Michael Daglis talks to us

Michael Daglis talks to us about his writing work in an interview to Katheti. The local writer Michael Daglis was born on a warm day in August 1980. He comes from the area of Galatas, in Troizinia, however, he grew up and still lives in Athens. His love for books and horror literature begun really early. He is constantly on the search of the story which is going to challenge him or scare him the most. He obtained his college degree in graphic design and he has taken seminars in creative writing.

He is the writer of the book Αγαλήνευτα Βάθη, published by Ωκεανίδα. He has also published the collection of three horror stories named Ζωώδες Ένστικτο. Not only that, but he wrote three short fantasy horror stories, as well. These stories won in a competition and they were published in a collective work: 1) “Εννιά Λεπτά” (2009), in the book Αποκάλυψη, published by Ανατολικός, 2) “Μορμολύκειο” (2016), in the book Κόρες της Νύχτας, published by Nightread and 3) “Κληρονομιά” (2020), in the book Κοσμικό Έρεβος, published by Allbooks. Michael Daglis is a member of the Fanstasy Literature Club of Karditsa, for which he often writes articles, while at the same time he shares his thoughts about cinema in the Facebook group Το Σινεμαδάκι.

Τell us about your work.

My name is Michael Daglis and I am the author of the book Η Τελευταία Νύχτα της Αδέρας, published by Υδροπλάνο, as well as the author of two collections, namely Αγαλήνευτα Βάθη, published by Ωκεανίδα, and the self-published Ζωώδες Ένστικτο, published by Bookoo.

The topics that I usually engage belong to the horror and thriller genre, covering everything, from realistic to supernatural horror. It is not just enough for me to provoke a sense of fear or suspense to the reader. Rather, I try to touch several issues through my stories. I want my readers to soak the stories up and eventually care about the characters, as well as try to put themselves in their shoes. At the same time, my main concern is to keep the suspense and the readers eager to know what is going on until the last paragraph.

What is your relationship with the local area?

I come from Galatas, Troizinia -both my parents are locals. Although I grew up in Piraeus, I spent all my summers and other holidays here. My fondest and most beautiful memories that I cherish come from my days here as a child. In fact, my occupation has brought me back to my homeland.

How have your work and your life been affected by the financial and now by the health crisis, and how do you deal with it?

I have experienced the economic crisis firsthand, as I had been unemployed for quite some time or I was forced to do jobs that took advantage of me as an employee. There were feelings of anxiety and sadness, like with everyone, but I did not let it crush me.

I face the pandemic with a cool head and critical thinking. I may write about supernatural and fictional horrors or bizarre creatures, but above all I remain a man of science. The human history brims with all sorts of pandemics and scientists of each era always (since science was “born” as we know it today) were the ones who managed to stop them. I trust medicine and I think that if everybody complies to their advice, we will get over this very soon.

Which of your knowledge and personality traits have been most useful to you in your professional life?

I am a book enthusiast myself and I always read a lot. Each year, I spend a lot of money in books. Steven King once said that for one to become a good author, they need to read a lot. Exactly this love for reading is that pushed me to write professionally, and I think that it has equipped me appropriately.

I try as much as I can to keep an open mind about various matters that I am concerned with. Having an open mind has definitely helped me with character building.

I am a big fan of cinema and I am avidly involved with it. This has helped me in setting my stories up in a better way and give them a “cinematic action”.

What would you like to improve in your personality or work? What are your weaknesses and how have they influenced you?

I would like to be able to write more. A disadvantage of mine is that I get easily bored. I can write, for example, five chapters in one sitting and then leave it completely for a long time, until I catch up with it again. I need more discipline and organization, and, of course, time.

Having time at one’s disposal is the most fundamental element for someone to become a writer. however, sometimes even that is not enough. The difficulties of everyday life come in the way. Many times, my thought gets lost, when I know that I have to clear my head in order to stay focused on my story. Normally, nothing else should matter apart from the story and the characters.

What would you do differently and what do you consider as right steps in your career?

I am glad that I found the courage to get involved with writing, especially with this particular genre that I represent. In Greece, it is not very popular and thus it is difficult to find a publisher. Despite all the adversity, I had set as a personal goal to publish my book, even with self-publishing. So, I got down to work, I wrote it and, fortunately, a publishing house got interested. This is how it all started. One thing that I regret, though, is that I didn’t start writing earlier. The eagerness and the ideas were there, but I was lacking the confidence, which is something that it took me a long time to find.

What piece of advice would you give to a young person who would like to do what you do?

It is considered a given that someone who wants to write a book should obviously read a lot. However, I cannot stress that enough: one must read constantly, a lot of books and not necessarily of one genre. They should know what this thing they will get involved with is and how it’s done, how different authors use it. They should also start writing, building the story and creating interesting, realistic characters. They have to care about what is going on in the plot. They have to invest time in research and preparation, and review many times what they have already written.

Lastly, they have to be prepared for failure. Publishing houses receive every single day books by potential authors, which they reject for different reasons. Rejection is part of the “game” and it’s not bad at all. It makes you review your work and evolve as a writer. Besides, not getting accepted by one publishing house does not mean anything. Maybe it’s just not the right one for you. All in all, what I’m trying to say is that if you love what you do, you shouldn’t give up and I am sure that people who really do it from their heart do not need me to tell them that.

What are your plans for the future, short-term and long-term ones?

I plan to continue writing. I have already written half of my next book, while I am also planning the one right after that. At the same time, I am also interested in writing articles about literature and cinema. I was lucky enough to become a member of an online club which loves what it does, hence, you can find our articles at lefalok.gr.

Another thing that I intend to put time into is comics. It is something that I was always interested in and the lockdown period gave me the time to really get involved and create two short comics, which I uploaded on an online platform and they got positive reviews. This result left me truly satisfied and so I am pursuing it.

What else would you like to add?

Just an urge. Read as many books as you can, whatever it may be. In the era of technology, instant information and fast messages, the time that a good read demands makes the difference.

If you are interested in reading my latest book, which also has a “local” flavor, you can find it in bookstores or order it online here.

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