Hey everyone, today I am very happy to introduce Spiros Gratsias, the author of “The C Enigma”. Spiros is a native of Montreal, Canada, born to Greek immigrants. He moved back to Greece twenty years ago and has been living there ever since. Gratsias has a master’s degree in manufacturing technology and thirty-five years’ experience in the aerospace and consumer goods industries. An amateur painter and dedicated student of history, he devotes much of his time to reading and writing.
Hi Spiros, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
- Tell me a little about yourself and your background? What were you like at school? Were you good at English? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I grew up in Montreal more specifically Park Extension an area that was primarily populated by Greek immigrants, very similar to little Italy in New York. We were all second generation Greek Canadians and basically living and balancing between two worlds. One reality was the typical and traditional Greek family upbringing and the other was our Canadian schooling and identity. This created many conflicts of identity and behavior that resulted in trouble at school and at home. Therefore I was a below average student except for the subjects I really liked, Literature, History and the Arts. My teachers would not believe that I finished university and build a 35 year professional career.
My love for literature helped me a great deal in developing an above average level of the English language.
I aspire to continue writing now that I have finally completed my first book.
- Which writers inspire you?
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I consider the writing and expression of the struggles and experience of redemption incredible.
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A supreme achievement of literature, an emotional intelligence manual regarding human faith, reason, and doubt.
The Bourne Identity Series (Ludlum) —Complex, intelligent, fast, a foundation of international thrillers.
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. A perfect combination of reality and fiction, the multiple literary elements such as secret societies, Ancient history, the Church, architecture, and symbolism are masterfully balanced.
- What was your life like before becoming an author?
I have a very full professional life with many obligations and challenges now that I have published I look back and realize that I am more balanced in regards to my need to express and create.
- Which comes first – the character’s story or the idea for the novel?
The character’s story is the inspiration and energy behind the idea for a novel, in other words the character is the foundation and the idea is the façade.
- When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always felt the need to write but my career and painting was always an excuse for not actually trying. About six years ago my need to write overwhelmed all of the excuses and I began the journey.
- Why do you write?
Thinking about it now I believe that painting for me has been a lifetime path of discovery and the vehicle that led me to a new need of expression: writing! Looking back it feels as though I had no choice, the moment had come and I just had to try, I think Picasso expressed this moment when he said; “Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.”
- So, what have you written?
- Give me an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The main character Matthias Adkins begins a journey of family and self-discovery that explores the premise that each and every one of us has the personal responsibility to fight for freedom, justice, and the forces of good. Step by step the realization of individual sacrifices of the past transforms him into a warrior of good versus evil. He finds the strength to fight the most powerful enemy man has, his personal fears thus proving that an individual’s actions can have a drastic impact on the outcome of any battle, war, or campaign.
- What sparked the idea for your book?
Reading the biography of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the German secret service during WWII was the fundamental inspiration for The C ENIGMA. His amazing personal fight against the dark evil that Hitler’s Nazism represented compelled me to try to understand this man as best as possible. My research identified other actual heroes who gave their lives for freedom and compelled me to tell their story but furthermore to explore the premise that each and every one of us has the personal responsibility to fight for freedom, justice, and the forces of good. An individual’s actions can have a drastic impact on the outcome of any battle, war, or campaign.
This personal responsibility always existed throughout history and it seems like the world once again is trying to tear itself apart… Economic crisis, wars, uncontrolled poverty and hunger, fanatical self-destruction and most importantly once again enormous public opinion control systems. Our only weapon in defending ourselves, our families and society is to have as must knowledge us possible in order to decide what we should accept and what we should challenge, and our only weapon is KNOWLEDGE of history!
I do not dare to pretend that I know who and what is pulling the strings of our collective destiny but I do know that knowing our world history is important in molding our future. This was the primary motivation that drove me in writing a historical fiction. My objective was simple, give a historical example, make people ask why and stimulate them into investigating as single individuals the truths and the lies!
Our most powerful weapon is our vote but this weapon necessitates having as must knowledge as possible in why we choose to put our future in the hands of someone we believe represents and controls our dreams and future. This is our continuous obligation and the heroes described in The C ENIGMA are a testament of the power that a single individual actions can have against the darkness of our world.
- How do you market your book?
I am trying to utilize as best as possible the tools available, such as Facebook and Twitter plus any available promotion services such as, EliteBookPromotions.
- Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? What do you do to get book reviews?
I believe that creating a personal authors website is fundamental in marketing your book and sharing news and reviews that generate new reviews.
- What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
The C Enigma voyage took Six years to complete and with every step I entered deeper into a new world of emotions. I wrote in the strangest places motivated and inspired by the surrounding energy, sometimes a paragraph other times a chapter. My sails would sometimes fill with strong gusts of inspiration and in other moments would fall motionless with no wind, simmering under the sun with despair that the next page would never come. My advice is simple “set a destination and stay the course” with every step comes a thought, an expression a connection to what is inside you. In the end I truly believe that every story pre-exists in its entirety inside each author, the decision to begin the journey simply transforms it into a book.
- Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.”- Aristotle
- How can readers discover more about you and your work?
- Website: http://authorspirosgratsias.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spiros.gratsias.7
- Twitter: http://authorspirosgratsias.com/
- Lnkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=28318531&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile&_mSplash=1
- Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Spiros-Gratsias/e/B00MDM7TSY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
It was a great privilege for me to get to interview Spiros Gratsias, who has inspired me in many different ways. Thank you Spiros!!! Good Luck with everything! 🙂