And so a new venture of discovery begins. With the aim to celebrate unique voices in writing and eventually the wider creative world, let me welcome you all to the first ever Hall of Information Interview.
We’ve got 9 questions with multi-genre author Despoina Kemeridou who hails from Greece and is days away from releasing her second book. A huge amount of people have already pre-ordered it and we’ll get into that as well as plenty of other writer related stuff.
Those who have been tuning in for a while will know we reviewed her first title a little over a year ago and that’s where we shall start…
Q1. First and foremost, let’s talk about fairy tales. Your first book ‘Fated to Meet You’ sits quite well within that genre while also having a modern edge. Is there a classic fairy tale that sticks out as your favorite?
“My all-time favorite fairytale has to be Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. I love all the different versions of this beautiful story (Disney, Barbie, manga and book retellings etc.). The original story is supposed to be much darker than other versions, but I still enjoy it and am glad it has a happy ending.”
Indeed Rapunzel is a truly wonderful story about hope and family.
Q2. Social media plays quite a big role in modern book marketing; your Twitter following is over 19,000 which is rather incredible. What’s even more impressive is the short time you took to achieve that. For anyone looking to grow their following, what is your twitter success strategy?
“I would recommend having an active social media presence. Commenting on other’s posts, tweeting daily, and answering to people who comment on your posts. Hosting a #ShamelessSelfPromoSaturday is also an amazing idea to discover new reads, and authors. Also, a good bio and a pinned tweet on Twitter are really important to have in your profile, since they are what a potential follower/reader will see first.”
Solid advice and proven by such an impressive following!
Q3. Where did writing stories begin for Despoina Kemeridou?
“I started writing when I was thirteen. I loved reading since I was a small child, and that spiked my imagination a lot. I remember daydreaming about different stories, and at one point I decided to sit down and write. I used to write by hand back then, even though my handwriting was terrible. One of the first books I’ve read was Jane Eyre and The Magician’s Nephew. I don’t believe there’s a particular book or author that influenced my writing – maybe unconsciously, but I’m not sure.”
Q4. On Twitter you recently shared quite an interesting yet wonderful story about the village where your Grandparents live, please do tell us more (Princess…) and how much of an influence is family to you and your writing?
“I was having second thoughts about sharing that story, mostly because I was a bit embarrassed, but in the end, I’m glad I did. So, my Grandparents live in a village that’s located in the woods, called Chorouda. Anyone can find it by searching on Google Maps, and take a look at what kind of village it is. It’s pretty small, and lately there are only three permanent residents. There used to be more, but since they are mostly elderly people, most of them stopped coming, or visit once in a while. I love that village for the beautiful and breath-taking views it offers. There are many trails one can follow, if they’re looking for a small adventure in the woods! I have lots of photos from that place on my photography account on Instagram.”
We’re glad you shared this story too, some of the best stories are the real ones!
Q5. For just a few moments, let’s move away from writing. What interests do you have outside of being an author?
“I love drawing, even though I’m not really good at it. I usually draw characters in manga style. When I have some spare time, I like going out and taking photos with my camera. Is reading too mainstream to mention? Yeah, I love reading, too. It’s a part of me.”
Looks pretty good to me!
Q6. Tea, coffee, beer or wine?
“Wine. God, I love a glass of wine when I’m writing! However, in winter I prefer a hot cup of tea.”
Q7. You have a new book which drops in a matter of days. A paranormal romance short story; what can you tell us about it?
“Indeed. My upcoming book is titled “Mark of a Demon”. I was mostly inspired by a manga I’ve read a thousand times since I was a teenager called “Hanatsukihime””.
“Torn between the world of the living and the dead, Heather tries to live a normal life. With a demon to protect her, and weird creatures lurking all around her, that seems almost impossible. What is the meaning behind the mark on her chest, and what secret is her aunt keeping from her?”
It sounds awesome and we will be adding it to the TBR list! The cover looks exceptional and so see speaking of covers…
Q8. Both of your books have great covers. Even though some say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, they do. How important is an effective and eye-catching book cover to you? And who designs yours?
“I don’t want to sound harsh, but I do judge books by their covers. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t usually read the blurb. If I see a book with an eye-catching cover, I’m most likely to buy it without checking it’s contents. It’s mostly the reason I always pay much attention to my covers. In my newest one, the mark in the middle is drawn by me. I wanted it to be unique.”
“Both my covers were designed by my boyfriend, Evan Dimu. He is also in charge of formatting my books in both ebook and paperback format. I don’t know what I’d do without his help and support.”
I’m with you on that one. Covers are such an important part of the book marketing process.
Q9. And finally if there is one sentence of advice you would give to someone with dreams of becoming a writer, what would you say?
“Don’t give up, and never listen to anyone who tries to interfere with your dream of becoming what you want.”