About Effie Kammenou:
Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.
Her debut novel, EVANTHIA’S GIFT, is a multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her recent interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.
As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the book.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.
What inspires you to write?
What inspires me to write is my need to be creative. I come from a theater background, I love to cook and bake, and I entertain often. Writing is another avenue to express myself, and I’ve found it extremely rewarding.
Many of my ideas came from real life events, and stories I’ve heard all my life. I’ve also incorporated my own experiences and people I’ve met or observed into my stories, using them in different contexts, or combining the characteristics of several people to create a character.
Tell us about your writing process.
At my day job, I make eyeglasses. While the machine is running, I tend to daydream my storylines. when something strikes me, I grab my phone and write it in my notes. I’ve had the basic story for my novel in my head for a long time. when my mother passed away, I elaborated on the original story, using my mother as the inspiration for one of the main characters.
I do not outline. I sat at the computer and the story spilled out of me. After that, I refined every chapter several times to make it right. Then I had the MS professionally edited.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I play out scenes in my head with the characters. I approach each character as though I was an actor playing them. I give them a history and personality. Then I work that into the story.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t rush to publish. It took me almost three years to get this book released. I had beta readers, a critique partner, many revised drafts and finally a professional editor.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did query agents. It is still very difficult for a debut author to get an agent, but not impossible. The problem with my book was it’s length. The average novel is 120,000 words. Mine is 167,000 words. I had no illusions that any agent would take me as a client with that word count. I’ve read other very long, self-published books that gained so much popularity that a publisher found them. Self-publishing has it’s pro and cons. I do like that no one is telling me what to do or what to omit from the book. But on the other hand, expect to do ALL the promotion yourself.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that the agents and publishes will have to expand on what and who they will look at. Ten years ago, I would have been at the mercy of the publishers who might not have looked at my book. Today, I can make my own opportunities. Traditional publishing is still the goal, but it is not the only option. I would hate to see traditional publishing houses struggle. But they need to change their model. Between self-publishing and the e-book format, it has to be hurting profits.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Women’s fiction, Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.