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Marios Karakatsanis. Photo: Courtesy of Marios Karakatsanis
ATHENS – Amy by Marios Karakatsanis, published in Greek by Livani and in English by OnTime Books, is a psychological-crime thriller that was much loved by the reading public, remaining in the top 10 for many months in the Amazon Horror Reference category. It became the book of the day in the U.S. on July 11, 2020 on the OnlineBookClub with three million members/readers and will soon be translated by Pharos Books into the most widely spoken Indian dialects, as the book is promoted in print and digital on literary platforms and in bookstores all over the world. Recently, Karakatsanis had another very interesting proposal from Indian producers and Netflix collaborators who are interested in adapting Amy into a series. In fact, the first pilot episode is already being prepared. The author spoke to The National Herald about his work.
TNH: You have published 11 novels, many of which are psychological thrillers. What attracts you to this genre?
Marios Karakatsanis: First of all I would like to thank you very much for this platform you are giving me. As for your question, I will say that all my books are moving in the context of the thriller and I do not intend to change this in my upcoming books either and that’s because I want to be a writer with an identity. Let my readers know exactly what to expect from me. But beyond that, the thriller has fascinated me since I was a very young child. The primordial attraction of survival [in situations] most of us avoid encountering in our lives, I have learned to work with it, maybe because I do not want to live in utopian worlds, where happy endings exist only in fantasy books.
TNH: Amy which was released in English with the title Amy, the First Revelation [and author’s name as Mario Karma] has been trending upward in the field of books, culminating in the proposal to become a series on Netflix. Who is the book geared towards and what makes this book so special?
MK: It is addressed to all those who have the divine gift of empathy. They are not biased about people with peculiarities like Amy. They give opportunities to their fellow human beings, always guided by the human condition.
The reason that Amy has entered the hearts of readers is because it deals with a very human approach to a subject and more specifically mental illness, which at least in Greece is considered taboo. It is a hard book that pulsates with huge social dilemmas and does not hesitate to cauterize parental behaviors such as denial and saying “my child has nothing.” As a result, the problem they are ashamed to accept expands and leads to irreversible behaviors.
So all this reached the hands and souls of thousands of readers worldwide, thanks to the invaluable help of my agent Dimitrios Christodoulos.
Thanks to OnTime for really doing what they promise, this book of mine, as well as all the following ones, travel where few Greek writers could to see their dream come true.
TNH: You have received many awards for your literary work, you have participated in international festivals, and you were an official speaker at the world institution TEDx, in Ioannina. What has been the most important moment of your writing career?
MK: When a mother came and told me that thanks to me and my words, I helped her understand her child better and not to consider his dyslexia a problem and especially not to be afraid of what will happen when he grows up. These are for me invaluable moments and human values that in the end are imprinted in people’s hearts. Everything else is for our vanity.
TNH: Your most recent book is Cimerian kai meta Skotadi (Cimerian and then Darkness) from Ydroplano Publications. Tell us about the book.
MK: This book is a collection of 13 standalone stories in a luxury edition, modeled on the collectible editions of the Brothers Grimm. These stories are divided into angelic and demonic, darkness and light. It speaks of the eternal battle for the supremacy of absolute power, where souls fight in a struggle with an ambiguous result and where the reader will find in the book this true self. Since we all hide the good in us, but also the demonic. So in a way this book is not just an imaginative piece of writing, but in its entirety, the personification of the whole of human existence.
While retellings of ancient Greek myths from the point of view of less-well-known characters continue to be a popular segment of the literary landscape, a new book offers a helpful guide to the impressive multitude of female mythological characters from around the world.
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