(This post is about my first book which was just published in Greece. It’s currently available only in Greek; more news about it in English to follow. However, if you’re curious, by all means read on. Για Ελληνικά, κάνε κλικ εδώ.)
THE GIANT HUNTER
Colour me ecstatic as my first book titled The Giant Hunter – Ο Γιγαντοκυνηγός, children’s book for ages 8 to 12, is out in bookshops in Greece, published by Patakis Publications. This is the cover of the Greek edition, which features, as all illustrations inside, the beautiful artwork of Petros Christoulias.
The back cover reads:
James Caroon is a Giant hunter by profession. He lures in the Giants with unique baits he makes out of berries, traps them with his magic net and then, transporting them on his cage-cart which is drawn by two winged leopards, he imprisons them in a huge pit. Having captured one hundred and seventy-four Giants, he’s a hero and a celebrity in the village where he lives. Until one day, his partner, Princess Melodee, disappears and everything suggests she has been kidnapped. The lives of James Caroon, humans and Giants are turned upside down and they will have to start seeing the world with new eyes…
Adventure, action, mystery, unbridled imagination, hilarious humour and moving twists compose in the pages of ‘The Giant Hunter’ an epic tale in modern writing, which talks about diversity, coexistence, humanity, arrogance, trust, having faith in one’s self, and about the choices which determine who we really are.
This in a few lines is the story of The Giant Hunter. Here’s a small extract:
When the dish of the day was prepared, James Caroon chose a good spot in the forest which separated his village from the Giant village and lay in ambush. He placed the berry bait at the root of a tall tree so that it looked like a passer-by had dropped it, then he climbed and waited hidden among the branches. Whenever a poor Giant went by and fell on the food at once –Giants aren’t famous for showing mistrust and anyway when it comes to berries they forget everything– James Caroon threw his magic net from above and trapped him.
His magic net James Caroon had inherited from his father, who had also been a Giant hunter. He, in turn, had inherited it from his father, who had been a Giant hunter too. And he had inherited it from his own father, James Caroon’s great grandfather, who hadn’t been a Giant hunter but a fisherman. Fishing one day in the Green Sea, James Caroon’s great grandfather had caught a mermaid, who in return for her freedom had placed a spell on his net so that it would trap anyone that fell in it, paralyzing them from head to toe.
So it was with his great grandfather’s net that James Caroon captured the Giants. The hard part now was transporting them to the village. For this very purpose he had built a huge cage-cart which was drawn by two winged leopards, Irma and Mira. His winged leopards James Caroon had bought from a wandering magician, in exchange for his grandmother’s twenty-four golden teeth that gave him the chills.
As soon as an unfortunate Giant was trapped in the net and his gigantic body got paralyzed, James Caroon jumped from the tree and brought out the cage-cart which he kept hidden nearby. On the cart, a large wooden pulley was used to heave the Giant up and into the cage in the same way that fishing boats draw nets with herring onto their stern.
This procedure was tiresome and James Caroon got covered in sweat as he turned the spool of the pulley, huffing and puffing. The most difficult case of his career had been once that he had missed slightly when throwing the net and one foot of the Giant had remained free, kicking left and right in the air. Thankfully though, one of the Giant’s kicks had hit the thick trunk of a towering pine tree and his foot had gone numb by the pain.
Finally, when the Giant was properly placed in the cage-cart, James Caroon wiped his forehead full of satisfaction and shouted in a triumphant manner:
‘Irma! Mira! Take this beast back to the village!’
The winged leopards flew then, lifting the cart with the stunned Giant in the cage and James Caroon in the driver’s seat, until they landed in the village square. Even though it wasn’t a necessary stop on their route, it had become a tradition to pause by the statue. And the reason? So that everyone could take a look at the new Giant –who stared around helpless, with berry pie still stuck in his teeth– and cheer for James Caroon on his latest achievement.
When the excitement wore off, the leopards transported the Giant to James Caroon’s house. There, in the back yard, lay a deep, enormous pit that served as a prison for Giants. The winged leopards emptied the Giant off the cart flying backwards and James Caroon opened the wrought iron gate. Then, the three of them dragged the Giant down the stone steps onto a large circular landing that had a hole in the middle. It looked like a gigantic well. From there they lowered him into the pit, tied with rope around the waist. They shut the prison and the village prepared for an all-night-long feast.
Humans and Giants, a glorious yet quite short Giant hunter, berry-baits, a magic net, winged leopards, and a mysterious disappearance that upsets everyone’s lives… I would have said here ‘the rest of the story to be found in the pages of the book blah blah blah’, but as it’s only out in Greek yet, I can only assume my poker face.
In case you can read Greek though, here’s the book’s page on my publisher’s site: http://www.patakis.gr/viewshopproduct.aspx?id=731063