It is a love affair that has spanned 40 years and shows no sign of stopping. Victoria Hislop first visited Greece in the 1970s as a teenager. She recalls. “I went with my mother and my sister to Athens and it was a big adventure. It was pretty chaotic, there wasn’t an underground and it was very, very dusty. The signs were all written in the Greek alphabet and I remember seeing those letters and I loved not understanding anything. it’s like being thrown into the ultimate strange and foreign situation where you can’t be in control.”

Victoria divides her time between Chelsea and Crete and has written a lot about her adopted country. In 2005 she visited Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony and penned The Island, which became an international bestseller and a 26-part Greek TV series.

In The Thread, she unfolded the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki and its people across the 20th century, which was shortlisted for a British Book Award and The Last Dance and Other Stories and The Sunrise also met with acclaim.

She will be talking more about her latest book Cartes Postales from Greece at An Evening with Victoria Hislop, organised by Chorleywood Bookshop. The book contains a story within a story, which in turn unfolds a very intriguing set of encounters, presented in the format of a travel diary.

A young woman collects postcards that are not addressed to her. In them a man tells of unhappiness and the journey he takes to forget or forgive a lost love and the people he meets along the way who relate their own tales to him. The book takes us from one end of the country to another, which gave Victoria scope to explore more of the mainland.

“There were places like Meteora which were spectacular,” recalls the 57-year-old. “You’re looking at these ancient buildings on rock a thousand feet up in the air. I was amazed by the impossibility of people having built up there 500 years ago."

Victoria tells me she also enjoys the “simmering dry heat” and the variety of the Ionian and Aegean archipelagos. “Each island is different, Greece doesn’t just look like Mykonos or the white domed church at Santorini, it has a lot more variety and texture to it.”

The inside cover of the book is decorated with Hellenic postage stamps and there is a map of Greece on page 20. Postcards and photographs are dotted throughout.

“It’s different isn’t it?, says Victoria. “I’m proud of it being different. Whenever I do travel for research whether in Greece or Span I always take lots of photos, almost in a form of a diary, When I look at a picture it brings back thoughts or ideas and I surround myself with them on boards while writing.

“Then I thought wouldn’t it be nice to use the pictures in a book and I approached my publisher to do that and they looked a bit surprised but agreed when they saw how enthusiastic I was about doing it.”

Cartes Postales from Greece is also Victoria’s love letter to the incredible hospitality and encouragement she has met with in her home away from home.

“When I was writing The Island the people were very enthusiastic about it and there was always a nice feeling of being welcome.

The Greeks love visitors and have this mythology that any stranger might be Zeus in disguise turning up to test out what sort of person you are so when you go to a stranger’s house, they’ve always got sweets and dishes of food to offer you.

“Last summer we were having lunch in a taverna and there was a baptism going on and we became a part of it. Greeks are very un-exclusive - there’s no guest list in Greece.”

Victoria will introducing her book and signing copies at The Junction Christ Church, The Common, Chorleywood WD3 5SG on Tuesday, September 20, 7.30pm. Details: 01923 283566,