Interview with Greek-Australian author, Mary D. Brooks

Hello peeps! Today, I am pleased to welcome a Greek author from Down Under! Mary D. Brooks is one of the latest additions to eNovel Authors at Work, who writes urban fantasy set in Greece during WWII. Check out these stunning covers:

 

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It’s 1942 in German Occupied Greece during World War II, two women, one Greek, the other German must work together to help Jews escape. They have to put aside their mutual antipathy to each other to accomplish their clandestine operation. They know that one wrong move will put an end to their lives.

Fourteen year old Zoe Lambros’ faith in God is shattered after her mother’s death at the hands of the German Commander. She determines to defy the enemy in every way she can–including a festering urge to kill the German Commander’s daughter, Eva Muller.

Eva Muller has a tortured past, and a secret, if revealed, will lead to certain death at the hands of her father. Despite knowing the risk, Eva is working with the village priest to help the Jews escape. With her activities closely observed, Eva needs help to continue the clandestine operation. Zoe is not who Eva has in mind but they have to find a way to work as a team.

VISIT AMAZON  US   UK

 

 

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Eva Muller and Zoe Lambros return in the award winning second novel of the Intertwined Souls Series. Eva and Zoe migrate to Australia seek refuge and a new life at the end of World War II in the ‘Land of Milk and Honey’. They try to fit into a society marred by prejudice and must hide their love for each other. Eva struggles with the ramification of her tortured past as she tries to overcome the mental constraints forced upon her. Zoe’s dream of being an artist is just a dream but Eva has a plan to make that happen even if means working at a menial job.

Shadows from their past and machinations of old enemies plunge them into mortal danger. They are about to find out the hard way that moving thousands of miles away does not protect them from those that wish them harm.

VISIT AMAZON   US   UK

 

 

nogooddeed

Eva and Zoe Lambros return in the third novel of the award winning Intertwined Souls Urban Fantasy Series. They have left Greece and Germany behind, taking their secrets of new paranormal abilities, visions of the future and their love back to Australia to finally settle down for that sought after family life they so desire.

Their plans unravel when Eva is involved in a shocking accident that reveals misguided good intentions from the past will have repercussions for her future. Zoe is overjoyed to learn that their wish for children will finally be realized when she finds out she’s pregnant but she has to contend with the possibility of losing the woman that she loves.

The truth about the origins of Eva’s gifts are revealed but is it too late to save Eva’s life? Secrets from the past, visions of the future and supernatural mentors takes Eva and Zoe’s lives out of ordinary and uneventful. Truly, No Good Deed goes unpunished.

VISIT AMAZON  US   UK

 

 

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Tags: lesbian fiction, urban fantasy, historical, WWII

 

Hello Mary and welcome to my blog!

Hello Fros – thank you for inviting me.

What has inspired you to write the Intertwined Souls Series?

Two very special people in my life put on the path that led to my very first novel. My grandfather Kyriakos Mitsos from Larissa, Greece who was in the Greek Resistance during the German occupation of Greece in World War II and my adopted grandmother Evelyn Elephan who was an Auschwitz survivor. I met Mrs Elephan when I was 10 years old and she influenced my life in a profound way.

When I was ten I met Mrs Elephan and she became my adopted grandmother because my parents worked shift work and she took care of me. I learned what those numbers on her arm meant and when I was old enough she gave me a book called “I am Rosemarie” by Marietta D. Moskin. It was about a teenager living through the Holocaust. Mrs Elephan and I then had in-depth conversations about the Holocaust and I had a million questions. She told me one day that I was going to write about the people that history books don’t talk about. It wasn’t a wish of hers; it was a statement of fact. I was going to write about the unsung heroes who tried to save the Jews and others. Someone tried to save her but in the end they were found out and she was sent to Auschwitz. Mrs Elephan was the first to encourage me to write after I said (at the tender age of 10) that I was going to be a writer. She said ‘Do it Mary, I know you can.”

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When I was thirteen I visited my grandfather in Greece. He was a pigeon breeder and we would sit up on his flat top roof with his pigeons when the sun would be setting and tell me stories about when the War came to Larissa. I was a history nut and I was in heaven; hearing a first hand account of a truly historic moment in Greek history in a town that was 5000 years old was EXTRAORDINARY and a gift. When I would go back downstairs I would write down what he told me so I wouldn’t forget it. I was beyond deliriously happy to be in Greece, the land of my birth and heritage.

