Chasing Athens – Official Press Kit
You may download excerpts and the press releases below.
Best Seller Ranked Novel CHASING ATHENS to be Launched at Art Links October 2014
Πρώτη παρουσίαση του Best Seller Μυθιστορήματος CHASING ATHENS October 2014
Q&A with Marissa Tejada, Author of Chasing Athens
1. Describe your book’s story line?
In Athens, Greece where rich culture and a crippling crisis collide, a heartbroken American expat is inspired to stay after her new husband literally walks out on her. That abrupt decision leads her through a humorous, touching and cultural journey that forces her confront her disappointing past and redefine the true meaning of home.
2. Where did you get the inspiration for this book?
From my first year living as an expat, I knew I wanted to write something about my experiences – a romantic comedy was born! Greece is a place of beauty within its culture, people, places, and traditions. However, not every Greek moment is perfect which I wanted to portray too – it’s a time of crisis, uncertainty, and desperation. As a woman living abroad, all of these extremes pull together creating an experience that I has made me who I am today and influenced me to write Chasing Athens.
3. What is it that will make readers love your book?
The book takes readers through a modern day journey in Greece as told through the eyes of an expat woman who is forced to define her new found independence. She learns to overcome personal obstacles, move on and love again while living in a foreign country and immersed in a foreign culture.
It’s a story that paints a picture of contemporary life in the bustling capital of Athens and the beauty of the Greek islands. Place can change and influence a person in so many ways and readers will learn that through Ava’s touching yet humorous journey in Chasing Athens.
4. What are some major themes in your book?
Much how New York City plays a major role in Sex and the City, Athens is a character in itself in Chasing Athens. Place can truly influence, change, and inspire people. That’s why people love to travel and that’s why expat life can be so fulfilling. The book is also about finding yourself abroad, finding independence, life-after-divorce, the meaning of family, and the power of friendships.
5. Tell us about the settings in your book and how did you choose them?
My main character hails from beautiful Upstate New York, specifically from a college town called Ithaca. I lived there for four years when I studied journalism at Ithaca College. When reading Chasing Athens you’ll also find yourself in Athens which is the largest city in Greece and where I currently live. Scenes also take place on two Greek islands. Hydra is a small, quaint and picturesque. I also chose the more frequented Mykonos which is known for its cosmopolitan flair, jet set, and whitewashed architecture. I’ve been to both a few times and like all the Greek islands I’ve traveled to, they have their unique charm and character worth writing about.
6. What traits and other tidbits do you share with your main character?
Ava Martin and I could relate to some things. We’re both ex-pats living in Greece, we both love Greece and we both love languages.
7. Is your novel connected with your real life experiences?
I get this question a lot and, for sure, my life isn’t anything like Ava’s. I loved “creating” her though.
However, I can say that in real life, I had to make the decision whether or not I should stay on in Greece at some point. I wanted to make it work although many factors were influencing me otherwise. I think that feeling of belonging to a place can be an unexpected surprise. When we live abroad, out of comfort zones, we learn so many things about ourselves that would have never been uncovered. It has been quite a journey.
8. What are some of your favorite books and authors?
I am a huge fan of the genre known as chick lit. Sophie Kinsella, Kristin Harmel, Wendy Holden, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin are all just fantastic. My favorite book in the world is the classic Gone with the Wind. However, I also love the writing of John Steinbeck and his novel the Grapes of Wrath is another favorite of mine. I also love works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jeffrey Eugenides.
9. Do you believe your career as a journalist helped you write Chasing Athens?
My experience as a former television reporter and current work as a travel and features writer certainly helped me write my first novel. Besides the discipline you need to be a journalist and travel writer you need to be very observant about the world around you. Chasing Athens revolves around a heartbroken expat’s story in modern day Greece where crisis and culture collide. Observations I’ve made living as an expat played a huge role in creating and describing the world I wrote about.
10. Do you have another project in the works? If so, what is it?
I am working on the outline of a second novel. We’ll see where it goes! Stay tuned.Contact Marissa