How to get a cool email signature

Hi folks! I am back to Athens after my heavenly Corfu holiday and feeling rejuvenated. This is where I’ve been enjoying the sun and the sea for the past two weeks. Hard to wipe out the dreamy smile on my face, I can tell you…

Anyway, I am thrilled to share today an amazing new tip! Thanks to this article on the Kindlepreneur that is run by cool dude and entrepreneur Dave Chesson, I now have an email signature that rocks!

Here are two different versions – check it out:

The free app is  called Wisestamp. Everything you see above is clickable. For example, the Youtube image takes you to the video, and the banner on the right takes you to my website where readers can browse through my books.

Creating your email signature on Wisestamp takes about ten minutes. And you can add all sorts of things on a free account. You don’t have to upgrade to a paid option.

Note: If you decide to use a banner, you can create it on the free program Canva – choose the format of a Twitter banner as the Facebook one is too big to be inserted whole on Wisestamp.

Once you’ve created your email signature, you get to choose your free email provider to use it on. I chose Yahoo but get this: in the options, Wisestamp set it to ‘all email addresses’ which means that without doing anything else, it is now available also on my Gmail mailbox. Wisestamp will make a quick installation on your computer so the signature will be available to you in future. Once installed, I set mine to not come up on emails by default, unless I insert it manually.

See this icon I’ve circled in red below? That’s where you click to add your signature to the bottom of any email. Easy!

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Now, once you’ve set up your signature, Wisestamp will email you and prompt you to make use of another cool free feature: a webpage where you get to present yourself to others. You create this here and it looks like this:

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Below, you can see the whole page…

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Or, you can see it here live.

People can even email you directly via this page!

The doggie graphic you see on the top right is something I added with the HTML option and it points to my books on my website. With the HTML option you can link up to virtually anything you want readers to see. I also used the Youtube option to link up to my book trailers. At the bottom I added the RSS feed for my blog. Hope this gives you a few ideas if you decide to create yours. It’s all free. I expect this page will come in handy the next time I need to introduce myself to a new associate, reader or new author friend – you never know. And one thing I’ve learned in my interactions with people is that the cooler you look when presenting yourself, the better your brand looks… and that’s of paramount importance, right?

You can create your own presentation page here once you’ve set up your signature.

If you’ve enjoyed this tip, make sure to spread the word! And if you’re not signed up for the posts of  Dave Chesson (The Kindlepreneur), now is the time to do it, if only for the eye-opening free books you get to download. Trust me, you’re seriously missing out if you haven’t checked out Dave Chesson yet. If there’s one thing I could say about him is that he thinks out of the box. And this makes him unique. For me, he’s an absolute star. So go sign up and get amazed. I know I do. Every time.

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Book review: My Map of You by Isabelle Broom

My Map of You FINAL

I was drawn to this book before I even started reading, first because of the stunning cover and secondly because I love the Greek island of Zakynthos (Zante). When I was offered a free copy in return for an honest review, I jumped at the chance hoping to recapture some of the beauty of this island.

As it turned out, the writing exceeded my expectations tremendously on this score. Reading this book actually felt like I was back in Zakynthos and I could see and feel it all down to the last enchanting detail. The heroine went through an incredible journey of growth and healing. Out of the blue, she finds herself in an unknown place in a foreign country where she winds up finding her roots, new love and even deliverance from resentment and pain that had been blocking her advancement in life, denying her happiness.

The awkward situations between the two main characters felt real and down to earth, and the romance was utterly sweet and delightful. Actually, this book offers a number of delights: a wonderful romance, a host of lovely, lifelike characters, and a well-structured family story that added drama in the right measure, just enough to enrich the plot. More than anything else though, I enjoyed the wonderful way in which Greece and its people are portrayed in this book. Being Greek, this is always a delight and a huge compliment.

The love of this author for Zakynthos, its people and the way of life there shines through. I highly recommend this book to anyone who shares similar passions for any place in Greece. And I’ll definitely read more from this author.

 

My rating:

5-stars

Exquisite writing that made me feel like I’m on the island!

