Greek writer-director Jimmy Corinis is perhaps best known as a master of crime fiction and one of the few authors who writes in Greek and English. He sold his first crime story at the age of 14 and became a full-time professional detective story writer at 18, writing for the cult magazine Maska, the equivalent of the American pulp magazine Black Mask. Six of the books of Corinis in the series featuring the hardboiled private detective Plato Cartessis are now available in English on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. Corinis recently spoke with The National Herald about another of his books, Tempest in Macedonia, a historical thriller based on a 1903 report by the British Consul in Thessaloniki, which is now available online.
Corinis told TNH: “The British publisher OnTime Books recently released my book titled Tempest in Macedonia. It is an almost true story based on the report (Blue Book – a collection of diplomatic correspondence) of the British Consul of Thessaloniki, back in 1903, in which he describes in vivid detail the massacre, hangings, rape, and persecution of the Greek Macedonian population by the Bulgarian ‘Komitzatzides’, that is members of the Commitee dedicated to wiping out all the Greeks, so they could annex Macedonia, while the Turkish regime turned a blind eye, knowing that this kept the Greeks from revolting. It was #1 in the first two weeks of its release.”
Author Jimmy Corinis at a book launch in Athens. (Photo: Courtesy of Jimmy Corinis)
According to the book, foreign correspondents and Consuls described the situation in Turkish-occupied Macedonia in 1903 as “blackmail of innocent and unarmed people, robbery, murder of men and women, pitiless torture of priests, doctors, and school-teachers, mutilation of bodies, arson of churches, anarchic dynamite against any friend of law and order, destruction of Orthodox Christians and Muslims, terrorization, bloodshed by slaughter, plunder…”
And when cavalry Lieutenant Calergis volunteered to become a guerilla, risking his life to cross the inaccessible north, he had a personal experience of the situation and realized that reality was even more tragic, and swore on the blood of the dead to pay the murderers in the same coin.
Corinis brings the little-known history of this period to life in his dynamic style. Described as gripping and a tear-jerker, the book draws the reader in from the very first page. Corinis told TNH that the book “was originally written as a screenplay back in 1964, but my enemies (and I had plenty of them, because I had started building up a name at the age of 17, writing for the bestselling magazines of the time) saw that it was never filmed.”
He continued: “Later, in 1977, self-exiled in England on account of the 1973 Greek coup d’ etat, I wrote the novel from the screenplay. It was sold to David & Charles but never published because, as I found out later, the pseudo-Macedonians (Skopians) had managed to block it. Much later, in 1983, it was published in Greece, for the first time, and then again in 2017, for the second time, then in Norway, in 2018, and now in England.”
When asked how long it took to write, Corinis said: “Regarding the time it took me, well, I usually write my novels in 45 days, but spend a lot of time on editing, with all the love and care of a painter putting the final touches to his work.”
Concerning the amount of research that went into the book, Corinis said: “Well, I usually do a lot of research for all my books, a lot more for this one because it's a historical thriller and I had to be very precise.”
Tempest in Macedonia by Jimmy Corinis is available online.