About Yvonne Payne

Thank you for visiting this page, you are very welcome.

imageI’m so lucky to spend nearly half of each year in Kritsa, a village in Crete, Greece; I’d love to share a taste of with you:

Kritsa the scorpion
Kritsa the scorpion

In 2001, my husband Alan and I bought a small house in the back streets of Kritsa, a hillside village in the east of Crete.  Our breath-taking view looks out across cluttered rooftops, a huge church, olive groves, and the distant sea, all framed by the Thripti Mountains.

Of course, at that time, our thoughts went no further than a few weeks holiday per year, with a vague hope that ‘one day’ we might spend more time in Crete. We never imagined just how life changing our decision would be.

Shortly after this, my job became redundant so I decided to use short-term Human Resources (HR) contracts to fund long breaks in the sun. This extra time in Crete provided opportunity to explore the countryside, legends, and customs to gain inspiration for creative writing. As a regular contributor to Crete related forums, I finally decided time was right to tackle a novel.

Luckily for me,  this coincided with the opportunity to watch a fellow Kritsa resident, the English sculptor Nigel Ratcliffe, work on his beautiful stone monument dedicated to ‘Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa. Along with her rebel comrades, Kritsotopoula fought against Ottoman oppression in 1823.  This carving became my ‘muse’ as I researched and wrote my first novel.



In 2014, we took another life enhancing decision, and I gave up contracting to allow us to split life between both countries. Although it is lovely to spend time with family and friends in the UK, it is while we are in Kritsa that we enjoy a real sense of community.

Let me know if you have questions about buying property in Crete, life as an ex pat, visiting and exploring the east of the island. I even know where to buy Marmite!

I hope this site will allow me to share my love of Crete, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Ooo, I almost forgot, I should introduce you to my brave girl, just click on the book cover below:



64 thoughts on “About Yvonne Payne”

  1. How exciting! My father worked for Disney and they built Euro Disney in France we were sent to live in Paris for a year. It was amazing. I wish traveling abroad wasn’t so expensive. Everybody should get to go to another country and see different cultures. I look forward to hearing about your travels.


    1. I agree with you, seeing a place on holiday is great but actually living in a different country for a period of time gives a different perspective entirely. Perhaps I should find a way to do a reflective post about the 10 years that we drove to Crete from the UK via France, Switzerland and Italy. My husband would do it again, but I’m happy to fly these days. X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, we were at same venue last night… The book signing was cancelled…. and we both went somewhere less salubrious’ in Ag. Nik?? Unfortunately you had left when the ‘quiz-master’ told me you had been there…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a shame, I’d love to say ‘hi’. We go back to the UK on Monday, so if there’s another quiz in April perhaps we’ll meet then. Meanwhile, enjoy the re arranged book night next Friday. X


    1. Well thank you, I’m really pleased to have your support. I love that this is an award for new blogs. As I’m participating in an on line course, #blogging101 to build blogging skills I’ve started to become aware of some fab blogs that I’ll be pleased pleased to nominate. X


  3. Hi Yvonne. Just come across you on Facebook. Congratulations on your new book. I look forward to reading it. We’ve been visiting Crete for the last 15 years and fell in love with it from day one. It reminds me of how Cyprus was, 50 years ago. We too are looking at making the move to Crete albeit on a 6 monthly basis. We don’t want to buy yet and like the freedom to move about the island. One stumbling block for my wife is that she feels that she will get bored! I look forward to seeing the comments/posts and reading your blog:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, but I thought I would get bored, so I do understand. However, by living a dual life we find we’ve never quite done everything we intended while in the UK or Crete and so have a continuous to do list. Please keep in touch as I’m nosy so will enjoy knowing where you get to in Crete. Meanwhile, thank you for your comment here.


  4. Hi Yvonne, It was nice to meet you in Elounda, have thoroughly enjoyed your book. You have woven a story around folk tale and you can’t tell the difference absolutely wonderful. Can’t wait to read the next book. If you can cast you magic on the story of the Milatos Caves it would be interesting.
    Thank you for a very good read, Tony Airey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for posting this lovely feedback, Tony. It was lovely to meet you and I’m so pleased to hear that the story ‘worked’ for you. I’m a bit stuck on the sequel, Rodanthe’s Gift as the launch of Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa took over and I lost my flow so to speak. I’m back in the UK now, so my guess is that the next glimmer of inspiration won’t come until I get back to Crete in August. A trip back to Milatos Caves should sort me out! Best wishes, Yvonne x


    1. Hi Christine and welcome. It will be fabulous if you read Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa. Some of the events I portray from nearly 200 years ago are still seen, heard and eaten in the village today. Where in Crete does your stepson live? Best wishes, Yvonne x

      PS just seen that you have a blog too, so I’m off to explorehttp://constantlymovingthebookmark.blogspot.ca


