Quirky urban landscapes and uncommon weather phenomena hold a prominent place in her books, breathing life into her images through her graphic descriptions.

Kika Hatzopoulou

Threads that bind fantasy and realism together

Text: Zafeiris Konstantinidis
Kika Hatzopoulou

With Thessaloniki as her writing career’s starting-off point and Ancient Greek mythology as her main source of inspiration, her book went on to travel to the four corners of the world, similarly to the way our mind travels thanks to her writing talent. Thessaloniki-born Kika Hatzopoulou studied English Literature and Creative Writing. She initially worked as an English teacher and later on in the field of children’s books editions. She is currently living in England, where she continues to work in the book industry, often traveling in many parts of the world. Having read her breathtaking stories, we decided to meet up and find out her own story.

Her book, Threads that Bind, became an international hit and was released in Europe, the USA and Australia. It all started way back, though, when still a child she couldn’t help getting lost in the world of books. The charm of writing cast a spell on her from an early age and guided her softly along the way, as after reading her favorite books she came up with different versions of the story, replacing the book’s characters with the ones she had made up in her imagination. Her points of reference come from the genre of fantasy literature both for adults and teenagers, where she singles out writer Naomi Novik and her Scholomance trilogy.

In Threads that Bind we follow Io, a young detective and descendant of the Fates, who has the gift to discern and cut the threads that bind with destiny and whatever people cherish and love. Io is assigned to investigate a series of otherworldly murders and conspiracies, teaming up with the boy she is bound by fate to fall in love with. The matchmaking between Ancient Greek mythology and noir literature that runs through her book composed a unique and original mix, knocking the socks off the fans of fantasy, mythology and mystery.

In her book, Kika Hatzopoulou realizes her lifelong dream of writing a story on Ancient Greek mythology’s Fates (Moirai), who have always been, according to her, the unsung heroes of many tales, serving just as a mere supplement to the main plot. Employing her vivid writing style, Hatzopoulou casts glow over the Fates, turning the spotlight on the psychoanalytic aspects of their enigmatic personality. She focuses on the three sisters and their relations, building a mysterious world, where the Fates take on the role of detectives. On the other hand, the Muses are the corrupted patrons of the arts, while the Graces (Charites) are portrayed as manipulative gamblers.

Good stories can be written with a lot of flaws, good and bad calls, and – maybe towards the end – a fleeting moment of perfection.

Kika Hatzopoulou

The writings she draws inspiration from are not easy to be numbered or defined. “I blend everything together to create a new world and a cast of characters,” she explains. Quirky urban landscapes and uncommon weather phenomena hold a prominent place in her books, breathing life into her images through her graphic descriptions. The process of exploration fascinates her as it lays the bedrock for the birth and evolution of her characters. In fall 2024, the sequel Hearts that Cut is scheduled to be released in Greece, filling the missing pieces in the puzzle of this exciting story. The plot is set a few weeks after the first book’s finale, and while Io’s quest leads her in new places, History will provide the answers to all unresolved questions of the first book.

Having grown up in Greece, with studies in England and a book that has traveled in three continents, she firmly believes that a good book can be appreciated everywhere, despite the cultural differences from country to country. The real difference she has spotted is no other than the opportunities offered to talented writers abroad compared to Greece, where being a writer is accompanied by the frustration of making a living. Without denying that the sales numbers bear proof of a writer’s success, she attributes more importance to how quickly a book finds its way into the readers’ hearts.

As to whether writers are inspired by their pleasant experiences of life or the crises they undergo, Kika replies by quoting an iconic film. “The question reminds me of a scene in The Matrix Reloaded, when Neo meets the Architect of virtual reality, who reveals to him that the first edition of the Matrix, even though a flawless rendition of a utopian human society, had been a crushing failure. The Architect, therefore, realized that the error lies in perfection, as human beings, filled with weaknesses and doubts as they may be, are constantly called to make decisions relying solely on their free will. That’s how the Matrix was built and that’s the only way, I believe, that good stories can be written: with a lot of flaws, good and bad calls, and – maybe towards the end – a fleeting moment of perfection.”

Kika Hatzopoulou masterfully navigates through the realm of the imaginary, weaving new dimensions through the worlds she crafts, setting transcendental rules that do not obey to the mundane triviality of restrictions. Isn’t that what all accomplished writers do, after all? They remind us that imagination and hope have no boundaries as they both reside inside of us. In the same spirit, a good book triggers the fantasies and desires of the readers, encouraging them to become the stars in the fantasy book of their own lives. With subversive passion, driven by emotion and relieved from the fear of a preordained conventional future.


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