Today I’m hosting a very special guest. Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. Fros, or Frossie (as many of us know her) lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix. Fros has written since she was a child (she tells me she often used to sit alone in her granny’s garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants). Ants! Wow. Today, Fros is an indie novelist who has won considerable respect for her work. Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, is a #1 Amazon bestseller in Greek & Roman literature. The first part of her romance trilogy, The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb, is an ABNA Quarter-Finalist.
Welcome, Effrosyni! Will you tell us a bit about your novels?
Hi Jenny. So pleased to be here! Yes – my debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, is a fantasy of Greek myths and time travel. It has a bit of everything really: mystery, romance, and sentiment. It’s a very touching tale about family and friendship, among other things. For me, it was a way to express my love for my country, its people and vast heritage and to talk about the famous Greek stoicism, the legendary strength in the Greek soul, and to explain where it stems from.
A bit of everything, indeed! You have chosen to put your work out there as an indie author, rather than seek a publisher. Can you tell us why you decided on that route?
I’ve always written as a hobby but it first occurred to me to publish after the age of forty, once the credit crunch abruptly ended a career of twenty years of office work. After sending a few query letters to agents, I discovered the indie universe and gave it a shot by choosing one of many sites that do a wide distribution of ebooks for authors. At the time, the upload procedures on Amazon were unfathomable to me so I didn’t have a choice. When I found out they simplified things and allowed the upload of Word documents, I was there like a flash. And thus, I became a published author of two novels with Amazon last year. I hope to double the score this year!
You’re obviously finding being in charge of your own books stimulating and worthwhile. Tell us a bit more about this book. It’s on promotion currently, isn’t it?
Yes – The Lady of the Pier is on promo at 99c until 31 May (but only in the USA – sorry!). This novel was a way for me to express my deep affinity for the island of Corfu. In many ways, Sofia’s story is autobiographical. I used to be an introvert, overprotected daughter, just like her. I had to deal with awkward family members but wasn’t allowed to express my displeasure. So, I guess in a way, that part of the novel served as psychotherapy for me. Also, I wrote this story to record some of the myriad fond memories I had from my summers on the island with my grandparents. My readers mention that reading Sofia’s story feels like you’re actually there, looking around at the stunning views of the shore and the mountains. It always pleases me to hear that; it means my work is done!
I’m off to download it right away! Some years ago, I spent a week on a writing course in Corfu, tutored (among others) by the amazing Katie Fforde. Another attendee was Linda Mitchelmore, who is now published by Choc Lit in the UK – so I have happy memories! Moving on – tell us a bit about your writing process. Do you plot, or set off on a journey into the unknown?
I used to be a pantser all the way but I pushed myself to change, because I found out the hard way that being a pantser invites writer’s block into your daily routine. Add procrastination into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster for your creativity. So, what I started to do was write a summary per chapter – not for the whole book necessarily, but always having a few chapters ahead to work with. Then, when I sat down to write, I’d look at the summary and knew what I had to write that day. Also, I have this thing that when I go to bed at night or go round the house cleaning, I think of the next chapter to write. Thanks to the chapter summary, I know where I am in the story and what the next step is, so ideas about how to write that flood in. I have found this method has helped me immensely. I haven’t experienced writer’s block ever since.
I’m absolutely with you on this one, Fros – oh, the words I have wasted! But I know many other writers who can’t stand plotting. Good thing we’re all different, isn’t it? What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on the last edits on the second book in the Lady of the Pier Trilogy, The Flow. At the same time, I continue to write the last volume, The Storm. I am about 6-8 chapters before the end so not long to go. I plan to publish both books later this year.
Looking forward to them already. Do you have any useful tips for authors?
Writing tips: Read online as much as you can to study grammar and punctuation rules. I cannot believe how many indie authors don’t know how to use the comma or quotes, for example. Bad punctuation jars me as a reader and I always think it’s a pity that the author didn’t try harder in this respect, especially when the story is good, because this completely mars an otherwise great reading experience.
Marketing tip: When running a KDP promo, stay away from big holidays as people don’t go on line as much then, also end your promo at the end of a month. This way, when your book goes back to normal price, and hopefully having a good rank, you’ll get more borrows as Amazon customers tend to choose books for this purpose in the beginning of the month. This is why on the very first day after promo, you should tweet with hashtags like #amazonprime and #kindleunlimited.
Lastly, amend your Amazon profile as a reviewer (not as an author). Add a photo and a catchy description about you or your books. This way, when you show up as a reviewer on other people’s books, readers can look you up and hopefully they’ll wind up browsing your books too if your profile is enticing enough. Work at it, this Amazon profile is a valuable tool!
Here’s a blog post I wrote about this: http://bit.ly/1KsbVOc
Gosh, Effrosyni, those are really useful tips! Thank you! And thank you so much for being my guest today. I hope your promo goes well!
Love will go on forever, seeking a second chance.
BRIGHTON, 1937 Dreaming of wealth and happiness, Laura Mayfield arrives in Brighton to pursue a new life. She falls for Christian Searle, a happy-go-lucky stagehand at the West Pier theater, but when she’s offered a chance to perform there, her love for him is put to the test. Charles Willard, a wealthy aristocrat, is fascinated by her and pursues her relentlessly. Will Laura choose love…or money?
CORFU, 1987 On a long holiday with her grandparents, Sofia Aspioti meets Danny Markson, a charming flirt who makes her laugh. Although she tries to keep him at arm’s length, worried that village gossip will get back to her strict family, she falls desperately in love. That’s when strange dreams about Brighton’s West Pier and a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her. Who is this grieving woman? And how is her lament related to Sofia’s feelings for Danny?
Purchase link for The Ebb (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LGNYEPC
Purchase link for The Ebb (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LGNYEPC