Thursday, 14 August 2014

Q&A with Marissa Tejada

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Today I have Marissa Tejada whose debut romantic comedy Chasing Athens was recently released as part of the Terpsichore contemporary romance imprint from Musa Publishing.
Born and raised in New York, Marissa now calls Athens, Greece home where she is also a full-time freelance writer specializing in food and wine, technology and travel writing. She also enjoys blogging for her travel photography blog, my Greece, my travels.  
Marissa loves traveling, learning languages, sipping mochachinos and devouring dark chocolate.  


1.     How did your writing career develop? Did you always dream of being a writer?

I’ve spent my entire career as a writer in some form but on the news side. I’ve  worked as a newspaper and television reporter and now as a freelance journalist and travel writer. The creative fiction writing side of me was always there, something I did on the side, and now I’m happy to incorporate it into my career goals especially now that I’ve got my first novel out there. One of the reasons I pursued journalism as a career was because I love telling stories and now through fiction writing I do that but in another form – and I love it too.

2.     Your novel Chasing Athens takes place in several locations in Greece and Upstate New York.   Tell us more about your connections to these places.

I currently live in Athens, Greece. Athens is steeped in ancient history yet has this lively modern vibe. That helped to inspire me to write Chasing Athens as I got to know the city and adjust to Mediterranean life which happened to be during the thick of an economic crisis. Then, as a travel writer I often write about Greek destinations and that influenced me write in two islands that fit the story line. Mykonos is a stunning, cosmopolitan, party island and Hydra is low-key, picturesque and charming.  I went to university in Ithaca, New York which is a lovely college town in Upstate New York so I have a close connection there too.

3.     If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you probably do now?

If I wasn’t a writer or journalist I think I would’ve loved to be a linguist. I love learning languages and the culture of languages.  One reason I love Europe is there’s this fascinating confluence of culture and language.  I wish I could speak ten languages and communicate fluently in the countries I visit.

4.     Who is your favourite writer and why?

On the women’s fiction front I simply love Jennifer Weiner. She’s a pioneer in women’s fiction and love her storytelling.   Another one of my all-time favourite novelists is John Steinbeck. I simply love his voice and the way his writing takes you deep into his stories.  I love his characters and the themes he presented.   I love that both authors were journalists too.

5.     What’s your most favourite book ever?

I can read The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck over and over again. 

6)     What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

In my spare time I like watching movies, going for a swim or run, diving into a good book or meeting friends for a drink. When the mood hits me, I love shopping for clothes or shoes. Shopping therapy is my thing.

7.     What’s your dream destination? And would you also include it in a book?
I always wanted to visit Maldives. The pictures look incredible. If it is an inspirational trip, why not include it in a book in the future? You never know!

8.     What’s your most favourite place/destination?

There are so many favorite destinations for me.  One city that comes to mind immediately is Belgrade, Serbia. I had the opportunity to live there for a short time and feel lucky to have discovered such a fantastic little European city.

9.     Coffee or tea?


10.   Paperback or e-reader?


11.   Mountains or the sea?


12.  Summer or winter?


13.  Sweet or salty? 

Both. I prefer to combine the two. I’m a fan of chocolate malt balls and popcorn or salt and vinegar chips and chocolate doughnuts.  Is that weird?

      Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog! So happy to stop by.

About Chasing Athens:

When Ava Martin’s new husband unexpectedly ditches her months after they’ve relocated across the world to Greece, the heartbroken American ex-pat isn’t sure where home is anymore. On the verge of flying back to the States with her tail between her legs, she makes an abrupt decision to follow her gut instead and stay on in Greece. She soon discovers that the tumultuous, culture-rich Mediterranean country is coloring her life in a way no place else can, changing her forever. But is it where she belongs?

Ava’s newfound independence throws her into the thick of Athenian reality, where she has brushes with violent police riots and gets a taste of both the alluring islands and the city nightlife. Despite pressure from her mother, uncertainty over her impending divorce, and unresolved issues with her long-estranged father weighing on her, she’s determined to make it on her own. With the help of two very colorful Greek friends, she laughs and learns while facing culture shock, language barriers and the charm of Mediterranean men, until a life-threatening medical emergency back home in sleepy Ithaca, N.Y., forces her to decide where she truly belongs – and what truly matters.
Find Chasing Athens here:

Amazon USA:
Barnes and Noble:

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