Today, One Vintage Heart welcomes Author Chrissie Parker in honor of her newest release Among the Olive Groves.
Chrissie lives in London with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.
Chrissie is also an Author. Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013. Chrissie is currently working on two sequels to Integrate called Temperance and Retribution. Both will be released in 2015.
Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation. Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.
Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University. She also likes to read, collect books, make bracelets and listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com
Here’s my interview with this talented writer. Please enjoy!
Juliette: In what genre do you usually prefer to write and why?
Chrissie: I write in two genre’s, Thriller and Historical Fiction. I like writing both genre’s for different reasons. With my Thrillers I can just write the story, they don’t need a lot of research, and because they are complete fiction, I can let my imagination wander a lot! My historical Fiction novels are usually set somewhere specific, with a fair bit of historical information included, so they involve a lot of research and fact checking, but it’s exciting as I love learning about history and it means I get to combine my love of writing and history.
Juliette: Please tell us what inspired you to write Among the Olive Groves, your new release.
Chrissie: Among the Olive Groves was inspired by a conversation I had with a local on the island of Zakynthos when I was there in holiday about 9 years ago. We were talking about the island and the subject of the war came up. They mentioned something specific that happened to someone living on the island during the war, and it stuck with me. I wanted to write about the island, the wonderful people and what happened to islanders during the war. Greece has also been through a very tough time in the last few years so I wanted to show people what a great place it is to visit.
Juliette: What would you say has been your biggest challenge as a writer in today’s Indie Author market?
Chrissie: I have had many challenges, but have managed to overcome most of them with a lot of hard work and support. I think my biggest challenge has been getting people to read my work. I hate ‘selling myself’ but it’s an important part of what I do. When you write a book, it sometimes seems like the hardest bit is the process of writing-editing-publishing, but I found that hardest bit was actually getting my work read. Sometimes you can feel like you are a very tiny fish in an ever increasing ocean, and it can be hard to be seen and heard. I think the key is to think of it like a business. Not only do you have to put the time in, but you do have to invest a lot of time and effort. I think the key thing is engagement, it’s about gaining readers through being yourself, but by being approachable and not via hard sale. I am slowly getting a good readership, and it is all through that reader engagement; taking time out to answer messages, talking to them about normal things and getting them involved in the process. In the lead up to the release of Among the Olive Groves I posted in my book group on facebook every day. I told them what I was up to in regards to the book, I posted photos of my trip to Zakynthos as well as interesting links about the island. I love reader engagement and it’s now one of my favourite things about writing, I love hearing from people who have taken a chance on me and enjoyed what they have read. I value each and every message, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my readers.
Juliette: As an avid reader, which authors have been among your literary influences throughout your life?
Chrissie: I read all sorts of books (I actually own over a thousand, two hundred of which are about history and archaeology), but I think my biggest influences have been Agatha Christie, Belinda Jones and Nora Roberts. Agatha’s books are so clever and well written, and she had a passion for archaeology just like I do. Belinda writes funny, heartfelt women’s fiction that is set in exciting locations, and Nora writes great suspense, and has published over 200 books!
Juliette: What is one thing about yourself that you’d like your readers to know that they won’t find in your bio?
Chrissie: I used to work for a touring covers rock band as their wardrobe mistress. I used to look after the costumes and do the onstage/offstage costume changes. We played universities, theatre’s and corporate gigs, and it was a lot of fun!
Juliette: Do you have a favorite or special story you’d like to share about the journey to write and publish Among the Olive Groves?
Chrissie: I think the most special thing about this book is the support I have received. When I initially wrote Among the Olive Groves it was just another book, but during the process so many people became involved, most of whom live on the Island of Zakynthos, or who love the place and visit it every year. Their excitement about the books forthcoming release and their continued support has been truly overwhelming. They are the nicest group of people I have ever met, and Among the Olive Groves wouldn’t have been possible without them. So in a way it makes the book even more special, as a part of it belongs to them.
Juliette: Now that Among the Olive Groves has been released, could you tell us a little about any of your other works in progress or future projects?
Chrissie: Yes, I am writing two sequels to my first book Integrate called Temperance and Retribution, both will be released next year. I am also working on some more historical fiction set in Jordan and Egypt, and hope to write another book set in Zakynthos in a few years time.
Juliette: It’s been a pleasure talking with you, Chrissie. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. Among the Olive Groves is a truly amazing and well-written book that I’m enjoying very much. Best wishes for much success with this, your newest release and wishing you continued success in your writing career!
To contact Chrissie, check out her social media links:
Twitter – @Chrissie_author
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/ChrissieAuthor/
Happy reading and writing!