 

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Do you enjoy Greek island romances? What about stories about old family secrets, redemption and healing? If this sounds like your cup of tea, then definitely give this book a try!

Visit Amazon  US   UK

And check out my interview with Isabelle Broom on this site!

 

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Hot offer: The Lady of the Pier trilogy only 99c!

historical paranormal fiction england

Good morning peeps! Today I’m excited to announce a major promotion in my paranormal/historical trilogy, The Lady of the Pier. As you can see from the image, two of the books are FREE and the other is 99c, but only for a limited time!

The series has received some glowing comments from readers, but don’t just take my word for it: I invite you to visit Amazon and read some of the reviews. My readers say The Storm is their favorite – and its average rating of 5 stars on Amazon reflects that! This is a rare opportunity to emerge yourself in the dramatic world of WWII and the sweet nostalgia of the 80s in one series! Transporting yourself to the heavenly paradise of Corfu will delight you, but in the world of Brighton, England a mysterious haunting awaits to shift your mood. The Lady of the Pier will be sending chills up and down your spine as she slowly discloses her secrets…

This August, The Lady of the Pier comes to haunt us all! Make sure to not miss out…

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Start from The Ebb and recapture the sweetness of first love! You can also enjoy it as a standalone read. It’s a lighthearted book, unlike the rest of the series where the haunting intensifies and a compelling drama begins to unfold. The Ebb is FREE today and only for a couple of days!

Please note: The Flow is discounted only in the USA and the UK, but the other two books are FREE worldwide.

 

Read The Lady of the Pier trilogy for only 99c! #ASMSG #booklovers #Bookworm Click To Tweet
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Book review: The Greek Salad (Grammatakia series)

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The Greek salad is a delightful book that teaches Greek in a unique way; not only does it teach a host of useful words and phrases, but it also introduces the reader to many facets of the Greek culture. For one, this book in the Grammatakia series is all about the infamous food culture that is immense in Greece. Sofia is celebrating her name day and is preparing a typical Greek salad for her guests, but the ingredients are not exactly cooperating. Instead, they are busying themselves with various Olympic games! The illustrations are a joy to behold, especially the ones featuring Sofia’s cousins; they are a truly delightful bunch! There is also a sheet of stickers inside the book that I’m sure will delight students of Greek of all ages. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series will bring. I recommend this to anyone who loves my country and would like to learn a bit of Greek without worrying about its (admittedly) painfully difficult grammar! (I received a free copy of the book in return for my honest review.)

My rating:

5-stars

Delightful!

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Looking for a short book that will teach you a little Greek and entertain? And I don’t mean just the kids! Look no further  – check out this brightly colored delight on Amazon now! (Available only as a hardback)

Alternatively, visit the Grammatakia website and shop from there. The book can be shipped from Australia anywhere in the world! As soon as you buy the paperback, you will receive an email with a video link where you can read the whole book digitally as well!

 Check out my interview with the author, Yannis Nikolakopoulos.

Learn Greek the fun way with The Grammatakia series #Greek #Greece #ASMSG Click To Tweet
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Book review: How to get good reviews on Amazon

How to get good reviews on Amazon

I devoured this book. A lot of the advice made sense to me and I’d been following it all along instinctively, but there was so much more in this gem of a book that left me absolutely gobsmacked. I cannot believe how easy it is to identify a nasty reviewer, for example, who hides behind a nickname. That little tip is one of the best I’ve ever been given and I am very thankful it was included in the book. The bits about the forums were scary and left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve been keeping away from forums for this reason and reading this means I now know for sure I never will. There is sound advice throughout the book, most of it reminding us the plain truth that people are basically the same. Honesty and a little flattery will get you anywhere. Mind you, I found myself guilty on a couple of non recommended practices, mainly when I first started on my publishing journey. I will certainly adjust my course of action as necessary. Thank you Theo Rogers for these precious insights!

My rating:

5-stars

A book of precious insights

 

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Are you interested to take a peek behind the curtain on the world of reviewers? Are you ready to get inside their heads, learn the jargon, and the best way to approach them? This book will open your eyes and teach you a thing or two!

