February 5, 2012

Author Interview: Loukia Borrell

Please welcome to A Three Way Tie, Loukia Borrell!

Please tell us a little about yourself. 

My name is Loukia Borrell and "Raping Aphrodite" is my first book. I am a native of Toledo, Ohio, but was raised in Virginia Beach.  I graduated from Elon University and was a journalist for about 20 years. I am married and have three children.

When and why did you begin writing? 

People enjoy doing some things more than others. In school, I liked English, writing papers and reading books. When I got to Elon, I joined the student newspaper staff, eventually becoming editor my senior year. I went on to be a newspaper reporter from there, so things got started about 30 years ago.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? What is the easiest? 

I don't know if there were any hard parts in "Raping Aphrodite."  There were parts that were easier to writer than others. For example, I considered making Tash's father a bad guy, someone implicated in war crimes, but decided not to do that. Instead, I wrote him as an aging father who is worried his daughter will be hurt. I also spent time researching the 1974 invasion and division of Cyprus and it was hard to hear the stories people told of running for their lives, having family killed and basically trying to endure in refugee camps. The easiest part was getting started. It was a story I needed to tell.

What music do you listen to while you write? 

I watch movies while I write and some of them, like "Cold Mountain," "Days of Heaven," "American Gigolo" and "Vicky Christina Barcelona" have great soundtracks that gave me the emotional feeling I needed to get through certain parts of the book.

What inspires you? 

Life and its briefness. We have a short amount of time to make a difference. Everything can change tomorrow, whether we are ready for it or not.

Do you have any hidden talents? 

Absolutely none, but I am probably not the best person to ask about that. My husband's number is.......

What are your current projects? 

I am editing the proof for "Raping Aphrodite" and hoping to get that out in paperback this spring. I also am promoting the book.

Raping Aphrodite
What made you decide on self-publishing?/How did you land a traditional publishing deal?

I self-published. I tried, for about six months, to get an agent but couldn't. After that, I was so frustrated with the process and all those rejection emails that I threw in the towel and jumped. I wasn't going to let strangers tell me I couldn't tell this story.

Did you have a professional editor?

Not formally, but I had a former news editor and reporter - my husband -  spend some time with the manuscript, and of course, I did, too. You would think that, as familiar as we are with the story, editing it would have been a snap, but it wasn't. There were typos and errors in the Word file neither of us saw until after "Raping Aphrodite" was epublished, so I have had to go back and fix the file numerous times. That is the beauty of self-publishing. You can make changes whenever you need.

Do you edit as you write or wait until your book is finished?

I waited until the book was finished. I didn't want to be in the process of editing and writing at the same time. For me, when you are done writing, you are through. Editing this book has been evolving over a longer period.

What book are you reading now?

I am not reading one at the moment, because I am working on the paperback version of "Raping Aphrodite," and talking to folks like you. I hope to pick through my stack of books-to-read later this winter and make a selection. It will probably be "Queen," by Alex Haley or "Ripley Under Ground" by Patricia Highsmith.

Quick: Vampires or Shapeshifter? Why?

Vampires. Bring me Gary Oldman, in character, when he played Dracula in the movie. I'd like to see a one-on-one meeting between him and Edward Cullen.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don't give up. Don't let other people tell you what you can and can't do.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I don't think I really have a following yet, as I am quite new to everything. People reading this, please pass it on and spread the word about "Raping Aphrodite." Thank you for having me as a guest. You can follow me on Twitter @LoukiaBorrell, on Goodreads and Book Blogs.