Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Q1: Thanks for participating in our Authors.com Spotlight Interview series Marie! Please introduce yourself and your book to help our readers get to know you.
A: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am from England and my name is Marie Symeou. My novel, Frozen In Time, is a historical fantasy; a story about an Ancient Greek vampire who searches eternity for the reincarnated soul of his dead wife while trying to find a way to destroy his evil maker, a vampiric sea-monster named Scylla. It's about a love that can transcend anything. Even death or banishment to otherworldly realms, or the transformation of the lovers into immortal beings. It's available now on Kindle and Smashwords and will soon be out in paperback.
Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.
A: Ever since I was little I loved to write. I used to make up little books and magazines, and at school I really loved English and creative writing. Then as I got older I began writing short stories. I also wrote song lyrics (I'm a singer), but I always had it in me that one day I would like to write a novel. I've always been intrigued by vampires, and as a child I loved watching the Christopher Lee Hammer Classics. When I began writing novels my first attempt was a historical novel set in the 18th century but I soon abandoned that. Then I tried a few contemporary stories. However, it wasn't until I saw Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire in 1994 that I then realized that what I really wanted to write about was vampires and in the horror or fantasy genre. I began writing about a 12th century vampire, but as his backstory grew (I wanted him to be really ancient, from Ancient Greece), more characters and plot lines quickly developed. He was searching for his twin soul in medieval England, but his life as a vampire really begins in ancient Greece, so I took him there. This became Book 1 - Frozen In Time. So far, I have in mind to write two more books in this series, but you never know. I could end up writing 10 books in the series.
Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book?
A. The chance to research ancient Greek history and mythology, which has always fascinated me, plus many other areas of interest, such as otherworldly realms, faeries, the life of Alexander the Great (who appears briefly in the novel, but not as a vampire!), reincarnation and the afterlife. Also, writing this book enabled me to escape into another world, which is great. I don't like real life!
Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?
A. Well, I know what it is to feel strongly and to love deeply. I am highly-sensitive and an empath, so it's very easy for me to get inside a character's mind and feel their emotions, to put myself in someone else's shoes and experience what they are going through, even if it is not an experience I myself have experienced. Also, my dad passed away last year as I was nearing completion of Frozen, and so a lot of the pain I felt about losing him is woven into that book. I read a lot of books on the afterlife and mediumship, and that too became part of the ongoing research for the novel (I tend to research as I write these days). I do believe in reincarnation, I believe the soul never dies, and I know my dad is watching me and helping me from the other side and that one day we will meet again.
Q5. How did you get published?
A. I tried a few agents, but I knew deep inside no one was going to take me on because the market is so saturated with vampire novels at present. So, I just did what everyone else seems to be doing at the moment and went down the self-publishing route.
Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the book writing and/or publishing process?
A. Yes, loads! Sometimes I had the worst writer's block and really felt like giving up. And as for the publishing process, I had so many formatting issues and wondered if the gods were against me getting published. It really got to me. But maybe that's just me. I can be a bit of a drama queen. I am Greek after all. We invented drama!
Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project?
A. That it wasn't going to be easy and that it was going to take me about two years to write this novel.
Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book. What would you hope to hear them say about it?
A. That it's amazing, the best thing they've read in a long time. That they want to see it made into a film.
Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them.
A. I'm a bit psychic and I talk to animals... I hate sunlight and the heat (it's true, I'm not saying it to sound like I'm a cool vampire or something). I truly am happiest when there are clouds in the sky and the weather is quite cold. I'm also not as quiet as I look. On first impression people always assume that I'm too quiet and shy, but I am just a deep thinker, living in my head a lot. I like to tread carefully, analalyzing situations and people with care before stepping out of my shell. I am a Cancerian, so perhaps that has something to do with it.
Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
A. What everyone says. Believe in yourself and never give up. Plus, write about what you want to read, what you are truly passionate about.
Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us please.
A. Woken up at 5am by my naughty kitten Athena, feed her, drink coffee, have breakfast, turn on laptop, check the internet/emails and then after I've played with her, start writing.
Q12: Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you?
A. A small desk in my bedroom, a cd player and iPod by my side, headphones, a statuette of a fairy, some crystals, a small picture of Suzy, my first cat who has since passed, tablelamp, some books on faeries and writing, and a scented candle. On my bed behind me you are most likely to see my kitten Athena sleeping.
Q13: What's your motto or favorite quote you like to live by?
A. 'The unexamined life is not worth living' - Socrates.
Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently?
A. I am currently working on the next vampire novel in the Chosen Ones series. I've got a bit of research to do on that one. It's set mostly during Byzantine times and continues the story of Philip, my ancient Greek vampire, plus there are some new intriguing characters that I am excited about and who have already taken the storyline in a new direction. Please visit my website http://www.mariesymeou.com.
Authors.com profile: http://www.authors.com/profile/MarieS
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