I hope you're having a wonderful day. It's time for another interview, and on this occasion I have the pleasure to meeting Greek fantasy fiction author Maria Vermisoglou.
PB: Hi Maria! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
MV: I’m a librarian who grew up in Greece, Athens in particular. Last year, I was working in Crete and I must say, islands are so much better than big crowded cities. I love my job and the people I meet are intriguing.
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
MV: Since a young age, books had been my closest friends since I’m a bit of an introvert. It was just a regular day when I had finished just another book and I wasn’t satisfied by the way it ended. So, I thought…what if? Just a small paragraph at first and then, the story unfolded before my eyes. The words wouldn’t leave me so I decided to write it down. It became a book and then more stories came.
PB: When did you first start writing?
MV: I always “wrote” stories in my head. As soon as I liked a story, I took a part of it and ideas formed, making an entirely different story. It wasn’t until 2018 that I actually put the ideas on paper.
PB: What was the first story that you can remember writing?
MV: It was in high school when I started a story about five girls—based on my friends—who uncover their powers and journey to defeat the evil king. I never finished the story, but it was fascinating to say at least. One day, I might pick it up again if I don’t get buried under the pile of new and unfinished projects. Ha!
PB: When you begin writing a new story, do you always know the ending?
MV: I’m what you would call a pantser so I let the characters drive and write what they tell me. Sometimes, I think I know the ending, but the story takes so many wrong turns, we end up in another country altogether. As confusing it might sound, it’s fascinating! But sometimes, I wish I had a map!
PB: If you could meet any of your characters, who would you meet, and what would you say to them?
MV: All and none. They would probably kill me for everything I put them through. If I’m allowed to meet only one, Eva Della Luna would be my choice. She’s the first character I ever created and my most favourite. She’s been through so much, but still prevails with the grace of the hero and the endurance of a witch. I would tell her I’m sorry, hoping she doesn’t turn me into a vase. Ha-ha!
PB: Tell us about the Eulogimenoi series.
MV: The Eulogimenoi series means “Blessed” in Greek. There are 2 books in the series and a short story. Currently, only one is published, but I should have the other 2 out very soon. The series follows Violet as she journeys through the supernatural world, fighting the darkness in order to destroy its evil plans. Mostly a series about shifters, but there’s an interesting range of creatures from different cultures that might be her allies or her enemies. Good thing she’s got a fairy for a best friend.
PB: Where did the idea come from?
MV: Strangely enough, the backstory is almost as interesting as the story itself. It all started with a small writing prompt that gave birth to a short story. After some rejections, I set it aside. I stumbled upon a call for portal stories and mine fit, but it needed to be longer. So, I started typing and the “Wow!” moment happened. You know when an idea is so powerful you just stare at whatever is in front of you? Yes, that happened. I never submitted the story since it took its own will and even demanded 2 volumes! How can I say no?
Beware the Violet is a story set in Halloween when a girl who hates the whole celebration thing, falls into a rabbit hole and ends up in a supernatural city. Too bad, huh?
PB: Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
MV: I’m proud of all my achievements, but writing is one of the most important things. I never imagined I could write or even publish a book. Now, I have published two and working my way to more. Writing is a difficult process and uncertainty is always a companion, but with the right guidance and faith in yourself, you can do it. I really love every journey the stories take me and can’t wait to jump on the next one.
PB: What is your favourite book series to read and why?
MV: I have many favourite books so I can’t choose one, but if you give me fantasy or paranormal, chances are that I’ll love it!
PB: What are your long term ambitions with regards to writing?
MV: There are a few books who had helped me when I was sad or was going through difficult times. I would like for my writing to do the same for people.
PB: If you weren’t an author, what career would you be in?
MV: I’m already a librarian and wouldn’t trade it for any other career. Being surrounded by tons of books is inspiring, magical and cheers me up every time.
PB: What’s the next target for you?
MV: I want to get a deal with a traditional publisher and get better at marketing, writing and figure out the whole author thing. I know a lot, but I’m not to the point where I know what I’m doing.
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
MV: Random…I like to make keychains and sometimes, I don’t even look—my hands work mechanically like they have a mind of their own.
Thank you so much to Maria Vermisoglou for speaking to us today. If you would like to give her books a try, you can do so by purchasing them here:
Until nest time, keep reading!