Visit Amazon

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Great romance deals by two fabulous authors

reading beach summer

Hello! The summer’s upon us and, if you’re anything like me, chances are you’re looking for new books to add to your reader in time for your upcoming vacation. I was doing this very thing today and was delighted to find three unmissable deals by the fabulous Donna Fasano and Carmen De Sousa.

You know me, I felt compelled to share the news so you don’t miss out! But first, to say a huge thank you to Maria Savva for the delightful chat we recently had on her Goodreads blog. I scarcely do interviews these days, but Maria came up with a refreshing set of questions and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. To take a look, go here.

And now, the deals! Have a great vacation and happy reading!

 

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Some lucky women meet the man of their dreams and live happily ever after. Some lucky women focus on a career and make their own happily ever after. And then some women wake up after fifteen years of marriage and discover that their luck just ran out … right into the arms of another woman.

Jana Embers isn’t one to sit back, though. The first thing Jana realizes she needs to do is empty the joint bank account, then she’s thinking she might take a tire iron to her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s truck. After that, she’s not sure what she’ll do … Maybe she’ll adopt a cat.

FREE!  Visit Amazon

 

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When Lauren divorces her husband, she has one thought on her mind…stepping off the merry-go-round. However, her life quickly turns into a three-ring circus: her hypochondriac father moves in, her ex is using her shower when she’s not home, and her perky assistant is pushing her out into the fearsome dating world. She also has to decide if the dilapidated barn and vintage merry-go-round she was awarded in the divorce settlement is a blessing or a bane. As if Lauren’s personal life isn’t chaotic enough, this slightly jaded attorney is overrun with a cast of quirky characters who can’t stay on the right side of the law. What’s a woman to do? She can allow life to spin her in circles forever. Or she can reach out and grab the brass ring.

$1.99  Visit Amazon  US   UK

 

reclaim my heart

USA Today Bestseller

Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law, and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined.

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn’t rip them apart.

$0.99 Amazon US only! Visit Amazon US

 

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Book review: Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot

Book

I loved this book for two different reasons. The first one is that it transported me effortlessly and swiftly to the Greek island of Corfu, my favorite corner of the world. The second is that Mandy Baggot kept me interested with her lifelike characters that were full of surprises. I loved the suspense in the beginning where you were given only hints of the characters’ past. These sparse tidbits of information certainly kept me interested to keep reading as to find out more. There are both funny and dramatic elements in this summer read, which makes it anything but your typical chick-lit novel set on a Greek beach, but  the story-telling was exquisite and I lapped it all up.

 

My rating:

4-stars

An enjoyable beach read with funny and dramatic elements

 

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Do you enjoy books set in Corfu? Are you looking for a romantic, beach read? Give this sizzling hot romance a try! Visit Amazon.

Check out my interview with Mandy Baggot on this site!

 

A review of Truly Madly Greekly by @MandyBaggot #ASMSG #IAN1 #Booklovers Click To Tweet
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Do you love Greece? Check out our guide to Corfu! For delicious Greek recipes, go here. Sign up to the newsletter for Effrosyni’s news and special offers (sparse emails) NEW: To read Effrosyni’s books for FREE (yes, free!), sign up to her team of loyal readers here. It’s free to join!
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Old photos and memories from Corfu

Today, I thought I’d share a couple of photos that my author friend Stephanie Wood sent to me recently. One day, Stephanie saw one of my posts about Moraitika, Corfu and the name rang a bell. Next, she was going through old photo albums and found evidence that confirmed her suspicions: she’d spent a holiday there back in the 80s but, over the years, had forgotten the name of the Corfiot village she stayed at. When she wrote to let me know, and to send the photos she found, I felt delighted. If I could re-acquaint her with such a blissful part of her past and, what’s more, stir in her the desire to return there one day, I felt my work was done.

It’s been a year now that I’ve been shouting it out from the rooftops of Twitter and Facebook that I am mad about Moraitika and Messonghi, the villages I set my romance trilogy in, and called them Vassilaki and Messi respectively in the books. It gives me great pleasure when people write to me to say they’ve been there in the past and that my posts caused them to start dreaming about them again, spurring them on to return!

