Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for...Cyprus by Chrystalla Thoma

Welcome to Unwritten's little corner of the the A-Z Blogging Challenge! If you want to see the whole lineup, click HERE!

Day 3 takes us to the Mediterranean and to a place I drool over every time author Chrystalla Thoma posts a picture of her homeland. Grab your virtual passports and a bag of peanuts. Enjoy your online flight as we explore how...

C is for...Cyprus and Country

My name is Chrystalla and I come from Cyprus (lots of “Cs” in here!) For those of you on the other side of the world, who may have not heard of Cyprus (or me!), let me tell you a few words about my country.

Cyprus is an island in the Eastern Mediterranean. Egypt lies in the south, Syria and Lebanon to the east, Turkey to the north and Greece to the west. Cyprus is a republic and has been independent since 1960. It’s a tiny country and it is torn apart by civil conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Since 1974, after a civil war, a coup and an invasion by Turkey, Cyprus has been divided into two parts, and so far I see no real hope of reunification.

Since 2003, the frontier has relaxed a little and either side can cross over to visit the other. Ever since, the situation has become quieter and milder. I have hopes for the next generations, hopes that maybe they can grow up without this hatred that has poisoned us for centuries and find a way to reunite us.

I am Greek Cypriot, was born and raised here on Cyprus, and I can see its influence in my writing. I write of places that tend to be arid and hot, where water is scarce and there aren’t many trees. My characters tend to have Greek names and they tend to live on islands. They often have dark eyes and hair, and live in countries torn by ethnic conflict.

But the interesting thing about this for me is that I didn’t start this way. My first stories were of forested countries with snow-capped mountains and men tall and blond with foreign-sounding names. But with the passing of the years, I found my worldbuilding reverting to the Mediterranean, my characters becoming the shorter, darker people I see walking around me, and the legends I draw from are from the area.

Now I am planning to take a step farther, a step that will bring me back to Cyprus: I’m planning a steampunk trilogy set - quite literally - here: the main action will take place on the western coast of Cyprus, at Paphos. Paphos is a town which lies next to ruined prehistoric, hellenic, Greek and French/Italian medieval cities. Its history is long and its cliffs have seen battles and storms. I love the place and I love the idea of placing my story there. I have started to research the time period (turn of the 20th century) when Cyprus was under British occupation and can’t wait to start writing.

I have finally come home.

Cyprus– an island of conflict and history
Chrystalla lives in Cyprus with her husband and her hordes of wild books. She writes fantasy and science fiction and is now starting a non-fiction book about the dragons of the world. She is interested in parasites, ecology, Indian recipes, love in all forms and medieval music, not necessarily in that order. She is currently writing Book 3 of the dystopian sci-fi YA series “Elei’s Chronicles” and a gay sci-fi novel with androids and lots of mayhem.
Mayhem, in fact, is her middle name. You’ve been warned.

Blog: http://chrystallathoma.wordpress.com/ Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Chrystalla-Thoma/e/B001JOWZCC

Buy it HERE!
                                 Rex Rising (Book One of Elei's Chronicles):
In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life -- until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. His pursuers aren't inclined to sit down and talk, although that's not the end of Elei's troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won't be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret - a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known - or die trying.


  1. I LOVE Cyprus. I have a friend who lives near Paphos, in a little village on a hill and have visited her there a couple of times. We have lunch at a cafe right next to the beach in a beautiful bay, and I'm in heaven!

  2. Great post. I'm fascinated by ancient Greek (and Roman) history and culture. Sadly, I am not independently wealthy enough to go see any of it.

    Still an excellent slice of information, as well as a cool biography. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Paula, Paphos is lovely. I live in the capital, Nicosia. :)
    Andrew, I hope you make it here one day. Despite the conflict, it's a beautiful place...

    Mysti, many thanks for having me over. :)

  4. Hi Chrystalla - I've heard of you and I live in Portugal (and I don't want any jokes about from one bankrupt country to another!). I've never been to Cyprus (mainland Greece yes) and I'm always amazed about the tensions between the borders on such a tiny island.

  5. Hi Susan! :) No jokes, I promise.
    Yes, I'm sure to outsiders it seems improbable that people have been killing each other in such a small place - but it's been going on for a long time... :( Let's hope it's over now!

  6. As I read this post, I thought "she's found her way home in the inside of her being" and then you wrote "I have finally come home" --- I enjoyed reading this and am intrigued about the book...


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