Welcome to my November Q and A. Today’s guest is Effrosyni Moschoudi – a.k.a. Frossie, Frostie, Fros, (as she is known to fellow bloggers) Fros has a vast array of books available in the romance genre. She also has a comprehensive newsletter where she shares many books on sale and free, besides her own, as well as offers a few FREE downloads for some of her own books. Frossie has her newest release out now – The Boy on the Bridge, currently available on pre-order for just .99 cents!
Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes books for the romantic at heart. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband, two
cats, and a ridiculous amount of books and DVDs.
Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers' Favorite. The Ebb, her romance set in Corfu that’s inspired from her summers there in the 1980s, is an ABNA Q-Finalist.
A young man determined to protect his girl… A teenage boy offering prophecies… and a series of unexplained events.
Lefteris and his darling girl, Evgenia, live a quiet and happy life together in a mountain village in Zagori, Greece. One day, as Lefteris crosses an old stone bridge, he meets a teenage boy who warns him that Evgenia is in danger and gives him instructions to follow.
Lefteris doubts him, but does as he is told, just in case. The warning turns into reality and the girl is saved, so the next time the boy warns of danger, Lefteris is more willing to listen…
What follows is a series of astounding events as the boy’s prophecies of mortal danger continue, and Lefteris does his best to protect his girl. Now, he considers reverting to his old ways of solving all differences with his fists. Will he allow himself to resort to violence? How does the mysterious boy on the bridge fit in all this? And why does he refuse to meet Evgenia?
Note: This is an extended version of the story of the same name published in “Facets of Love.” It has more scenes and a new ending! Escape to a Greek mountain village today and lift your spirits with this fabulous short read!
Now that we’ve learned a bit about Frossie, let’s get to know a bit about her writing and her books!
Tell us a little about your latest book, The Boy on the Bridge. Where did the inspiration for it stem from?
The story of this book came to me out of the blue as I swam in the sea in my little town near Athens. The image of a teenage boy smoking a pipe as he stood on a stone bridge simply popped up in my head. By the time I’d come out of the water I already ‘knew’ he was a supernatural entity, and that he was going to warn the hero in the story that his girlfiend was in danger – more than once.
The Boy on the Bridge is a supernatural romance novella that mixes sweet romance with suspense and a great measure of mystery. A shorter version of the story was originally included in my short story collection, “Facets of Love,” which I make exclusively available as an ebook to my new email subscribers. Earlier this year, I decided to revisit the story, as I felt there was room for improvement and a little more to be said. Indeed, I feel the changes and the new scenes have done justice to my characters and I am very pleased with the result. The book (around 75 pages) launches on kindle on December 14. It’s available on preorder at 99 cents, but also as a FREE book for any readers who may want to try my newsletter.
The preorder is here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MQVQG8G
The FREE book is here: https://storyoriginapp.com/giveaways/1f446e64-21d9-11eb-b774-17168d895c21
D.G. – What a creative you are Frossie, I’d imagine beautiful nature and scenery would be a great motivator for inspiration. I got my copy!
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite of your books and if so, why?
Including this new novella, I have written eight books, and I couldn’t pick a favorite, just as a parent couldn’t pick a favorite child (as much of a cliché as this may sound.) However, I can say that “The Ebb” (book 1 in The Lady of the Pier trilogy) is the one closest to my heart as it is highly autobiographical, mixing with the fiction real life events and situations from my summers on the island of Corfu in the 1980s.
As a young girl, I used to spend three-month vacations there every summer, staying with my beloved grandparents. I regard this time as the most precious of my life. In The Ebb, I have recorded the same feelings of bliss and the same memories of family love that I often revisit in tough times in my life to draw strength from.
D.G. – That is beautiful inspiration. I have that book too. I’m so behind, but I look forward to reading it.
Do your books have messages in them? If so, what are the messages you feel are well received by your readers?
Indeed, I like to include messages in my books. For example, in “The Amulet,” a paranormal romantic comedy with guardian angels, one of the themes is giving others the benefit of the doubt, especially people who seem cruel or distant. I won’t say more as not to give any spoilers, but basically, my message is that things are not always what they seem so we should never judge others.
In my latest novel, “Running Haunted,” a paranormal romantic comedy with a ghost, my heroine is a marathon runner. As I am a health nut, I couldn’t help imparting healthy-eating advice to my audience through her, LOL!
As for which messages get well received by my readers, I believe they all are – especially any that are about family love, compassion and understanding.
D.G. – I love that there are messages to take from your books. Who better than your characters to reveal them!
Do you believe in ‘writer’s block’? If so, how do you deal with it?
I used to believe in it, but after seven years as an indie author, I now see it for what it really is. To me, writer’s block is a form of procrastination. And procrastination hides fear and doubt. To overcome these you need self-discipline and confidence. To acquire the first is a little harder, but the second is easy as confidence comes with repeated successes, i.e. experience.
I’ve worked hard to acquire both self-discipline and confidence as an indie author. But once I got to that point, writing became an easy process – something I can now turn on and off as if using a switch. The last prerequisite is to have a basic scene-to-scene outline of the book handy. If I know the content I have to create for the day, the writing just flows.
D.G. – Thanks for that wise advice.
How do you promote your work? Do you find marketing and social media overwhelming?
