This week, my special guest is Athanasios Galanis and he will be telling us about himself, his books and a fabulous contest he is offering. Athanasios is the talented , the witty and the intriguing indie author of the compelling MAD GODS, now available on Amazon and Smashwords. So let's meet Athanasios!
1 How did you come up with the title of your book?
The title Mad Gods is an appropriation of the Joe Cocker album Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Never had it, never heard it, but I saw it in an old record store & thought it was a cool title. It stayed with me till I wanted a title for an earlier comic book version that I called Mad Gods & Buried Children. It was about a giant guy, a natural hulk who was also scarred badly in his youth. Due to his abnormal size he was thought of as a monster, a damned creature that had to be a creation of the devil. So the Antichrist hadn't come into my mind until way later in the Mad Gods & Buried Children timeline. So this huge hulking guy, Bear, comes along in my imagination with this terrible childhood. That's the buried children part. So I follow the ideas in my head till since he was considered a monster & was damned, creation of the devil, yadda, yadda, yadda, that's when I thought, why isn't he the Antichrist? I also didn't want him to be huge but wanted him to be beneath notice, an everyman, all the more insidious because he could be anybody, look like anybody. Medium height, medium build, brown hair, brown eyes, no discernible racial characteristics, nothing impressive or frightening until you find out he's the Antichrist.
2 What is Mad Gods about?
Mad Gods is about a remnant of imperial Byzantine antiquity, Kostadino Paleologos enforcing the beliefs of his tutor Plethon. He is set on a search for the Idammah-Gan Codex in the Library of Alexandria; Ptolemaic Library believed lost to antiquity. It is a catalogue of a soul that wishes for redemption; a life more ordinary. It doesn't matter that it is also a detailed account of the past lives of the Antichrist. This soul should be allowed to decide if it will follow fate or live its new life in peace. He kidnaps him as an infant and avoids Luciferians/Satanists who wish their Messiah returned and the Catholic Church's Templars who want him dead. Kostadino's usurping of the baby Antichrist throws Revelation into chaos. He names him Adam and they settle into a life of peace in Northern Canada. Meanwhile the Luciferians and Catholics war amongst themselves and all about them. Kostadino raises Adam to think for himself, and not trust religion. The Templars & Luciferians independently converge on the unsuspecting Kostadino and Adam. In the attack enough pain, blood and death is shed by both sides to summon Satan/Lucifer who possesses Kostadino and orders Adam to do as he is told. Adam refuses and becomes the final evolution of Man's Duality: Good/Evil - Christ/Antichrist - Xos/AntiXos.
3 Did anything special inspire you to write this particular story? Why?
I grew up being scared out of my wits by the Exorcist & the Omen. They were released in theatres in 73 & 76 respectively, which made me 9 & 12. This was in my formative years before I began thinking for myself & got out from my traditional Greek parents beliefs. I wanted to go past those fears & began looking into whatever was known about the two characters therein: Satan & hisdarling son. The further I looked into it the more scared I became so I left it alone for a while. I didn't even consider it apart from giving myself the willies every couple of months when I gave both some thought. The idea as to how much fear they caused stayed with me. I didn't like it but I knew it was powerful.
4 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.
The book I’m currently working on is the second in the Predatory Ethics series, titled Commitment. The first was Mad Gods. In Commitment Adam, the main character must deal with the repercussions of all that’s happened in Mad Gods. It’s driven him insane but that doesn’t mean serial killers, pagans, the Dark Nobility or his biblical father, Satan, are still not after him.
6 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writing? How do you deal with this?
Finding the time to write. 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.
7 What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower 3: The Wastelands, and three other books but all of them by indie writers: Cheryl Bradshaw’s Black Diamond Death, Danielle Benson’s Beautiful People, and David Gaughran’s If You Go Into the Woods.
8 If you could coauthor a story with any writer out there—deceased or alive—who would it be? Or would you even consider collaboration?
Just to play along with this question, because I’m such a giving guy, I would say Mary Renault. It’s been a long time since I was so involved and engrossed in a story. I’ve read much of her historical fiction from the Alexander trilogy, Fire From Heaven, Persian Boy, and Funeral Games to The Last of the Wine and Mask of Apollo. She just transported me to ancient times and I’ve loved her for it since. That said, I wouldn’t really collaborate with anybody, I’m way to difficult to get along with.
9 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?
I watch a lot of television, documentaries and movies. I also do a lot of my own home repairs, that may not be fun but when it's done it's very gratifying. 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.
10 What do you like LEAST about writing?
The duration. I’ve been doing creative things for most of my life, and I’ve been good enough at all of them to be able to earn a living. None of them keep my attention or patience as long as writing has. I dislike the time it takes to get what I have in my head out but it’s a small dislike compared to the wonder the finished story still instills in me.
11 Any advice for beginning authors?
Write the story you would like to read. Surprise yourself by not doing what you would expect to do. Yes I know, how do you surprise yourself, you’ll see you coming. Keep “what if” as one of your go to phrases to surprise yourself.
12 Tell us about your other published works.
I don’t have any.
13 How can readers contact you?
I can be found @: firstname.lastname@example.org. My website with all the links to every incarnation of Mad Gods is @: http://www.mad-gods.com.
Adam's blog is @: http://www.mad-gods.com/blog.
List of purchase links for your books.
Here are my links to my books:
Mad Gods - Redux
Mad Gods Volume I
Mad Gods Volume II
Mad Gods Volume III