Thursday, March 20, 2008

Aleka Nakis

Today we welcome Aleka Nakis. Aleka lives in Florida but spends her summers in Greece. She is multi-published with Resplendence Publishing. “Spending my days with my family, I travel at the drop of a dime and have raised two children who actually like airplane food. I feel very lucky to combine my life passions of story telling, travel and exotic cultures, I write romance novels for a living.”

Mona, let me thank you for inviting me to chat with you. I’m so excited about being in the company of authors like yourself, and it is an honor to have time together on your blog. Thanks.

When did you first decide you wanted to be an author? I don’t think any of us can decide to be an author. It is more like a virus that attacks our system, and then we are doomed. I’ve always written and told stories in one way or the other. A little over two years ago, a very dear friend was undergoing surgery and medical treatment for breast cancer. It was for her enjoyment, and to take her mind off the daily stress she was facing, that I started and finished The Greek Rule. I asked my husband for two years to try and ‘get published’. I tried. And it happened.

How do you get your ideas?
Life. Look around us. There are so many stories to be told. We could watch any person for a few minute and imagine a fantastic story behind him or her. I talk and chat with friends while brainstorming, I love to read and devour the paper, and mostly I love to travel and experience new cultures.

Does your travel influence your writing?
Very much. It is a passion completely intertwined in my writing. Writing about far away locals allows me to visit them on a daily basis. Conversely, I can use the excuse that I need to travel to these locals in order to depict them properly in my novels.

Do you have any special rituals to help you get in the mood to write?
Is coffee a ritual? Well, I grab a drink of some sort and usually play the proper music for the book and scene. I write anywhere and at any time, so these aren’t set in stone.

Do you have any bad writing habits?
I guess not sleeping on a regular schedule is a bad habit related to writing. When the muse whispers, I write. It just happens way too often at three in the morning.

What do you do to relax?
I enjoy my family and friends. Hanging out at a café is one of my favorite past-times. I love the beach and make a point of getting there as often as possible. Plus, I travel.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Once a have an idea, I type out a few pages or chapters. Then, when the fever breaks, I outline and plot. However, this is used as a guide and is likely to change.

What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
I think a great story allows the reader to get lost in it. It needs to consume you so that you can’t put it down and are forced to put pizza on the table for dinner.

Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven?
Character. I fall in love with them and they determine what the plot is. I believe that is the only way to make a story real. Characters can be anything you want them to be, but their actions must be true to their personalities and personal realities.

What are the essential qualities of a great hero?
I enjoy alpha males. He must be capable of taking care of any situation in a very effective manner. It’s nice to know there is someone the heroine can lean on. An added benefit is if he does it selflessly.

Has being published changed you at all?
The biggest change is that I now have deadlines. I can’t just write when I feel like it, and then get up and go. I need to meet my responsibilities to the publisher.

Can you give us a short blurb about each of your books?
Mona, short? You should know better than to associate that with me. J It is hard for me to keep this short, so I’ll post a review for each if you’d like to use them.

Rogues and Romance Review on The Greek Rule
The Greek Rule was the first book I had read by fantastic author Aleka Nakis, and I have since devoured Eyes of the Dead, and from here on out, will read ANYTHING with her name attached to it! Her characters are always real with sizzling connections- but the absolute best thing about her books is that she paints the setting in the readers mind to such perfection, you really feel like you've gone on a vacation.

Athena has worked hard building a name for herself under her boss’ corporation and she is ready to strike out on her own. It’s been her dream to build her own resort, and she has a fabulous location all picked out. The only problem is she has a little competition in her bid for the property. Okay, she has BIG competition, Alexandros Strintzaris, a well-known bachelor and business tycoon. He’s successful, he’s deliciously handsome, and he’s Athena’s one dating no-no: he’s Greek. But between an unexpected meeting at a charity ball and a wedding that has the two keeping close company; Athena is realizing she’s in danger of losing a lot more than her resort property…

The Greek Rule is a beautiful story that will sweep you away with superb imagery of exotic locales, fantastic characters, and a love story that will warm you all the way to your toes. Athena is a beautiful, intelligent businesswoman, and Alexandros is the perfect man to break down Athena’s stereotypes of the Greek playboy. The attraction between Alexandros and Athena is nothing short of electric, and you will love the interaction between the two. In The Greek Rule, Aleka Nakis infuses a rich cultural influence with a lush setting that’ll have you packing your bags for Santorini!

