Author Interview: Maria Vermisoglou
Sometimes, you get really lucky in finding a new author to read and admire. That's the case today. "Writing The Cursed Girl was like magic," might be the favorite quote I've ever gotten from an author before, because writing and reading are a type of magic all on their own. Please help me in welcoming this new, magical writer to your hearts:
Why did you first start writing? What was the inspiration for your first book?
I started writing 4 years ago. I always have a story in my mind. When I finish a book I like, I take a part of the story and make my own story but always in my mind. Until that day. I had finished The City of Heavenly Fire and I was thinking, what if Clary was a witch? That’s how Eva was born. For an unknown reason though, I knew she had to be called Eva. Writing The Cursed Girl was like magic. I knew what I had to write before I knew it. Does this make sense? Well, it’s true 😉
Did you ever consider traditional/indie publishing? Was there a reason you chose the way you did to go about publishing your works? Do you have any insights for future authors trying to make the same choice?
I hadn’t considered traditional publishing but here’s the thing: I am not from any English country so I did a little research and found out I needed an agent in order to submit to a publisher. I didn’t want to go down that road so I tried self-publishing. It works but it needs a lot of time, effort, innovation and hard work. Now, I have learned that I can submit to small publishers without an agent.
My advice to future writers: do your research. Self-publishing is a good choice if you just want to publish your book but it needs a lot of effort in marketing it. You might not gain as much if you traditionally publish it but it’s worth if they market your book.
Do you have any books in the works at the moment?
Yes. I am writing the second volume of The Cursed Girl and a sci-fi novel.
Any advice you’d offer up-and-comers looking to find their place in the literary world?
Believe in yourself. You might see a dark tunnel thinking you’re not going to make it but you will. A lot of authors started as nobodies and had their manuscripts rejected a lot of times but they made it. If they can do it, why not you?
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I love name meanings. If you have read the book then you’ll know Jonathan means gift of God. I also use flower meanings. I think it makes the book more special. Names are important but name with meanings are special because when the reader discovers the meaning of the name it forms a connection between the author and the reader.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully with more books under my name.
Have you always liked to write?
I was always an avid reader but I have never considered writing. In fact, I thought it was impossible to do so. Well, I think now I should change the word. Impossible.
Do you hand write or do everything on your computer?
Mostly but if I have an idea and I’m on the road I write it down on a piece of paper, my phone, anything I can find.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, I read them and I thank the reviewers. My book is fairly new so I don’t have many reviews. I try to deal with the bad by accepting them. Every writer thinks their book is perfect and everyone would love it. While this might be true we should keep in mind that not all people like kind of the books we write. We should accept it and move on. After a bad review, there’s always going to be a good review hiding in the corner.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me, it gives me a purpose and energy. It exhausts me when I have to write a really sad scene like killing one of my characters. I can’t bear the thought of them being killed and my first time was awful. I knew I had to do it but I didn’t want to do it so the book was delayed. In the end, I gathered my courage and I did it. It was awful but I wrote it. The rest of the deaths were easier.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have lots of author friends now and each one of them is special. I couldn’t possibly pick one. I meet new authors everyday and we help each other with advice, promotion, tips and even advice about life. It fascinates me because I never thought I would find so much support from writers. Of course, Indies will always help Indies.
How did you find/choose your cover? There’s a funny story here. I was trying to find an illustrator on Google.
For some reason, Google didn’t return relevant results in “images” and only one drawing from Deviantart. Guess what? Google is responsible for my awesome cover!
How do you choose what you are going to work on? Do you write one story at a time, or are you working on multiple pieces from multiple storylines at any given moment?
I usually write in one story at the time but if I don’t want to for some reason, I go to write another story.
How would you best classify your writing? So, I always say I write Fantasy romance, with a way capital F there, lol. If you were trying to describe your books to someone, how best would you describe what you write?
I have written only one book and it’s epic fantasy, young adult. That’s what I can tell you. I can’t describe my book because I would need more than some pages. Why don’t you read the book? It’s faster and more entertaining.
How do you handle writing both books and blogs and Facebook posts and so on and so forth and ad naseum!? Lol. Okay, I’m looking for help, lol, how do you manage your time so well?
One thing at a time. I write for 2-3 hours which depends on inspiration mostly and the rest of the time is promotion, takeovers, marketing, etc. Since I have currently only 1 book now it’s easy. Ask me when I have more books out and I’m pretty sure my answer will be much different. Lol.
What made you choose to write a novel?
I didn’t. I had a story to tell and, in my mind, it was supposed to be one book. I guess the story didn’t agree with me so it turned out to be series.
What do you think is most emblematic of your writing style/novel?
I write in first person. I can’t write in third. First person makes the reader feel closer to the character and while I can’t describe what every character feels, I still think the reader feels the story.
What makes a “novel” to you?
If you make me feel and make me cry, then you have written a good novel.
I haven’t read many of those. I might smile at a scene but if you make me cry and want to throw the book out of the window then you are a novelist.
How do you feel about novellas or short stories?
They are nice but I can’t write them. My story was supposed to be a book but it turned out to be series. Every other attempt I have made was pointless. I can’t read short stories. Short stories hate me.
