Authors Around the Bay: Patricia Volonakis Davis


Many authors live in the Bay Area and thanks to all the wonderful local book stores we often get to see authors speak and to meet them in person. Sally Around The Bay is going to start a series of local author interviews to find out their favorite spots in the Bay Area. Our first interview is with Patricia Volonakis Davis (whose book I just finished reading). Patricia wrote the memoir Harlot’s Sauce. It’s a great book about her life in Greece. I got nostalgic while reading the book and pulled out my photo album from my trip to Greece 10 years ago. Greece is such an amazing and beautiful country.

Thanks Patricia for taking the time to answer my questions!

Patricia_V_DavisAuthor Name: Patricia Volonakis Davis

Book: Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece

What is your favorite restaurant in the Bay Area?
Well, since my background is Italian, I’m always looking for good Italian restaurants, and I have to say that there are two that I really love- one is Arriverderci’s in San Rafael, though it’s more Italian-American food than strictly Italian. Nonetheless, every item I’ve ever tried on their menu is excellent, they cook everything as you like, even let me trade my potato side for an extra vegetable side. I also LOVE the waitstaff, (Hello, Glenn, Hello, Danny!) because they are all in some way involved in the arts, and they come over to our table and chat with me about my writing, and so we feel like we’re going to see close friends whenever we eat there.  But if you want genuine Italian pizza, the kind with the really thin crust, and all the fresh ingredients on top, you need to go to Benissimo’s in Corte Madera. My husband calls it “Benny and Mo’s”, but he’s a poker player, not an Italian.

Where is your favorite place to shop for clothing?
That is the easiest question to answer- hands down it’s Gioia in downtown San Anselmo. The prices are reasonable, the clothes are different, but trendy/chic, not too way out there, and I love  all the shoes!

What do you love most about the Bay Area?
Another easy question. The people. The people make the Bay Area. I think it’s because they genuinely appreciate how stunningly beautiful the area is. And they feel blessed to live here and show it, by hiking in the area, bicycling here, eating here,  shopping in the area, and most of all, doing their best to keep it ‘eco-friendly’

Favorite independent bookstores in the Bay Area?

Naturally, I’ll say Book Passage first. That’s because they have been so supportive of me and my writing. They have asked me to do workshops there and they went out of their way to make my book launch wildly successful. I love that they have great conferences and all kinds of artistic events, too.  In fact, I’m  organizing one really fabulous event for the California Writers Club Marin Branch that’s being held there in October. Some  amazing literary names are taking part in that! They are truly a local landmark. I also love Book Depot in Mill Valley, And Booksmith in San Anselmo. In fact, Book Depot in Mill Valley was the first local bookshop I discovered when I moved here. They’ve got a great selection of books for such a small shop. Booksmith’s is one I pass almost every time I’m in downtown San Anselmo, and the owner is so gracious and accommodating.

Do you belong to any local clubs?

I belong to the California Writers Club, both the Marin Branch and the Redwood Branch, and I also belong to the Fairfax Health Club. I get my best writing inspiration from all my friends there, and the trainers are great, too!

Do you have any upcoming events related to Harlot’s Sauce?
Yes- lots! I’m speaking in front of the San Diego Feminist Book Group on July 7, for an event called “Harlots and Feminists”, there is the Instock Conference on July 18, in the Hotel Monaco in San Francisco, where I’ll be hosting a panel, The CWC Marin Centennial Event at Book Passage, The Redwood Writers Conference, and lots more appearances at independent bookshops throughout the state. You can check for updates on my  Harlot’s Sauce Fan Page on Facebook, or on my website at:

If you are a local author and would like to be featured on Sally Around The Bay please contact me.

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