My visit lasted three months and it was one of those life-changing moments. Neither Mrs Elephan nor my grandfather lived long enough to see my first book “In the Blood of the Greeks” get published. It’s set in Larissa and is about two women on opposite sides coming together to save Jews and in the process they save themselves. It incorporates what my grandfather and my adopted grandmother possessed in abundance: courage and strength against the odds.

When I started to research the book, one thing led to another and I found more horrific things that included gay men and women and incorporated that into my story. I have a lot of gay friends and along with the stories about Final Solution of the Jews, their story also resonated with me. I wanted a different take on the war and it’s victims in addition to Larissa having a huge Jewish population that was almost destroyed in the rush to exterminate them. So many lives were intertwined.

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When I was 36 years old I went to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC. Another amazing woman who survived the holocaust once again changed my attitude to life. I don’t remember her name but I remember her words as she recounted her story in the survivor videos. I stepped out of that building with a new mindset on September 8, 2001. The holocaust and the victims of Hitler’s brutality and inhumanity have been interwoven into my life since I was ten years old.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Mary. That was truly compelling and whetted my appetite for your series! What other writing have you done? Anything else published?

I’ve written two more fiction novels: Awakenings, and Hidden Truths. Also, two novellas and two adult coloring books to relax the mind.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters, or do any of them have traits you wish you had?

I think every writer puts part of their personality in their characters. Both of my main characters have bits of me in them but not fully. I wish I had Zoe’s bravado and take-no-prisoners attitude. I’ve got a smidgen of it but not the full glorious Zoe version. It’s fun to write them and just let go.

Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Tell a good story, support your fellow authors and work hard. You want to be an indie author? Get down and dirty and find out as much as you can. If you don’t know something, ask. There is bound to be someone who has already asked the question and you will find the answer. Learn from others who have gone before you and give credit where credit is due.

Are there any sites or writing tools that you find useful and wish to recommend?

I have a ton of sites I like to visit. Here are a few:

http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/ – I found this site quite by accident while doing research on book promoters and it has been a fantastic resource. Many times I’ve gone in to check if a certain promotor is listed.

http://writershelpingwriters.net/ – I love this site. Run by the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus which is one of my favorite reference books.

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/ – again found when doing research and has been a useful site.

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/ very useful info about designing the exterior and interior. I typeset my own novels and I’m a cover designer (although I have only done two covers: A Widgie Knight and Book 6 Nor The Battle To The Strong which hasn’t been unveiled yet).

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/ – LOTS of useful info here and one of my favorite sites.

http://www.theindependentpublishingmagazine.com/ – very useful and up to date.

http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/ – any site promoting positive messages about women and girls is a must.

http://www.writersdigest.com/ – got a ton of their books and very useful information

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ – I’m fascinated by human behavior so reading this site is a great way to understand the human mind.

And a ton of other great sites – I use Feedly as an RSS reader to easily catch up with all the blogs and news sites.

As for writing tools, I use Scrivener, Word, In Design, and Photoshop.

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Thank you for sharing these, Mary. I’m sure they’ll prove useful to many. Choose a male and a female character from your book and tell us which actor and actress you’d cast to play them in a film adaptation.

 Oh that’s already been done! We filmed scenes from my novels in Los Angeles in Feb 2015. Eva and Zoe came alive – well they are alive in my head but I saw them in real life. Kat Cavanaugh (Eva) and Penny Cavanaugh (Zoe) – an awesome married couple – agreed to be my characters. They even look like them. They feature on the covers of my books.

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What do you enjoy the most as an indie author that you imagine you wouldn’t if you were traditionally published? If you had a choice would you still go indie?

 I’ve been published by small press publishers from 2000 to 2015 and then I took control of my own books in March 2015. I love the control it gives me to be an indie author. I’m a control freak when it comes to my work and setting the agenda for my work and how to do it is liberating. If I had to do it all over? Absolutely. No one cares about your work more than you and frankly no one is going to care more about how to market them or show love for them more than you. It was overwhelming at first but once you sort out the noise and get down to the good stuff, it’s a great journey.

