A SALISBURY teacher and author has penned a new book exploring the lives of writers, artists and musicians living on a Greek island.

Tamar Nicholls, who has been teaching English at Godolphin School for 17 years, writes under her maiden name Tamar Hodes.

The novel for adults, The Water and the Wine, published by Hookline Books is set on the Greek island of Hydra in the mid-sixties, where there was an artistic community living.

As a child, Mrs Nicholl lived on the island with her with her writer father and painter mother.

The book mixes fact, fiction, history, memory and research.

“It was a very interesting time really,” she said. “The most important person there was Leonard Cohen.

“He was about 30 or 31 at the time and not yet famous but just beginning to get well known.

“I always wanted to write a novel about that time. There had been a lot of historical books written about that time and biographies but I wanted to write a fiction.

“Leonard Cohen had a girlfriend called Marianne and he actually said that it would take a novel to understand the relationship between him and Marianne, which was my sort of inspiration.”

She added: “It is really exploring their lives on this island and what their lives were like - the ups and the downs.”

Her other works include novel Raffy’s Shapes and short stories The Watercress Wife.

Mrs Nicholls says she has already got another novel in mind, which she hopes to start writing in the summer holidays.

A special events was held at Godolphin School on May 24 to celebrate the launch of the book.

It is available to buy from Amazon and online from Waterstones and WH Smith.