Eve of Deconstruction by John Manuel
Chippenham UK, present day. Eve Watkins is a fairly average modern woman in her early forties with two teenage kids, a loving husband with a steady job and career of her own. It looks like her average life is fairly uneventful, yet secure.
Following the death of her mother she discovers things about her own past
that come as a complete surprise to Eve. These lead her eventually out to a small village in mainland Greece, where developments soon lead to her life beginning to deconstruct before her.
Ought she have let sleeping dogs lie? Yet she knew she had to find out. She had to know who she really was.
Whatever the cost.
Interview with the author:
Q: Welcome to my blog John. Can you give the readers a brief overview of your book, Eve of Deconstruction.
It's a story about a British woman whose mother was Greek. When her mother dies she finds some perplexing documents that throw her whole past into doubt. Suddenly she's not sure who she is, but she must find out. In doing so her life begins to deconstruct around her.
Q: What inspired you to write Eve of Deconstruction?
I was agonising about whether to write a third novel, because I had no ideas for a good plot. Then I came across a story on the internet about a scandal that ran for several decades in Greece and was hit by the germ of the idea.
Q: What challenges did you face when writing Eve of Deconstruction?
I knew that there would be some historical facts about the Greece of the 1960's that I'd need to get right. I knew some stuff from my late Greek mother-in-law, but not nearly enough, so off I went Googling!
Q: Why was it important for you to write Eve of Deconstruction?
I needed the money!
Q: Did writing Eve of Deconstruction involve a lot of research?
A fair amount, yes. But I'm sure there are writers out there who've had to do a lot more than I did for “Eve”. Probably you for a start, when you wrote “Olive Groves”!
Q: You have now written seven books set in Greece. Is there a reason why Greece has become your favourite writing subject?
I suppose the fact that I live here is a major reason. One thing that I have learned is that you can't write with authority about things that you know very little about. Having Greek relatives and a wife with a Greek background also is a major factor. Plus there's a ready audience of readers who love the country and like to read books with a Greek theme.
Q: You live in Rhodes, was there a reason why this particular part of Greece captured your heart?
No, not really. We'd made the decision to move to Greece but were thinking of a smaller island to begin with. But then friends whom we'd introduced to the joys of Greek holidays some years ago decided to build a house in the South of Rhodes and one thing just led to another. We caretake for the owners, that's the arrangement. It suits us and we're actually now glad to be on a larger island. It's about convenience I suppose. If we need medical treatment, or just some wood for a new fence, it's easier on a larger island. Plus, we have Lidl!
Q: What do you enjoy the most about writing?
Writing, as you'll know Chrissie, is a lonely occupation. I am a people-person by and large, but I also really enjoy those intimate moments alone when I'm immersed in what I'm writing. It is something creative and I've always (he said modestly) fancied myself as a creative person. It's why I've tried playing in a band and, many years ago, painting too. Watch out for my first book of poetry! (said with a wry smile).
Q: What you dislike the most about writing?
Getting it done. Sometimes when everything's flowing I can't type fast enough. Plus, as I'm not a good typist, I'm forever correcting my errors and that frustrates me further when I'm in full flow. Once I have a story line I'm impatient to get it all down and frightened sometimes of losing something before I can get it on to the screen in front of me.
Q: Do you read? If so what type of books do you read?
Incessantly. Both my wife and I read a broad spectrum of stuff. We'll read, for example, a Clive Cussler, then a Jodi Picoult, then maybe a historical novel. I'm a Bill Bryson fan too, and although it probably sounds anything but humble, it was his stuff that inspired me to start the Ramblings From Rhodes series. One thing I've found and it's this: There is plenty of rubbish out there with a conventional publishing deal, whilst equally plenty of indie authors turn out excellent work. I am irritated by people who comment on Amazon that independent authors must be rubbish. Ignorance, pure and simple.
Q: Do you have a favorite author? If so, who and why?
Well, if you'd asked me that forty years ago I'd have said Thomas Hardy, because his work was always tinged with a healthy scepticism regarding established religion (he was way ahead of his time) and a dark humour. He also was superb at bringing his characters' early actions back to haunt them in later life. George Elliot I loved too. Nowadays? It's difficult, because I like different authors for different genre-related reasons.
Q: What’s next for John Manuel? Will you be writing more books and if so can you give us an idea of what they will be about?
I've begun work on “A Beginner's Guide to Greece” with my tongue firmly in my cheek! As for fiction, I won't even start anything if I don't think up a good plot.
Quick fire round:
Sweet or savoury - Savoury
Beach or countryside – Countryside, when I'm not at the beach!!
EBook or paperback – Paperback (although I'm weakening)
Cream tea or Fish and Chips – Neither I'm afraid. Both are far too unhealthy. I'd probably go for Greek yogurt and honey.
Classic or modern - Classic
Sun or Snow – I live in Greece Chrissie!
John Manuel was born in Bath, UK during the 1950’s. He was educated at the City of Bath Boys’ School and primarily excelled in the arts. He has always maintained a deep interest in music and writing, whilst having pursued a career as a graphic designer after having attended Gloucester College of Art and Design.
His wife’s mother was born in Athens and his own love affair with the country of Greece eventually blossomed into his first published work, “Feta Compli!” He wrote several articles for the now defunct “Greece” magazine and has also had a piece published in the in-flight magazine of EasyJet, the European budget airline.
He now lives with his wife in a quiet area toward the south of the Greek island of Rhodes and, since the death of his mother in July 2013, only occasionally visits the UK. He has published four lighthearted books of Grecian memoirs under the series title "Ramblings From Rhodes", which is also the name of his popular blog about life on the island. He has also published three works of fiction, "The View From Kleoboulos", "A Brief Moment of Sunshine" and the latest, "Eve of Deconstruction".
Both John and his wife are enthusiastic readers, gardeners and walkers.
To learn more about John go to his website or his blog "Ramblings from Rhodes" or you can follow him on Facebook. A full list of his book can also be found on his Amazon Author page.