So, to keep the fire inside your hearts kindling, this post is for all of you who, like me, adore these two quaint, heavenly corners of the world. Those among you who’ve been visiting since the 80s may enjoy remembering how these villages looked back then. You’ll need to forgive the low resolution, of course. These are grainy, as they should be, otherwise they wouldn’t be so precious, right?

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This picture from Stephanie was easy to identify as a picture of Moraitika beach.

 

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Now, this one gave me a hard time. It took me a while to identify the place and finally I realized it’s the road heading towards Moraitika as you come from the river bridge. Actually, this spot is very close to the bridge but it’s missing the big roundabout that’s in the middle of this road today. Back then, there was no roundabout and, depending on when in the 80s this photo was taken, there’s a chance the Messonghi river bridge wasn’t even built yet!

 

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Throughout the 80s, there were many restaurants offering live syrtaki dancing every night in Moraitika but only one had its dance floor by petrol pumps! And that was Paizanos petrol station on the main road (a petrol station still operates there today, and it’s situated near the bookshop/post office).

 

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This one is the last of Stephanie’s snaps and it’s my favourite, simply because it’s a picture of Martaouna, the pyramid-shaped mountain on the right that I can’t get enough of marveling at when  in Moraitika or Messonghi. Visible from both the villages, it houses the village of Spilio. Next to it, the Chlomos mountain is missing the two tall masts that are visible on the top today.

You can see a similar view of these mountains from the 80s in another picture courtesy of another Messonghi lover, my friend, Julie Reeves:

Messonghi beach 1982 by Julie Reeves

This was an utter delight for me when I first laid eyes on it. At the time, there were few touristic businesses in Messonghi and this photo reflects this. I used to stay at my aunt Rini’s house (aunt Rini was the sister of my grandfather, Spyros Vassilakis) for a few days at the time back then and would spend the whole day with my cousins Rini and Sofi Tsatsani. The house was just behind the building in the foreground. Seeing this photo caused a myriad of precious childhood memories to flood into my head.

Thank you Julie Reeves and Stephanie Wood for bringing back these memories!

I hope you’ve also enjoyed this short trip down memory lane. If you have similar old photos that show how these villages used to be in the 70s or 80s feel free to contact me as I’d love to see them. If I have a nice selection, I’d love to post a similar post in future again.

Before I go, to let you know that the terrific site Tripfiction asked me to contribute to their blog and, you know me, I came up with an article about my favorite place in the world – Corfu. Read it here and find out, among other things, what is the best time in the year to visit Corfu town and where on the island you’ll find freezing cold waters even in the summer! Ok, so I’ll spoil the surprise on the second one because I feel compelled to share the below pictures! Just look at these gorgeous views of the bay at Paleokastritsa that Julie Reeves took the other day:

In case you haven’t heard of Tripfiction before: If you search for your favorite locations in the world on this site, it will show you books set there! Nifty, huh!

Have you holidayed in Moraitika, Messonghi, or anywhere else in Corfu? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!

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Only on Amazon

Click here for the book trailer and a free excerpt of The Ebb.

 

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Do you love Greece? Check out our guide to Corfu! For delicious Greek recipes, go here. Sign up to the newsletter for Effrosyni’s news and special offers (sparse emails) NEW: To read Effrosyni’s books for FREE (yes, free!), sign up to her team of loyal readers here. It’s free to join!
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How to read all my books for free

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Yes, you heard right. And no, I haven’t gone mad! But, as I believe that one needs to invest in their business before they can reap any benefits, I’ve decided to offer my future books for free to all my loyal readers.

To do this, I’ve created Team Effrosyni. Members of the team will be receiving my future books for free, plus they’ll have access to exclusive giveaways and other special offers.

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Actually, I’ve just set up the very first giveaway. Among the prizes, there are three tote bags, perfect for beach (or Corfu) lovers! The giveaway is open exclusively to Team Effrosyni members so make sure to sign up. It’s FREE!

Go to the Team Effrosyni page and check it out!

