Barbara DeLeo on Greece and Inspiration–oh, they’re the same thing!

B and W tinyIt’s so lovely to be here on Contemporary Romance Cafe. It’s getting to be winter here in New Zealand and when I had to think about my current inspiration I’d have to say it’s a place with endless sun, sand, gorgeous food, and very sexy men. Greece!
I kind of fell in love with Greece when I fell in love with my Greek boyfriend in college. He was dark and mysterious and had a last name I could only pronounce when I’d scoffed a few ouzos. A few years later he took me to Greece and we lived in the bat-crazy city of Athens. I was captivated by the history, the language and the loud, passionate way people lived and loved. There was romance everywhere – in the ancient temples, the classical stories of enduring love, and in the slow, sensual way people lived their lives. I’d give anything to have a mid-day siesta these days!
I was lucky enough to go back to Greece and Cyprus for three months last year and I realized that so much of what I write is influenced by that magical country. I still write about swarthy men with love on their minds. I write about their families who are often loud and intense, but who love with incredible passion. And I’ll put an olive or a greek sweet in my stories whenever I can. 
Contract for Marriage-1600My latest book, Contract for Marriage is set in New Zealand but it’s about Christo, the son of a Greek immigrant. He wants the one thing his money can’t buy – the mansion where his mother’s been housekeeper for forty years. That it’s the same house he was banished from after being caught making love to the owner’s irresistible daughter stirs up old memories, and now he wants it and her more than ever. 
So, what about you? Is there a place that holds special inspiration for you? Or is there a country you’d always dreamed of going for the romance and the sexy men?
……..Oh, and the Greek boyfriend? We’re still together, and he’s still dark and a little mysterious.
Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.

She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.

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Barbara DeLeo on Greece and Inspiration–oh, they’re the same thing! — 12 Comments

  1. Welcome to the Contemporary Romance Café, Barbara! Thank you for this wonderful post. Greece is a country that has long been on my list of places I desperately want to visit–right behind Italy. Until I can travel there, I’m enjoying lots of Greek food. 😉

    Right now the place that inspires most of my stories is my Midwestern hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. It’s not exotic, but it is full of interesting people and wonderful cultural institutions. Oh, and there is lots of yummy food, which also always seems to make it into my stories.

    • Thanks so much for having me, Reese! It’s a cold Sunday morning down under – winter has really set in – so it’s lovely to be talking about places in the sun.

      Reese, one of my oldest friends is from Cleveland. I met him when we were travelling trough Malaysia and I’d love to go visit him in his home town one day. Can’t wait to read one of your stories so I can experience it soon!

  2. The prairies of Canada and the U.S. My Carina title is set in a little fictional town in North Dakota. People think the prairies, with its flat land, (you can see your dog running away for three days!) is boring. But I see the ever changing skies, and the beauty of wheat rippling in the wind. I guess mostly it’s beautiful because it’s home.

    • I’ve never seen a prairie, Jana, but ever since I read the “Little House” books, I’ve always wanted to. The closest I’ve been is the great open spaces in Australia. I love it when a setting becomes a character in a book.

  3. There are so many places I’d like to go but I think Italy. Tall, dark, handsome men with a accent. *sigh*

    • You had me at “tall, dark and handsome with an accent”, Lori! My husband speaks Italian and used to make wine there but I haven’t been. It’s one of my dream places too.

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