Author Spotlight: Panos Nomikos
Here is an author spotlight on Panos Nomikos, author of Fateful Eyes, that has appeared here: http://yahgottareadthis.blogspot.ca/2013/04/author-spotlight-panos-nomikos.html?m=0
Much to his chagrin, Peter has been on tortuous and twisted path for fifteen years. As he moves through life in a foreign country without real satisfaction or achievement, he knows he is ready to reach the final destination of his journey. But it is only after he boards a plane to Frankfurt, Germany, that Peter finally feels he is on his way to solving a great puzzle. He is ready to end the search of a lifetime. Only Peter’s wife knows where he is headed. As his aircraft leaves the ground in Greece, Peter begins recalling the events that led to this moment. After he received mysterious text and e-mail messages while working in the Philippines four years earlier, Peter soon discovered a mysterious woman had been looking for him for years. Too busy with his work to pay much attention, Peter brushed her off, not realizing what an important person she was in his life, coming all the way from his youthful, lustful past. As Peter struggles to learn the woman’s identity, he becomes unwittingly entangled in the unpredictable upheavals that accompany the new millennium. Fateful Eyes is a story of one man’s quest to comprehend fate’s dizzying gaze as he searches for love and true fulfillment.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was born in 1961 in Athens, Greece. During my carefree, youthful years, I roamed the idyllic islands of my home country, having fun on the golden beaches under the sun, with my friends and lovers. Later on, I studied for a Ph.D. in the UK and I started a career in Information Technology in the maritime sector, roaming across the world on intercontinental business trips in faraway places in Asia, Europe and America.
Witnessing first-hand and participating in the rapid socioeconomic developments that characterize the final decade of the previous century and the first years of the new millennium, from my professional standpoint, I wished to share all my observations and my opinions about the world-wide developments, one way or another. Moreover, the acute crisis that occurred in my home country, that again I am witnessing first-hand as it evolves around me on a daily basis, gave me an additional insight on how things can go terribly wrong, for a whole nation. I do maintain the position that, what has happened so far in Greece, is not unique to this country and, if the appropriate lessons are not learned by the educated world-wide elites, the intellectuals, the professionals, and the masses themselves, and if risk mitigation actions are not taken now rather than later, then I will not be surprised to see the same phenomena repeated again and again all over the world, including today’s richest, industrialized countries.
But how to “spread the word” about what has happened, and about what can go terribly wrong? I opted to follow my “literary instinct”. I wrote a novel, “Fateful Eyes”, where the protagonist, Peter, is a cosmopolitan Greek who grew up in Athens but who migrated to the UK. During his youthful years in College, apart from his numerous, passionate love affairs, he also participated fervently in the student movement of the early 80s that brought to power a leftwing-minded generation that is considered by many pundits today to have seeded the easy-going mentality and the other root causes of the country’s recent malaise. Peter wanders around Greece again in the “golden era” of the years 2002 – 2005, when Greece was accepted into the rich and exclusive Eurozone club, executed impeccably a hugely successful 2004 Olympic Games, and basked proudly in the spotlight of the global admiration, enjoying a prosperity that seemed, at that time, joyfully never-ending. Peter, never failing to apply his inquisitive mind on whatever happens around him, is of course hugely impressed by those “miraculous achievements” of his motherland, but he does not hesitate to look below the surface, to try to understand what is really happening in the country and what the future will really look like. Needless to say, what he finds is not encouraging at all, considering the unfortunate grave problems that resulted from that wrong-footed mentality.
Moreover, Peter does not confine his investigations in Greece. He roams the whole world, crisscrossing all the continents, witnessing also the great upheavals that characterize the beginning of the new millennium, wars, financial crises, and the like, and pondering on their root-causes too, trying to understand where is the world heading to today.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I will reply with an extract from the book itself:
“And yet deep inside him he was surprised to find extra courage to keep fighting, to avoid collapsing. I will not let it crush me, he was telling himself every so often, I can do nothing other than keep fighting. There is no alternative. Even if we go bankrupt, even if I go to jail, I don’t have any other option than to continue the struggle.
