Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Maria Siopis. Age is just a number. I act like I am 12, yet I am 50.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Northern part of Greece but New York is my home.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I completed my master’s degree in 2007 in Emergency and Disaster Management hoping to make a difference when a catastrophic event strikes whether it is manmade or climatic. However, fictional writing is my passion, and has been from an early age. Nevertheless, I spend countless hours writing about mitigating, preparing, responding, and lastly recovering from a disaster. My thesis tackled the possibility of a pandemic and necessary actions to prevent a worldwide catastrophe. A bit of a boring subject. I prefer to write fiction because it is not real and the outcome can be a “happily ever after”. I am in a relationship and I have a dog named PJ as Pure Joy.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My debut novel, The World That Will Never Be, was published in September of 2017 but you can expect more in the near future. My newest WIP is almost completed and published sometime in 2018.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Writing is a calling, at least for me, and I began very early composing short stories. Although, I knew deep inside that I had to satisfy this need it took me many years to gather the courage to do it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t believe that I am a writer. How can I possibly consider myself an author when I come across so many other writers who have reached greatness with their work.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The need to write was always there but I lacked inspiration, and when it came, it was the most amazing feeling I experienced in my life. I was watching the news one night, something that I don’t usually do, and the news journalist was reporting a hate crime where the victim sustained life threatening injuries. That was the moment that defined my life, and the conception of my first novel was born. By the way I have not stopped writing ever since.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In my novel I created a brand new world with new rules and that would never happen thus the title: The World That Will Never Be.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to be omnipresent in all my characters, but I learned to stay with only one to avoid confusion. My first impulse is, of course, to invade the characters’ heads and extract everything that they are thinking and expose them. However, after much deliberation I keep their thoughts safe until it’s time for them to utter their inner feelings.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The book is fictional, the inspiration is real, and I’ll be deceitful if I do not declare that my personal experiences didn’t influence the way the book is written.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t have to travel for my first book. Perhaps in the future.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I would like to provide a direct quote from my book where two of the main characters meet to discuss how they can make this world better:
The next two hours became the beginning of the world that ought to be, where prejudice and persecution for being different were notions of the past. All was erased. The future was wide open for both of them, and as they observed the outside through the windows, they saw a divine world unfolding in front of them. They heard the tube pass by, and they smiled, but they never spoke about it. One thing was certain: that change was coming as fast as the traveling tube’s speed, and that was enough for both of them.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
They are way too many to mention, but each one is unique.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My family was my biggest supporter. I don’t recall an organization or entity that helped me become a published author other than the publishing company and the editors involved in my project. I’m grateful to Shadoe Publishing and my two editors Nicola Markus and Dale Lowry.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No. It will remain a hobby.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I’ll probably have less sex scenes because I’m horrible at describing the sexual interaction between my characters.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a lot about the editing process and the production of a book, but most importantly I experienced firsthand the joy of being published.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never, never give up. Keep all the rejection letters to remind you of your efforts and disappointments, and frame the congratulatory ones from the publisher who was willing to give you a chance.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
To forgive me if I didn’t meet their expectations with my work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Journey to the Crown by Maymi Alicea
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes. I will never forget it. The Entity by Frank DeFelitta. Terrifying book but loved it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Both family and friends make me laugh and cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Emile Zola. I love his novels because they are about human nature.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Unfortunately, I have way too many hobbies and I find myself stressing to complete my projects.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Son of Anarchy.
Cheese romantic movies – Hallmark Channel.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pasta, red, pop.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Protect people from catastrophes, and most likely work for FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I prefer cremation, and my ashes scattered at sea, but if I had a head stone:
Live well above when you come under is dark and cold.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?