Pride by Kosta Rosvoglou is a compelling debut novel. The coming of age story features strong characters and important life lessons for young people by a talented author who at age 23 is wise beyond his years. Rosvoglou spoke with The National Herald about his book, his family background, and his upcoming novel.
He told TNH, “Last year was very challenging for me as an individual. Between the stress of graduating college and entering the real world, as well as other personal struggles I faced, I became ‘lost’ for a while. As a then, 22 year-old with an uncertain future, I did not know where to go from there or where to even begin. I used writing as an outlet to express myself and put down on paper what I was feeling. All my life I had felt that people never quite saw me for who I truly am. Rather, they judged me for the little that they did see, without taking the time to get to really know me. And so, I began writing a story that represented this, to show people that all of us are capable of becoming much more than we are believed to be, even if we become lost at times. Especially then. There is a quote I use in my book from writer Douglas Pagels that says, ‘I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.’ Much like myself, my protagonist Jason Young, aims to live by these words and therefore prove to the world and more importantly to himself, that he can become anyone he wishes to be.”
When asked if he always wanted to write, Rosvoglou said, “From the time I was in seventh grade at the William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School, until I was a senior at Archbishop Molloy High School, writing was a hobby of mine. I took creative writing classes to polish my skills and even wrote several poems and short stories over those years. It was something I did to pass the time, but never really thought of it becoming a career or turning into something real. When I went to college at Fordham University to study business, I lost touch with my writing side and it was not until I was a senior that I picked it back up again. However, while writing my first book, Pride, I began to think that this could actually become something more than an old hobby.”
About his writing process, he said, “I wouldn’t say that I necessarily stick to one format or plan while writing. Yes, when I have an idea of something, I jot down notes and create an outline of how I would like things to develop. However, when I sat down to actually write the book, I noticed that a ‘go with the flow’ approach worked better for me, rather than sticking to a set plan. Pride underwent several drafts before being published. I can’t tell you how many times I read the book over, highlighting things I thought worked extremely well, while leaving comments on the things I felt needed improving. In fact many plot twists in the book itself, were last minute changes that I did not think of until after I read the story over a couple times. Also, several character traits for many of the more important characters in the book, were not added or fine-tuned until the last drafts had been written. I write throughout most of the day, but at night is when I feel my best work is written. When the sun goes down my creativity becomes more enhanced and the flow of my writing takes shape. I think this is more of a mental thing but it has always seemed to work for me and I don’t see that changing in the near future.”
Rosvoglou told TNH about his family background, “My parents were both born here in the States, but my roots extend to Greece and Cyprus through my grandparents. My grandfather, Christopher Christie was also born here in America, but his family comes from Sparta. My grandmother Georgia Christie, was born and raised in Pyrgos Elias, in Peloponessos. My grandfather, Kosta Rosvoglou, who I am proudly named after, was born and raised in Kaminia, Piraeus, and my grandmother Ioanna Rosvoglou, comes from Vouni, Cyprus.”
When asked what he is working on now, Rosvoglou said, “I work full-time for an advertising agency called Universal McCann, so writing has remained a part-time job for now, with hopes of one day becoming something more. Currently, I am working hard on advertising my book and spreading the word as best I can to as many people as I possibly can. Also, I have set an outline for a sequel to Pride, including many of the same characters from the first book; only this time the story will take place four years later, when the characters are finishing up their college years. I plan to begin writing this story in the fall, and hope to have this one published as well. As a teen/young adult, growing up can be very challenging, and as someone who has been in that situation, my writing is very real and truthful. My goal is to have Pride and all future books of mine, read throughout high schools across the world. Not for the money, not for recognition… but because God knows I have been that ‘lost’ individual, searching for meaning in life. And so, I trust that my words can and hopefully will help others in finding their way.”
Pride by Kosta Rosvoglou is available online.