Current Reading Mood: Urban Fantasy
Quote of the day: “I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.
I’d have been a lot more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first." Cassandra Palmer ― Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Eleni Konstantine - 2 Chances to Win!

I love stories. Always have. 

As a youngster, my mum bought me these beautifully illustrated fairy tale books - Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty - and they transported me to mystical lands. Being from a Greek background, I was surrounded with Greek Myths. Add to that  a fascination with all story forms - including TV, cartoons, movies  -and the beginnings of a writer's imagination emerged.

There is something extraordinary about escaping this known world and entering another one. Magic, dragons, wizards, fairies, witches, unicorns, vampires and other creatures have always fascinated me. What wasn't there to like - anything could happen. And call me a sucker but I love when the heroine gets her prince and vice versa (though they have to pass hardship to get that - can't make it too easy for them! *grin*)

In primary (grade) school, I made up stories as part of class projects, but it wasn't until I finished my undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts)  that I realised I wanted to be a writer.  During a correspondence writing course, I wrote my first novel - a sweet romance. This surprised me by making it to the second round of the Emma Darcy Competition run by Romance Writers of Australia.

But influences such as Jennifer Roberson, Marion Zimmer-Bradley, and David & Leigh Eddings fueled my passion for fantasy, so I started writing another manuscript, this time a quest fantasy.

I've had a few short stories published under another name a number of years ago, and have recently started writing short stories again. 

I am heavily involved with the Romance Writers of Australia, and am webmistress forSARA (South Australian Romance Authors),  and blogmistress for the Dark Side DownUnder.

I live in South Australia surrounded by a supportive wonderful network of family and friends, and one hell of a feisty American Staffy. 


Welcome Eleni! Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for having me here Natasha.

It's now 2011, have you made any New Year's resolutions?

I’m hoping 2011 will be a big writing year. I prefer to use goals than resolutions as
goals seem to me to be more easier to break down into little tasks than resolutions.

Here are my goals:

Edit – DreamTamer, Gateway to Hell, Clown story, sanctuary sci-fi story (for
an Australian anthology)
Write – Shadow novella, Lady & the Dragon, short story for MZB’s Sword &
Sorcery anthology
Read resources on writing I have on my shelf.
Overhaul website
Enter Little Gems Short Story
Enter Little Gems cover contest
Submit once stories are polished :) Hoping to submit one novel, two novellas
and 6 short stories.
Overhaul my CFS blog

So far, I’ve entered the Little Gems short story and cover contests, and written the
first draft of the Shadow novella. So I’m on track – thank goodness!!!

Because I have CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) I have to balance and do things
day to day, week to week. It can be frustrating but I’m lucky I can do this thing I love
called writing.

I read that your a illustrated fairy tale lover. (As am I!) Which one was your favorite?

You know it has been awhile since I read an illustrated fairy tale. I grew up reading
them and I can still remember the large books of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. I
probably do have them somewhere packed away in a forgotten box somewhere. I
actually came across a Bed Time stories omnibus awhile back and reminisced about
the hours spent reading and gazing at the gorgeous illustrations in this book.

And of course the Little Golden Books were a hit at our house.

I do read picture books with my godson who is six. But he’s not interested in the fairy
tales so much, but Dr Seuss is a favourite as is Disney books.

While not a fairy tale illustrator, last year I was introduced to the work of writer and
artist, Shaun Tan (

If you and your readers have any recommendations, please let me know.

I've been reading your short stories for the past week online. Which one would you
say your most proud of?

oooh that’s a really good question. I started writing short stories so I could submit
when I was studying a comprehensive writing course back in the late 1990s and
submitting was a requirement. We started with the short form and I really enjoyed It.

I wrote a number of them over that time. One of my favourites (Enchanted) has yet to
be published but it came second in the Katherine Sussanah Prichard 1999 Science
Fiction/Fantasy Award – which was a great boost to the ego.

So last year, I started to concentrate on short stories again, and had my first ever
science fiction flash story, The Bucket, published online at Anitpodean SF (http:// This story is now archived by the National Library of Australia - http://

So I must say I’m proud of that one.

In Apprentice Bound, where did you get your inspiration for Ddrill's character?

Oh I have to go back into the dim, dark recesses of my mind! J I think I had been
reading Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, and the idea of a wizard looking

for apprentices popped to mind. And I liked a wizard who could have a different
appearance to different people. My friends at my then workplace (who read all my
stories at the time) still ask when I will tell Ddrill’s story in full.

Which genre are you more comfortable with when writing?

I love writing fantasy and paranormal. There’s something about your own world, or
world within this world that I love. Though I love adding splashes of other genres too
– though in the case of romance, it’s probably more than just a splash.

