BOOK PROMO EVENTS

I’ve been doing a lot of book promo this past month. I attended an all-day event for writers at the Vancouver Public Library.  I did a short reading from THE FIELDS OF HADES. Lots of people stopped by to chat and take brochures about SHADOW OF THE LION (both volumes.  No book sales but a great way to promote!

On June 20 I had a book launch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES, held at the Kitsilano Public Library (in the old Greek area of town)  I was thrilled that the new Greek Consul General Mr Thanos Ioannou came with his wife.  It was a good sized group, lots of books signed and sold. And we had an after-party at the Olympia Taverna on Broadway.

The Greek Consul General, Mr Thanos Ioannou and his wife.

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After -party at the Olympia Taverna

On June 25, GREEK DAYS, I had my own booth on Broadway for the all-day event (11 am – 9 pm). Lots of interest shown in my books here and I sold three. Lots of people stopped by to chat and take info about them.

This weekend, on Canada Day (July 1, Canada’d 150th birthday) I was invited to take part in a book fair at old Fort Langley.  I shared a table with fellow Scribbler, Wayne Gatley and enjoyed a full day 9 am – 3 pm promoting SHADOW.  Though there were no book sales, it was fun and a lovely day.

Coming up: Another book display evening at Queens Park, New Westminster on July 15 and I’ll be doing a workshop/reading for the Tri-city Wordsmiths in Port Coquitlam on August 5.

ACCOLADES AND PUBLICITY FOR SOTL

I was recently honoured to receive a “World Poetry Empowered Writer” award for my novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON as well as for my travel journalism. This event was held at the downtown campus of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver on October 19 at the World Poetry Peace Conference. (I had previously been invited to present my book at the WP Peace Conference in Larissa, Greece).

Here are a few photos from this event:

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Accepting my award

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My mini ‘Oscar’

The next night when my Scribbler’s Writers Critique group arrived for our weekly get-together, they surprised me with champagne, food and a celebratory chocolate cake (Celebrating both my publication and one of the other member’s Laurel Hislop’s publication of short stories)

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Laurel and I and our cake!

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We each got a certificate congratulating us for our publications

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Now I am looking forward to my official book launch which will be held on January 14, 2015, hosted by the Greek Consul General at the Hellenic Community Centre in Vancouver.

https://www.prbuzz.com/books-publishing-literature/263491-honorary-consul-of-greece-to-host-book-launch-for-shadow-of-the-lion-blood-on-the-moon.html

There will be readings from SHADOW and some poetry by Greek/Canadian award winning poet/publisher Manolis Aligizakis.  I’ll even be signing some books!

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My very first book signing in Wales in September.

(The gold Horus pen is from Egypt.  The Egyptians referred to Alexander as Horus the Wise Prince)

My Journey in Alexander’s Footsteps

The journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath your feet.
Tao te Ching, Verse 64
There is a similarity between historical writing and travel writing. Both are about journeys: one is a journey back in time, the other a journey of the present. I am both a historical and a travel writer. I write about my travels while I am researching my historical fiction.

The historical fiction writer in me was born when I was twelve years old. Our family traveled across Canada by train, a long journey from the gentle hills and maple forests of Ontario, across the wide expanse of sun-dried flat lands and yellow wheat fields of the Prairies, through the densely forested wilderness of the majestic Rocky Mountains to the lush green shores of the Pacific Ocean. My life was transformed on that journey. I imagined how it must have been to be a pioneer, and I became one of them, an explorer who forever after wanted to know what was over the next mountain.

I began to write about the pioneers’ lives. Everything I wrote came out of my imagination, sparked by that train trip across Canada. Later, encouraged by my father who was a Baptist minister, I began writing stories with a Biblical theme, set in the Holy Land and ancient Rome. At sixteen, I was introduced to a historical character who would have a profound influence on my future as a historical-fiction writer. The legendary life of Alexander the Great caught my interest. Before graduation, I had written a novel with an Alexander theme. Thus began my quest in search of Alexander.
My keen interest in Greek history eventually took me to Greece. I wanted to see the places I was writing about and try to get in touch with the ‘spirits’ of my characters. When I graduated from high school I had worked in the editorial department of a newspaper, and had some journalism background so I used these skills to write about my travels. The first travel article I submitted, about a visit to Leros, Greece,  was published. This gave me the incentive to launch a new ‘career’ as a travel writer which has led to me teaching classes in Travel Writing, Novel Writing and Creative Writing.
My journey in Alexander’s footsteps took  me around Greece and Asia Minor and I returned there often for research trips. For several years I lived in Greece while I was writing and researching SHADOW OF THE LION. I have been privileged to research at libraries in Athens and have visited many sites, making contact with Classical Scholars and archaeologists. While traveling for research I always look for angle for a travel article as well.  I have visited Istabul, Ephesus, Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus) and Fetiye, Turkey (site of the fabled Lycian tombs). In Greece I went to Aristotles’ school, the Nymphaion, at Mieza near Naoussa, where Alexander and his Companions spent two years studying philosophy and the sciences. I’ve been to Pella, the Macedonian royal city, and the royal tombs at Aigai.  At Dodoni, in Epirus there is an oak tree growing in the same place one grew when Olympias lived there. I even went to the Necromanteion, the oracle of the dead.  In Athens, I love to explore the ancient agora, paying particular interest to the various public buildings where political affairs were held during Alexander’s time. In Pireaus, at a place called Munichia, overlooking Zea, I found the place where the Macedonians had a large garrison.

It was important for me to get the correct setting details for my novel.While visiting these locations, I tried to capture the essence of the countryside, use sensory details, and attempt to get in touch with the spirits of the people who populate the novel. This helps place the reader at the scene, makes the characters more dimensional, and draws the arm-chair traveler into the story.

Not only does it take imagination, but discipline, and a great deal of planning and research when you write historical fiction. Accuracy is important. I like to spend some quite time in these places, to let the Muse speak, to absorb the essence of each place as I recreate the world I am writing about.

“A traveller has a right to relate and embellish his adventures as he pleases…”
Rudolph Erich Raspe 1737-1794 “Travels of Baron Munchausan.”