Author of Mad Gods
Today, I have Athanasios (Tom) Galanis joining me for an interview. He is the author of Mad Gods. I haven’t been able to review his book yet but the review should be done end of this week or the beginning of next week. So without further ado, here is the interview. He has graciously donated 10 copies to 10 lucky commenters on my blog. Make sure you fill out my form for entry to win and include your email address. Fill out form here
Your book touches on some controversial subjects. How do you handle the backlash from writing about these topics??
I don’t have to, because thus far there hasn’t been any backlash. Does Stephen King or Dan Brown have to handle backlash? If it comes they can just believe what they want to believe, this is fiction.
What/who inspired you to become a writer??
Reading fantasy and later horror. I became completely engrossed with Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series and then Robert E. Howard’s Conan. This led me to Stephen King and Anne Rice and their like. All this to say I wanted to elicit the same wonder at telling an engrossing story in others that those titans of the word did for me.
Do you have a favorite genre of book that you like to read/write? If so, why??
I do not have a favorite but I know some that I have no interest in pursuing. Romance, pfahh, no way, erotica, the same. I love fantasy, horror and some science fiction but not too technical. Those genres deal well with the motives of life and living fantasy by abstraction and horror by exaggeration. I’d like to think I do the same with Mad Gods.
What helping aids do you use to focus when you write? Music?? Nature???
No aids needed, however, I abhor music while writing and I haven’t tried nature yet, but silence is pretty great for my writing.
What character(s) of your book(s) do you relate to the most??
I related to everyone because each of them has a measure of myself to bring them to life. The two I did the most though were Kosta and Adam, the main characters. I related to Kosta for his background and desire to be different from his upbringing as a traditional Greek. Adam personified my own preoccupation with entertainment. There is still nothing else I would love to do than be transported into the work’s fantasy world by a film or television show. Adam has the same wonder and captivation I fight against so I can get things done but give into to reward myself for my hard work.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring writers like myself?
Write what you would read. If you turn yourself on and are interested in reading the book you’ve written then you’ve really done something special.
How do you visualize your stories?? In pictures?? Conversations? Dreams?
I visualize in pictures, scenes and the most important tool I could never write without, saying what if or what if not? I see things happen in movies, television or reality and anything that catches my interest I think what if ithappened different, what if it didn’t happen like that but like what’s in my head.
How do you write your books?? Are you by the seat of your pants writer or do you plot out your books in advance??
I do a rough outline that I use as a guide, not a hard and fast map of where I’ll go but a general direction. Then I wing it, stream of consciousness all the way. Even the outline is seat of my pants, painting the story in broad strokes but not knowing where I’ll take it until I get there. I actually write the story out physically, on a steno pad in the first draft and the second draft is transposing what I’ve written into my iMac.
What are your writing goals for the next 5 years??
My goals for the next five years is to continue Predatory Ethics until I’ve had Adam confront most major religions failings and inadequacies. I also want to illustrate every book in my own style, I’ve even gone to the point that each chapter I’ve written so far can easily be transformed into a monthly illustrated book, similar to a comic but more of an illustrated book of modern fables.
How long did it take you to write Mad Gods?? What/who inspired these books??
Religion in general inspired Mad Gods. It took years to write it to the point it is now. It’s actually a much longer narrative that I wrote as a script for a comic.
If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, famous or not famous, who would it be and why??
I would love to know and have dinner with Joseph Campbell. He was one of the most influential people of the twentieth century. His insights into mythology and faith have changed the way we see the divine and ourselves. I’ve watched and listened to his lectures and documentaries countless times and am still captivated every time he begins to speak. He also seems to be a very caring and kind man who would be pleasant and engaging giving me the most memorable evening I could imagine.
Let’s do something fun…write something about each of the the next 10 words in 10 words or less.
Something I do too often and should learn not to.
The purest form of letting your imagination free to soar.
The exhilarating connection to the primal essence of our reality.
Fuel that drives my ambitions to strive for my goals.
Equilibrium I reach when I open my eyes after meditation.
Wonderment I remember from the abandonment of reality with imagination.
What makes me believe there’s more than my daily toil.
The incredible child of inspired imagination, fantasy and chaotic wonder.
Giddy possibilities where the only limits are those I set.
The patient steward to freedom, invention, fantasy, chaos and wonder.
If you found yourself on a deserted island, what 10 things would you take and why?
So assuming by deserted island there would be no electricity so that would rule out my computer or any other powered device. Here’s my list:
1. Good sized axe for woodcutting and defense
2. Serviceable knife for food preparation and defense
3. Bow & arrows for food acquisition and defense
4. Perpetual fire making equipment and instructions
5. A good blanket to keep me warm at night
6. A good tent to keep me dry
7. Binoculars to see for any rescue ship
8. All of Stephen King’s books to while away the hours, he’s got a lot
9. Solar powered satellite radio for Sirius and Howard Stern
10. Full wardrobe of sturdy clothes that won’t wear out if I’m gonna be there for too long
And last by not least, if you could time travel what period of the history of future would you go to??
I would time travel to just before Steve Jobs started Apple with Steve Wozniak and become their BEST friend. Kill anyone who got in the way.
Feel free to any other interesting tidbits about yourself:)
I don’t think I’m that interesting but here’s three things that might be.
1. I can cook very well. I learned while growing up in my family’s restaurant.
2. I’m an incredible Howard Stern fan and have been listening every day since he came to Montreal in 1998.
3. I can speak and write 3 languages. I won’t tell you which.
4. I can kill with a thought. My aim is terrible though.