 

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Interview with Kathryn Gauci

Today I’m pleased to welcome Kathryn Gauci, a Brit living in Australia. Kathryn’s historical saga, The Embroiderer, takes the reader on a riveting journey through tumultuous historical events from the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922 to Greece in the 1970s. Kathryn is a woman of various artistic talents, as you’ll find out during our chat today!

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1822: During one of the bloodiest massacres of The Greek War of Independence, a child is born to a woman of legendary beauty in the Byzantine monastery of Nea Moni on the Greek island of Chios. The subsequent decades of bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks simmer to a head when the Greek army invades Turkey in 1919. During this time, Dimitra Lamartine arrives in Smyrna and gains fame and fortune as an embroiderer to the elite of Ottoman society. However it is her grand-daughter, Sophia, who takes the business to great heights only to see their world come crashing down with the outbreak of The Balkan Wars, 1912-13. In 1922, Sophia begins a new life in Athens but the memory of a dire prophecy once told to her grandmother about a girl with flaming red hair begins to haunt her with devastating consequences. 1972: Eleni Stephenson is called to the bedside of her dying aunt in Athens. In a story that rips her world apart, Eleni discovers the chilling truth behind her family’s dark past plunging her into the shadowy world of political intrigue, secret societies and espionage where families and friends are torn apart and where a belief in superstition simmers just below the surface.

(A Greek translation will be available in bookstores throughout Greece from September.)

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Hello Kathryn and welcome to my blog!

Thank you, Effrosyni. I’m thrilled to be here today.

What has inspired you to write The Embroiderer?

The seeds of The Embroiderer were sown during my years working as a carpet designer in Greece, 1972-78. The company was situated in a suburb of Athens populated by refugees from The Asia Minor Catastrophe, 1922-23. Working among these people, many of the older generation who still conversed in Turkish, I grew to understand the impact of the disaster and the intense yearning these people still held for their lost homelands (once a part of Greece, now in Turkey), the land of their forefathers where they were no longer able to reside in. Significantly they shared a separate sense of identity, so much so that fifty years after the Catastrophe, many of them still referred to themselves as Mikrasiates (Asia Minor people) and still chose to intermarry.

The Asia Minor Catastrophe was a pivotal turning point in Greek/Turkish relations. Friction between the countries had begun a century earlier with the Greek War of Independence. Millions lost their lives in the 1920s and out of the ashes emerged two new nations – the Turkish Republic under the soldier statesman, Ataturk, and the Hellenic Republic – modern Greece.

Today, most of the white-washed prefabricated homes in the refugee neighborhoods in Athens have been replaced by apartment blocks, but the street names still bear testament to their origins: Byzantium Street, Pergamum St, Anatolia St, Bouboulina St, and Misolonghi St. to name just a few. Women no longer spill out of their doorways sitting with their neighbors and chatting while embroidering cloth for their daughters’ dowries. There are not many basement shops selling bric-a-brac and musical instruments from the ‘old world’ any more but, if we look closer, the history and the spirit of these people still resonate in their everyday lives. You’ll find them in their music, their food, the plethora of Turkish words and phrases that punctuate the Greek language, and the ancient belief in the evil eye. Most important of all, it is through the time-honored tradition of storytelling that keep their memories alive.

The Embroiderer is as much their story as it is mine.

I can sense your love for these people in your words. It’s very moving, Kathryn. The yearning of the Mikrasiates for their lost lands is well recognized still by the average Greek. What was the first thing you ever wrote and how old were you then?

It was a “mini” novel called Adventure in Spain which I wrote in a notebook when I was twelve. Amazingly, I still have it. It’s hilarious but it does show that even at that age, I had that yearning for adventure.

Any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?

When I gave up textile designing to write, I still wanted to keep my hand in design so I bought a kiln and took classes on glass slumping and flame-worked jewellery. I love the translucency of glass and the way the colors react with each other. From time to time, I still put together ranges which I sell in a glass gallery in Melbourne. I also love to cook and am constantly trying out new recipes.

Oh my goodness! Well done, these are fabulous! What are you working on at the moment?

