Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Books: Interview with Historical Fiction Greek Author Lefki Sarantinou

We love a great historical novel and just found out one of the newest releases by Quest Publications is an intriguing tale in the times of the Crusades. Read on to find out more about this great Greek author!

Tell us where you are from and a little bit about your background.

I was born in Rethymno, Crete (Greece). My family adored everything related to music, art, and books. My parents were teachers of math and biology, so I learned to love studying from an early age. Our neighbors were both history professors in the University of Crete. My elementary teacher and these neighbors were the ones who taught me to love history. 

You were born in a country that has so much history, too. When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

The truth is that when I was a young student, I wanted to become an author, but as I grew up, music took over as my future occupation. So I forgot my “childhood dream”. Then I studied history, along with music, and read many historical books. When I was twenty six years old, a book about the crusades inspired me to try to write my first historical novel, but when I started it, I didn’t know that this would become a published historical novel and that I could write more novels, history articles, book for children etc.

So your childhood dream came true! Although you already mentioned above, can you tell us more about the book that inspired you to write your first novel?

It was Steven Runciman’s history book “A history of the crusades”. I found this part of history and the author’s narration very amazing, so I thought this part of the history with the battles, the sieges and the rivalry between the Templars and the Knights of Saint John could become a fascinating historical novel. That was how “Hamsin, wind of the east” was born.

How much research did you do to ensure there’s historical accuracy in your novel?

A historical novel that follows faithfully the historical accuracy demands a lot of research and studying. I attempt, in my novels, not to write anything that goes against proven historical facts, and this makes the whole process even more difficult. If it is necessary to make a change in a particular historical fact, I always mention it in a footnote, but I try to avoid it and follow the row of history in my plot. I intend to make the plot from history and adapt the plot to it, not the opposite.

I’m sure that requires a lot of research but it’s worth it. What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?

Unquestionably “Carpe diem”! I try hard, every day, to live by this motto, which means I live and enjoy every moment of the day! This quote comes from the Roman poet Horatius who lived between 65-8 BC.

That’s a great quote! Do you have a favorite author? Who? Has this author or their books influenced your writing in any way?

Many authors are beloved to me, Greeks and foreigners alike. But I think that the way Ken Follett writes influenced my writing. Ken Follett has written many fascinating historical novels that teach and amuse the readers about history. Another thing I appreciate in Follett’s books, which I try hard to do also in my writing, is the fast, cinematic plot. Furthermore, in Ken’s work, you will not find unreal facts that are part of his plot and that’s something you will not find in my work either.

Wonderful influence and advice. If you could be a character from any book, who would you like to be and why?

Definitely Scarlet O’Hara from the novel “Gone with the wind”, written by Margaret Mitchell. I admire the courage, the independent spirit she had and her dynamic character, all these I don’t possess, so I admire it a lot when I see them in other people!

What a great character indeed! What are you working on now?

I have just finished the second part of “Hamsin wind of the east” which concerns the two sieges of Rhodes when it was under the rule of the Knights of Saint John, from the Ottomans in 1480 and 1522 AC. Simultaneously, I write Greek mythology and ancient Greek history for children.

That’s fabulous. I love Greek mythology and history. Your new book sounds exciting! Where can we find more about you and your writing?

At the homepage of Historical Quest and Quest Publications, my publishing house.

Is there anything else you ’d like to share with our readers?

I think that all the people must study History, so they can understand the present global events. I advise them to read, first of all, history of course, and books that can leave a stamp, in any way, on their souls! Reading, art, and music make us better persons and spice up our lives, so we ought to keep ourselves busy with these things as much as we can!

Excellent advice! Thank you so much for your time and we wish you a lot of success in your writing career!  

To purchase this great novel, click on one of the links below:


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