Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hello! My name is Effie Kammenou. I am a first generation Greek American who lives on Long Island, New York – a fact that will become quite evident when you read my debut novel, Evanthia's Gift. Originally, back in the day, I was a theater major. But I've worked in the optical field for many years rather than indulge my creative side. Now, with my children grown and more time to do the things I love, I can once again explore that side of myself. Recently, I released the continuation of Evanthia's Gift in Book two of The Gift Saga: Waiting For Aegina.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Waiting For Aegina is the continuation of Evanthia's Gift. When my mother passed away in 2012 I began to write Evanthia's Gift as a way to channel my grief. I used many of my mother's stories and memories as inspiration and I wrote a character that honored her spirit and grace. Waiting For Aegina is a continuation of the lives of the family and friends in the story of Evanthia's Gift, but with a slightly different focus. Book one is all about the many forms of unconditional love. Book two is about true friendship and loyalty, and seeing the ones you love through the worst of times, not just the best of times.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Other than staying up until all hours of the night, no.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love Austen, Shakespeare and Steinbeck, as well as many other classic authors. I enjoy so many women's fiction writers – Adrianna Trigiani, Sylvain Reynard, Jude Devereaux, Elin Hilderbrand, and Kristin Hannah to name a few. But I don't know that any have consciously influenced my writing. I admired them, but each has a style all their own. Each author, myself included, writes from their personal emotions, memories and experiences, making each work unique.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the third book in The Gift Saga, which will finish the trilogy. It's still in the early stages and untitled.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use many blog sites to promote as well as posting on Facebook, twitter and instagram. since my book contains some recipes in between some of the chapters I also cross promote my books on my food blog. I set up amazon and goodreads giveaways, make bookclub appearances, and any other means I can think of to get the word out.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Make sure you invest your money in an editor. It will be well worth it. Don't cut corners. The more professional, the better. Get a professional cover designer and inside formatter also.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The best advise I heard was to be happy with all reviews, even the bad ones. Learn to take criticism and know that one book can not make every single person want to write a five star review.
What are you reading now?
I just finished The Roman by Sylvain Reynard. I am now reading The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand.
What’s next for you as a writer?
After I am done with The Gift Saga I will develop new characters and a new story. I have some ideas I'm mulling around.
What is your favorite book of all time?
East Of Eden. There are so many layers and messages in this book – so many lessons – so many rich characters. It's timeless.