Litsa Totska: “The mobile screen looks like the black holes of the Universe”

Litsa Totska has been working in print and electronic media since 1988. He worked as an editor and presenter of television and radio shows, and collaborated with newspapers and magazines.

Ms. Totska, the official launch of your new book for children and adults was recently held at Megaro Musikis, it was received with great enthusiasm. Tell us about it. How did you come up with the idea to write it?

“I’m glad you mentioned that. “The Sky Speaks Greek” is for fans of Greek myth and adventure, of all ages. This introduces us to the myths that the constellations inspired the ancient Greeks. Greek myth is the foundation of Western civilization and a structural element of our identity. Happy Halloween and Piñata for kids parties, I love that I live in a global village but I don’t know the heroes Ursa Major and Ursa Minor? Will I ever meet the Pleiades and Hyades that once told farmers it was time to plant? Greek mythology is not only Hercules, Theseus and the Argonauts.

You dedicate it to your mother and your son Konstantinos…

“I owe it to my mother for showing me the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and the Pole Star on a starry night. Thanks to him, I fell in love with Greek myth and sure enough… I passed that love on to my son. So I told him Greek myths instead of fairy tales. When he was in elementary school, he wanted to be an astrophysicist. Do you know that Heaven speaks Greek?, I asked him. I told him as many myths as I could think of and looked for a book that would combine his two age-appropriate loves: the Universe and Greek Myth. Waste of time. Years later, I shared my story with Dionysis Valeriano, the editor of Hellinoekdotica. This is how the book was born.”

What criticisms did your son give you when he finished?

“I wish we’d found it in bookstores when we looked for it,” he said, “because it’s also… annoying.” I trust him with my thoughts. Even though I’m a teenager now – whatever that means – I feel like he’s my most precious travel companion.”

Mythology always attracts young and old. But this book brings children closer to the distant sky…

“We don’t look at the sky very often anymore. Perhaps because we live in a time of frustration and are hardly affected. It’s also a mobile screen that resembles the universe’s all-consuming black holes. Add light pollution too! So, maybe we don’t have much time left to spend evenings under the stars with our loved ones. I would like my book to lead to such meetings.”

Who named the zodiac signs?

“The ancient Greeks who observed them without a telescope. The main constellations were recorded by the Greek astronomer Eudoxus about 2300 years ago and later copied by Aratos. A few hundred years later, Claudius Ptolemy cataloged all the stars under the constellations in his famous Almagest (or Mathematical Syntax). The title of the book is literal because internationally we use the Greek names of the main constellations and refer to the myths that gave rise to them. The International Astronomical Union decided on this in 1920 and defined the exact boundaries of the 88 main constellations, preserving their ancient names.

What messages does the book give to children?

“Being curious and with a traveling mind. I invite you to look up at the sky on clear nights and wish for the company of the heroes of Greek myth. “My main character, Astronomula, is a little researcher who doesn’t miss anything and wants to learn everything.”

Which zodiac sign is most popular among children?

“From my visits to schools in different parts of Greece, as well as from the launch of the book, I saw that they are excited to discover new heroes like Phaethon, Triptolemus and many more…”.

What is the secret of a successful book?

“I don’t know if there is a secret or not. Maybe you love what you do, you are passionate about it, you believe in it. I leave nothing to chance. As for me, I’m… at the top!”

Does illustration also play a role?

“Of course. Inspired by the figures of the heroes depicted in the vases of classical antiquity, I also collaborated with the illustrator Maria Manoura, who brings the mythical heroes to life with inspiration and sensitivity. She created an imaginary line that connects yesterday and today with her aesthetics and talent.”

Did you find it difficult to write? How long did it take to finish it?

“I already knew most of the myths. However, thorough research was required to avoid inaccuracies. The adventure lasted a year and more…”.

Mrs. Totska, should we read fairy tales to children, given that the reality they will face when they grow up is completely different?

“I believe that fairy tales and Greek myth prepare children for the world they will live in because they are about life itself. In fairy tales, conflicts flare up, kidnappings take place, but at the same time, stories of love, brotherly love, faith and infidelity, greed and recklessness unfold. As for the pills in fairy tales – not often found in Greek myths – it helps to educate them in the belief that justice will prevail in the end. We need this trust.”

A graduate of the School of Philosophy (Philosophy/Pedagogy/Psychology department of AUTH), with a master’s degree in Media Management, a member of ESIEA, a radio producer with your own show on ERT Program 2 every Saturday and Sunday from 8-10 am. Did all this help you write the book?

“As I usually say, journalism is good raw material for improving life. Writing also activates the imagination.”

Are you busy with something else?

“A sequel to heaven, but… on earth! At the same time, I participate in collections for adults with my stories. Thank you for the hospitality.” “I believe that fairy tales and Greek myth prepare children for the world they are going to live in because they are about life itself.”


Litsa Totska has been working in print and electronic media since 1988. He worked as an editor and presenter of television and radio shows, and collaborated with newspapers and magazines. In 2007, together with actresses Irini Koumarianou and Efi Papatheodorou, she adapted traditional tales from around the world released as a book-CD. Together with actress Angeliki Daliani, he adapted Andersen’s “Ugly Grandpa”, which was released as a book-CD and performed at the Badminton Theater in 2008. “33 stories about 1821”, “Hometown”, “Christmas stories”, “36 authors write about the SMYRNA of imagination and memory”, etc. participates in collections of stories.

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