Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

I know that each one of us travels to love alone, alone to faith and to death. I know it. I've tried it. It doesn't help. Let me come with you. Giannis Ritsos, 20th century poet

You’ve heard it said many times. It’s a message worth repeating. An author, unless he or she is famous, makes little money at their craft. There I’ve just said it again.

I don’t drive a Lamborghini or own homes on every continent. Nor would I want to. I’m grateful for what I have. For the most part, I work alone and in obscurity, for little financial return. Still I pore everything I have into what I do, not because as my husband claims, I’ve become allergic to money, but rather for the pure love of touching another person with the words and characters I manage to create.

Lucky for me, there are organizations in Canada who support what I do. One such body is Access Copyright. I know what you’re thinking. What is Access Copyright? Thanks for asking.

Here’s a direct quote from their website. Access Copyright “is a collective voice of creators and publishers in Canada. We are a non-profit, national organization, representing tens of thousands of Canadian creators and publishers who work tirelessly to create the textbooks, novels, poetry, plays, children's books, magazines, newspapers and more, that Canadians read everyday.

“For more than 25 years we have facilitated the remixing and sharing of content for educational and professional purposes, combined with an assurance that original creators and publishers also benefit, so that they can continue creating new and innovative works.”

In addition to administering programs that ensure the protection of a creator’s work, the Access Copyright Foundation also provides grants to authors to allow them to complete research towards a publishable project. I applied and received one of those grants this year. The grant will allow me to travel and live in Greece for two months to research content for my new novel.

This latest project of mine, still without a title, explores the result of successive years of recession in Greece on individuals, families, and the community. It investigates the emergence of the far right-wing party, Golden Dawn, police practices regarding illegal immigrants, European policy concerning illegal foreigners and its impact on small nations such as Greece, and finally speaks to Greece’s declining human rights record. I plan to explore these issues and how Greek attitudes have changed toward the influx of illegal immigrants (in particular the Roma) through the, now five, main characters that fill my head with their voices.

I know, I know. My goals for my new novel are far-reaching and lofty, not to mention a mouthful to say. No 30-second elevator pitch here. Not yet, anyway. I’m still searching for the novel’s heart. It’s a slow process. But I’m patient. Most of the time.

Despite my wordiness, the Access Copyright Foundation saw the merit in my project and put their trust in the most concrete way possible. Thank you so much for coming along for the ride. The adventure could not have begun without your support. Again, thank YOU.


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