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Friday, November 03, 2017

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL VISIT TO GREECE

Three weeks was hardly long enough, but I made the best of it.  I spent three days at my favorite place, the Maragas Camping on Naxos.

From there I took the sea-jet ferry to Irakleion, Crete.

 Venetian harbor

The Lion Fountain

 I visited some of the sites, including Knossos, and met my writer/mentor friend Dr. Jack Dempsey, for the first time in person. (We've been communicating for a number years on-line). We spent a wonderful few hours talking about our writing at a seafood restaurant by Iraklion's Venetian Harbor. He's an authority on the Minoans and has written two books about them: Ariadne's Brother and People of the Sea. 
Jack and me

 KNOSSOS

I got around town there on the hop-on-hop-off bus which took me to several sites over two days including the Archaeological Museum and the Natural History Museum.

 Finds from Knossos

 Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum

 I also visited the grave site for writer Nikos Kazantzakis up on the city wall where he was buried because the Orthodox Church wouldn't allow his burial in the cemetery.






Then I returned to Athens for two busy weeks of book readings at the Canadian Institute and the American Community School where I read to a class of 50 grade nine students and conducted a writing workshop/reading with a smaller group of older students.  The following week I did another successful reading at the Athens Centre with a lecture titled 'In Alexander's Footsteps'.  All three centres have invited me back next year!

Reading at the Canadian Institute, Athens.

 The class of Grade 9 Students at the American Community School

 writer's workshop

 Reading at the Athens Centre



My time sped by there. I didn't didn't get much chance to travel around.  We did see the new Niarchos Community Centre in Pireaus.



 Then I went to Salamina for a few days where I explored a few new archaeological sites.

The monument to the warriors of the Battle of Salamis

 Then it was time to head home.  Too fast, but a successful trip nonetheless. And for sure I'll return next year!

Monday, September 11, 2017

BACK TO GREECE AND MORE WRITING


I'm heading back to Greece for three week and while I'm there I am schedule to do three readings of SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES at the American Community School, the Athens Centre and the Canadian Institute. I'll read segments from SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON as well.

 KNOSSOS

This year I'm not staying for as long as usual, but I still plan some trips  -  a few days on Naxos and then on to Iraklion, Crete where I want to visit Knossos and spend some time visiting with a writer/mentor friend of mine, Jack Dempsey who writes about the Minoans.  The rest of the time I'll be in Athens and will make some short trips to Salamina and around Athens.

 Plaka Beach, NAXOS

It's been a hectic last year with problems at my old home and a move mid July. But I'm all settled again in a quiet, peaceful apartment in a lovely suburban neighbouhood.  During the past year I had little incentive work on my current novel DRAGONS IN THE SKY. Instead I spend almost a year writing an ebook on the Greek Islands for a US publisher, under contract. I was almost finished it and he suddenly abandoned me. So I have shelved the project and will finish and self-publish it later.

Now that I'm resettled, I have started back on DRAGONS after a year's break from it. A tricky project trying to get back into the cadence of the prose but I am forging ahead and after my trip I will dedicate all my time to it.



Be sure and order my SHADOW OF THE LION double volume novel.  A good place to get it (with no shopping costs) is the Book Depository.  But if you check prices you can sometimes get deals on Amazon including second-hand copies which are in almost new condition. One that I ordered had even been previously signed by me!

Meanwhile,  you can also get my travel guide ATHENS AND BEYOND on Kindle.


Sunday, July 02, 2017

MORE BOOK PROMO

 On June 20 I had a successful book launch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES. It was held at the Kitsilano branch Public Library.  A nice group attended including the new Consul General of Greece, Mr Thanos Ioannou and his wife.

Reading from The Fields of Hades



The Greek Consul General Mr Thanou Ioannou and his wife.

I've been doing a lot of book promo this past month.  On June 25 I had a table at GREEK DAYS on West Broadway in Vancouver and spent a long day ( 11 am - 9 pm) enjoying chats with passersby and a friend I'd invited to join the table with me.  Lots of people stopped to ask about my books and I sold three which was great.
 GREEK DAYS

On Canada Day (July 1, Canada's 150th birthday!) I had a table at the Book Fair at Ft. Langley.
I shared the table with Wayne Gatley from my Scribblers group.  It wasn't as busy as Greek Days but a few people stopped by to check out my book,  no sales though. But it was a nice way to do promo and I enjoyed the day.






 FT. LANGLEY BOOK FAIR

More readings coming up.  On July 15 there'll be another table display at Queens Park in New Westminster and on August 5 I'm dong a workshop/reading for the Pt. Coquitlam Tri-City Wordsmiths.  Hope to get a few more readings/workshops ofer the summer as well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Launch and Readings: Promoting SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES


 This past weekend I spent a delightful day at the Vancouver Public Library at a Writer's event.  We had tables to display our books and spent most of the day chatting to passersby.  I did a short reading from the Epilogue of SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON.

My books didn't arrive on time but I had brochures printed up to advertise both volumes of SHADOW and this proved practical, as people who had books for sale weren't making many sales.  It was a fun day though, hanging out with other writers. And a good chance to promote my books.

I have organized my book launch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES.  This will be held at the Kitsilano library branch in the week preceding Greek Days on West Broadway. I wasn't able to obtain the room at the Hellenic Centre even though the Greek Consul agreed to sponsor me, because they were charging a lot of money for rent.  But this library setting should be great and we will have an after party down the road at the Olympia Taverna afterwards

The launch is on Tuesday, June 20, at 7 pm. It's a small room so if you want to come, be there early to get a seat.  I'm looking forward to reading from THE FIELDS OF HADES and seeing everyone!
And thanks to my son, Steve, for making me this nice poster!


