Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
You’ll hear most writers say that they’ve always wanted to write, since they were kids. That’s not the case with me. I joined the writing community in my middle thirties. I had ideas in my head and used to make stories up, but never thought about writing. Today, I have two novels finished (unpublished yet), five published short stories (four in various literary magazines, one self-published), and about a dozen more shorts drafted.
I usually write stories in the genres of horror, fantasy, and scifi, and from those I gravitate towards the darker subgenres (dark fantasy, psychological horror, cyberpunk, or anything with noir style in it).
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The name of the latest novel (still unpublished) has the provisional title Through Stranger Eyes, and it’s a cyberpunk mystery/thriller. My latest self-published short story is The Man Behind The Bar, and deals with a bar owner who hides his secret past.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I put a lot of emphasis in editing my work. It usually takes me about three months to draft a book, a bit longer to brainstorm and outline (heavy outline), and one to two years to edit. So most of the times, if you reach out to me through social media and ask me what I’m working on, I’ll most likely hear me saying, “editing.”
What authors, or books have influenced you?
R. Scott Bakker, Stephen King, Richard Morgan, George R. R. Martin, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman. Lately, I’ve been reading Margaret Atwood.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on my latest cyberpunk mystery/thriller novel called, Through Stranger Eyes (provisional title) and a horror short story that has proven to be the hardest thing I’ve tackled so far.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I really like the visual power Pinterest offers, as well as its solitude. I get to post things for others to see, uninterrupted (very important not to be interrupted when working – my mind simply goes haywire if that happens. Short attention span, I guess). You can connect with me on Pinterest on https://gr.pinterest.com/c_sarantopoulos/
It may take me a day or two to get back to you, if you send me a message there, but I will definitely get back to you.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Edit, edit, edit. And more edit. Don’t expect to get it right the first time. The same goes for the second. And the third. So edit.
Also, keep in mind that the whole thing is a marathon (cliche, I know, you’ve heard it a thousand times already, but it’s true), not a sprint.
Develop a tough skin. The thing writers do has only one certainty: rejection. Accept it, live with it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Toughen up. Without a doubt, you will be rejected more often than you’ll get accepted. Turns out it extends to life, not just writing.
What are you reading now?
I’m halfway through Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam, the last of her post-apocalyptic trilogy.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finish shopping my first novel, The Darkening, a post-apocalyptic horror, to agents. Get feedback from my beta readers for my cyberpunk novel and edit my work as best I can. Then write the next two (most likely) books in that same cyberpunk world.
I also intend to publish a few more of my short stories on Amazon, which should help me learn a thing or two about the beast called, Self-Publishing.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
You’ll have to allow me to consider trilogies as one book for this question.
The Prince of Nothing
A Song of Ice and Fire
It (though I was scared out of my mind while reading it, it’s still one of the best books I’ve ever read)