Anthony Michael Karakai
home town :
home on the web
None- this is my debut novel.
current project :
places where books are available for purchases:
Amazon and iTunes, across 32 countries.
How did you get your start in writing?
I actually fell into writing in quite an ironic way. After graduating from university, like many graduates I was under the presumption that I’d simply walk into a job- even in Australia where the full force of the GFC wasn’t felt entirely, it was still felt. We’re a huge country, vastly underpopulated and graduates seem to be floating about everywhere you look. People leave university excited to put their years of education into practice, only to find it’s a very difficult road to employment. I had the idea for ‘Vagabond’ the night before a business statistics exam, when I really should’ve been studying. Upon graduation, job hunting was a game of roulette, so I became a freelance journalist to help survive while working 24/7 on my debut novel. I decided to go the independent route, and lucky for me, people really connected with ‘Vagabond’ and showed their support. It went on to become a bestseller.
who are your biggest influences:
My biggest influences are Aristotle, Plato, Sophocles, Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli and Paulo Coelho. Coelho’s simplistic storytelling and powerful narrative is divine, nobody will ever match him. Everything that matters, everything that is anything, and anything that has become something, is due to the aforementioned. They wrote literature in its purest form. They changed the world or affected it in some way that matters, not just for entertainment’s sake. I am also a keen admirer of Alex Garland, his work deserves greater recognition than it receives.
What is your biggest inspiration when creating?
My biggest, or perhaps my only inspiration when creating is travel. Travel is my outlet, I’m fairly certain I receive a level of intrinsic gratification from exploring other cultures, hidden alleyways and random corners of the Earth unlike anybody else. I’m a traveller, not a tourist. I love to get right into the core of a place and live as the locals do. There are so many fantastic places to experience in their full strength; it is the greatest education one can receive.
Could you give us the details of your current project?
My current project is entitled ‘The end of Athens’ and will be inspired partially by my extensive travels all over Greece, as well as the concept of dreaming. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’ll be set, as the title suggests, in Athens.
What is the next goal you would like to achieve with your writing?
My next goal, personally, is based on curiosity. I had some big names in New York City reading ‘Vagabond,’ but they eventually decided not to pursue it as they felt it was “too unique for the marketplace.” That’s when I knew I had to go independent, for the sake of staying true to myself. I never want to enter the mindset that something I write, something I choose to read or something I volunteer to take part in, is dictated by a popularity contest. The greatest productions are based on innovation, not imitation. My next goal with writing, is to see whether there are still agents out there who are willing to create a new wave, not ride a current one. If I find an agent who is as much a reader as a business person, and who really wants to discover something, then my goal will have been achieved. It hurts not just authors, but readers too when say, ‘Twilight’ becomes huge and then an endless cascade of vampire novels come flooding out. It’s so obvious to the reader that the industry is moving away from the art, and into the commerce. Take a risk, and make a decision based on the same reason you became an agent- to discover something new, something refreshing, and something that sets a part one author from another.
Final four (questions we ask all interviewees)
When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
In a Thai jungle.
Jedi, Ninja, vampire, were-wolf, pirate, fairy or Spartan?
Ninja, followed by Spartan.
What one piece of art, be it music, book, film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho.
Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
I can’t float in water, I literally sink to the bottom of the ocean.