Coffee Time Romance Review on The Summer Deal, the second of my Greek Series at Resplendence Publishing:
Samantha Mallone has worked hard to get through law school and is now enjoying her new job as assistant to Demosthenis Lakis. She has been unlucky in love, but is focusing on herself for now. If only she could stop the fantasies involving her handsome new boss from invading her mind. Demo Lakis, international businessman, hires Samantha on the spot. Fortunately she is as smart and hard-working as she is sexy. With his money and good looks, he could have any woman he wants; he just has not found the right one yet.

Demo is spending the summer with his family in Greece. He knows that Sammy’s ex-boyfriend has been threatening her, so he asks her to come to Greece to work with him for the summer. Greece is everything she dreamed of and spending time with Demo is paradise on earth. It does not take much time for the two to realize how attracted they are to one another, so they make a deal for the summer – to enjoy being together with no strings attached. But when danger arises and secrets are revealed, will Demo and Samantha go their separate ways or make a deal for life?

The Summer Deal is a smooth and sexy read. Demo and Sammy are wonderful characters whom the reader will enjoy becoming more acquainted with. In fact, the entire Lakis family is endearing. Peppered throughout with Greek phrases and words of endearment, the story is made even more romantic. Even the food, houses and people of Greece are delightfully detailed. From New York to Athens to the beautiful island of Crete, Aleka Nakis takes the reader on a blissful journey of the senses.

Where can we buy your books?
These titles are available from In e-book format and print. Currently, they can also be found on Amazon and its affiliates, as well as mobipocket affiliates.

Aleka, thank you for being with us today. Your books look like the stories I absolutely love. I am going to buy my copies right away.


Beth Trissel said...

Very interesting interview and inspiring. I find I must be consumed by my own work before I can expect anyone else to be, and can see that you are. I envy your travels!

Aleka Nakis said...

Ooops, I thought I just posted a reply, but I guess not.


Beth, I agree 100%. If you're not taken by the story, any other reader won't be either. I think the best we can do is to write what we're passionate about.

I guess I'm passionate about travel and money. LOL All my heroes end up being loaded. Even my heroines aren't bad off. lol

As for travels...things could get difficult at times. But let me assure you, it is much worse when I get 'cranky' about not doing it. I get creative and work it in any way possible. Even a trip to Epcot for a stroll around the world is better than staying at home, :-)

So glad you enjoyed today's blog and found it inspiring. I'm thrilled to be here with Mona and to have the chance to chat it up a bit.

James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

That was a superb interview, Aleka. It's great to learn more about you. :D

Catherine Chernow said...

Hi Aleka! I loved your interview. What you said about 'when the muse calls' is so true. You just have to go with the creative flow - no matter what time of day. LOL.

I'm looking forward to seeing you at RT this year.

: )

Catherine Chernow

Kelly Kirch said...

Aleka is amazing, especially on It also sounds like Aleka and Mona have a lot in common, using travel in the themes of their plots. While I've travelled, lived, all over the world, I tend to stick closer to home... er, if Regency England can be called home. LOL.

Aleka Nakis said...

Thanks for dropping by.
I think England -past or present- could float my boat.
I'm visiting there in July. Can't wait.

Sandra Cox said...

Great interview Mona and Aleka!

Mona Risk said...

Thanks to all of you for stopping. When Aleka talks about Greece or writes about the beautiful islands, my feet itched to go there. I visited Greece three times but I haven't see Santorini. I'm dying to go there. Aleka, I'll buy your books for sure at the RT, and then I'll have to find myself a trip!!!

I will leave this blog on tomorrow to have more people visiting. We will tell more friends to stop by.

Katie Reus said...

Great interview and reviews Aleka! I can't wait to read The Summer Deal!! :)

Shelley Munro said...

Great interview, Aleka. I enjoy alpha heroes, so your books sound like an excellent fit for me. :)

Dara Edmondson said...

Nice interview and reviews. Good for you! I love books that transport me to exotic places.