Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Among the Olive Groves with Chrissie Parker

Chrissie lives in London with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.  
Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013.  Chrissie is currently working on two sequels to Integrate called Temperance and Retribution. Both will be released in 2015.
Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  
Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Traveland has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University. She also likes to read, collect books, make bracelets and listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com

Other links:

Twitter - @Chrissie_author

Your novel is called 'Among The Olive Groves' please could you tell me about it? 
Among the Olive Groves is set in Zakynthos in Greece, Cornwall and Bristol in England. It spans two time periods, world war two and the 1990’s/2000’s. It is a work of historical fiction that centre’s around the lives of Elena Petrakis and Kate Fisher and the struggles that they have in their lives; Elena having to live through the war and deal with becoming a member of the resistance, fighting for her country.Kate learning that she is adopted and having to come to terms with the fact that everything she thought was true about her life is the opposite.

'Among The Olive Groves' is about Elena Petrakis and Kate Fisher, please can you tell me about them? 
Elena Petrakis is a girl in her late teens who lives on the Greek Island of Zakynthos in the late 1930’s.  She loves her home, the island and everything about her heritage.  She is fun, feisty and says and does what she thinks.  She is very protective of the people she loves and fights for them, regardless of the consequences.

Kate Fisher is in her twenties, she lives in Newquay in Cornwall in the 1990’s.  She has grown up hanging out on the beach with her best friend Fletcher, and she works at the local tourist information office. She’s quite shy and worries about things.  Other than Fletcher she doesn’t really have any other friends.  

Are any of the characters in 'Among The Olive Groves' anything like you?
I think that both Elena and Kate are a little like me. Elena has my feistiness, determination and stubbornness. Kate has my emotional, worrisome side.

Among The Olive Groves' is set in Zakynthos, what inspired you to choose this destination? 
I have some family and friends on Zakynthos. When I visited the island in 2005 a local told me an interesting story about something that happened to an islander during the war. It stayed with me and I wanted to weave that into a story.  The island has also gone through quite a hard time in recent years due to the recession, I wanted to write about what a lovely place it is, and the two slotted together quite nicely!

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Among the Olive Groves was created from a single sentence.  I had to build an entire story out of it and working it out took time.  I actually wrote the story in three different ways before settling on the current style/setting.
Because over half of the story takes place during world war two I had to do a lot of research. I had to learn general facts about the war; what happened in Greece during that time, as well as learning about the resistance and what women’s roles were during the warI know Zakynthos fairly well, but in writing the book, I had to return to an island before tourism, when it was mainly Greeks who lived there. I made a lot of work for myself, but I think it paid off.  
In order to get the book right I asked a few people living on the island to read it, and this really helped. I have loved every minute of the journey with this book and I can’t wait for people to read it.  I hope they love reading it as much as I’ve loved writing it.

If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
I would go back to Ancient Egypt to see how they really lived, maybe to when they were building one of the pyramids or one of the temples. It would be fascinating to see it all being constructed, carved and painted.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 
There are so many places I would love to go, and my list is growing at a rapid rate.  I really want to visit Peru though, to go to Maccu Picchu.  I also really want to go to Italy to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum.When it comes down to it though, anywhere that has some archaeology, history or a ruined temple is good for me!

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
And then there were None by Agatha Christie.  She is my favourite author and it is such a clever book, with excellent characters. The first time I read it was in one sitting.  I love the way that Agatha always gets inside your head and makes you think!

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
I’m me. That’s just how it is!  It’s become a bit of a motto.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Next year I will be releasing two sequels to my thriller Integrate called Temperance and Retribution.
There are also plans for a few more Historical Fiction releases, I currently have two finished drafts of books set in Egypt and Jordan that need revising, so I hope to get working on them soon!

What is your all time favourite book?
I always find this question so hard, there are so many books that I love. I can give you my top three, Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie, The Wind Eye by Robert Westall, and Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be? 
My husband
Zahi Hawass (The ex head of Egypt’s Supreme antiquities Department)
Kate Bush (My all time favourite Musical Artist)
Chris Naunton (Head of the Egypt Exploration Society)
Zooey Deschanel (Actress and the She from She & Him)

At your dinner party, there's a cupcake in honour of  'Among The Olive Groves' what would the ingredients be? 
I would have to go with Baklava and yogurt flavoured cupcakes.

Quick fire round: 

Sweet or savoury? - Sweet
Books or e-books? - Books
Vacation or stay cation- Vacation
Letters or emails? - Letters
Classic or modern? - Classic

A big thank you to Chrissie for talking to The Love of a Good Book 

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