You wake up tomorrow, and your main character has been deleted from your novel! What would your other characters do in response?
Cause mayhem in my mind. They will think of a way to fix it and throw themselves into action or battle.
Can you tell me a bit about your series?
It’s about a young witch who is cursed to be reborn while she loses everyone she loves. The first book is about her first life where she discovers love, friendship, wars and she changes the course of human history. I can’t tell much more than that.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
The first because it’s the first where everything started.
Where did you get the inspiration for your series?
My main inspiration for the series was the book series The Mortal Instruments and the tv series The Witches of East End.
Did you always plan on writing a series or were you surprised to continue to write it after the first book was done?
I wrote the first book and I couldn’t put THE END because the story wasn’t done with me so I continued.
You’re The Cursed Girl series is what you started with as an author. Do you find that, even when you’re working on other projects, you always return back to them/it, like they’re your first love?
Always. I haven’t published but one book but it’s always going to be my favorite because it’s the first. Writing it was like magic. It introduced me to a new world, new friends and experiences. I will never forget that.
If you could live in any time, when and where would you choose?
Do fantasy places count? If yes, I would like to live in Hogwarts. Otherwise, I am fine with living in Italy. I love that place!
If you could choose one author to sit down and have a cup of tea with, and yes, it has to be tea here, who would it be?
J.K. Rowling or Cassandra Clare. These authors are the very important to me. J.K. Rowling because she taught me how to love books and Cassandra Clare because she inspired me to start writing my own series.
Have you had the chance to travel abroad to the different places where your stories take place? Any favorites of places you’ve gone to? Any places you can’t wait to see again?
Some of the places I described are fictional but some of them like France and Italy are from places I’ve been. But I have never been to these places in 1230 so my story is part real and part fiction.
When you think about losing yourself in a different world, whether it’s one you’ve written or read about somewhere, where would it be and why?
Hogwarts or The White Land. Yes, The White Land is one of my creations and I am proud of it. Do you need an answer? Because they’re magical and amazing and it’s witches, magic! Why shouldn’t we get lost in that kind of world?
Dragons…or wolves? One word answer is not enough! We must know! What is your favorite supernatural creature?
Witches but since they’re not creatures (and they will curse you if you call them that way) I would say dragons. I love dragons!
Did you edit/format your work on your own or did you use an outside source? Any good resources you can pass along to others looking to do the same?
I edited my book but I gave it to a professional editor before publication because English is not my first language. She did an amazing job and I will always be grateful to her. Another funny thing: she found me so we can say that was accidental too. Some good resources to edit your work before sending it to anyone are AutoCrit, Consistency Checker, Draft, Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, MasterWriter, ProWritingAid, SmartEdit, and WriteMonkey. For formatting I suggest Vellum. Most of us are using Word or Scrivener but I recently tried Reedsy and I was amazed with it.
For new authors starting out, what’s the best way to try and grow your readership?
Be active on social media, do a lot of takeovers, feature your book in websites, target readers who read your genre.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my really ridiculous questions and have some fun with me! I hope you enjoyed answering as much as I enjoyed asking!
And, for a special sneak peek, take a look at this AWESOME excerpt of
The Cursed Girl:
You obviously expect a nice story, something that will make you laugh or feel excited. You think this book will get me away from my boring reality, but that’s the thing with books—they transfer you mentally to another reality for a little while. But this book is not like any other book you have ever read. This book is real. You will experience my life, through my eyes and feel real danger. I warn you because this is your last chance to choose another book. Romance, perhaps or a funny story? Even better. My story is no fairy tale and no happy ending is included. If you think your life sucks, think again because my life is like a living Hell on Earth. My friend Ritta persuaded me to write it down so I would feel better—like this is going to change anything…
My name is Eva and I am a witch. I was born in 1214 in Spain in a little village, at least the first time. Of course, your question is obvious: Why am I still alive? Witches live many years, but we are not immortal; we can die. There are many tales about witches, but I will tell you the truth, since most human tales are just that, stories for scaring children. I see the world differently and believe you should know the truth. I am an artist, and many have blamed all my time spent drawing for my different beliefs. I am also the princess of witches—yes, they have princesses—and there is a queen, but that’s a story for later.
You can be a witch in many ways, but the most common way is to have a parent who is a witch. We live in a hidden land called White Land. It’s not visible, so don’t look on a map—you won’t find it. Our land is among the stars, so it’s not easy to find it. It is peaceful and magical and for every witch it is a home, a paradise.
The White Land is safe. No one goes there unless invited, and we live our lives happily, but we have our fights too. Witches have many kinds of jobs such as healers, teachers, shop sellers, and seers who can see the future so they can tell you if a big threat is near. No, fortune tellers are humans who are mostly liars. Please. Seers can see so many things they can give you a headache. Every witch has a different gift she can use. The queen is the one who handles the bureaucracy job as humans say: she ensures peace, breaks the fights, and solves problems, but the princess goes to fight with the big guns: killing demons, evil warlocks, and creatures associated with dark magic. Lucky me!
Our job is to protect the Earth from demons, so we guard the borders of the Earth and kill them before they enter. If by any luck they enter—it happens—hunters take care of them. Hunters are humans who kill supernatural things like demons. They don’t know about us. Nobody knows about us because there