My current WIP is set in France (with a small section in England) during WWII. It’s a suspense story which developed while researching The Embroiderer – spies, clandestine operations of the Resistance, etc., and a fated love affair, of course. After this one, the novels will be set back in Greece and Turkey. I have at least four different themes lined up – different eras and places, although one is speaking to me louder than the others and I am already working on the plot.

It all sounds very intriguing! Who are your favorite authors, and what do you love about them?

Louis de Bernieres, Orhan Pamuk, Giles Morton, Khaled Hosseini, Sebastian Faulks, Rohinton Mistry. Of the older ones, Kazantzakis and D.H.Lawrence. I love their writing style, the settings, the emotions they evoke, and their strong characters. Most of all, I love it when I can immerse myself in another time and place and get swept along in their struggles.

I love Louis De Bernieres! Birds Without Wings, set in Asia Minor, is one of the most astounding and unforgettable books I’ve ever read. Kathryn, being an author involves a lot of sitting around. What do you do for exercise?

I’m still working on that, Effrosyni! I’m great at making excuses – you know the sort – it’s too cold, too hot, not enough time etc., and much prefer to cook or sit in the garden enjoying a glass of wine. Having said that, I have started on my walks again and aim to walk five days a week.

Sounds like a terrific plan! Choose a male and a female character from your book and tell us which actor and actress you’d cast to play them in a film adaptation.

Hard to choose. Perhaps Maria Nafpliou as Sophia, Sissi Hristidou as the red-haired Maria, and for the men, either Theo Theodoridis or Panayiotis Bougiouris for Andreas or Nikolai. I’d also love to see the Turkish actor Yılmaz Erdoğan as Vedat Aksoy.

Describe your workstation. Are there any favorite objects you have there for inspiration?

My writing room

I write in a small room surrounded by books. It opens out onto a patio. I have photographs of my cats on a nearby shelf, especially one who sat with me while I was writing The Embroiderer. I might make notes everywhere else but it’s only in this room that I can pull it all together. I rarely listen to music here except when I need to conjure up a particular mood in my writing.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in life the hard way?

Nothing comes easy. You have to work to get what you want.

Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?

I love writing blogs. It hones my writing skills and allows me to indulge in a subject that takes my fancy. Unfortunately I haven’t yet mastered the art of the short blog post so I usually do this twice a month. The themes are almost always on Greek or Turkish subjects. They can range from oriental carpets and fashion, to mastic from Chios or the Asia Minor Catastrophe and are usually art and history based. Like yourself, I also do author interviews under the heading A Literary Life. At the moment I interview Greek authors and I am looking forward to doing one with you very soon, especially as you have your new book coming out.

Thank you Kathryn. I hope to publish The Amulet sometime in the next few months and will get back to you on this kind offer in due course. Thank you for being here with us today; it was a treat for me!

And a pleasure for me, Effrosyni. Many thanks!

Kathryn Gauci2

Kathryn Gauci was born in Leicestershire, England, and studied textile design at Loughborough College of Art and later at Kidderminster College of Art and Design where she specialized in carpet design and technology. After graduating, Kathryn spent a year in Vienna, Austria before moving to Greece where she worked as a carpet designer in Athens for six years. There followed another brief period in New Zealand before eventually settling in Melbourne, Australia.

Before turning to writing full-time, Kathryn ran her own textile design studio in Melbourne for over fifteen years, work which she enjoyed tremendously as it allowed her the luxury of traveling worldwide, often taking her off the beaten track and exploring other cultures. The Embroiderer is her first novel; a culmination of those wonderful years of design and travel, and especially of those glorious years in her youth living and working in Greece – a place that she is proud to call her spiritual home.

Website: http://www.kathryngauci.com/

Blog: http://www.kathryngauci.com/blog/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KathrynGauci

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006545417928

 

Meet historical author and terrific artist, @KathrynGauci #ASMSG #IAN1 #bookworm Click To Tweet
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Do you love Greece? Check out our guide to Corfu on this site! For delicious Greek recipes, head over to Effrosyni’s Blog. Sign up to Effrosyni’s newsletter for her news and special offers (very sparse emails).

 

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