Do you have any plans in the near future on writing a full novel? I'd love to read one.

I have been novel writing since 2002 but there were many stops and starts with my
first one. It’s currently been submitted, so hopefully soon I can say, ‘hey Natasha,
my book is coming out!’ It’s a traditional quest fantasy with romantic elements. So a
cross genre.

I’m have other novels in different stages of creation as well as novellas. All are
fantasy or paranormal works.

Who are some of your favorite authors and series?

I ask this question when interviewing my fellow DarkSiders on the Dark Side
DownUnder blog ( and it is a toughie
because there are so many fantastic authors out there whom I adore.

So this is no way an exhaustive list, just the tip of the iceberg!

David & Leigh Eddings, Jennifer Roberson, Diana Gabaldon, Keri Arthur, Tracey
O’Hara, Denise Rossetti, Jennifer Crusie, J.R Ward, J.D Robb, Neil Gaiman,
Stephen King, Barbara Hannay, Marion Lennox, Nikki Logan, Rachel Bailey, Anne
Gracie, Anna Campbell, and many many more…..

I read a lot of series but I must say I adore The Belgariad.

If you mean TV series – anything with the word Star in it! J So Star Treks,
Stargates, Battlestar Galactica – as well as Firefly/Serenity, Haven, Dollhouse,
Angel, Buffy, Supernatural, Sanctuary….are you getting the feeling I love only
speculative fiction? J

Actually I loved The Gilmore Girls – I just thought that was spectacularly done –
quirky and quick witted.

Thanks for stopping by Eleni! You Rock!

LOL - Thank YOU Natasha.

BTW – I love the banner to your blog!

Thanks so much Eleni. I loved your answers. I was a Gilmore Girls fan too... I think I'll watch a few episodes tonight..Thanks for the idea.;) 
Eleni has generously offered a copy of Apartia 11 to one lucky winner! AND as if she wasn't cool enough already, she's always giving ONE lucky winner a copy of Tracey O`Hara's Death's Sweet Embrace! - Open to everywhere The Book Depository ships. 

You HAVE to be a follower to enter. 

 To enter, answer this question.
What was your favorite fairy tale as a child? 

Extra entries:
+1 Follow @AGreatBook on Twitter
+1 Follow @Eleni Konstantine on Twitter
+2 Tweet about this giveaway
+1 Enter Turned by Morgan Rice giveaway- ends April 2nd
+5 Make a post about this giveaway
+1 Comment on another post- Leave name of post
+2 Follow me on Network Blogs - bottom left sidebar.

The first winner will have a chance to choose between Apartia 11 and Death's Sweet Embrace.
The second winner will win whichever novel that wasn't chosen by the first winner. 

Leave all your links below. No links= No EXTRA entries

You are guaranteed your basic entry if you follow and post a comment below, but if you did extra entries and left no links then I have no way of checking them out. So please leave the links. :)

Make sure to leave your email so I have a way to contact you. If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email below then email it to me HERE.


Meredith said...

My favorite fairy tale was Cinderella.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Follow your blog on Twitter @tessaa99

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

following Eleni on Twitter @tessaa99

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Entered the Turned giveaway

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Sandy! said...

Thanks for the chance!! ;DD
My favourite fairytale was Cinderella :) mythical XD

+1 Follow @AGreatBook on Twitter (@sandymanga)
+1 Follow @Eleni Konstantine on Twitter (@sandymanga)
+1 Enter Turned by Morgan Rice giveaway- ends April 2nd
+2 Follow me on Network Blogs - bottom left sidebar. (Sandra Muñiz)

[email protected]

Kulsuma said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!! I loved Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast:)
GFC follower
+5 Make a post about this giveaway-


Natasha said...

Snow White and Beauty and the Beast were my first favorites, but I loved them all!

Diana said...

My favorite fairy tale was Cinderella.
I am follower via GFC as Diana
Entered the Turned giveaway
Follow you on Network Blogs as Demitra Giote
Commented on Top 5 sundays post
I shared on FB:

Thanks for the giveaway!

artgiote at gmail dot com

Birgit said...

My favorite, oh that's a hard one, I liked so many of Grimms fairy tales. Alright, Cinderella was probably my fave of them all :-) !

New follower on GFC!

danaan at gmx dot at

IvaliceAlliance said...

My favorites would be Cinderella and Snow White & the seven dwarfs.
+2 following on Network Blogs(Velle Sauva)

[email protected]

Anonymous said...

Hi Eleni!

My fav fairytale would be Beauty and the Beast, the original hardluck love story. But I loved all fairytales and yes Little Golden books were popular in our household too. And Dr Seuss. As you know, my sister had bought a complete set of Dr Seuss books for her youngest before he was even born!


