Meet Author Richard Clark

Meet Author Richard Clark

Brit Author Richard Clark splits his time between the UK and Crete and writes both nonfiction and fiction set in Greece. Keep reading to learn more about him.

Q&A with Author Richard Clark

I love supporting other authors! I’m pleased to introduce Richard Clark!  Like me, Richard loves Greece, writes about Greece, and splits his time between the UK and a Greek island. Meet him!




Where are you from?

I was born in Sudbury in Suffolk in England. My father, the author Douglas Clark, was in the army and fighting in Suez at the time. Soon after he was posted to Scotland and we moved to Dundee. When he eventually left the army our family moved to London where my father had found work. I spent most of my school years living in Thames Ditton. I now live in a village close to Tunbridge Wells in Kent.


Do you have a “day” job?

Writing is my day job, and has been since I graduated, except for the year I spent teaching English in Crete. For most of my career I was a journalist working for the BBC, on Fleet Street newspapers, and latterly as editor of a number of national magazine titles until I took early retirement eight years ago to write books full time.


When did you first go to Greece? Why?

In 1982. I was not long out of college and every week used to scan the media pages in The Guardian newspaper to see what job opportunities were available. I came across an advertisement for a language teacher in Heraklion, and thought ‘Why not?’. I had friends who worked on yachts in Greece who came home in the winter raving about it and I was a bit jealous, so I applied. Much to my surprise, following an interview in the UK, I was offered the job. I had read books by Lawrence and Gerald Durrell, John Fowles, Nikos Kazantzakis, and Patrick Leigh Fermor but apart from that I knew little about the country. I left my job at the time, packed a holdall, and set off. I suppose it was an adventure.


Cover of Crete: A Notebook by Author Richard Clark. Images of a lighthouse, the palace at Knossos, and bouganvilleia




You live part time in Crete. What drew you to the island?

Since living in Heraklion all those years ago, I have always been drawn to the island. I went back to England in 1983 to get married and took up a job at the BBC, but returned to Crete regularly, first with my wife Denise and later, when our children were born, with them. When they went off to university we found ourselves visiting more and more so when I retired to write books full time it made sense to buy a house there. I am drawn by the people, sea, rugged landscape, food, history and increasingly, as I get older, by nostalgia–the full package.


When did you move to Crete? How much time do you spend there?

We bought our house in a village near Elounda in northeast Crete, seven years ago. We visit four or five times a year, usually spending a fortnight there each time.


Have you lived anywhere else in Greece or stayed for an extended period (more than just a visit)?

I have travelled extensively around Greece, but have never stayed anywhere other than Crete for a substantial length of time.


Tell us about your intro to Greek life.

I arrived in the summer of 1982 to a heat wave in Athens and there was an air traffic controllers strike meaning I couldn’t get my connecting fight to Heraklion. It was stifling and I made my way to Piraeus to catch an overnight ferry to Crete. I was exhausted but the night spent on the deck of that ship was magical. Stepping off the boat while tired, without anywhere to stay, not speaking the language or knowing anyone, and about to start a new job–it could have been a recipe for disaster. I found my way to the school I was to work in and from the very first moment I met my boss was made to feel welcome. By the end of that first day I had found somewhere to live, been shown extraordinary hospitality, and even been for a swim.


Does Greece feel like home?

Yes. As soon as I step off the plane, I feel myself relax. I feel comfortable and at home.




Do you write in Greece?

I don’t work writing my manuscripts there, after all I am on holiday from the day job. There are too many distractions for me to concentrate. I need the discipline of a routine to write, so I compartmentalise that into my routine in England. In Crete I do research, and I always carry notebooks with me which are filled with jottings by the time I return to the UK.


When did you know you had to write about your experiences?

I love writing and have been lucky enough to earn a living from it for all my adult life. In terms of books, I suppose I had always harboured an ambition to write one. When I embarked on my first book I knew I needed to write about a subject I was passionate about, and Greece seemed the obvious choice. The format and style was journalistic, which was what I felt comfortable with and enabled me to complete that first book. I enjoyed the whole process, and was astounded at the success of the book and that achievement gave me the confidence to continue.


Cover of the Lost Lyra by Author Richard Clark. Image of the coast of Crete, a mountain and blue sea and sky and the silhouette of a lyra

Richard Clark’s first novel. His forthcoming novel will be out in May.




When did you publish your first book? Tell us about it.

In 2011. It is called The Greek Islands – A Notebook. It is a collection of vignettes about my experiences and observations travelling around Greece, which I hope readers will find useful as a companion as they make their own journeys through the islands. In retrospect, I probably should have written Crete – A Notebook first but was not confident as a rookie author that I would have enough material to fill a whole book about Crete. I needn’t have worried, the opposite was true, and from that first foray into nonfiction, sprung a whole series of books which are still going strong. My first novel, The Lost Lyra, came out in 2019.


You write travel memoirs and novels. Do you have a preference?

I enjoy writing both. The travel memoirs are more of a natural extension of my journalism but the novels allow my creativity to run free, which can be quite liberating. With the memoirs, the writing is limited by my experience, but with the novels the only limit is my imagination. Both require meticulous research, which I also enjoy. Particularly for my latest book which is about a vineyard.


How many books have you published so far?

There are seven books in the Notebook series, plus two compilations and a Greek translation. My sixth novel is due to come out this May.


Where do you get your ideas/inspiration?

News stories and historical events are a fertile source of ideas and it would be difficult not to be inspired by the landscape of Crete itself. By the time I am completing a novel, I usually have an idea for the next forming in my head. If my imagination lets me down, I still have plans to write two more nonfiction books about Crete someday.


Tell us about your latest book.

The book, perhaps unsurprisingly, is set on Crete and is called The Village Vineyard. A grudge held since the Second World War resurfaces during the Junta years and the consequences for two families lie unresolved until the present day when the ramifications of past actions come to a head.


Author Richard Clark. Image of a man with blond hair wearing a blue shirt and brown jacket

Author Richard Clark



What would you say to someone who is considering a move to Greece?

Do it. I wish we had bought our house years earlier. Buying has got more difficult for Brits since Brexit, but the bureaucracy, although daunting at times, is not insurmountable.


What’s next for you?

I have already planned out my next novel, so now all I need to do is do some research trips to Crete, then sit down and write it!


Q&A with Richard Clark

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