Sunday, September 30, 2007

Author Interview -- Aleka Nakis

Wow, times flies, and I've been really remiss in blogging the past week. I'll blame it on the day job and being out of town. Not a good excuse, I know. I spent the past week up in chilly North Dakota where the leaves were turning and fall was definitely in the air. It made me really look forward to the changing of the season here. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, so I'm getting excited about cooler weather coming.

Those of us who are Resplendence authors have also been looking forward to
fall, because October 1 marks the launch of our new publisher! RP has some great books coming out this month and I'm featuring two of October's authors on my blog this month. First, Aleka Nakis and then later in the month, Lyn Armstrong.

So, here's Aleka!

Tell us a little about yourself.

First, let me thank you for inviting me to chat with you. I’m so excited about being in the company of authors like yourself at Resplendence Publishing, and it is an honor to have time together on your blog. Thanks, Maddie.

Now, a little about myself...if you only knew what an oxymoron that statement is. You see, ‘a little’ isn’t in my dictionary and I love to chat. :-)

I was born in Greece and moved to New York when I was a toddler. So think of a movie titled ‘My Big Fat Greek Life’. The mix of the two cultures have molded me into the person I am today. I like to think I have the best of both worlds. A night at the bouzoukia (Greek night clubs) and the day at the ballpark (Shea Stadium).

Today, I call tropical Florida home, and I am raising two teen-agers with my husband.

I love to live and experience each moment to the extreme. Down time is rare and not a favorite thing for me. Travel and storytelling have always been my greatest passions, and I try to incorporate a different setting into each of my books.

Is that what ‘a little’ is about?

You have a new book out. We’d love to hear about it.

I have two books coming out this fall from Resplendence Publishing: Eyes of the Dead (released October 1st) and The Greek Rule(November 6th).

The book coming out today is Eyes of the Dead. I am so proud of it because it pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been to Mexico, but not to the other countries the story may be set in, and I needed to do more research and entwine more imagination into this story.

The people and the culture in the region fascinate me. The history is phenomenal. Just a side note: I never take the tour bus, rather I rent a car and travel way off the beaten path to see the people and small villages.

Eyes of the Dead setting is in the lush, beautiful, and extremely dangerous Mayan Jungle. Tiffany is a work-aholic American looking for the cure to breast cancer, and Antonio is a man familiar with both the American and local cultures. Their objectives clash because she’ll do anything to get into the jungle, and he only wants to get her out.

Needless to say, Tiffany wins, and the couple’s experiences is the book Eyes of the Dead. There are elements of suspense, paranormal, and of course romance in their adventures.

The Greek Rule is a story of my heart. It is a book that came about in my ‘what if’ mind games while I traveled to the beautiful island of Santorini. I’d sit at a cafe, overlooking the caldera and the black volcano jutting out of the very blue sea, and a handsome couple would be at the table beside me. Then I’d start: What if the gorgeous hunk (Alexandros) is a tycoon? What if the beautiful woman (Athena) has sworn off Greeks? What if they are striving for the same goals and don’t know it?

It is so much fun to create stories like that and then experience the things you have your characters do. For example, ride a motorcycle on the cliffs and let the wind take your body high above the land, or party at a local’s home for a special event and join the family in an explosive celebration of emotions.

I enjoyed it enough to write Athena’s brother’s, Demo, story. The Summer Deal is scheduled for release winter of 2008 from Resplendence.

Okay, I’ll stop here...I warned you about ‘a little’. Lol

What does your writing schedule look like? Are you a morning writer? An all day, for the long haul, writer? Or are you a night owl?


Hm, I’d like to say my dainty muse decides when I write and what I say, but that would be misleading and a false romantic notion.

Yes, there are times when I need to write and get the story out. However, I find myself most productive with a schedule. I try to work while the kids are in school and my husband is out of the house. Then in the afternoon, I put on my ‘Mom’ hat and concentrate on the greatest job in the world. The nights are mine, so I return to the computer and answer emails and chat with friends. I do find trying to get some sleep in between helps me be most productive. I’m very lucky that my family understands when I ask for time alone to write and they generally respect my wishes. They eat lots of pizza during those times:-).

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write and listen.

You have no choice because your life will be incomplete without your writing. Go to conferences and workshops, and listen to anyone who is willing to talk. I learn so much from other authors and people in the industry. Most are willing to share their knowledge and these people are the most valuable resources we’ll come across.

Now, here is the totally off-writing subject question. What’s the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?

Not really off subject here. People who know me, know that I like to have a plan to stray from. I need to make exceptions, but the plan has to be in place. Does that make sense?

Deciding to become a published author, with no income to speak of for years, was the wackiest thing I’ve ever done. It is also the coolest thing because I look forward to going to ‘work’ every day. Writing my books puts a smile on my face and a skip in my step. It simply makes me happy. The riskiest is actually having my work read by others. Only the Tums bottle can attest to that.

Maddie, thanks for giving me this opportunity. I loved spending time on your blog, and I wish you the greatest success in your future endeavors and with your very own upcoming releases from Resplendence Publishing: The Curse and Blue.

All the best!


Magdalena Scott said...

Hey, Maddie and Aleka, I enjoyed the interview. Happy Resplendence Publishing Launch Day!

Unknown said...

Great interview, Aleka! We are so thrilled to have you here at RP.

Happy Launch Day!!

Cheryl Norman said...

Interesting interview. Much success with this new publisher!

Anonymous said...

Maddie is a great host. The interview was fun.
Being that today is Resplendence's Launch Day and the Eye's release, the timing was perfect!
I can't say enough about what a pleasure it is to be part of the team. My editor, Tiffany, is an absolute pleasure to work with. The other authors are not only talented, but a great support. And the publishers are awesome and go beyond their word.
Can I ask for for more?
Thanks for checking out the interview. Have a great day and a lovely month!

Maddie James said...

Thanks for stopping by all. Yes, we're excited about RP's launch!

Aleka, and thanks for such a wonderful interview. I've never been to Greece but it is on my "to do" list.

I'm looking forward to your books!


James Goodman said...

I just wanted to pop in and say that I really enjoyed the interview. It's always fun to learn a little more about the authors behind the words.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Good job, Aleka, and thank you Maddie.

Yes, I think we could all use Tums these days. LOL.

And congratulations on winning the New Covey Awards (both of them) for Eye of the Dead. Woohoo!


Anonymous said...

Hello Ladies!

I just wanted to stop by and say hello and wish you a lot of success with your new Resplendence releases. I know success will follow you around with all of your RP titles!

Take care,

Susan Alvis