Today, I'm happy to welcome debut author Paul Dillon to Rachelle's Window. Paul has a profound love of the Greek isles, particularly the beautiful and almost tropical Ionian Islands. It's no surprise that his first novel would be placed in this beautiful part of the world. So Paul, how long have you been writing and what got you started?
Writing has always been part of my life. It’s been mostly business related, marketing, promotional copy, business plans. I got the fiction bug a few years ago; it’s quite a change of direction and style but I’m really enjoying it.
You’ve just published your first novel. What was your experience? Did you self-publish?
That’s a great question, Rachelle, we could probably fill a couple of pages on that topic. Briefly, I finished “Magic” and started querying. To be honest, it’s not the easiest book to pitch and I was planning to give it a few months, see if I got any nibbles, then think hard about self-publishing. I sent out a few queries during January of this year. That’s about the time I came across Mark Williams, from MWiDP. Mark was looking for titles for a new imprint that had location has a key story element. He asked for the manuscript, loved it and convinced me digital was the way to go. The book’s also out in paperback.
Location is sort of like a character in your book. Tell me about The Magic In The Receiver. What’s it about?
Magic’s got something for everyone; it’s part family saga, there’s action (in the earthquake scenes), but ultimately it’s a story about love. I’d stop short of calling it romance, though I’m sure romance lovers will find plenty to enjoy. <smile> Its certainly not a bodice-ripper, though.
Something for everyone, except for the vampire crowd, right? The book is set in Greece. Are the characters Greek, is it about Greek culture?
All the action takes place on the Greek Island of Kefalonia – which is the largest of the Ionian Islands. The characters are mainly Americans or Americans of Greek decent. The story could have been set almost anywhere but I wanted to contrast the American lifestyle with the slower pace of, say, Southern Europe. To me, the Greek Islands are the poster child for a laidback lifestyle. The main female character, Elena, is a twenty-eight-year old from Boston, visiting Kefalonia with her father (an expat who left the island as a child following the 1953 Kefalonia earthquake.) Elena discovers her roots through her Greek relatives and is drawn to the culture and way of life – she’s torn between staying and returning to her fiancé in the US.
Tell me about the love story.
Right, I had one reader tell me it’s a love story with a modern twist. I guess the overall theme deals with the nature of love; the male protagonist has a love-at-first-sight experience that he must come to terms with. I’m fascinated by love and what’s going on behind the scenes from a physiological perspective. Some of the work of Dr. Helen Fisher inspired that aspect of the story.
Falling in love is one of the best feelings in the human experience, so what comments do you hear most often from readers?
Without doubt it’s the feeling of being transported to a Greek island. I felt immersed in the landscapes and villages as I wrote the book and it seems to have carried over to the readers. I’m really thrilled about that.
So not only do we get a love story, we also get armchair travel. What other books are similar to “Magic”?
Well, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin keeps getting mentioned as it was a set on the same island. I’m told it even boosted tourism. I haven’t read the book so can’t comment on any similarities
Would you say the genre is women’s fiction?
Some readers have told me it’s women’s fiction but I’m betting the guys will enjoy it too. It wasn’t a conscious decision to write a book that appealed to a female audience but I’m pleased it turned out that way. <grin> I hear women buy more books.
It hasn’t been a problem so far. I tend to read over the prior days’ work and do light edits; that gets me into the swing of the story again. Some days are better than others, of course. If I’m ever sat at the keyboard for more than fifteen minutes and the words aren’t coming, I start a new document and write whatever comes into my head. After a couple of paragraphs, I go back to the WIP and keep on writing. This seems to work for quite a few author friends.
Paul, it's been great chatting with you. Where can readers find out more about you?
I’d love to hear from your readers, my website, www.pauldillon.net has all my online hangout information like Twitter and Facebook. Thanks Rachelle, it’s been nice being your guest.