- What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? My name is Loukia Borrell. I was born in Toledo, Ohio, but I have lived in Virginia since 1971.
- Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? I think so, yes. In school, I didn't grasp math or science very well, but I was in advanced English classes, so I knew there was something there I wanted to explore. That thinking intensified in college, where I was editor of the student newspaper and was an English/journalism major.
- When did you first consider yourself a writer? I do so many different things, I don't internalize a title for myself at all. I just do what I have to do or what I want to do, whether it is as a wife, mother, daughter, or a writer. I try not to label myself as this or that.
- Did it take a long time to get your first book published? I don't know what other writers have faced, but "Raping Aphrodite" didn't happen overnight. I spent about a year writing it, six more months editing and rewriting, and another six months looking for an agent. When no one would take the manuscript, I decided to publish it myself. The whole process took about two years.
- Do you work another job as well as your writing work? I am raising three children and caring for my mother, who has dementia. I call that work, but I don't have a "real job" where I go outside of the home and get a paycheck.
- What can we expect from you in the future? More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? If "Raping Aphrodite does even moderately well, I plan to write the prequel and sequel for it. The book is set up for both. I'd also like to write a historical romance. I started one about 20 years ago, but put it aside. I still have the notes for it, though, and have been thinking of reviving it.
- Where do you get your book plot ideas from? Well, for "Raping Aphrodite" that inspiration goes back to the summer I was 11 years old. (I'm 48 now) My parents are from Cyprus, a Mediterranean island that was invaded by Turkey in 1974. My maternal grandparents went missing and were never found, and many of my other relatives were refugees. I remember the outrage and loss my parents felt; the stories they told about what our relatives were enduring. It was just a general feeling that things had changed, for good. That time has stayed with me through the decades. As I matured, it seemed inevitable I would write about it, although my book casts fictional characters into that very real time.
- Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"? There were weeks I didn't work on "Raping Aphrodite" because I wasn't sure what I wanted these characters to do next. To get through, I let time pass and it became more clear the direction the book would take.
- What do you do to unwind and relax? I read! I also walk and watch movies. I have a vast collection of movies.
- Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books? No. Just like television never replaced radio. People like the feel and smell of a book in their hands, while others want to read it on their iPad, Nook or Kindle. There is room for everything.
BLURB from Goodreads
What if everything you know - or think you know - about your life is wrong? Tash Colgate, a successful art gallery owner, is about to find out how that feels. Tash has the life she always wanted: a solid marriage and an art gallery that is making its mark in the art world. But when Tash agrees to an exhibition of items from Cyprus, she opens the door to secrets some people close to her wished she hadn't. Travel back in time to the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, where intrigue, murder and lies catch up to Tash's world decades later.
Available Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk £7.10 on kindle.