Alex Manea is a Romanian journalist and writer, author of the Urban Fantasy novel Mortal Gods, the first book of the Forgotten Pantheon series. Alex is a big mythology buff, especially Greek, this being the source of inspiration behind the novel. Alex is currently working on the second novel of the series.
He’s one of the last surviving members of the Greek pantheon. After hooking up with him, Heather is forced to join the culmination of a two-millennium-long war between that pantheon and a clandestine sect of monks within the Catholic Church, itself led by perhaps the most infamous figure in Christian history.
Heather and Apollo embark on a world-spanning effort to collect what remains of the gods to engage in the final battle with the monks opposing them. But the fate of the battle is changed by the intervention of a mysterious military organization…
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Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Ever since I was a young boy, I had a fascination with Greek mythology. I’ve read all the books I could get my hands on. The inspiration for this book came a few years back, while I was, of course, in Greece. I was on the beach, reading a book written by a university professor about how religion was used in the past 5.000 years to manipulate the masses and the idea for the book just popped into my head. At that point my vacation was ruined because all I could think about was how to get home faster to start writing.
Q) How long did it take you to write?
Although it’s a small novel, it took a few years. One of my biggest problems is that I lose
Interest in a story after a while. Mortal Gods is the third book I started writing, but the first one I’ve finished. I abandoned the previous two midway just because another story idea came into my head. Writing Mortal Gods was a huge challenge for me, but I think I’ve finally learned how to focus all my attention on just one story.
Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Discovering the story as I write it. I start out with a general outline. I know that my characters start from point A and have to get to point Z, and I have a few ideas for the intermediary stops, let’s say G, M and T. But as I sit down and start writing, as I’m typing on my keyboard, I realize that, without thinking about it, I just arrived, and passed, B then C and so on.
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
I think the least favorite is editing, because of two things. When I finally finished writing my novel I got this feeling that I could literally move mountains. But when I started editing I realized I was nowhere near the finish line and this demoralized me. The second thing I hate about editing is that you sometimes have to change a scene, or a dialogue that you think you wrote perfectly the first time.
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I would like to be the Pope. I’d spend the entire day reading as many books as I could from the Secret Archive.
Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
A can of tuna. About a year ago, my mother brought it to me, told me to taste it. Because I hate seafood, I just left it in the fridge. Up until I read your question, I completely forgot about it, otherwise I would have thrown it out sooner.
Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Right now I’m working on the next novel of the series, which should come out sometime next year. I also have a few short stories, stuff left from the first novel, that I have no idea what to do with.