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Adventures in Writing » Interviews » IWU Interview with Athanasios

IWU Interview with Athanasios

I’m back with my latest interview in my ongoing series with writers from the Facebook group called Indie Writers Unite. This time around, I am interviewing an author who goes by the name of Athanasios, and his book is called “Mad Gods“. When I asked him to tell me a little about himself, this is what he had to say:

“I’ve been creative all my life and have always striven for outlets to express it. I’ve tried strict Fine Arts, including drawing, painting and sculpture. I’ve tried graphic arts, illustration and animation, and I’ve had a measure of success in all of them. The one form of expression I feel the most comfortable and immersed in is writing. I’ve grown up all over Canada and Greece. I’ve moved every year of my formative school years so I’m pretty solitary and have always relied on myself for my entertainment and feedback. I’m no longer alone and live with my wife, 3 cats and a dog in eastern Canada.”

Now on to the interview:

Where do you generally prefer to go when you write?
I can write anywhere, but I need total concentration. I can’t have music or other distractions. I have a day job where I can do a lot of the preliminaries and promotional parts of indie authorship. Yet when it comes down to doing the grunt work of pulling the tale out of my head I need quiet. I can do my job, graphics and video editing listening to music, or watching some television, or documentaries on my computer and have no problems with concentration. Writing, however, is totally distracting. I can’t do anything else. I can’t listen to music, or watch anything on computer. So it’s difficult to find a place to concentrate on it. It’s getting better, though because I can work on the train on my way to and back from work.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing most of my life. Since early high school. I was enthralled by fantasy, sword and sorcery creators like Michael Moorcock, Robert E Howard and comics. I wanted to elicit that type of wonder.

Tell us three random things about yourself.
1- I’m a Howard Stern fan in the truest definition of the word. I listen to him every day and love every minute of his show. I haven’t missed it since I first heard him when he was broadcast in Montreal in 1998.

2- I can cook, and can do it well. I’ve been doing so since I was 12 years old and learned everything I could in my family’s restaurant.

3- I am a fully independent adult, i.e. I can mend my own clothes, wash them and myself without help or supervision. I clean, vacuum, do windows, mop, feed the animals, clean the litter-box, walk the dog. I don’t need anybody to do anything I can’t, because I can do it all.

Do you prefer to write on a laptop or a desktop computer?
I don’t have a specific preference. Although there are different fortes that I’ve noticed I exhibit in different modes of writing. Desktop or iPad are good for pure revision and/or outlining the plot, however, I’ve found I’m at my most creative when I’m writing in longhand. That’s right you read correctly, I write it out first and then transpose it to computer and revise, revise, revise.

What are you currently working on writing?
I’m currently working on the sequel to “Mad Gods” titled “Commitment”. It is part of a series titled Predatory Ethics. “Mad Gods” deals with my first experiences with religion: contemporary Christianity with its champion the Catholic Church, and its opposite with its favorite Luciferian or Satanism. Sequels will have Adam as the now universal Saviour, deal with Paganism, Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Shinto and throughout there will always be the Illuminati and Dark Nobility.

What motivates you to write?
I want to tell “Mad Gods”. I know there are many writers who do write in different genres and have a facility in imparting a narrative for an audience of readers, but I’m not that guy. I want to tell this story, I’m currently not interested in telling another. There are many themes and beliefs in “Mad Gods” I am compelled to get out.

When do you find it best to write?
I’m a morning person. Well not bright and cheery, “I might rise, but I won’t shine”, but I can get TONS done in the morning if you just leave me alone to do it. That’s when my mind is closest to subconscious and I have the shortest trip to get to what I’ll need to write.

What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?
Stay in your own voice. Tailoring your voice to suit somebody else is folly. Sometimes I question my voice, I think am I like those delusional fools on American Idol who believe they can sing but sound like they’re strangling a cat? Am I fooling myself? Then I read a few paragraphs of what I’ve written and I feel better about my delusions.

How many drafts do you usually have before deciding it’s done?
I don’t count drafts. I keep going until I feel that it’s done enough to be seen. I can’t keep going until I think it’s perfect because I’d never put anything out. I’d keep polishing and revising, and polishing. No F. Scott Fitzgerald am I.

What would you do differently if you we just starting out today to become a writer?
I would’ve gone the indie route quicker. I wouldn’t have wasted years trying to get an agent, and waited for rejection after rejection. Then get a tepid interest, then be strung along and get another rejection. Then enthusiasm followed by bitter disappointment. So far the indie route has proven to be nothing but gravy.


© 2011, Steven R. Drennon. All rights reserved.

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