Odysseus Yacalis is July’s special guest author. He joins us to discuss the differences between writing screenplays and novels, how acting impacted his writing process, the importance of artistic expression and so many more bookish topics. You can listen to his episode here or learn more about him here. Read on to learn more about the books he loves.
The Proust-ish Questionnaire
Q. Who is your favorite heroine from fiction? Why?
- This may sound like self promotion, but honestly, Atete from THE RESET REMIXED. The novel was a deeply moving, engaging and surprising experience for me. I set out to create dynamic characters that could draw me into their worlds, but fairly early on they took on lives of their own and there are none whom I came to admire more than the nomadic African priestess, Atete.
Q. Who is your favorite hero from fiction? Why?
Severus Snape…Going mainstream on this…but it doesn’t get any more heroic than someone who is willing to not only take no credit, but who is willing to be hated by those he is committed to protecting. I’ve found in life that the deeds we are willing to do for others, without any recognition, not eve a thank you, are the most pure…and Rowling took this toi the extreme with Snape…absolutely brilliant.
Q. If you could have dinner with any three authors, dead or alive, whom would you dine with? (Note: You could have dinner with all three together, or each one individually).
- That’s kind of a tricky question, because great writers are often not very social…I know during the period of my life I pounded out the majority of my writing work, was also the time I was more of a hermit than at any other time. I would love to sit down with Thomas Pynchon, because I am so fascinated by his out of the box thinking and deeply poetic style and mastery of the language…and because he is a notorious hermit who very few have had the pleasure to meet. Sam Shepard was a huge influence and inspiration for me, the greatest American playwright of all time for sure…again his ability to break the rules, to show that there are no rules in his writing and the way he lived his life…a great storyteller for sure…And then I’d love to bring Rumi to the dinner and sit around a fire till sunrise getting drunk on poetry and storytelling…
Q. Do you have a current or “forever” favorite book?
Nikos Katzanzakis At the Palace of Knossos…This story…holds special deep meaning for me. First of all, where its set, at Knossos on the island of Crete. Where the bridge between mythology and history was unearthed. And beyond the particular mythology/history that he delves into, the magical, wonderful world of the Labyrinth and Theseus and the sisters Ariadne and Phaedra and Dionysus…the way that he freely retells and combines mythologies and historical facts and the surprises and unexpected twists…My ultimate dream would be to make a film of this…actually I did a screen version of it back in the typewriter days…have no idea what happened to that…
Q. Which fictional character would you want to befriend
- Since I’m back in the ancient Greek days already…Dionysus…would love to have a full moon gathering with him…
Q. What character from fiction do you love to hate?
- I really don’t love to hate anyone…
Q. Tell us about the books in your life that have fed your soul, brought you solace, pleasure, or joy, or eased your mind.
- I have to hark back to the Sufi teaching stories. Idries Shah has a great collection, Tales of the Dervishes…This collection is just filled with stories that grow deeper as life goes on…take on new meaning…and always connect me back to the essence of what is truly essential, which is where joy lives for me,as our purest most natural state.
Q. If you could exist in any story world, which would you choose, and why?
- Seriously I am not self promoting…but I would venture into THE RESET REMIXED…onto the post-apocalyptic odyssey where the veil hiding the magic that surrounds us always is gone…writing that was as close as I have ever come to being in a completely alternate reality….
Q. If not yourself, which fictional character would you be?
- Maybe my namesake, Odysseus, in the first book of fiction ever written on his Amazing Odyssey victoriously leading the Trojan army in their rescue of Helen and then on his wild Odyssey home…or maybe…The Gunslinger in Stephen King’s epic series…he was a nice flawed cool hero…