Alison (one of those previous workmates who has (and still does) read all Eleni's work)

Bronwyn said...

Hi Eleni,

My favourite was and will probably always be Beauty and The Beast but a close second would be The Swan Princess. I love a rough hero who can be tamed into a gentleman almost as much as I love a down on her luck enchanted princess who wins against all odds =)

Great interview as always!
bronwyn s on twitter and Bronwyn Stuart on FB
[email protected]

Anonymous said...

Hi, Eleni!
I've always loved Cinderella, no specific reason, more than likely it was the gown she wore ;)
Great interview.
Tam :D

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Eleni,
Cinderella for me too! The downtrodden heroine getting swept into the arms of her very own handsome prince - what's not to love? =)

Jess Anastasi said...

Hey Eleni!
Great interview.
I always loved The Little Mermaid. Must have watched that movie a thousand times when I was a kid. I think I had a crush on Prince Eric, but of course I was too young to realize, LOL

Emmeline Lock said...

Hi Eleni,

Cool post.

I think my fave would have been the Twelve Dancing Princesses - we had it in a Golden Book Anthology. I still think the pictures are awesome. And it's the only Barbie movie I've been able to sit through without encountering a burning desire to cleaning the inside of the dishwasher. :)

E x

Eleni Konstantine said...

Wow, thanks everyone for commenting.

It looks like Cinderella and Beauty & The Beast are the most popular. I must admit I do love Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

I had to laugh Tam about the gown- I probably fell in love with the gown too. And Mel it is very much an ultimate love story.

Like Brigit, I find it hard to choose myself. They all have something about them, don't they. That element of magic. And winning against the odds like you mentioned Bronwyn.

Jess, would you believe I've only seen snippets of The Little Mermaid. Shock, horror. It's just one of those films that I haven't had a chance to see from start to finish. One day....

Alison, I love getting a chance to read Dr Seuss a kid and seeing his faces as he is mesmerised by the stories.

Eleni Konstantine said...

LOL Em, you always make me laugh. I've never seen the Barbie movie (not a Barbie fan- well not since I was about nine *g*)

Another Golden Book fan - they had the best drawings, and not only for the fairy tales, for everything. I wanted to fly in a plane because of a story in Little Golden Book. I can't remember what but I remember that!! LOL! Memory is a funny thing.

Claire Baxter said...

Great interview!

I know it's a little late (12 years or so!) but congratulations on the Katharine Susannah Pritchard contest runner-up, Eleni.


Natasha said...

I almost forgot about the golden book stories! I have them still. They were amazing and they did have the best drawings!

Michelle de Rooy said...

Hi Eleni!

I must say, I adored The Little Mermaid (the original as well as Disney - far more gruesome!); but Snow White held a massive facsination for me - the wicked queen gave me the chills! The illustrated book I had (my daughter now has it) had a close-up with her holding the chest with the heart inside, and it creeped me out, but I've never been able to forget it. SOmething about those dark moments get me... maybe that's why I torture my hero and heroine so much? *grin*


SandyG265 said...

My favoite fairy tale was Snow White

I'm a GFC follower

Eleni Konstantine said...

Claire, thanks for dropping by and for your belated congratulations! I will find a home for that story some day!!!

Natasha, I'm sure my Golden Books are packed away somewhere in the garage. I'm such a hoarder!

Hi Michelle, oh that queen was a wicked one wasn't she. Definitely a creepy scary character. Especially the Grimm version. LOL re now torturing your characters. The queen would be so proud.

And another Snow White fan with Sandy.

Kate said...

Hi Eleni!

This is Kate from SARA (one of the Congrats on a great interview, I loved your list of favourite authors since most of them are on my list too (and the ones that are not, I am looking them up now).

My favourite fairytle would have to be Cinderella but the Roald Dahl version in his book of Revolting Ryhmes. They were a humourous and dark twist on the original tale and they just struck a cord with me when I was younger. Of course, I like the original and even the disney version, but the dark humour was refreshing.


Eleni Konstantine said...

Hey Kate, so great of you to drop by. I do love talking about my reading - so hope you have fun catching up with those authors and then letting me know what you think.

Oh Roald Dahl - an absolute legend! I loved him so much as a kid and now am going to reread them so I can introduce to my godson. He's got James and the Giant Peach on his shelf, and I've got one for his birthday in a couple of weeks about a boy named Charlie and a certain chocolate factory :)) You know I remember Revolting Rhymes but for the life of me can't remember his take on Cinderella! So long ago..... :)

Anonymous said...

I follow on here
+1 follow @AGreatBook
+1 follow @Eleni Konstantine
+5 blog:

[email protected]

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