Monday, 24 October 2016

Coffee chat with Tia Mitsis, author of a Greek Odyssey - Aussie indie author spotlight

I'm talking to Aussie Indie authors all this month and next, inviting them into my virtual café for a chat. Today I'm chatting with Tia Mitsis, who writes non-fiction books. She holds a Masters in Law and her favourite books to read are non-fiction books about science and the universe
I have to admit that I read Michio Kaku's "Physics of the Impossible" and I'm a little partial to science non-fiction books myself.

As an author with Greek parentage, Tia explores her roots and shares the side of Greece that tourists may never see.
Please join me in welcoming Tia to my virtual café.
 
DL: Firstly, since this a virtual coffee chat, how do you have your coffee? Are you a morning or afternoon person?

Tia: Coffee with a little bit of milk, no sugar or a very small amount – the tip of the tea spoon.

I’m a morning person. I remember a colleague telling me I was annoyingly cheery at 6am one day when we were away for work and had to be up and ready for a long drive.

DL: History and culture are so important. How does a book such as 'A Greek Odyssey' help towards preserving culture? And does it clash with humanity's incessant need to grow?

Tia: ‘A Greek Odyssey’ is aimed to increase awareness of the areas of Greece that many tourists are yet to discover. As an author with Greek heritage, I wanted to highlight the Greece I know. When people talk about Greece, they generally refer to Athens or the islands. I wanted to introduce areas which are off the beaten track so to speak. There is so much to discover in Greece, many towns and villages that I am yet to discover too.

It preserves the culture through focusing on Greece as not just a destination but sharing experiences from the perspective of a writer with Greek heritage. I want to help raise awareness that it’s not all economic turmoil. Greece and her beauty are still there, just waiting to be discovered. I really hope that ‘A Greek Odyssey’ can help preserve the culture through instilling pride in Greeks about Greece, encouraging tourism and creating more awareness and knowledge among travellers about places to visit and experience.

I don’t believe there’s a clash because through preserving culture, we’re creating a growth in awareness, preserving knowledge of language for those who are bilingual (or more!) and instilling identity. We are all humans, and we all have cultures that are unique and preserving that is a way of preserving our history also. It’s not all about the future, history is something that we need to be aware of, appreciate and preserve.

DL: As a writer of fiction, I rely on other's real life experiences. Have you marketed "A Greek Odyssey" to romance fiction writers who haven't had the opportunity to travel to Greece?

Tia: I haven’t actually and you make a very good point. I might need to look into that! I would like to try my hand at fiction next and have written some fiction just for me but not for publication. It does require a lot of research to ensure the fictional account is relatable and accurate when set outside your local area.

Romance authors - if you are placing your novel in Greece, check out this book.

DL: And I love the concept of your first book "When Study Goes Wrong". So often we are blinded by the pursuit that we aren't prepared for failure. How important is it for human development to fail?
 
Tia: No, we aren’t prepared. We go into something expecting everything to fall into place exactly as we want it to. Whether that’s in study, work, business etc. I wasn’t prepared, I hadn’t considered the possibility that it would be so hard to get a job.

I’m not going to lie to you, I still struggle sometimes with frustration at how things turned out. Writing ‘When Study Goes Wrong’ was a catharsis, it needed to be out there and my hope for it is that graduates who read it realise that they are not alone. It is so often swept under the rug and many people probably wonder why I took the step of being so honest about my experience. I could have pretended it was all fabulous…but I didn’t. I didn’t because it is important to speak out about this issue. We all know graduates who are highly qualified and haven’t been able to find work in their field. Yet what do we do about it?

I felt so alone going through the experience that I don’t want others to go through the same. ‘When Study Goes Wrong’ is there for support, encouragement and to help graduates realise that it is not their fault. Their experience doesn’t define them. Failure at obtaining a job in my field of study when I tried so hard and went through to postgraduate studies defined me for far too long. It affected my life for far too long, it takes a toll both physically and emotionally. It’s easy to look at the situation from the outside but when you go through it, when you live the consequences of it every day, it’s draining.

Had I not gone through it, it’s likely that ‘When Study Goes Wrong’ wouldn’t exist. It’s likely I wouldn’t have had to evaluate my life and identity to this extent, it’s likely I would not have experienced as much stress and depression as I have. For human development and my own development, I learned that I had to tell myself it was okay to fail, that is was okay for things not to work out as intended and that what I studied and the work I did, did not define me. They are not my identity. Many people are defined by their jobs, I’d like to think I no longer am defined by this. I do not want to identify as a lawyer who couldn’t find work in the field. I’m a person, a person who has struggled, who has had to deal with a reality I didn’t envisage and as part of the healing process, I turned to writing.

Writing has been with me from a young age, I used to say I wanted to be an author ‘when I grew up’. The author journey isn’t an easy one but with every struggle there’s growth, acceptance and drive. If everything is stacked on a silver platter, there’s no struggle, and in my opinion, there’s minimal need for development. Without struggle there is more positivity of course, but there’s no need to develop yourself, to search your inner most thoughts or to analyse your dreams and accept that you need to make a change within yourself to accept and overcome struggles.

DL:  And last question, what is your favourite biscuit and/or cake at the moment?

Tia: Gingernuts are my guilty pleasure!

I love a cake my mum has been making since childhood for every birthday. It’s a sponge cake and the biscuits are soaked in coffee. It would be similar to tiramisu. I look forward to birthdays so I can have a piece of that cake, it’s delicious!


THE BOOK
 
Take a journey of discovery with Tia Mitsis, and be introduced to the roads less travelled in Greece; places that are off the beaten track normally frequented by tourists. Areas that are hidden gems, traditional and authentic parts of Greece that are largely untouched by tourism. The Greece which Tia introduces readers to is filled with beauty, history, and scenery that needs to be seen to be believed.
While tourists normally flock to the famous Greek islands, Tia explores the mainland of Greece. A journey which leads her to a variety of hidden wonders not often explored. Tia climbs to the top of the monument of Zalongo, sees the famous Edessa waterfalls, finds herself on the edge of Greece, and explores places with vivid stories and mythology.
As an author with Greek parentage, Tia explores her roots and captures the natural beauty of an ancient country. A country that is filled with natural landscapes, traditions, and monuments that have weathered time, wars, and the elements to still enchant visitors today.
“When I think of Greece, I think of warmth, comfort, rich history and culture, and breathtaking scenery.”
 
 
 
THE AUTHOR
Tia Mitsis
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks for stopping by, Tia. Good luck with the writing.
 
D L Richardson
 

6 comments:

  1. Thank you Debbie, I enjoyed the chat!

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure. I truly hope your books are successful.
      Thanks for sharing.
      Debbie

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  2. Hi Tia -I enjoyed reading about your books - both sound fascinating. I had a few days in Greece - basically the tourist stops - Olympia, Athens, Delphi - loved it, especially as I studied classics & also New Testament studies in BA/BTh. Would love to explore more one day.

    Thanks Debbie for organising the coffee chats :)

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    Replies
    1. We're getting to meet some incredible Aussie talent, so it's my pleasure to organise the coffee chats.
      Good luck with writing the follow up to your book.
      Debbie

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    2. Thanks Jeanette, glad you enjoyed the interview. The classics would be very interesting to study. There is much of Greece to explore and I hope you get to see more of her soon!

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