Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Lost Souls, Byzantium and the Anti-Christ: Meet Author Athanasios Galanis

Athanasios Galanis

Athanasios Galanis, author of the Mad-Gods series.

If you believe there’s more to the world than meets the eye, and if you have a fondness for the occult, history, fantasy and horror, then the Mad-Gods series, by Athanasios Galanis, may be just what the doctor ordered. Athanasios is a Canadian born graphic designer/writer and perpetual student of life whose imagination occupies a multidimensional world that serves as a crossroads for ancient spirits and modern men. It’s a place where current and past events interact forming a living background for the ongoing struggle between the agents of good and evil, of prophecy, treachery, intrigue and divinity. I’m pleased to introduce you to the subject of today’s author interview: Athanasios Galanis.

1.       Athanasios, what got you started writing what I’m going to call historical/fantasy novels?

I haven’t written anything else.  So the singular would apply here and to be specific what I write is what I would read. The Predatory Ethics story that begins with Mad Gods is not intentionally cross genre but it is Occult/Thriller/Historical/Fantasy/Horror because those are the subjects that interest me.

2.       How would you define your genre, and what do you find most compelling and challenging about writing in it?

I define it as Occult/Thriller/Historical/Fantasy/Horror and the most compelling thing about writing it is seeing how the themes and subjects I explore really do affect my thinking in the same way as the separate subjects have affected me in the past. To me the best examples of those genres explain and illustrate life and reality as nothing else can. I try and do that with Predatory Ethics.  Hopefully it comes through.

Amazon link. Click to buy.

Amazon link. Click to buy.

My inspiration comes from everywhere.  Mostly from documentaries and books about religion, history, myths, psychology, and the subjects I stated earlier. My writing process is sitting down and writing out in a steno pad whatever comes into my head. It’s mostly stream of consciousness but I always have a rough outline to follow but not adhere to. That is my first draft that I end up typing into my computer as the second draft. Once that’s finished I print it out double-spaced and edit and revise what ends up being my third draft. I then update the computer version from the revised printed copy and that’s my process.

4.       When did you know you were going to be a writer? Was there a specific incident or triggering incident? And how did that knowledge make you feel?

I want to tell this story, I didn’t think about being a writer or not, the idea never entered my head.  I thought this was a really captivating idea. I want to transcend and make readers feel and think as I did, and still do when I read a great story.

5.       Balzac had a simple method for staying focused and churning out copy: He chained himself to his desk and consumed endless cups of coffee? What’s your technique?

No great technique, I “just do it,” with respect to Nike.  I’ve worked as a graphic artist for most of my adult life so I know that you’ve got to keep plugging and knowing that if you’re dedicated to something you keep doing it when you’re not inspired.  Inspiration makes the process easy, it’s doing it when it’s just not coming out and it feels like you’re fighting yourself that shows dedication to what you want to say.

6.       How long did it take you to write Mad-Gods? Is the book cycle (5 books) complete yet? If not, how many more volumes do you plan to write?

It took nearly 20 years from the first germs of the ideas inherent in the wider story arc. I don’t know if the book cycle is more or less than 5 books.

7.       What were the biggest challenges you faced in writing the Mad-Gods books?

The biggest challenges were and still are doing it in my spare time. I so hope and wish to be doing this as a full time endeavor that will keep me comfortable and happy.

8.       Since the books are set — at least in the beginning — in Constantinople/Istanbul — how did you research the area: it’s streets, there appearance, the traditions, history and language, etc.?

Some of it came from the myths and background stories I grew up with. My family was always talking about how we Greeks used to have a great empire called Byzantium and the golden capital of Kostadinoupoli.  Whatever I didn’t know I researched online. Thank the gods for Google.

9.       How much time, if any, did you actually spend there?


10.     Do you have a favorite passage from your book? If so, would you share it with us here and tell us what is it about it that has such special significance for you?

Yes. It’s short and encapsulates my day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute thoughts that I finally wrote down and still shake my head at how on the mark it was about me. “Endurance is overrated. I wish I were weaker and able to endure far less.”

11.     What writers have influenced you the most in your writing career and in developing your writing style? What, specifically was it about them that captured your attention and imagination?

