Friday, February 16, 2018

Interview with authors Elsa Evripidou & Nick Fletcher

Monsoon Tide

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?

The original story was in the form of a screenplay by Nick Fletcher.  These are his words…

As a young man, I went to live in an old Indian beachside house. The house had belonged for generations to the family of a man back in the UK who had now made London his home.  I volunteered to go with his daughter to close up the house for its imminent demolition and put down the family dog who still lived there.  The house had a small dark room, where I found family albums - evidence of when the house was alive with extended family, socialites and parties. However, I also found articles on the owner pertaining to a darker past and perhaps a reason for him to leave the country forever.  However, there were other things to think about - notably the dog.  I had the feeling that she had long resigned herself to the fate that now awaited her.  On her last day we walked her by the sea, where she bit the waves relentlessly as they broke upon the shore.  A futile and desperate gesture in the face of something immeasurably powerful.  In a fanciful moment I saw the sea as something symbolic, something that represented the force of life and death.

Twenty years later, my own father’s passing had a profound effect on me.  I began writing after a long lay off.  It was a cathartic experience and I allowed a story to evolve as I wrote.  It began to take form almost on its own with those distant memories of India propelling the story.  Soon a universal theme became apparent in the narrative, that the spirit of loved ones can indeed live on in our hearts.… and inform and inspire us.  We just have to let them.  Monsoon Tide was born.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?

Monsoon Tide is the story of Anni, a young Anglo-Indian aid worker who returns to her beautiful, tropical birthplace in India in the wake of the Asian tsunami.  There she encounters her reclusive and seemingly haunted stepfather in his isolated beachside house.  She soon discovers that her mother's death sixteen years before was not the accidental drowning she had been led to believe.  Armed with her mothers diary which she finds hidden in the depths of the house and with the aid of the local Chief of Police, Anni embarks on a mission to discover the truth whatever the cost. It is a haunting story of loss, love and secrets told in a unique way.
The target readership for Monsoon Tide is quite wide-ranging as it encompasses a number of popular genres; mystery, suspense and romance.  Basically, if you like books and films and are willing to try a new format which combines the two types of media, then Monsoon Tide may well be for you.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?

The theme of the book was certainly reinforced on a film-location expedition by watching ashes being cast into the Indian ocean and contemplating the eternal cycle of life and death, with loved ones living on in the hearts of those who are left behind.  We hope these sentiments live long in the minds of the readers after they’ve read the book.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?

There is already a host of information available to writers to help them hone their writing skills but an important factor for any aspiring author who wants commercial success is to consider how his or her book is going to stand out from the rest.
To use business terminology; what is your unique selling point? Is there something in the content of the book, its unique perspective, its topicality, its author or any other factor that would attract media attention?   Although this might sound like its not a very artistic basis to start writing a book, if you consider a books marketability beforehand, you will reap the rewards further down the line.   In the case of Monsoon Tide we have received a lot of media interest because of the unique concept of the cBook or Cinematic Book in telling a story through both written chapters and film clips.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?

A lot is being made in the press currently about the relative demise of ebooks and the resurgence of their conventionally printed counterparts.  People seem to be reconnecting with the printed book form and a major factor in our opinion is that e-books, for the most part, are just replicating conventional books in an electronic format.  Why are ebooks content to plod alongside conventional books when they can do so much more?  Although there have been a number of enhanced e-books which have featured audio tracks, film clips, ambient background noise and interactive games, these are not redefining the format but merely icing the cake. 

Our new concept – the Cinematic book or cBook – actually cuts up the cake and puts in whole layers of filling.  We have a chapter of prose followed by a film clip followed by another a chapter and so on each taking the story forward.  We are combining the media, but in a sequential manner.  The result is that the reader can get inside the characters heads and in so doing, deepen their emotional investment in the story.  Conversely, readers often complain about not being able to ‘get into the world’ of the book and find it difficult to visualise the characters and location (sometimes this is not the fault of the book but a common difficulty for the reader to disengage from the real world and enter the fantastical new world of the book).  A cBook transports you right to that world after a first short chapter.

The electronic book market must continue to innovate to prosper - it must do things that a conventional book can not do. 

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?

Although the general story and screenplay were written by Nick Fletcher, Elsa Evripidou, who was the Script Editor for the film, wrote the chapters for the cBook Monsoon Tide.
Elsa:  The biggest challenge was the fact that no one has ever really tried to do what we were attempting before, so we had no blue print to work from.  Monsoon Tide already exists as a feature film and 15 clips from the film were selected as the cinematic clips for the cBook.  My job as the writer of the chapters was threefold:
1. To write in prose format the action between the selected video clips and to ensure that these chapters combined in a logical way with the film clips.
 2. To convey the charactersthoughts and motivations
 3. To imagine new events that happened before or within the same timeframe as the events portrayed within the screenplay.
One of the greatest challenges was to use the original story framework but at the same time come up with  new events and explore the characters in greater depth in a way that complemented and enhanced the original story. It was important to keep a consistency of style and also to ensure that the reader could move seamlessly from written chapter to film clip.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?

Because Monsoon Tide is the first ever cinematic book (cBook) - a brand new story-telling platform.  By taking the best of the written word and the best of film and using them to propel a story, each element dependent upon the other, we are redefining what electronic books are capable of and delivering a fully rounded reading/viewing experience in under two hours.  We hope that other people will make their own cBooks in the future so wouldn’t it be cool if you could say that you were one of the first to sample this brand new concept?

Author; Elsa Evripidou
Elsa was born in London, England the daughter of a Finnish mother and a Greek Cypriot father and went on to study foreign languages at university.
She has worked in a variety of fields including human resources, teaching and tourism but mainly in the film industry in the last decade.
She has written screenplays, worked as a script editor and is also a producer for Laid Back Films. She has always had a passion for writing and wrote the narrative of Monsoon Tide. She is currently studying for a Masters degree in creative writing.

Co-author; Nick Fletcher
Nick has worked as an award winning photographer, travelling the world and putting on exhibitions of his photo journalistic work. In the 1990's, he got involved in the toy and game industry, inventing and designing products for Manik Games and Seven Towns Ltd (they brought the Rubik Cube to the world).  In the last twenty years, Nick has worked as a producer, writer and director in the film industry, creatively involved in projects such as 'Tales of the Fourth Dimension' with Richard O'Brien and 'Monsoon Tide' the film.  Nick wrote the original screenplay and invented the concept of the cBook whilst in pre-production of Monsoon Tide.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource."

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