Peter had always been an optimist. He believed in life. He was always striving to discover the inner beauty in the small and insignificant aspects of it. His friends teased him sometimes that he was excessively optimistic, or even naively optimistic. Whatever might be happening around him, however adverse a situation might be, he knew how to look around and draw strength from the mere fact that Marvelous Life was still moving along and that he continued taking part in its rituals. He was well aware that this blessing will someday have a definite and irrevocable ending.
This realization gave him courage to continue. He understood that in his swirling journey in life everything is transient, temporary, both the good and the bad. He clinched his fists, accepted stoically every new hit, then took a deep breath and carried on. Against the tide, against the whole world who was trying to rip him apart he kept fighting with teeth and nails. There was no alternative.”
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
“Fateful Eyes” is a fiction novel, based on the contemporary developments in the world. It did not entail any research or logistical effort. The main challenge has been the language barrier. I am a Greek-speaker and English is a second language for me. Writing a work of literature in English has been a tall and possibly risky undertaking for me. Thankfully, the feedback that I have received so far from readers and reviewers did not point any issue whatsoever with my use of this language. On the contrary, I have received praise about using a rich vocabulary and prose, such as the comments from this reviewer: “I found the generous use of adjectives at times too flowery and too elaborate, but I appreciate that without it the prose would not be as beautiful and poetic. Clearly the author has chosen this style to suit the theme of sentimentality and the emotional nature of his protagonist.”
Was there a character inspired by a real person? And if so, who?
As I have already mentioned in the first question, I have been inspired by my own personal experiences when traveling around the world and getting acquainted with various people from various countries, who carried their own cultures and beliefs.
What do you think happened to the characters after the book?
This is the basic theme of the second volume of this novel, to be published soon. Get connected at https://panosnomikos.wordpress.com and stay tuned to find out. Participate in the online quiz to guess the final outcome in this puzzle and win big prizes.
If applicable, how many books are there in the series?
“Fateful Eyes” consists of two main volumes. A third book in the same series will be published later and will complete a trilogy.
What are your current projects? Are you able to share any with us?
I am currently very busy putting the finishing touches in the second volume of “Fateful Eyes”.
What books have most influenced your life?
The “Odyssey” by Homer and “The Gates of Fire” by Steven Pressfield.
When and why did you begin writing?
People around me have always been telling me that I am a “good writer” and that I should use my talent one way or another, someday… Since childhood (since I was ten years old) I have kept a diary, a habit that I have maintained continuously for the past forty years. Although, of course, nobody else has read my secret diaries, whenever I am revisiting my past pages, I am glad to notice that I am amused and entertained, not by my uneventful and ordinary past life per se, but by the way that I had been expressing my inner feelings and emotions.
Later on, during my professional career, I have written dozens of essays and articles in professional publications and magazines in my industry sector. The readers of those articles, and the editors of those publications, gave me a very heartening feedback, truly enjoying my pieces and my style, and encouraging me to write something “bigger”. Thus, I decided to follow their advice and to write “Fateful Eyes”.
Do you have any advice for other indie authors?
A successful indie author must combine the following:
· A very good book
· Must be ready to spend a considerable effort and amount of his time in marketing. Nobody is going to do this job, other than the author himself/herself.
Do you have anything specific you would like share with your readers?
“Fateful Eyes” pivots around a puzzle, around Peter’s struggle to identify a mysterious lady who came from his distant past, and upset his life and his relationship with his adorable lover. Yet, the puzzle itself is not the essence of this novel. The puzzle is only a ‘pretext’ to justify the exposure of Peter’s tortuous and twisted path in life, as well as to narrate the lives of everyone around him, as they all become unwittingly entangled into the rolling thunder of the world’s current upheavals, terrorism, wars, and economic crises. Like a modern Odyssey, the real essence of this novel is Peter’s long and tormenting journey towards his destination, towards the completion of his mission. As the great poet Constantinos Kavafis wrote “when you set out on the path to Ithaki, wish for the journey to be long…” Peter’s struggle is indeed very long, hard, and yet, ultimately fulfilling.
If you’re interested in reading this book go to: http://www.amazon.com/author/panosnomikos