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Finding inspiration while on vacation

Updated: May 23, 2018

My trip to Crete, last year, was partly for research for my novel, but also to enjoy the beauty of this far-flung Greek island.

A quote from Children of the Gods, summarizes the atmosphere of this remarkable corner of the world.

" The water was calm on both sides of the sea wall, the mellow light of late afternoon glistening on the incoming tide. In the distance, the low peaks of Dia rose through the sea mist, shrouding the island in mystery. Fishing boats and tourist launches lay quietly at their moorings in the small harbour, their vivid colours reflected in the glassy surface of the bay.

He paced slowly as he approached the fortress, avoiding throngs of sunburnt tourists wielding selfie-sticks. There were far too many people.

He turned on his heel and retreated to the road, walking west along the foreshore until he reached a small, deserted park overlooking the water. Resting his elbows on the guardrail, he gazed at the mountains across the bay while the sun dipped below the horizon.

Away from the noise and bustle, the roar of traffic, the voices of tourists and locals, he could feel the ancient, brooding presence beneath the shabby beauty of the island. He felt it in the bones of the mountains, in the black silhouette of Strouboulas, its pyramidal shape etched against a saffron sky.

A church bell tolled, and he turned his head. Christianity covered the land, and yet, despite the chapels and shrines on every hillside, atop every mountain, the ancient world was clearly discernible through the veil. Never more than a spade’s depth below the arid topsoil, every excavation brought to light another fragment of the past.

The old gods turn restlessly in their sleep.

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