Who is your favorite poet? Quote a couple of lines from your favorite poem.

I have three favorite poets: William Earnest Henley, Rudyard Kipling and Leonard Cohen. Here is an excerpt from Invictus by William Earnest Henley:

“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

A terrific poem, indeed. Thank you for being here with us today, Mary!

Thank you for this opportunity, Fros!

 

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Mary D. Brooks lives in Australia and has been writing since she was eight when she rewrote her favorite tv shows when stories didn’t quite end up the way she wanted. Sometimes in a world of her own, she relished the quiet to invent new stories and worlds. Mary has written non-fiction articles for Australian and US magazines but her first love is fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s designing sites, creating art or being chief editor/owner of AUSXIP.com You can find Mary’s author site at http://www.nextchapter.

Visit Mary’s Amazon page:  US   UK

Visit Mary’s website

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ausxipmaryd

Character Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/zoe_lambros

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marydbrooksfiction

 

Logo 280x178 w font AR HERMANNHave you enjoyed this post? Follow the blog (see right sidebar) and miss no more posts! Sign up to Effrosyni’s newsletter to keep up to date with her news and special offers (very sparse emails). Interested to read more? Head over to Effrosyni’s Blog, where you’ll find her earlier interviews, book reviews, author tips, travel articles and even Greek recipes!

 

  • A lovely interview!

    • frosandy

      Thank you for stopping by, Aurora 🙂

    • frosandy

      Thank you Florence 🙂

  • Fascinating author!

  • What a terrific interview. It seems you were destined to write these books. As a writer, nothing beats personal experience and the passion for your subject matter. Your book covers are excellent.

    • frosandy

      I agree, Polly, passion and personal experience make the best books out there – it does sound like Mary was blessed with the background to write books that come from the heart! Thank you for your visit 🙂

  • History. Well, THAT’s right up my alley! Your books look fascinating….another one or two to put on my TBR list!

    Great interview! Thanks so much for sharing, Mary and Fros! Thanks also for the writerly sites you love.

    • frosandy

      Thank you Sarah – I know you love history only too well after reading your fabulous Sewing Can Be Dangerous 🙂 I love WWII stories and Mary’s books sound intriguing!

  • Fantastic interview with an important author. You are an inspiration. Thanks, Fros, for bringing us yet another exceptional author and her work.

    • frosandy

      Thank you Pat – that’s eNovel for you. The interviews make my mind boggle every time at the diversity of talent we’re surrounded by! It was wonderful to have Mary over to speak about her spell-binding family history.

  • Impressive. I’ll have to get Mary’s books.

    • frosandy

      Thank you for stopping by, Bronwyn 🙂

  • And utterly fascinating interview. I am so appreciative of the list of sites helpful to indie authors. going to check them out now.

    Thank you Mary and Frossie. Wishing you both a wonderful holiday season–wherever you are!
    Sharing!
    Jackie Weger
    The House on Persimmon Road

    • frosandy

      Yes, indeed this list is wonderful. Mary has been most generous with advice! Thank you for commenting, Jackie, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours xx

  • Wonderful interview – what amazing stories Mary has to tell.

    • frosandy

      Thank you Mary for your visit. Amazing stories, indeed!

  • Thank you for the opportunity Fros!

    • frosandy

      it was a pleasure to have you, Mary! Thank you so much for your compelling family stories and awesome site list!

  • That was a terrific interview. It’s so nice to learn more about fellow authors and why they write what they write. Thanks, Mary.

    • frosandy

      Thank you for your visit, Dale. Very kind of you 🙂

  • Ginger Miller

    I just started “No Good Deed” and will drag it out as long as possible until the sixth book arrives. These books have held my attention like no other series ever has. I usually get tired of the same couple over and over but not Zoe And Eva. Take my advice and read these books. Pure enjoyment. I eagerly await the sixth book in the series. Funny… I stumbled across “In The Blood of The Greeks” by pure accident and believe me I have never enjoyed a book more then that one, Congrats to Mary for her courage to write this series. And yes, I do hope for a movie one day, Maybe Jennifer Connelly as “Eva” and Jessica Chastain as “Zoe”. Perfect!

    • Effrosyni Moschoudi

      Thank you for your visit, Ginger, and for recommending the series. They do sound intriguing 🙂