Thankfully, I’ve always had a healthy attitude towards social media. I don’t use them more than I need to (i.e. I don’t waste time on them) and I am not afraid to open up and post photographs of myself either. To be frank, I don’t get the authors who don’t post a single photograph of themselves anywhere, not even on their sites or Amazon page. A healthy balance is necessary, because once a reader likes one of your books, they will want to read another, and then another after that. And in the process, they’ll look you up, trying to learn more about you as a
person. Trying to feel ‘connected’ to you. This is why it is necessary to humanize yourself as an author, up to the point where you feel comfortable to, of course. And to do it constantly, because your readers will want to follow you, and with time they’ll become all the more thirsty to hear from you. To me, humanizing myself is of paramount importance and I do it constantly, mainly on Facebook and in my newsletter. In the latter, I share a lot of fun stuff from my personal life – including my vacations and days out, pictures from Greek restaurant meals, and
the antics of my naughty cats 🙂
Yes, social media and marketing in general can be overwhelming, but only if you don’t plan ahead and if you spend a lot of time on social media as a user. When I say ‘user’, I mean as any reader would. I never spend time scrolling down my Facebook timeline, for example, during my work week. I spend half an hour a week tops to do that, and only on my phone during the weekend, i.e. at a time when I am not working. When I am using my computer, I am on ‘author mode’ and this strictly means ‘no browsing.’ I get on and off Facebook many times a day, but only as an ‘author’ – i.e. a ‘person at work’, which means I quickly check my messages, my notifications, I post, engage with people who comment on my posts, and get back out. This helps me keep control of my time on social media because I identify it as a huge time-waster. This is the only way I know to avoid overwhelm – by being strict with the time I give it. And time is the most precious commodity in today’s chaotic world.
In answer to your question about how I promote my work: other than using dozens of Facebook groups and pages, I also use my newsletter and my two blogs for my promotion needs. I used to pay for ads, but I no longer do these days, as I’ve found the FREE platform Story Origin works a lot better for me now than any paid service ever has in the past.
Through Story Origin, I do dozens of newsletter swaps every month, and also participate in group promotions. I also put up my new releases on there while on preorder as reader magnets so I can garner new email subscribers (I get hundreds easily and they are hungry readers!) Other authors use the app to get reviewers too, but I haven’t tried that option yet.
Story Origin is FREE while on beta, and I strongly advise your readers to give it a try. Beta users will get better rates once the platform becomes paid. I have written a guest post with user instructions and hot tips on this app. Your readers can read it on the blog of author Nicholas Rossis: https://bit.ly/2ZpWKEo
D.G. – Thank you for sharing this great information. I agree with you, social media can be a huge timesuck, and a great place to spend procrastination. Thank you for the marketing tips and for telling us about Story Origin. I for one, will check it out!
EXCERPT FROM “THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE”
“I am Alexandros,” he said, offering his hand.
I shook it firmly, with feeling, again despite myself. “Lefteris. Pleased to meet you.” I pointed with my head towards the hill and added, “So, where is your house in Kipoi? I live three houses down from the church. You? Do you have family in the village? I bet I know them.” Somehow, I managed to end the torrent of words coming out of my mouth by placing a hand over it and looking away.
What’s wrong with me? Other than reserved, I am also not much of a talker. But I felt this peculiar urge to know everything about this boy. So intrigued was I that, for a moment, I had even forgotten how tired, ravenous, and thirsty I felt.
“Nuh… I don’t stay up there.” Alexandros turned away, focusing his eyes towards the valley where the river of Voidomatis snaked its way into the distance, its crystal water glinting in the sunlight like studded diamonds. A mesmerizing sight it was, and in the short silence that ensued, both Alexandros and I seemed content to marvel at the beautiful view without talking.
I tilted my head and finally said, “So? Where are you staying?” I was intrigued now as to what he was doing there in the middle of nowhere on his own. Other than Kipoi, which was just a couple minutes away on foot, the closest village was five miles away.
He faced me, squinting his eyes for a few moments before speaking, lips twitching. “I… I’m not staying anywhere in particular. Just roaming for now. I like the countryside.” He looked away again, and this time I realized he was evading my questions. I thought he probably did stay in the village, and had recently been reunited with family members, whoever they were, and he didn’t want to tell me. Perhaps he was a private person. Either way, I didn’t believe he was camping in the wilderness.
I looked him up and down surreptitiously. He was dressed in cotton trousers, a shirt, and a light jacket. His clothes looked as if he’d put them on fresh this morning. They weren’t shabby, soiled or crumpled, the way you’d expect from a person sleeping in the rough. Even his brown boots were made of fine leather and were in mint condition. The only thing about him that seemed out of sorts was the pipe. I mean, who smokes a pipe these days, and a teenager at that?
Still, Alexandros seemed to enjoy it as he kept inhaling the fragrant tobacco, milky, delicate smoke rising slowly into the air with every exhalation, dispersing ever so softly in the light breeze.
“How old are you?” I asked, my curiosity rising about his smoking.
“Thirteen. Why do you ask?” he replied with a glint in his eye. I knew then he could tell why I had asked.
I opened my mouth to say I was just curious, but he was faster to add, “No one has ever managed to stop me from smoking, so don’t you try!” He shook a finger and gave a hearty laugh.
I put up my hands and chuckled. “Fine! I won’t say anything.” I eyed him with growing mystification and couldn’t help but admire his spirit, despite his nasty habit.
“How old are you?” he asked me.
He gave a cheeky smile. “Oh. An old man then.”
I laughed at that, then asked, “Did you say you have family in the village?” It bothered me how mysterious he was.
Alexandros looked at me squarely but offered no response, the look in his eyes enigmatic, and I began to wonder why I was wasting my time talking to him, after all.
Slowly, my feelings of tiredness, hunger and thirst began to niggle on my mind, making my feet restless. I decided that it was time to resume walking home and made a move to go.
That’s when it happened. It was the moment that pinned my feet to the ground anew. For that was when Alexandros took two steps closer, looked at me deeply in the eyes and said, “Don’t ask me anything else, Lefteris. Just let me talk. I am here to warn you about Evgenia.”
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