1. What would you consider a perfect day for you as an author?
More time. I would love to have longer, uninterrupted periods to work on my writing. I have young children, so things get busy around here, but I do manage to find pockets of time to work and get things done.
2. What sort of research (if any) did you do for this novel?
My parents are from Cyprus, so I grew up hearing about certain people in their villages and stories of their country. There was a lot of discussion about the 1974 invasion of Cyprus when I was growing up, too. I was able to recall what they told me, decades later. Aside from what I knew when I was younger, more recently, I talked to my father about how a person would go about walking from the captured villages to get help, populations in various villages at that time, and so forth. The Internet and some reference books I have were also great sources of information.
3. Is there any character in particular that you enjoyed writing about the most?
I would say Christian. He instinctively feels something is going on with his wife, Tash, and begins the search for answers. He is an observant, reliable, sexy dude with an edge who also is close to his wife. I like those qualities in a man.
4. Were any of your characters or events from the book based of real life people or experiences you have had?
Absolutely. For example, later in the book, there is a problem with a camera and some pictures a character is trying to find before they end up in the wrong hands. I have a fear of cameras and don't like being photographed. So, the character's anxiety, trying to locate this camera, is how I feel when someone says, "Hey, get in this picture!"
5. Are there any other projects you are working on that you would like to tell us about?
I am working on getting the word out about "Raping Aphrodite," but intend to begin working on the book's prequel in the coming months. I also am proofreading the paperback version of "Raping Aphrodite," hopefully to be available in early 2012. Also, I have a first-person essay that has been accepted by biostories.com that will be appearing in the near future.
6. Did any of your characters give you a difficult time while writing this book?
No. I took breaks in my writing so sort out how these characters would do things, but I don't feel like they were difficult. I just had to decide their fate and control them. I briefly thought about making Luca's character evil, perhaps making him a killer but felt like he needed to be fatherly and protective. I also thought I might romantically pair up a couple of other characters, but decided they were incompatible as lovers and were better off being friends. It was just a matter of thinking it through.
7. Cappuccino or Coffee
Neither. I am a complete bore when it comes to drinking. I only drink water, sometimes juice and hot chocolate. No coffees, sodas, or alcohol. Keeps off the weight.
8. What do you like to do in your down time?
I read, walk and watch movies. I have a vast collection of films I enjoy.
9. What three words would you use to describe Tash Colgate?
Smart, sexy, spirited.
10. Do you relate to any of your characters?
I think in some ways, I can relate to all of them. They have endured personal loss and challenges. As I approach age 50, I feel like I have, too.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview!