Interview with…Loukia Borell

Today we’re pleased to be hosting an interview with author of Raping Aphrodite, Loukia Borell…let’s find out what she has to say!
Welcome to Aside from Writing, can you tell us a little about yourself and your book?
My name is Loukia Borrell. I am a native of Toledo, Ohio, but my family moved to Virginia Beach when I was eight. After graduating from Elon University with a journalism degree, I was a newspaper reporter for about 20 years. I am married and have three children. “Raping Aphrodite” is my debut novel. The book has two story lines. The first is about Tash and Christian Colgate, a married couple with a very intense, passionate history. They finally get together after a long separation, but when they agree to an exhibition of artifacts from Cyprus for their art gallery, they open the door on Tash’s secret past, something that poses a new threat to their relationship. The second story line is about a Peace Corps worker who escapes a hostage situation in Cyprus and walks to get help for the rest of her group. Toward the end of the novel, both story lines come together.    
How did you come up with the idea for your book
In the fall of 2009, my oldest daughter had to write a short story for English class. She was supposed to place a fictional character into a real period in history, like World War II, the Civil War or whatever. She chose to put her fictional character in Cyprus, when the Mediterranean island was invaded and divided by Turkey in 1974. My parents, her grandparents, are from Cyprus and we had a lot of relatives still living there in 1974, when the island was invaded. My maternal grandparents were killed and just about all our other relatives were refugees. I was impressed by her decision to explore the events in Cyprus and decided to give it a try. A year later, I had 75,000 words.
What do you consider to be the biggest influences on your writing
My personal experiences with other people, losing family members, my close relationship to my husband, my travels, working different jobs in various cities and meeting people. All of those things have shaped my thinking and made me the person I am today. I think my writing reflects those influences. 
Have you always wanted to be a writer? 
I think I gravitated toward writing in high school, because I made better grades in English, so it was a natural progression in college and after.
What’s your favourite aspect of being an author? 
I like controlling my characters and figuring out what they will do next. I also enjoy creating scenarios and dropping myself into their world to hang out with them. Of course, I am thrilled when someone has told me they saw this story I did, or read that. It is a cool way to reach people. 
And the most challenging aspects?
Finding the time to get things done and working through periods when I don’t feel motivated to write.
What’s coming up next for you? Are you working on something at the moment?
I am still doing interviews like these, and have begun to think more about the prequel to Raping Aphrodite, which I hope to begin later this year.

Now for the ‘Random Questions’…If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why? 
Golly, am I supposed to say Scarlett O’Hara? I think I would like to be Wilhelmina Murray from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. To be obssessed by a vampire and swept away. 
Favourite fictional world – where would you live? 
This is hard. I tend to want to be in real places, like a small, historic town with cobblestone streets and terraces with blooming flowers, or a small cottage in the mountains, overlooking valleys. I don’t see myself in a fictional world, but if your readers can pick one they think I would like, based on what I have told them about myself, I will pick my favorite and send them a copy of Raping Aphrodite. Let’s do it! That sounds like a great challenge – post a comment on this post with your idea for Loukia and she can pick a winner at the end of the week! Get your thinking caps on! 🙂
Best super-evil book baddie? 
Tom Ripley from Patricia Highsmith’s novels. He is the neighbor you don’t want. A very bad guy who kills inconvenient people, but cultured enough to fool you into thinking otherwise.
Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today!
 Thanks for having me as a guest!
I can be found on Book Blogs, Goodreads, and on Twitter @LoukiaBorrell.


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