I am currently working on my next book 'Among the Olive Groves' which is due for release in August this year. I am enjoying writing it and I am still amazed that an entire book has been formed from one small sentence. Let me explain.
Back in 2005 my husband and I went on holiday to Zakynthos, a small Greek Island in the Ionian sea. We were there to attend a wedding, but I also celebrated my birthday and met up with some family who live there. It was a lovely week of celebrations, exploring, relaxing and catching up. Zakynthos is a beautiful island, there is a lot of greenery, olive groves are plentiful and the sea constantly shimmers between blue and bright turquoise. There is plenty to do, lots of great places to eat, and it's an island with a varied and interesting history.
During our trip my husband and I met many people. Greek people are wonderful, so friendly and welcoming and many had stories to tell. During dinner one evening, a local told me an interesting one-liner about something that happened to his relative during the war. I won't go into details but it shocked me. I couldn't believe that something so terrible could have happened in such an idyllic place.
On my return home, the sentence stuck with me, and continued to churn in my brain. Eventually it settled and life continued as normal. Things in Greece have changed recently due to the recession that hit most of Europe and beyond. I have many friends in Zakynthos and I was saddened to hear about bars and restaurants closing due to the 'current climate', and the strain it has put on those who live there. Despite life being hard, the people who live in Zakynthos love it, and most would tell you they wouldn't live anywhere else.
A few years ago that 'interesting one-liner' resurfaced again, and I knew then that I had to write a book set in Zakynthos. I wanted to incorporate what the local had told me all those years before, but I also wanted to write about how great the island is nowadays. After two attempts of writing the story, I nearly gave up, the idea just wouldn't form itself and I was having problems putting everything I wanted to say into a coherent form of words. Suddenly, last year, my brain clicked into gear and the story finally came to me and I have to admit that I love it. It is a story that has been written from the heart. It has been a labour of love and I hope that people will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Coming soon - Among the Olive Groves!
Nineteen year old Elena Petrakis adores living on Zakynthos. When World War Two looms, forces that she can’t control threaten her way of life. Left with no choice she becomes Partisan joining the island's resistance to fight for what she believes in; her family, her home, and her freedom.
Decades later, thousands of miles away in the Cornish town of Newquay, a young Kate Fisher prepares to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but her joy is fleeting when she learns that she is adopted. Kate abandons Cornwall, her parents and her best friend Fletch, to live in Bristol, but her past continues to haunt her. Fleeing to Zakynthos, she is forced to acknowledge a life that she has struggled to come to terms with, one that will change her future forever.
From the beautiful crystal turquoise seas of the Ionian Islands to the rugged shores of the Cornish coast, 'Among the Olive Groves' is a moving story of love, bravery and sacrifice.