Author Interview – Akis Linardos

More From This Author

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"A Final Offering"

Anthology: Uncanny & Unearthly Tales
Release Date: Oct 27th, 2023
Preorders: Paperback | Kindle
About the Author: Akis is a genre writer trapped in the body of an AI scientist. He draws inspiration from the lands he walked and lived in throughout his research career. If you can call this madness a career, anyway, which started out with a biology degree, transitioned to an abomination called bioinformatics and finally landed on pitting artificial intelligent models against one another to see which will score better digits. We call that machine learning when we like to be fancy. As you can tell, he had a rather hard time deciding what the hell he wanted to do with his life, but writing sucked him in and never let him go. Maybe he'll stop complaining and enjoy life now.
Q & A
How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?
Amazing as any respectable sale. But frankly I was even surprised this one was picked up so quick. I had thought some things I wrote inside it were so abhorrent, that it wouldn't fit in the most disturbing magazines and anthologies out there. I'm glad I found ones as twisted as I am. And I'm stoked to be part of what you're making.
What inspired the idea for your story?
I guess the original seed came from a game come Bloodborne. There was an area that had at some point a mermaid-like creature that was totally out of place fall from the sky, hinting at the next level above. I found the whole idea of something terrible looming right above our heads so compelling, I had to create something around it.
We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?
Marketing, haha. I dread it. Though so far I'm focusing on the craft itself and publishing in magazines/anthologies so it's just a looming threat in the distance for now. Now, if what you meant was what affects my productivity, it can be mental health fluctuations, which I figured most writers had some fair share of in their lives. And being an academic, too, it can get quite a lot.
Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?
I don't like playing favorites as there are way too many that have inspired my writing (and creatives beyond the writing medium such as video games, manga, and even music). But if I had to pick one writer, I'd go for Neil Gaiman. His prose never fails to mesmerize me. And the deep symbolism in some of his works has resonated on a great level with me.
Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?
I guess I'm still a young writer really. But if I had to give some advice to the me that started his writing journey 4 years ago it would be: iron sharpens iron. Find a decent writing community as fast as possible. Get into a writing group of writers as passionate as you and bash each other's work. And find a mentor to weed out those bad amateur writer habits.
We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?
Well, the prevailing theme of course is challenging authority, and I wanted to explore a truth about tyrants in particular: that all tyrants are deeply insecure. Truth is, they abuse and crave power to feel good about themselves.
What do you love most about your story’s genre?
I love any kind of fantasy as it allows me to do magic in a world that won't allow me, but dark fantasy in particular lets me explore real, gut-wrenching world problems in a way that does them justice and is visceral.
What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?
I honestly haven't put that much thought into a preference. I'm writing most everything depending on mood and inspiration. Although thus far it has been my dark fantasy and horror pieces that found most success in the market, I also write hard and technical SF inspired by my work, wholesome cozy furry fiction that melts your heart, and even fantasy romance. I guess it'll be fun to have someone enjoy my wholesome stories and want to read more of me only to freak out when they pick up the anthology from Grendel Press 🙂
If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?
That would definitely be my Apex story: Daughter, Mother, Charcoal. It can be found free online on Apex's issue 135 as of February 2023.
A girl only knows to never stray away from home. Tend to the fireplace, offer your flesh to the flames and keep the fairies away. Only the men can go outside to bring food on the table. Yet when the girl strives to ask the right questions and find temptation in the faerie song, a way outside the confines of her abusive household just might become possible.
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