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 woman determined to discard her haunting past yet wanting to embrace it too; the young, heavily tattooed widow returning to her roots and Cyprus’ dead zones.

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 in both private and public schools in Cyprus. 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!

In June 2023, I was selected as an Oxbelly Fiction Fellow for their inaugural Writers Retreat. This new programme was under the directorship of Chigozie Obioma whose vision was to bring storytellers from different backgrounds together to share, help and learn from each other. This was held concurrently with Oxbelly’s Episodic programme. In the eight days – hosted in stunning Costa Navarino, Greece – our group of five (ten fiction fellows in total) were mentored by Rebecca Makkai. On top of that we were treated to masterclasses, readings and discussions by notable writers and poets like Anuradha Roy, Nadifa Mohamed, Scott Cairns and Mary-Alice Daniel. A life-changing experience!

Currently, I am writing a novel that picks up where certain Greek myths left off because I love musing upon the ‘what ifs?’ of Greek myth. My novel is set it in the wild Cypriot landscapes I live and roam in. I’m also working on a collection of short stories exploring psychologically displaced characters.

I love works with more than a few dollops of magical realism: think Angela Readman’s poetry and short stories. I also adore Maria Taylor’s poetry and Eowyn Ivey’s ‘The Snow Child’ is a novel I often return to. Phillip Pullman’s writing is, of course, a burning flame for me.