I grew up in Bristol, in the UK. It was where I spent my childhood and first started work. Lots of our family holidays were spent in Cornwall. We stayed in many seaside towns and I remember those times fondly and have some incredible memories. Cornwall is beautiful and filled with large sweeping beaches, turquoise waters, and thriving attractions. There are so many exciting places for visitors to explore, such as the Eden Project, Jamaica Inn, or the fantastic Minack theatre.
Travelling became a big part of my life once I had left school and started working. I backpacked through Europe to Germany. I spent time in the USA and Canada and I visited the Middle East and Egypt. One of my favourite trips was in 2005 to a small Greek Island called Zakynthos, a part of the string of Ionian Islands to the west of the Greek mainland, for a friend’s wedding and to visit family. Zakynthos was my first visit to Greece, and it exposed me to a country that I instantly fell in love with and still love very much.
Like Cornwall, Zakynthos also has beautiful sweeping beaches and is blessed with turquoise sea, sometimes so bright that it looks unnatural. There are lots of things to see and do so visitors are never bored, such as the famous shipwreck, a Venetian castle, and a multitude of churches and monasteries.
When I wrote Among the Olive Groves, I knew the book would be set in Zakynthos, as the inspiration for the story came to me during my visit there. When I finally worked out the story would be set across two time periods, I needed to find another location that complemented Zakynthos. After a lot of thought, I just knew that place had to be Cornwall, and I chose Newquay on the north Cornwall coast as the final setting. Zakynthos is full of Greek charm and hospitality. It’s hot and sunny. The scenery is stunning. There’s so much to see and do.
Among the Olive Groves inspired the short story, An Ionian Dream Wedding, where the fans of the original books can discover more about the two characters Kate and Fletch and what happens to them after the book ends. Among the Olive Groves is also responsible for another two books that are currently being written. Readers of the original book messaged me all wanting to know the same things “What happened to Athena?”
I finally decided to write a follow-up book about Athena and her life. The story I planned has grown so much, that I’m now splitting it into two books. So, this will become a three-book series called the Zakynthian Family Series, with Among the Olive Groves being book one, A Night of Thunder being book two, and Hope under blue Skies being book three.
It's been great fun revisiting old characters as well as creating new ones, and seeing where they take me this time. It's also been great exploring locations new and old, I love the research involved. I'm really enjoying the journey so far and I’m looking forward to this challenge and it's something I never expected to do, ut so pleased that I did!
This is the final blog in this series. Thanks for reading!
Chrissie Parker is an English author of 8 published works, including novels, shorts stories and poetry.
To learn more, explore her website and learn more about her love of writing, the inspiration for her books and the country's she's visited on her travels! https://www.chrissieparker.com
Welcome to my blog, My occasional ramblings will take you on a journey through many subjects, from my books, to history, as well as what it's like to be a writer and my love of travelling! Enjoy the updates!