Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Spiros Gratsias, author of the historical fiction book C Enigma.
Hi Spiros please tell me a little about yourself
I was born in Montreal, Canada, to Greek immigrants, moved back to Greece twenty years ago and have been living there ever since. I have a master's degree in manufacturing technology and thirty-five years' experience in the aerospace and consumer goods industries. Currently I am working for a large consumer goods company as the Research and Development director.
Name some of your favorite authors and why?
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I consider the writing and expression of the struggles and experience of redemption incredible.
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A supreme achievement of literature, an emotional intelligence manual regarding human faith, reason, and doubt.
The Bourne Identity Series (Ludlum) —Complex, intelligent, fast, a foundation of international thrillers.
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. A perfect combination of reality and fiction, the multiple literary elements such as secret societies, Ancient history, the Church, architecture, and symbolism are masterfully balanced.
When did you decide to become an author?
I have always felt the need to write but my career and painting was always an excuse for not actually trying. About six years ago my need to write overwhelmed all of the excuses and I began the journey.
Painting, building or fixing anything and reading especially history.
What inspired you to become an author?
Thinking about it now I believe that painting for me has been a lifetime path of discovery and the vehicle that led me to a new need of expression: writing! Looking back it feels as though I had no choice, the moment had come and I just had to try, I think Picasso expressed this moment when he said; "Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things."
What inspired C-Enigma?
Reading the biography of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the German secret service during WWII was the fundamental inspiration for The C ENIGMA. His amazing personal fight against the dark evil that Hitler’s Nazism represented compelled me to try to understand this man as best as possible. My research identified other actual heroes who gave their lives for freedom and compelled me to tell their story but furthermore to explore the premise that each and every one of us has the personal responsibility to fight for freedom, justice, and the forces of good. An individual’s actions can have a drastic impact on the outcome of any battle, war, or campaign.
This personal responsibility always existed throughout history and it seems like the world once again is trying to tear itself apart... Economic crisis, wars, uncontrolled poverty and hunger, fanatical self-destruction and most importantly once again enormous public opinion control systems. Our only weapon in defending ourselves, our families and society is to have as must knowledge us possible in order to decide what we should accept and what we should challenge, and our only weapon is KNOWLEDGE of history!
I do not dare to pretend that I know who and what is pulling the strings of our collective destiny but I do know that knowing our world history is important in molding our future. This was the primary motivation that drove me in writing a historical fiction. My objective was simple, give a historical example, make people ask why and stimulate them into investigating as single individuals the truths and the lies!
Our most powerful weapon is our vote but this weapon necessitates having as must knowledge as possible in why we choose to put our future in the hands of someone we believe represents and controls our dreams and future. This is our continuous obligation and the heroes described in The C ENIGMA are a testament of the power that a single individual actions can have against the darkness of our world.
Do you have any advice for other inspiring authors?
The C Enigma voyage took Six years to complete and with every step I entered deeper into a new world of emotions. I wrote in the strangest places motivated and inspired by the surrounding energy, sometimes a paragraph other times a chapter. My sails would sometimes fill with strong gusts of inspiration and in other moments would fall motionless with no wind, simmering under the sun with despair that the next page would never come. My advice is simple “set a destination and stay the course” with every step comes a thought, an expression a connection to what is inside you. In the end I truly believe that every story pre-exists in its entirety inside each author, the decision to begin the journey simply transforms it into a book.
It was a pleasure interviewing you Spiros, thank you so much!
The book sounded so interesting I read it myself and if you are looking for a good read in historical fiction, this book is for you. My favorite part of the book was about Wilhelm Canaris who was a German admiral who attempted to stop Adolf Hitler and the Nazi's, because he believed what they were doing was wrong. He showed courage in the face of evil. He was executed on April 9th, 1945 at the Flossenburg Concentration camp for treason, by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. This book will reach into the deepest part of your heart, with a history of truth and a gut wrenching reality, that innocent people lost their lives, were tortured all because of the prejudices of a mad man and even today in our times, these prejudices still exist.