19 Sept 2012

Author Interview: Yannis Karatsioris

Yannis Karatsioris -real name-, Greek born and raised, is 29 years old and lives in Athens, Greece. He has already staged a play, published a fantasy novel in Greek and, after winning with The Book of the Forsaken the gold medal on HarperCollins' competition on authonomy.com, is now making his first steps in the publishing world out of Greece.
His tastes, dark and sarcastic, guide him to a style reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Jonathon Stroud and Mikhail Bulghakoff.


A sarcastic storyteller traps three characters in his web in order to get hold of a special book.

Daniel, Cassidy and Igor are three unique individuals, considered outcasts for different reasons. They are about to meet and stick together, as coincidences and forced situations lead them to a journey all around Europe.

As everyone is after the Book of the Forsaken, the coming Game is about to take place on the dark side of the moon. But there is a cost to that knowledge. Let alone to the wish to partake.

"The Book of the Forsaken" got the gold medal on authonomy.com's HarperCollins UK hosted competition on Feb 1. 2012.


If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
First off, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to talk about me and my work, Debra.
I would be willing to work with Raymond E. Feist for some epic, secondary world fantasy. And with Neil Gaiman for something gritty and contemporary.
Also, for other kinds of literature I’d work with yet unknown authors, with who I met online in literary sites –where one can find talent in tons.

What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I usually write at familiar environments. Home, that is. Or anything similar to a home. I usually write deep into the night, unless what I write is “happy” or a comedy.
A typical writing day is something that doesn’t exist for me yet… Not much else to say about that. I don’t have a routine, and I don’t think I can have. My background includes playwriting and acting, which more often than not means I will be walking around the house saying phrases of characters in my novels or just playing them in my head. Walking around the house is optional.

What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Sometimes, after I’ve played a scene in my mind, and after I feel content with the outcome, I feel bored that I have to write it down for others… I know, right? This feeling, that when I write, I have to deal with the same scene, in a slower manner than how it runs in my head, can bring my forehead on the table and leave it there for hours.

When and why did you first start writing?
I wrote my first short story in Greek when I was seventeen. My first novel again in Greek when I was twenty-three (The Abyss Wars, available in English as well).
The first short story was written out of emotional necessity. I was in love. I haven’t written anything romance since. It won a national award some years after. The first novel was written out of mental necessity, I couldn’t stand the plot and the characters, and I somehow had to put something together. It got no award however.

How did you come up with the idea for the your book?
I was inspired by Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. In “The Book of the Forsaken”, first part of “The Game” series, I wanted to take the idea of old gods living among us a step further. What would they manifest as? What would their interests/ friends/ habits/ be? What plan do they serve since they are not the gods we believe in anymore?
It’s not religion though! Urban fantasy, or as a reviewer put it “supernatural dark comedy”.

Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Yes! Very much so.
When I’m not reading and reviewing unpublished work, I indulge myself in some good contemporary fantasy or historical fiction. I’d like to think I’ll find good high/epic fantasy someday again.
Right now I’m reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Yes, stupidly so, I have.
Read a lot, there’s no other way to know where you stand and what is old or new out there.
Write whenever you feel like writing, not whenever other say you have to. “Having to” leads us to imitation, to mass production.