Welcome to Loukia Borrell, who has been on Jess resides here for her previous book Raping Aphrodite. The latest book is Delicate Secrets a prequel. Loukia on today with an interview.
When you were on the blog last, you mentioned your reading pile, what about now? What are you reading?
My reading list a couple of years ago when I was on your blog included “Suite Francaise,” by Irene Nemirovsky, “Queen” by Alex Haley and “Ripley Under Ground” by Patricia Highsmith. I did finish “Ripley Under Ground,” but put the other two aside to read the first two books of the E.L. James trilogy, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and “Fifty Shades Darker.” I got caught up in the hype but didn’t continue to the third book because I was uncomfortable with the novels. I am reading a travel book on the Greek Islands, a memoir by Gary Goldstein, “Jew in Jail,” and Sylvia Day’s, “Bared to You.” Although Day’s book is the same formula as James’ trilogy, the female lead character is on equal footing with the male and I am more comfortable with that; it’s more believable. I still hope to get to “Queen” and “Suite Francaise.”
You had mentioned then the prequel. How has the process been since then with your second book as opposed to your first?
The new book is “Delicate Secrets.” When I was here a couple of years ago, the working title was “Aphrodite Ascending,” but that changed. “Delicate Secrets” goes back to 1993 when my two lead characters from “Raping Aphrodite” first met. So, the first book I published is actually the second book in the series, and this latest book is the first. Yet, you can read them out of order and they will make sense. I have a lot more experience with self-publishing now than I did when the first book came out in 2011. I am established on Goodreads, Linkedin and Twitter, so I can promote and have networked with other writers and bloggers who have helped promote my book. I am grateful to all of them. That is probably the biggest difference, just knowing how the process works, how to upload your book file, and get out the word. When I wrote “Raping Aphrodite,” I contacted dozens of literary agents, trying to get representation. This time around, I didn’t do that. I just epublished and ventured on my own and with the help of supportive people like you.
Why a prequel and how many books do you plan in the series?
I planned The Aphrodite Anthologies as a trilogy. I guess it would have been better to write the books in order of one, two and three but it didn’t form in my mind that way. From the beginning, “Delicate Secrets” explores the growing but ill-fated relationship between two people who have chemistry but don’t know how to handle it. It isn’t just a physical thing, it is a bond they have that survives separation and silence. When we meet them again in the second book, “Raping Aphrodite,” they are married but face a new crisis that threatens their relationship. The last book will take readers forward from where the second book ends, but it won’t be ready for a while. I probably won’t start writing it until next fall, after I put out “Delicate Secrets” as a paperback and spend time promoting it.
Is there a genre completely different that you’d like to try writing one day?
I have some chapters written for a historical romance novel set in the 1800s. I started it more than 20 years ago and put it aside, but I might get back to it someday. I’ll occasionally read Avon romance novels. They are pure entertainment and because I live near historical areas like Williamsburg, Va., I like getting lost in the past, in a simpler time of sweeping plantations, elaborate gowns and living in huge homes surrounded by rolling, open country.
What have you learned most about yourself since starting book one?
I have learned that I can take an idea and turn it into something tangible. For the first book, I tried to find a literary agent and when that didn’t work, I represented myself. I am still out there, three years after self-publishing, promoting my work and still writing. I also have the opportunity to help other authors promote their work on Goodreads, Linkedin and Twitter. I have spent the past 18 years raising children and taking care of our house, and sick and elderly family members. I made a promise to myself when I became a mother and a caretaker, that I wouldn’t give up things that are important to me and that I would keep my dreams of writing alive. I am glad I can say I have been true to those promises.
What about gaining readers, how has the experience been with gaining fans and feedback from them?
I am not a household name. I am self-published and don’t have a huge following. I have heard from some people who have read my books and they are positive. Other times, my writing usually comes up in conversations with other people who might ask, “What do you do?” When I tell them and they seem interested, it is a good feeling to be able to tell them what I am working on and how the writing process works for me. Bloggers and other authors have been very supportive, too.
Have you since gained a dedicated writing work space?
No, but I take a lot of comfort in being home. Last December, my father died and it was the worst feeling. It was right before Christmas and it helped a lot just to be home, around my belongings, with my family in a place I know. Losing a close family member is very destabilizing. I didn’t want to be out and around a lot of people, so I found peaceful areas like the sofa in my bedroom where I could watch movies, listen to music and just write. Both of my novels were written here at home.
What do you have planned for the future for readers?
I am working on the paperback for “Delicate Secrets,” to be released in the spring. After that, I plan to start writing the third book in my series. I also started writing poetry in the past year, which is a new style of writing for me, but I enjoy it.
Care to share anything else for readers? About your work, yourself etc.
I have three children, two in high school and one in middle school. I am married to their father. We have known each other a very long time and that is something I am proud of. I didn’t want to go through life alone, but I also wanted to be with the right person. We got married when I was 36. I had relationships before him, but something was always missing. I am very lucky we found our way to each other. I take long, daily walks and I love watching movies. I am pretty quiet-living; not much for crowds or loud folks. I have a guinea pig named Plink who whistles when I am in the kitchen and I whistle back. He loves kale and Romaine lettuce. Jessica, I want to thank you for allowing me to visit your readers again. As a self-published author, having the support of other authors and bloggers makes everything worthwhile. Your readers can find me on Goodreads, Linkedin, Book Blogs and Twitter. My books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. My first book, “Raping Aphrodite,” has a Facebook page, where readers can learn more about the invasion and division of Cyprus. Please visit at https://www.facebook.com/