Nitsa Olivadoti’s love of Greece pours out of the pages of her novel, Cicada’s Choice. We’re pleased to share her passion.
GIB: When did you first fall in love with Greece?
NO: I fell in love with Greece before I had traveled there, through my Yiayia’s passion and enthusiasm for her homeland.
GIB: How did you start writing?
NO: I have been writing and recording ever since I can remember. My current work is a culmination of everything I have collected, lived through, and believed my entire life. This feels like everything I have ever wanted to write, but who knows, there may be life after the Cicada Series!
GIB: Have you written any other books?
NO: “Cicada’s Choice” is the first of a three part-series, and my first novel. The second, “Cicada’s Consequence” will be available this winter. Sometimes I think I was a little over-ambitious to take on writing three books simultaneously, but I am pleased with the results so far.
GIB: How do you feel about Greece’s current plight? What do you think the outcome will be?
NO: Although it is sad for my family and I to see the current situation in Greece, I personally believe Greece will come out of this. Greece has survived financial and political corruption as well as destruction due to war (read my book if you want to learn about Greece in World War II) since ancient times. Given Greece’s historical background I am hopeful they will overcome this crisis.
GIB: What’s the funniest experience you ever had in Greece?
NO: I cannot believe I am about to commit this to writing but here it goes:
My three sisters and I are all light-skinned and blonde. You can imagine in some parts of Greece we got a lot of attention. Being used to this , half-listening to the waiter I told my family: “See, he is talking about how pretty we are!” In reality, I think he was telling us about dessert options. My family burst in laughter and to this day, will take every opportunity to remind me and laugh again and again and again. I do not attempt to translate anymore. If I don’t understand the full conversation, I keep my mouth closed.
GIB: What are the best and worst meals you’ve ever had there?
NO: For me, I have never had a bad meal in Greece. The best was fresh octopus in some amazing, delicious sauce at a small, local taverna.
GIB: What’s your single most cherished memory of Greece?
NO: The first time my family and I traveled there, my great-grandmother had died one year prior. We went to her village to hold a memorial service in her honor at this tiny church where the priest traveled from another town by donkey. My mother stood in front of the spring where my great-grandmother got her drinking water from and cried. I stood among the names of the innocent civilians etched into stone who were killed by the Nazis and I also cried. There is not one particular cherished memory of Greece; all of it has touched me deeply.