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Mad Gods Are Here…An Interview with Athanasios Galanis

Welcome to Athanasios Galanis. He’s stopping by as part of the Indie Writers Unite Blog Tour. Athanasios is the author of Mad Gods, vol. I-V. The reviews are great  “Mad Gods … is an addictive read that will immensely satisfy its readers.” So if you’re looking for a great read to wrap up the summer, check out the links at the end of the interview.

Athanasias, tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Athanasios Galanis & I’ve been weaving factual and conjectured history into my stories to make them believable and current. In the meantime I’ve paid the bills by working as a graphic/video artist in a dvd/film production house in Montreal, Canada. 

2.     Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?

Growing up I read fantasy, horror and comic books.  As I got older I saw much of the themes and concepts inherent in those genres in the world around me so my interests turned more to documentaries and factual history but also historical fiction and gut wrenching realism. 

3.     Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?

Financial success. 

4.     What’s the title of your book? Tell me a little about it.

Mad Gods is the first in Predatory Ethics, an as yet indeterminate series detailing our cultural and global enthrallment with entertainment, distraction and by extension religion. Predatory Ethics contends that religion is the first entertainment that tried to explain and instruct upon existence. 

5.     Tell me something about the story that isn’t in the blurb.

Mad Gods is classic mythology made current. I spent grade 2 & 3 in Greece. At the time they taught the ancient myths and I devoured them. I saw direct comparisons to the current Christian myths and wanted to tell their stories. I didn’t like the interpretations of black & white we put on good & evil. In the Olympian myths nobody was one or the other but both, so Mad Gods presents that fact. It brings it to a final evolution of Man’s Duality, as the Savior in Mad Gods is Christ & Antichrist. 

6.      Where did the inspiration for your story come from?

There were many inspirations for the story. The first was watching the original Omen and refusing to believe anybody would want to willfully destroy the world. I just didn’t believe it. The second was the understanding perception of reality. Many religions have explanations of it but we still don’t get it. I’m not saying I do, but I know enough to see that I can’t. I’m built to interpret my mortal world through my senses and intellect, and I don’t think we can understand true reality through those tools. The third was writing the story and seeing that many times I just watched television or other distractions and used that as motivation for many of the characters in Mad Gods. 

7.     What is the location of your story setting and why did you choose that place/time?

The story goes all over the place and all over time because I want to tell an all-encompassing tale with universal themes. I tall order I know, but I’m enjoying doing it. 

8.     It sounds interesting! Who is your favorite character and why?

The story itself is my favorite. Every character within it is used as a tool to explain what I want to impart. I could come out and write a dissertation of reality and experience and lose everybody on the first page or I could make human characters do the same thing with their actions and motivations within a story. Every character I write has a fragment of myself within it, whether it is retelling a story or complete fabrication I’ve connected with them and at times I’m awed and at others I’m repulsed by it. 

9.     Did the story come out the way you envisioned it?

No it’s better.  I had the kernel of the story but I write stream of consciousness so I work from a basic outline and let it fly. 

10.   Where can readers find you?

On Amazon!

MAD GODS REDUX   Mad Gods Redux

MadGods-Volume I   MadGods-Vol I

MadGods-Volume II  MadGods-Vol II

MadGods-Volume III MadGods-Vol III

MadGods-Volume IV MadGods-Vol IV

MadGods-Volume V  MadGods-Vol V

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Agent rejection late to the party

I have gone through the query process, sending off to numerous agents and sometimes hearing back from them and sometimes, frequently, not hearing anything at all. They are busy people and get hundreds of email queries in a single day, so I can understand that it takes time to answer all of them.

But 3 months is a fairly long time to wait around for a form letter, no thanks. If I was an agent and it took me three months to get through my emails, I’d put up a notice on my agent website a statement along the lines of – if you haven’t heard from me in 30 days, it’s a no. Otherwise, it’s a waste of the agent’s time, and since they don’t seem to have enough, maybe it’s better they limit what they spend time on that has no value to them.

I didn’t wait for most of the agents I queried to get back to me before I moved on. I was already reading about the changes in the industry that led me to this day, on the cusp of having my novel go ‘live’ on Amazon.

I just read another great post on Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog, about the changes taking place in the publishing industry, about the dilemma so many writers are facing now, along with their agents and editors. It’s a good read, as is the entire series, The Business Rusch. Go, if you’re wondering if you can do this self-publishing thing. She’ll set you straight!


Just click on the link to her blog to the left, since my ability to link is not working today.

Independently publishing puts my percentage for my work the right way around, meaning I get paid more for my writing than a Big Six publisher would dream of paying me unless I’m Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, and even they are self-publishing. (Rowling just left her agency behind).

Check out Dean Wesley Smith’s post about the math. It’s interesting and easy enough to grasp for folks like me who don’t do math.


Same as above, links to the left.

It’s my life and my career and I think I want more than 10% or 25% as Random House now determines. Amazon gives me 70%. At Smashwords, it’s 85%.

So I laughed when I got the form rejection note from Agent Z. I was tempted to write back and say, well, that’s ok because like so many other authors, I’m taking it all into my own hands.

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A growing list of reasons to self-publish

I just read on Passive Voice (http://www.thepassivevoice.com/) the following disturbing news – Random House – yes, THAT Random House – has decided to use a 25% of net receipts to calculate ebook royalties for their authors. The disturbing part – they are doing this without regard to the signed author contracts in place and without notification! Certainly this is a breach of said contract, but I wonder how many authors will call them on it? This is all according to agent Kristin Nelson and you can read more about it here at Pubrants –
http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2011/06/speaking-of-25-of-net-receipts.html

It’s stunning to me that Random House, a highly respected publishing entity – or so I always thought – would just do this, without notification to their authors.

It’s another reason in a growing list of reasons I’m not interested in publishing with any of the Big 6. I think the only way to get a decent deal with a publisher any more is for the author to have power going into it, and most authors don’t when they are just starting out looking for their first contract. New authors, the life’s blood of publishing, don’t have clout enough to demand better terms. The answer might be to go Independent to get that power, to prove salability in the marketplace before approaching a publisher. I’m not saying I will do it that way, but it seems to be a growing option for a wider and wider variety of writers. Using the public as a first reader may turn out to be the novel and happy medium for publishers and authors alike.

Be sure to read the comments on Pubrants, particularly the one by Bob Mayer. Interesting stuff.

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