I am fascinated by those internally displaced and trapped by circumstances – or feeling as if they are – and their coping mechanisms: the woman who fears leaving her husband but does exactly that which he would kill her for; the octogenarian who has obsessive affairs with poetry; the teacher crushed by the boulders of Sisyphean teaching; the teenager haunted by a eucalyptus tree; the teacher weighed down by a Sisyphean syllabus; the sales rep sent off to Writer Rehab by his boss.
I was born in Cyprus but, after the Turkish invasion, my refugee parents fled the island and settled in Australia for the next 15 years before migrating back to their homeland and consequently, acquainting us with our roots – roots which felt familiar yet far away. I then went on to receive my B.A in English Literature from Royal Holloway, University of London. Living in three different countries before the age of twenty-one, gave me insight into this internal displacement, whether my own or those around me, whether geographical, psychological or both.
For the last twenty-five years, I have been teaching English as well as dipping into editing. It is creative writing though, where I come alive, find, lose and re-find myself. It’s wonderful to have overcome my fear of submitting and getting out there these last few years. Any writer is given a wonderful wind in their sails to see their work published or nestling in short and long lists. In 2020, I was one of three Cypriots lucky enough to have had the opportunity to be mentored by Jennifer Makumbi under the Commonwealth Foundation. This one-to-one mentorship spun my writing right round and then some!
Currently, I am writing a novel that picks up where some Greek myths left off. It is set it in the wild Cypriot landscapes I live and roam in. I’m also working on a collection of short stories on psychologically displaced characters.