Reverse-Cinderella novel set in LONDON
Talking location with author Julie Ryan – Greece
3rd November 2016
#TalkingLocationWith…. author Julie Ryan, how she gets her “fix” for Greece by writing books set in that wonderful country.
Inspiration can come in many forms. Sometimes I overhear a snatch of conversation on the radio and it can find its way into a story. Other times it can be a line from a song or maybe an image that I’ve stumbled across on Facebook that can be the trigger. Of course, every book I’ve ever read plays some part subconsciously in the writing process. My favourite genres are historical fiction, contemporary romance, thrillers and mysteries. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy writing romantic, mystery thrillers set in Greece?
Why Greece you may ask? Well back in my younger days after graduating from University, I spent a couple of years teaching there. At the time, little did I know what an enormous impact that period was to have on my life. It’s true that there is something magical about Greece that draws people back year after year. I was hooked when I first stepped foot on one of the islands. The translucent turquoise sea, cerulean sky and magical light make it a paradise.
I particularly enjoy books which transport the reader to another place; books where you can lose yourself in another life for a few hours or relive precious moments once spent there. One day, in the middle of an English winter, I was looking out of the window and suddenly wondered what my life might have been like if I’d stayed in Greece. This eureka moment was the starting point for my first book in the Greek Island mystery series, Jenna’s Journey. Whilst being careful not to overload the reader, I do enjoy painting a vivid description of the beauty of Greece so that the reader can come with me on the journey.
Of course, as with any paradise, if you scratch under the surface you will expose the darker side that tourists fortunately don’t see very often. I think the juxtaposition of the idyllic beaches, hospitable people and delicious food next to the shady underground world of prostitution and artefact smuggling works well in creating the atmosphere of suspense that I was looking for.
I didn’t set out to write a series. In fact, Jenna’s Journey started life as a short story. Such is the pull of Greece, however, that once I’d finished the book, I missed the world I’d created. Other characters were calling me to have their stories written too. The second book, Sophia’s Secret,’ although set in the same location features mainly different characters to the first book so can be read as a standalone. I enjoyed researching Greek customs for this one and there is a slightly more historical feel to it.
Pandora’s Prophecy is different in tone again as it has a paranormal element to it. This time Jenna and Nikos from the first book are at the centre of the story as it takes place in a hotel that they’re running. The darker side manifests itself in a serial killer running amok on the island.
For now that concludes the series but there may be plans for a fourth book in the future. I just need to get my Greek fix with another research trip!
Thank you to Julie for sharing her thoughts about her favourite country. You can buy her books here
For many more books set in GREECE, just click here