Thursday 21 November 2013


ISBN:  978-1602829602
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Pages/File Size: 248pages/735KB
Formats Available: Paperback, E-Book
Release Date: 19th November 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Atlantis is besieged by violent storms, tremors, and a barbarian army. For sixteen-year-old Aerander, it’s a calamitous backdrop to his Panegyris, where boys are feted for their passage to manhood.

Amid a secret web of romances among the celebrants, Aerander's cousin Dam goes missing with two boys. With the kingdom in crisis, no one suspects the High Priest Zazamoukh, though Aerander uncovers a conspiracy to barter boys for dark spiritual power. Aerander's proof— an underground vault that disappears in the morning—brings shame on his family and charges of lunacy. The only way for Aerander to regain his honor is to prove what really happened to the missing boys.

Tracking Dam leads Aerander on a terrifying and fantastical journey. He spots a star that hasn’t been seen for centuries. He uncovers a legend about an ancient race of men who hid below the earth. And traveling to an underground world, he learns about matters even more urgent than the missing boys. The world aboveground is changing, and he will have to clear a path for the kingdom’s survival. 


 What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hi! I’m Andrew J. Peters. I was born in Buffalo, New York. I moved to the New York City area about twenty years ago.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I always wanted to be a writer, all the way back to grade school when I first started writing stories. My life took a detour though, and I got a degree in social work. I spent eighteen very rewarding years working at a not-for-profit organization which provides a lifeline to isolated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers. I held onto the dream of writing fiction professionally throughout my career. In 2009, I got my first publication, and I’ve been writing steadily, with specific goals ever since.   

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Hell yes! Maybe I’m a slow-learner. To some extent it’s the nature of the business. I pitched what I thought was a decent draft of my début novel The Seventh Pleiade three years ago. That was unsuccessful, and I decided to work on making the manuscript stronger. I did a second run pitching the book about a year later, and it piqued some interest but ultimately nothing. So I went back again to sharpening the manuscript and my pitch. A year later I landed an offer. From first draft to publishing contract, it took me five years.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The Seventh Pleiade is the story of a young gay prince who becomes a hero during the last days of ancient Atlantis.

What genre of books do you write?
I mainly write fantasy in the vein of retold legend and myth.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’ve always loved Greek mythology, and I had this story about Atlantis percolating in my head for quite awhile. I started reading everything I could about Atlantis, and the idea grew and grew.

The traditional source material is strange and curiously brief. Plato tells the story through a dialogue between two philosophers who are boasting about their knowledge of history. One of them talks about a civilization that was even older than the Egyptian kingdom. It was founded by Poseidon, but characters from Greek mythology figure in much differently than then do in the more well-known myths. For example, most people know Atlas as a titan god who holds up the world. In Plato’s account, he’s the son of Poseidon and he has a twin brother. There’s five sets of twin sons actually. That part really appealed to me because within this epic story there had to be some epic family drama to be told.

Plato’s story ends with one of the philosophers about to explain what happened to Atlantis, but Plato never finished his speech. I also felt a lot of intrigue and possibilities there, thinking about how the “real” story of Atlantis might have been suppressed. I incorporated a few fantasy elements, but essentially I consider The Seventh Pleiade to be an alternative ancient world history.

Who is your publisher?
My publisher for The Seventh Pleiade is Bold Strokes Books.

What can we expect from you in the future?
My two main projects are this series about Atlantis and a series called Werecat. The Seventh Pleiade is the first book in the Atlantis series. Because my brain works in strange ways I guess, that first book is actually near the end of the overall series. Right now, I’m finishing a prequel called Poseidon and Cleito that tells the story of the founders of the legendary empire.

Werecat is gay shifter adventure-drama. It’s being released in e-novelettes by Vagabondage Press. The first book Werecat: The Rearing came out in May 2013. The second Werecat: The Glaring will be released in February 2014, and the third and fourth will come out in six month intervals.

How do you come up with the title and cover designs for your books?
The Seventh Pleiade comes from astrology. The Pleiades cluster of stars was important in ancient world folklore and usually called The Seven Sisters, although there are some legends about six sisters because one of the stars is hard to see in the night sky. I imagined the Seventh Pleiade as a disappearing star, and in my book the mystery of that missing daughter is the key to understanding how Atlantis came to be and how it will continue to survive.

Most of the credit for cover designs goes to my publishers. I picked the cover for The Seventh Pleiade from a set of mock-ups by Bold Strokes Books’ in-house designer Sheri. It was great because we were thinking along the same lines conceptually with a cover that represents a fallen ancient kingdom.

Working with Maggie Ward from Vagabondage Press on the cover for Werecat: The Rearing was also a great experience. It’s a dark and sexy story so the cover needed to reflect that. I get a lot of positive responses to the cover, and people want to know who the male model is. Unfortunately we don’t know. The image was purchased from a British photography/design company, and they chose not to release the model’s name. I think that worked perfectly because he looks like a model or actor who people think they know, but he’s not so recognizable to create a specific association with the book. 

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
With The Seventh Pleiade, I did a lot of research. I wanted to incorporate Greek mythology, and I also studied other ancient world cultures like Egypt, the Celts and the Mayans. That made for some pretty exotic names. One of my favorite character names is Zazamoukh, which comes from ancient Egypt. I thought it was the perfect name for a villain.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
I think that’s so specific to the reader because it has to do with how relatable the characters and story are.

With fantasy, typically the story is a derivation of the tried-and-true formula of good versus evil. So it’s the characters and the world an author creates that make a fantasy story special and memorable. Personally, I like that portrayal of good versus evil to be subversive and provocative or at least nuanced. It’s hard for me to get behind a hero who is conventionally beautiful and strong and righteous in his quest, or to accept a stereotypically evil villain.

My very favorite fantasy author is Gregory Maguire. I love his retellings of The Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked) and Cinderella (Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister), because they take fantasy villains and side-characters and show how their stories got trampled in the service of a conventional legend or fairytale. That appeals to the outsider, anti-authority skeptic in me. I think good literature illuminates the way the world really is. That’s a highly subjective call of course, but for me the truth is that the world is complex and filled with flawed heroes and misunderstood villains.   
(I read and loved Gregory Maguire's Wicked too!) 

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think there have been some great successes there like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The books were amazing, and I can watch the movies over and over again. On the other hand, Anne Rice’s books never seem to translate well. It’s a shame because she creates such a beautiful mood and atmosphere in her books that would seem to work perfectly for film.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Take your writing seriously, but not so seriously as to annoy everyone around you. Write every day, but don’t forget to feed the cat and don’t forget your husband’s birthday.

1 comment:

  1. I love Greek and Atlantean Mythology so this book sounds awesome!