  5. Yvonne, thanks for your visit to Before Sundown blog site. Wonderful that you live on Crete and find your inspiration to write there. I lived in Kifissia, Athens suburb, for 5 years back in the 70s. Loved every day there. We did visit Crete, but friends lived in Lindos, Rhodes so our trips were mostly there. Look forward to reading more of your writing. Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Christine. A visit to Rhodes is still on my 'must do' list, but I have to say it's a long list. So much to do, so little time! One reason why blogging is good, I get to peek into places I'd otherwise not know. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lindos, in particular, must be on your list. In the day it was a writer/artist haven! Probably today has changed to more touristy things. But look out for artist vendors selling their creations, and maybe writers writing away in cafes! Christine

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi from Western Australia! Just discovered your lovely blog and am looking forward to following. I have never been to Greece so it is lovely to see it through your photos. Best wishes. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi and thank you.😃Isn’t it just the best thing about blogging? It makes the world smaller and has opened my eyes to a fabulous range of worlds and lives. Many Greeks emigrated to Australia and I’m trying to decide if one of my characters should flee to Australia or America circa 1840. If you, or any of your followers, have any details of where Greek immigrants lived and worked at that time I’d love to know. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy more virtual visits to my world. X


  8. Thank you for visiting, you’ll know owls are special in Greece, so that makes you special here 😃Please drop in for regular doses of Greekish ‘stuff’ until you can pay a visit. X


    1. Hi, Cheryl you ae very welcome here. I’m researching my next book and need a character to emigrate from Crete to U.S.A. do you know what prompted your great-great-grandfather to leave Crete and what happened to him when he first arrived in U.S.A.? If you feel like sharing I’ve followed your blog so that will give you my email address. Best wishes, Yvonne x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actual Yvonne it was my Grandfather (Paternal Side) who left Chania, Greece in 1914 for Ellis Island, New York. His father and grandfather are in Crete at their final resting places. My Grandfather was married with two children but they remained in Crete until he settled in New Jersey, USA. My yia-yia eventually came over to USA. They went on to have 6 more children in the USA. His name is Stylianos Hatzidakis. Born in 1884 and died in 1968. This would be my father’s father. Grandpa did not speak a word of English nor did yiayia. They actual only spoke Greek and did not ant to learn English-very stubborn. All the children spoke both languages. As a large family especially during the depression pulled together and my grandfather was not standing in any food line-he provided for his family each day. As the boys got older left school they found odd jobs to earn a few cents to help put food on the table. There were 4 girls & 4 boys. yiayia stayed home and cared for the family. My email is clwiser@Yahoo.com. Grandpa was quite the character indeed-very resourceful, strict, old school. He was the Patriarch of a large family. Having 26 grandchildren when he past on. Best X Cheryl

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy to say that I`ve just finished your delightful book. Although I`d rather not have to use the reason that a rotten cold confined me to the settee for two days, it did, in fact, give me the opportunity to read the book without feeling guilty about the other five thousand jobs which awaited me. Plus I had the added advantage that the tears which sprung to my eyes at the last sad ending, could be safely disguised by the piles of tissue paper strewn around me on the settee.
        It was, a wonderfully touching, well researched book, a delight to read, and being set around my home area of Lassithi made it even more special. There`s so little I know about the terrible rule of the Turks, but only know the deep dislike many Cretans have for them, speaks volumes.
        I can`t help feel that a sequel would be well received.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell, Amanda. I’m pleased it gave some ‘you’ time for reading and I’m delighted with your lovely comments. It is fabulous to know you cried at the end, I did when I wrote it even though knew what was coming!
          I’m writing the sequel at the moment and needed a plot device to get someone out of the way during a conflict. I had a cold at the time… then my character started sneezing! X

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Yvonne,
    I know TJ Paris and Christine Robinson.
    I met you at Danny Ray’s Meet and Greet. You sounded like you wanted to meet new people since you said you would visit everyone at his blogging event, so I came over. Maybe you will check out my site if you could use a blogging tip or two. That’s what I blog about. I am also having my own blog party this weekend. I would love it if you came.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Dionne. I can watch those mountains for hours as the weather and light hides or illuminates different features. We also love to drive over the rough tracks and look back across Mirabello Bay to view Kritsa from a distance. X


  11. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Much appreciated. I have popped in often to take a look at your wonderful photos and pieces and I just realised I have not commented before. No idea why not, it might be that I sometimes find a conflict with WP and Google trying to force me into using them to comment and no via my blog. Anyway, today it worked. Glad it did. Lovely – thanks so much for sharing.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Yvonne,
      I’m Olga from Russia. It’s great to find your blog and learn something more about Critsa. Two years ago I was in Agios Nicolaos, it was wonderful. This year I am going to Critsa and booked the apartment here. It’d be interesting to read your book.

      Liked by 1 person

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Author of Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa


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