tower of strength to me – not just through the editing assistance he provides me with but also as a personal ‘therapist’ when it all gets too much and I need someone to talk to. Also, as we live in a serene little town on the shore, I usually take a walk down the beach on the bad days. I sit on the sand and just let the lullaby of the water soothe me.
8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?
It is a quote that I heard recently which refers to the journey of an indie writer to success: “It is not a sprint; it’s a marathon”. It reminds me to take it slowly; not to overwork, not to expect too much too fast but instead to pause every once in a while, to ponder upon the ground already covered as to draw strength and carry on.
For more information about Effrosyni, take a look at her website, www.effrosinimoss.wordpress.com, where she blogs about the writing life. She also loves getting in touch with readers on Facebook (authoreffrosyni), Twitter (@frostiemoss), and Goodreads.
To view a trailer of her book, click here.
To download her book for FREE April 17-18, use the following links: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK)
On April 23, Cathy Bramley reveals how she turned the self-publishing world upside down with Conditional Love.
(And offers a giveaway too!)
Desperately Ever After is available in both print and e-book formats at Amazon. Click here for information about borrowing a FREE copy (Prime members) or purchasing one at a discounted rate!
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6 responses to “What if the gods still dwelled among us? A Q&A with Effrosyni Moschoudi”
Thank you for hosting me on your beautiful site Laura! Very pleased our interview coincides with the free promo on April 17,18 so that your readers can take advantage. Again, many thanks for this opportunity 🙂
Thank YOU! It is my pleasure 🙂
Thanks for sharing your “gems of wisdom” about writing. I will definitely take advantage of the free promo…and my students are interested in the “ancient Gods’ with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books–I’ll have to get your name out to them.
Thank you for your lovely comments Cathy! Yes, Greek Mythology seems to be appealing to youngsters. I think it’s the magical aspect maybe. I would love to hear your comments when you or your students read my book – it always makes my day to hear from readers. Happy Easter to you 🙂
Having read both of Effrosyni’s books (The Lady of the Pier as a beta reader) I can testify to their quality not only in terms of writing and storytelling, but in creating an ambience that stays with the reader long after the book ends. Very few authors can achieve that with me. (Yes, I’m a tough sell. 🙂 I highly recommend Effrosyni’s The Necklace of the Goddess Athena no matter what your genre of choice is.
Awww, thank you so much for your kind words Maria! I am truly blessed to have you as a beta reader, a friend and such a fervent supporter 🙂