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Thursday, March 09, 2017

SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES.

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It's been a while since I blogged here and a lot has happened since my trip to Greece in Sept/October 2016.  The second half of SHADOW OF THE LION was published in January 2017 and is now available on Amazon.com and the Book Depository (which doesn't charge shipping!)

The second half of the novel is subtitled SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES and it is an exciting end to the tale of the fall of Alexander the Great's dynasty with the battle lines drawn not only with the Successor who vie to take over the Empire but also the women who vie to take over the throne.  I'll post more details on this but for now, here's the book as it is. I love the cover and I know you'll love the content.









As the after-shocks of Alexander’s death bring disorder to his Empire from Macedon to Persia, a deadly power struggle is waged over who will dominate to rule.
Alexander’s Generals ‘The Successors’, contest who will emerge to rule the vast expanse of Alexander’s Empire. The ‘Royal Women’ Alexander’s mother Olympias and niece Adea-Eurydike also vie for control.
SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES, is Book Two of an epic story of political intrigue and ruthless ambition, complete with all the ingredients of a Greek tragedy. It is also a story that happens to be true.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

THE BUSY LIFE OF A WRITER



Reading at the Canadian Institute, Athens,  Oct. 2015
 


It's been months since I wrote in LIVING THE WRITER'S LIFE.  And yes, it's a very busy life!

First of all, no sooner had Christmas and New Years passed when I was told I'd have to move from the suite I'd occupied for 10 years.  This in itself was a trauma but when I started to look for a new place it was even more nerve-wracking and depressing.  There is a crucial  housing and suite shortage in Vancouver and it's all due to off-shore buyers snapping up houses and paying exhorbitant prices which locals could not afford.  And everyone has gotten so greedy. Imagine asking $1200 for a basement suite!  So for someone living on a pension and considered 'low income' it was a very stressful time. At first I thought perhaps I should put my stuff in storage and go back to Greece but I knew I'd have to soon start edits on Volume 2 of SHADOW so the timing wasn't right.  I thought I'd end  up in a shelter, then a travel writer friend intervened for me and I was shown a suite near where I had been living and I got it.  I moved in the beginning of April but it took a good while to get used to the new place and especially all the traffic noise. But I have adapted and feeling more 'at home' now.
Finally I am able to get back to some more writing, although I have been working on the Greek Island's ebook guide and have completed the Saronic and Ionian Islands part.
Visiting the Cave of Eurypides on Salamina island

Last week I also started the final proof edits for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES and it is due to be published in October. If' you've read Volume One BLOOD ON THE MOON I know you must be anxious to get this second part of the book. And I can assure you it is one that will keep you turning the pages!

 The Temple of Poseidon

I got some inspiration from Lord Byron when I was visiting Cape Sounion
 
Meanwhile, I am planning a trip to the Islands, starting with Corfu. Flying to London first, on September 4, and visiting briefly with cousins in Caerphilly, Wales, then on to Corfu and a bit of Ionian island hoping until I reach Athens. Then later I hope to visit Crete and a few other islands including my favorite island, Naxos.
 Temple of Apollo, Naxos.

 Naxos Sunset

It's nice to be back in blog writing mode and I hope you'll see more of me in the future. 


Monday, December 21, 2015

THREE CONTRACTS IN THREE YEARS!

I'm feeling very proud of my writing accomplishments these days. I've just signed about contract which means it's the third one in three years!  This is a contract for an ebook about the Greek Islands, to be published by Hunter Publishing,US. I'm really looking forward to the adventures this is going to lead me on. I've already visited 25 of the hundreds of Greek Islands, and written many stories about these visits. But there are several, namely Crete and Thassos, that I'd like to revisit and also several I'd like to visit for the first time. So it looks like my next trip to Greece will be Island Hopping.  Should be great fun! Like ATHENS AND BEYOND it will not only contain tourist information but stories about the various islands that I have visited.



Signing the contract for the Greek Island e-book, December 2015

A few months ago my second e-book was published,  ATHENS AND BEYOND published on KINDLE, Amazon by Hunter Publisher. I signed the contract for that one December 2014. It is available following this link:  http://www.amazon.com/Athens-Beyond-W-Ruth-Kozak-ebook/dp/B017PKSQZ8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1450742135&sr=8-2&keywords=ATHENS+AND+BEYOND
I had fun doing this book too. Of course I have lived in Athens and travel there almost every year so I already had a lot of background stories about the city and surrounding areas. The ebook contains not only tourist information but stories about various places I have visited in the city or for daytrips.


Signing the contract for ATHENS AND BEYOND, December 2014

My first and biggest book signing agreement was in August 2013 when I signed the contract for my two-part novel SHADOW OF THE LION.  Because of the novel's length the published MediaAria-CDM from Bristol England, chose to divide it into two book. So in fact, I was signing a two-book contract.  

The first edition was out in July 2014  SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON and the second volume will be produced in 2016 SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES
This is a historical fiction novel based on a historical time-line that is about the fall of Alexander the Great's dynasty. I did a lot of traveling in Greece and Asia Minor while researching this book and it took a long time to write it with the help of the Greek Ministry of Culture and many academics and archaeological Institutes in Greece.


Signing the contract for SHADOW OF THE LION, August 2013


Available on Amazon or at high street book stores, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, etc. 

So I'd say as we enter 2016 I've gathered a pretty good track record. Meantime I've got another historical novel on the go and hopefully will have it finished before long. Who knows, maybe I'll have another book contract to sign in 2016?