Five Odd Realities that Appear in Barricades by Dem Had – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Dem Had who is celebrating today’s release of Barricades. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Five odd realities that appear in Barricades

Writing a story set in my country has been a challenge, mostly because I had to touch political and taboo issues. Objectivity isn’t easy when one’s subconscious is filled with subjectivity due to years of brainwash by society and the media. What I could do, was address issues that directly affect my characters, in the way they experience them. As expected, many questions raised from people who’ve read Barricades and I couldn’t be happier to confirm and elaborate. Cyprus is just a dot on the map and I’m not surprised some people have never heard of it before.

My aim was to make the story as realistic as possible, regardless of how unrealistic it might appear to the rest of the world. So here are five odd realities about Cyprus.

1. One island – two sides. That’s not so much of a secret since it’s just a google search away from confirmation. Cyprus is divided into Greek and Turkish sides. Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, it’s almost surreal what this tiny piece of land has suffered through the centuries.

2. Emergency calls are not really urgent. The European emergency number is 1-1-2 (equivalent to 9-1-1). The first thing you hear when you dial this number, is an automated message informing that “your call is being recorded”, as if it matters when I’m dying or my house is on fire. Then, the call goes to the police – instead of a call center – and there is the possibility of nobody answering. Admittedly, it happened to me more than once.

3. No need for an ID to enter a club. Back when I was a teenager, I could get in any club, just by being convincing that I’m eighteen. Today, only some clubs require an ID. They might refuse to serve alcohol if someone looks too young, but the law on this matter is far from strict. A fifteen-year-old can buy alcohol (and cigarettes) easily. This explains why my character (19) didn’t carry his ID card; he didn’t really need it.

4. The sea is amazing, even in winter. Not everyone goes swimming during winter and being at the beach at night can make you feel like your bones turned into ice but I love walking barefoot on the sand, no matter the season, no matter the temperature. It seems my protagonist likes the same thing.

5. Racism between sides. Okay, racism exists everywhere but most times, it is recognized. In Cyprus’s case it is justified so hard because of historical and political events to the point of being called a “traitor” if you’re friendly with someone from “the other side”. The good thing is that the younger generations, slowly and steadily distant themselves from that vendetta, but there are always fanatics. I don’t wish to spoil the events of the book, so I won’t elaborate further. I just want the readers to be aware that this part, is absolutely realistic and possible.

Born to be enemies. Raised to hate each other.

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About the Author: Dem has never been diagnosed with ADD, but it’s common to start talking about cats and end up mentioning the stars while using metaphors about food, just after she’s told you about a childhood memory.

As a cynical romantic and a lover of dark romance, she loves pushing her characters to their limits and refuses to give them their happy ending if they don’t work hard to earn it.

She has a soft spot for manga, anime and anything regarding the Japanese culture. She loves spending time with her son, playing music with her husband and posting on social media about writing and her life as a cat-mother. You can also find her in the roads of Limassol driving and singing with the windows wide open.

Dem’s writing journey has just begun.

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Amazon AU.


  1. Debra K Guyette says

    I enjoyed reading the blog post. It sounds very intriguing.

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