I was born to Cypriot immigrants in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from Elon University, with a bachelor’s degree in English/journalism, I worked for newspapers in Virginia and Florida for 20 years. In 2009, I began writing my first book, “Raping Aphrodite,” and followed up with my second book, “Delicate Secrets,” last year. I also write poetry that has been published online at Deltona Howl and Blue Heron Review. I live in Virginia with my husband and our three children.
What inspires you to write?
Everything around me inspires some type of thought. It can be something someone says, something I read or heard. My mind is always turning, trying to figure out something, whatever it is, and using my imagination to answer the question, “What if?” Obviously, some of my characters are based on people I have known and situations my characters encounter also are based on situations I have gone through or know of. My first novel, “Raping Aphrodite,” was inspired by the true events on Cyprus during the summer of 1974, when the island was invaded and divided by Turkey. Although I was only 11 that summer, I remember that time as being the only thing my parents, natives of Cyprus, talked about. I listened and the fallout from that crisis stayed with me throughout the years, until I was mature enough to sit down and put my information in book form.
Tell us about your writing process.
I do have an outline in my head of where I want my novels to go, but as I do the writing, I can come up a direction that may fit but wasn’t previously planned. I usually have a “notes” section in the book file. If an idea that seems interesting pops into my head, I make a note of it in the file and use it if it fits. If I am away from my laptop, and an idea comes up, I will write it down or send a text to myself until I can get to the file. I really have to be in the mood to write. Sometimes, I can sit there for a few hours and just type, type, type. Other days, I am still sorting out what I want my characters to do or say, so I don’t write. I have to be ready.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I look at my characters, especially the main ones, and try to be them. I put myself in their shoes and ask myself, What would he/she do right now? What would be their natural responses? I don’t actually talk to them, but I do feel they are waiting for me to develop them, to bring them to life. When I am writing, we are all going on the journey together and I am leading them, so I do feel close to my work and the characters I create.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like Patricia Highsmith and her character Tom Ripley. He is pure evil, in a very upper-class, subtle way. “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier is a very poignant, emotional book that I enjoyed, too. I like fiction, but I also read memoirs and biographies. I couldn’t put down Jaycee Dugard’s “A Stolen Life.”
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After finishing my first novel, “Raping Aphrodite,” I spent about six months contacting literary agents, trying to get someone interested in helping me get this book in front of a publisher. I had a few nibbles, but ultimately, nothing happened, so I decided to take charge. I didn’t want other people, people who don’t know what my works means to me, to be gatekeepers; to make decisions for me. I had to believe in my work and that meant self-publishing. I didn’t want to sit there and say, “This will never be a bestseller, so I quit.” I have to stay inspired, even if I am the only person who is.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I like to hold a book in my hand, but I think publishing will continue to be more digital, so Kindle, Nook and those types of devices will be the future. I also think writers will continue to self-publish and take control of their own publicity on sites like Goodreads, Linkedin and Facebook. Authors will advocate for each other, promote each other even more than they are doing now on those and other sites.
What genres do you write?
historical fiction and fiction
What formats are your books in?
Link To Loukia Borrell Page On Amazon