I don’t know if they’ve influenced my style but they did influence my desire to affect people the way they did me.  The first was Michael Moorcock and his Eternal Champion series.  It showed me how expansive imagination could be with the wonder and fantasy that was on every page. The next was Mary Renault who showed me that our own world, whether it was history or our own time could be and was as full of wonder, fantasy, danger and transcendence as in any fiction.

12.     Why did you choose to take the Indie route in publishing your books? How satisfying has it been so far? And what lessons have you learned about indie publishing that you’d like to share with others?

I chose indie because there was no other avenue. I’ve gotten nothing but rejections from agents and publishers. It’s been critically satisfying but little else. The only lesson I’ve learned was learned a long time before my indie publishing, keep trying and do anything and everything to make your work reach paying readers.

13.     What book marketing efforts have you found to be most effective?

Do whatever crosses your path. Everything.  Plenty of time to be discriminating once you’ve gotten SOME recognition.

14.     What valuable lessons have you learned about self-publishing that you’d care to share with other writers?

Fake it till you make it.

15.     What is it that you want most readers to get out of reading your books? What do they tell you about their experience?

I would like readers to think about reality and what life is. Lofty goals I know but that’s not my specific intent, I just hope that the story will do that.

16.     What other books have you currently got “in development?”

I just finished Commitment, the second part of Predatory Ethics.  It’s being edited and I hope to have it up by Halloween. I’ve started In Who To Trust, the third part. I don’t know where that will lead me, but I’m excited to find out.

Thanks, Athanasios, for giving our readers a deeper insight into your books, your character and your thoughts!

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The Pinacle of ‘Shameless Self Promotion’

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

9 Reasons Why I Think You Should Put My New Novelette at the Top of Your Summer Reading List

I don’t think ‘shameless self-promotions’ could possibly get any worse than this! But, so be it. (Mea culpa!). Some things simply need to be said. And so, lacking a huge PR apparatus to do this for me, I’m going to tell you why I think you should put my ebook novelette, The Last Way Station: Hitler‘s Final Journey, at the top of your summer reading list.

My nine reasons:

  1. My book is, if anything, unusual. It’s subject is nothing less than a speculative look at the final judgment Hitler receives in the hereafter for his vast and horrific crimes.
  2. The book raises many moral questions about the cause, psychology and nature of evil and such evil-doers as Hitler and the recently killed Osama bin Ladin.
  3. It examines the issue of “moral relativism” – the way deeply depraved, ingrained and institutionalized evil, such as Hitler’s, influences what I’ll call the “moral continuum” we live in. (Consider it analogous to the way gravity bends the physical space-time continuum.)
  4. I based the book on historically accurate information about Hitler, so you may learn something new and interesting about him.
  5. It provides a good, quick read. A colleague of mine at characterized the writing as “flawless,” no doubt a bit of hyperbole, but I think it moves quickly and reads smoothly.
  6. The book is short (only 13,000 words) so you can read it at one sitting.
  7. It’s cheap ($0.99) and available at either (in Kindle/mobi format) or at in all popular ebook formats.  (Even if you don’t own an e-reader, you can download FREE ebook reader software at Amazon that will let you read the book on your PC or MAC (links are available on every book page, on the right-hand side).
  8. The book has a bit of a surprise ending. And, last but not least,
  9. It provides a wealth of material for lively book discussions! And isn’t that a big part of the enjoyment we get from reading interesting books?

You’ll find an extensive preview of the book right here, on my blog. (Just click the moving icon of its cover on your right!)

Thanks for putting up with my shameless behavior. I couldn’t help myself, because I deeply believe I’ve written something worthy of your consideration. (If it turns out I’m wrong, you can lodge your complaints in the comment section below, but please read the book first!)

Thanks for listening. Now, I’m going to purchase a hair shirt and start flogging myself mercilessly! (Ugh!)

© Jonathan S. Reisfeld and Write @ You!, 2011. (See full statement in footer.)


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eBook Giveaway Ends in Two Days!

Do you like history? Fantasy? WWII? Have you wondered, in the wake of Osama bin Laden‘s killing, if “super evil” people are ever held accountable for their crimes or subjected to ‘fitting punishment’? Then, you’ll want to read, “The Last Way Station: Hitler‘s Final Journey.”

Right now, you can get the book for FREE, by visiting The Avid Reader blog. The offer expires on May 31st. So, get your FREE copy while you can!

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