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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Peter Barber shares the experiences that inspired him to write the second instalment in his Parthenon memoir series, A Parthenon In Pefki.

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the best creativity magazine in the UK, the best book magazine in the UK, the best arts magazine in the UK, the best entertainment magazine in the UK, the best celebrity magazine in the UK, book marketing UK, book promotion UK, music marketing UK, music promotion UK, film marketing UK, film promotion UK, arts and entertainment magazine, online magazine uk, creativity magazine

Written by JJ Barnes

www.jjbarnes.co.uk

I interviewed Peter Barber about his life and career, the experiences of moving to Greece and marrying a firy Greek woman that inspired him to start writing, and the work that went into his new book, A Parthenon In Pefki.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

My name is Peter Barber. My first book, A Parthenon On Our Roof, became an Amazon best seller. It was a memoir detailing my introduction to Greek culture after marrying my sparky and unpredictable Greek wife. I have now completed the next in the Parthenon series, A Parthenon in Pefki. It is a loose sequel, but also a stand-alone story of our moving to a sleepy Greek village after living in a cosmopolitan Athenian suburb.

Peter Barber on The Table Read Magazine
Peter Barber

The book is mostly humorous, but there are some poignant moments. As an account of real life, there must be reality.

When did you first WANT to write a book?

I have always dabbled in writing. My first book was written over 30 years ago as a technical manual. The next was a humorous diary of the first covid lockdown. But I had always wanted to write a full-length book and start on my publishing journey.

When did you take a step to start writing?

I took the step into serious writing with A Parthenon on our roof. It was a story which needed to be told. I was in an almost unique position as a foreigner becoming part of a real Greek family. It allowed me to live the culture every day from within. Many foreign writers base their writing on observing the culture from the outside. My view was as part of the family.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

The first book in the Parthenon series took almost 20 years from the first idea to publication. I needed to experience the transition as my Greek wife transformed me from a typical Englishman to an honorary Greek. 

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

The next book in the series A Parthenon in Pefki took only 2 years from conception to completion.  It covered a whirlwind introduction to life in a small Greek fishing village. Hilarious, and sometimes frustrating times while trying to buy land and build our dream house.

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write A Parthenon In Pefki?

This just had to be shared! After living in Greece for some years, I thought I understood the county and culture. Life in this village was such a cultural surprise. Begging the mayor for a water supply. Squabbling with archaeologist who insisted on digging up our garden to look for lost Parthenon’s. Trying to join the village tradition of fishing and being misled by the locals who refused to share their favorite fishing spots.

A Parthenon In Pefki by Peter Barber on The Table Read Magazine
A Parthenon In Pefki by Peter Barber

They had no intention of allowing this strange foreigner to splash around in their bit of sea scaring the fish away. They had a good point.

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What were your biggest challenges with writing A Parthenon In Pefki?

Simple lived experience. I always envy those fiction writers who can create a character and make them real and believable. In my books I just follow our lived experiences. The characters are real, the places are there. No imagination was necessary. It is a true account of our lives

How did you plan the structure of A Parthenon In Pefki?

The structure was chronological. I just followed the events as they happened. I did use some backstories, but only to emphasis a part of the book which I felt was appropriate to enhance the flow.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did A Parthenon In Pefki need?

Yes. I always use an editor. After writing, and rewriting, I become almost work blind and need a fresh view. A good editor is essential. Many good books could have been great with the input of a specialist. If you are self-publishing, this would be your biggest cost. But it is always worthwhile.

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What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

Write about what you know. If it’s a location, live there. If it is a character, get to know them. You must know your subject intimately. To be an artist, we must delve deeply into our souls to create art. A writer must become their character. Sometimes it is necessary, not only to invent and write the story of person, but you needed to become them. Experience the pain, live with their fear, suffer with them in your everyday life as you attempt to weave a story worthy publication.

I write memoirs. Happily, they are mostly humorous. But sometimes a memory provokes sadness. I find tears dropping from my eyes onto the keyboard as I try to remember an arduous part of my life, but remembering is not enough. I must relive it if I am to write an accurate account. But this is a transient feeling and soon forgotten as I move onto a lighter subject.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

Launch of A Parthenon In Pefki by Peter Barber on The Table Read Magazine
Book Launch Party

I will be continuing the Parthenon series with book three to be launched next year. Meanwhile, I am writing a series of Musings from a Greek village. These are snippets of village life based on my everyday experiences.

And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

Writing a book is such a rewarding experience. For me, it’s because I love Greece. The history, the beauty, the culture. Other writers create a story from their rich imagination which consumes so much of them they need to share.

Do we write for money? Of course not. Few writers will set about the long arduous task of spending years trapped in a room with only a keyboard for company with the expectation of reward. Most will never recover the costs involved in producing a book.

Fame perhaps? Very few authors become well-known. So why do we do it?

The love of my subject is too powerful to keep it inside. It must be shared.

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.” Plato.

Like a small child proudly showing a loving parent their first finger drawing. We must share our work with someone. We need to show others the beauty of what we have experienced and seen with our eyes. We share our dreams.

Is it worth it? Always. There is nothing to compare with opening the parcel from the publisher and seeing your name on the cover. We have become immortal. Maybe future generations will read our book and remember us.

Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:

A Parthenon On Our Roof

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3H8ypYz

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3tIRtJI

Hardcover: https://amzn.to/3RTfZjt

Audiobook: https://amzn.to/3TRn8mL

A Parthenon In Pefki

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3RLPU5T

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3NTAYS7

Hardcover: https://amzn.to/3U9BYpd

Audiobook: https://amzn.to/3vyN0tv

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