It’s not everyday, as a writer, that I get the chance to give interviews! But this happened and I got the chance to talk about my novel Unmapped! Take a look if you please 🙂 I’m talking about the novel, it’s characters and how I’d love Sebastian Stan to play the leading part if my book ever became famous! (I can dream can’t I?)
Nektaria Markakis is a Greek writer that took the chance to publish her first book called Unmapped, in English. I read the book about two years ago on Wattpad, a platform for writers, and I was really impressed by the story mostly because the author succeeds of showing us deeply into the soul of her protagonists and to create a bond between them that deeply tender and meaningful. I asked her to give me an interview for a paper I’m writing and she gladly accepted.
Hi Nektaria, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
First of all, thank you for the interview, too.
I’m Nektaria, I’m Greek and I have studied photography. I’m deeply in love with writing and I hardly ever stop creating new stories. I live in Athens, Greece and I’ve got three cats.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
What matters to me is for people to give my stories a chance and read them. I do not aspire to become rich from writing, but I do want to be loved for it. So my ambition is to write as much as possible and to make people that read my stories, happy.
So, what have you written?
I have written many books in English and Greek, most of them are romance stories. One of them, Unmapped, has been published in Greek by a publishing company and its English version is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.
Where can we buy or see them?
Unmapped can be found on Amazon around the world. The rest of my work is available to the Greek readers only, on Wattpad.
Tell us a few things about your first published novel.
Unmapped is a tale of love, a journey towards the discovery of the important things in life. It’s about Lexie who has forgotten how it feels to live and Manu who leads a carefree life that leads nowhere. Together they embark on a long trip around Europe, in hope for Lexie to discover what she wants from life, and along they way they find themselves and each other.
Give us an insight into your main characters. Why are they so special?
Lexie is a young woman that opens her eyes suddenly and realizes that all this time she was under the spell of her parents and was leading a life that they wanted, which she hated and made her miserable. She finds the strength to change that, but she doesn’t quite know how to bring that change to her life. But she won’t give up, she just takes a risks, even if she usually leads a calculated life, and even if she’s terrified, she keeps on taking risks because she needs this change.
Manu is the type of guy that looks as if nothing could bother him, ever. He’s living a sinful life, always carefree, he’s trying new things and is not afraid to take risks. But deep down there is something eating him up, which of course intrigues Lexie who needs to know what it is.
They are both broken, and they both succeed to pull themselves together for the same reason… love.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters from Unmapped?
I love this question because the answer is so easy! When I started writing Unmapped, I had trouble picturing Lexie and Manu. That was until I got mused by two young, beautiful people that fitted the profile that I was imagining. So my Lexie is be Elizabeth Olsen and my Manu is Sebastian Stan. I had those two in mind when I was writing the story, and I cannot picture anyone else playing them.
How much research do you do in order to write Unmapped?
I spent hours online Googling information about the places that the couple would visit. Since the only place I had visited myself was Campania, I had to be sure that there was realism to them, not just imagine them since they were well-known cities like London, Madrid and Paris. I wanted to find historical facts for the monuments the couple would see and I also found photos that helped me described the places. So, I did a lot of research and it was really fun.
What was the hardest thing about writing Unmapped?
First of all, the language. English is not my mother tongue so it was bound to be an obstacle. I spent hours building a vocabulary and reading books on punctuation and I found online thesaurus in order to get synonyms for common words to make the text interesting.
Then, it was hard keeping the story real, down to earth, keep it in the boundaries of something that could happen to me, to you, to the person next to you. I didn’t want it to be just fiction, I wanted it to feel real. Also, the dialogue, I needed that to sound real and not like a soap opera. To a bit extend, I think I succeeded in all parts!
Did you proofread/edit Unmapped or did you get someone to do that for you?
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
I was super lucky to have help with proofreading and editing. First by author Gretchen Earnest who took the time to comb the text in order to make the story good, and then by Nadia Sarri, an English teacher who helped me a lot with grammar and punctuation. I really need to thank them both again from the bottom of my heart!
Tell us about the cover and how it came about. Who designed your book cover?
The cover was designed by author M.A Phipps (Ultraxenopia- find her dystopian novel, it’s pretty awesome!) who was an absolute sweetheart and so helpful! She read my mind easily and made me a cover (she also designed the interior too) that mirrors the story.
Do you have a trailer for Unmapped?
I do, one that my great friend Nadine Schober made for me. You can see it here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etk0l3qxbVg
In what formats is your book available?
Paperback and Kindle!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon USA: goo.gl/b64EWi
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/0MXj5T
Thank you, Nektaria, for the interview. I hope your book inspires a lot of people to live life to the fullest, like it inspired me!
Thank you, Melanie, for the interview and for your nice words. Wishing you all the best with your life!