Saying "hello!" to old characters
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
I love the world and all it contains. A large planetary mass of land and sea, which holds wondrous beauty, incredible cultures, and thousands of years of history. From the lush green forests of the Amazon to the sweeping sands of the Sahara Desert. The world is a haven of mystery waiting to be explored.
I’ve always been fascinated with history, travel, and archaeology. Why our ancestors did what they did. The inventions they created. The battles they fought. The clues to ancient life they left behind. I’ve been lucky to travel to some amazing places. I've seen the Pyramids of Giza, walked through the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, and toured the caldera of Crater Lake in Oregon, USA. Each held a unique fascination and made me eager to learn more about this great world of ours.
My interest in history began when I was young. I don't remember the exact moment, but I do know that history was something I’ve always loved and wanted to learn more about. I used to go on day trips with my family to visit ruinous castles, old archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, and old country houses. In the UK we’re incredibly lucky. The country has a unique and lengthy history, and it was exciting learning about it; King Arthur, the Romans, the Tudors, to name but a few.
For me, though it was the pull of foreign lands. At school, we did a project on Egypt, and I was hooked. I loved everything about it, the pyramids, the temples, the strange gods and goddesses, and it made me want to learn more. I wanted to be an archaeologist, but unfortunately, life took me in a different direction, but that love of all things historical has remained with me and continued to grow. So much so, that coupled with my interest in travel, I’ve found the perfect combination for writing material.
Among the Olive Groves is a good example of that. The dream getaway destination of Zakynthos in Greece merges with the history of World War two to make a unique story. It was also the location for the short story An Ionian Dream Wedding.
Wind Across the Nile allowed me to create an exciting story in a country I love, melding the plots with history and sites that I truly love.
I left my heart in Petra allowed me to revel in the beauty of the inspiring country of Jordan and its world-famous site of Petra.
Crater Lake in Oregon was the inspiration for the location setting of both books Integrate and Temperance from the Moon Series. It’s a truly stunning place!
My combined love of history and travel means that I’ve many ideas for books. I'm looking forward to one day being able to write about all the places I’ve visited and love. For me, it truly is a passion, and I hope that passion will shine through in my work and make people want to share my love of these incredible places; so much so that they will want to visit them too.
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!