Friday, 27 May 2016

Guest Post & Giveaway - Why Greece IS the word by Isabelle Broom - Greek Week

I’ve travelled to many places around the world in my time. I’ve bathed elephants in Sri Lanka, clung fearfully to the wall at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto, eaten bagels for breakfast in New York, made wishes on The Charles Bridge in Prague and skipped along the Hollywood Walk of Fame – but none of these places has captured my heart or imagination in the same way that the small Ionian island of Zakynthos did. 

Nestled in a patch of blue sea in the shadow of its far bigger neighbour Kefalonia, for me Zakynthos has always been the crowning jewel of Greece. I visited for the first time in the year 2000, falling immediately and irrevocably in love almost as soon as I felt the warm stone through the soles of my sandals and breathed in the scent of lemon and pine trees in the air. Island life is relaxed and laid-back, the Greeks hospitable and hilarious fun, and it only takes about ten minutes after I arrive each time for all my woes, worries and stresses to ease away.

When I set about writing My Map Of You, it was important to me that the island itself was as much of a character as Holly and Aidan were. I’d always thought of the place as a huge guardian figure in my own life, a place that would welcome me with open arms and comfort me in times of sadness. I’ve lived in London now for almost half my life, but it’s never felt like a home – not in the way this little foreign island does. But what is a home? To me, the idea of home is the place where you are most alive – a place where it’s okay to be yourself, and not only that, but the very best version of yourself. Holly realises this is also true for her when she returns to London, but unlike me she had the freedom to go back permanently.

While Zakynthos has always been the most magical place in the world for me, I also believe that every little island in the world has it’s own inherent magic. Every city has hidden corners, the scent of secrets are always on the air, no matter where you end up – and it’s my job as a writer to capture them. I find that idea of belonging to a place so fascinating, and it’s the way I’ve always felt about Greece. A part of my heart will always be there, and even when I’m not actually in Zakynthos, I carry it with me. 

I never used to understand what people meant when they’d say, “Home is where the heart is,” but now, thanks to a very special Greek island thousands of miles away, I do.

About Isabelle Broom

Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts at the University of West London before starting a career first in local newspapers and then as a junior sub editor at heat magazine. She travelled through Europe during her gap year and went to live on the Greek island of Zakynthos for an unforgettable and life-shaping six months after completing her degree. Since then, she has travelled to Canada, Sri Lanka, Sicily, New York, LA, the Canary Islands, Spain and lots more of Greece, but her wanderlust was reined in when she met Max, a fluffy little Bolognese puppy desperate for a home. When she’s not writing novels set in far-flung locations, Isabelle spends her time being the Book Reviews Editor at heatmag and walking her beloved dog round the parks of north London. Oh, and she does a lot of laughing. Just, you know, because…

If you like pictures of dogs, chatter about books and very bad jokes, you can follow her on Twitter @Isabelle_Broom or find her on Facebook under Isabelle Broom Author.

My Map Of You is available from Amazon and other book retailers, as well as Audiobook. Her second novel, A Year And A Day, will arrive in November.

Giveaway - Win a signed copy of My Map of You (Europe Only)

Isabelle Broom has donated a lovely signed copy of My Map of You for one lucky winner. Since it is Greek Week seems fitting that I allow the whole of Europe to enter. 

Giveaway open to Europe only, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 4/6/2016. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been to Zakynthos but feel the same way about Cyprus its where my heart lives.


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