Best-Selling Author based in Limassol
‘BOUGHT AND PAID FOR’
MEET THE AUTHOR, ANNA-MARIA ATHANASIOU
Best-selling author based in Limassol – Anna-Maria Athanasiou is a prolific writer who is regularly featured on “Amazon’s Contemporary Romance Top 10 Best Sellers List” with her publications. It was only ten years ago that she decided to put an idea for a story on paper and ended up writing a two-book series in secret. Her debut novel, ‘Waiting for Summer’ was closely followed by, ‘Waiting for Summer’ (Book 2), the second in the series. Anna-Maria has since published her ‘La Casa d’Italia’ trilogy and has just launched her latest book ‘Bought and Paid For’. She has been featured in the UK press including the Daily Mail Online and Woman magazine. She is an active fundraiser for the Alkionides Charity in Cyprus.
HOW DID YOU MOVE TO CYPRUS?
I was born and brought up in Leeds in the north of England, but my heritage is Greek Cypriot. My husband was born and raised in Cyprus – I met him while he was studying in Leeds. In the mid-nineties, when our first son was born, I had stopped working and things were a little glum in the UK. So, we decided to take a chance and move to Cyprus. We’ve been here in Limassol for twenty-five years now and have two sons aged 25 and 19.
WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?
If you’re asking when I actually put pen to paper, or rather, fingertips to keys, that would have been in September 2011, though in reality, I’d been creating my first novel in my head for years before that. I wrote in secret for months, never thinking I’d finish the story. Fourteen months later, I had a 900-page novel which I didn’t even know was any good. So, I sent it to my best critic, my mother! She read the first few chapters and said, ‘I don’t know how to tell you, but … I honestly didn’t think you could do this. I started reading it and forgot it was you that had written it. I thought it was a book I’d bought!’.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR BOOKS?
With my first novel, I can actually tell you the exact date, 31st October 2004. I was changing the clocks around the house and on our mobile phones; they didn’t automatically update back then! It got me thinking about, what if I accidentally saw a message on my husband’s phone that he didn’t want me to see? I didn’t – just to clarify, but from that idea, my two-part series, Waiting for Summer was created. My next series, a trilogy, was the La Casa d’Italia series. This was inspired by my love of Italian food and my past desire to have my own restaurant. I get my inspiration from my own experiences or from witnessing or hearing about different situations. My latest novel, Bought and Paid For, from the Blackthorn Series, was inspired by a friend who went on an unusual auctioned lunch date. Most of my ideas are sparked by one small incident, and then I expand on it, creating a whole make-believe world of characters that I love and feel real.
WHAT IS THE MAIN SUBJECT MATTER?
My books are predominately romance novels that appeal mostly to women, but I’m pleased to say that I also have a few men who have read my books. I started writing as a hobby for myself. I’ve always had a vivid imagination. As a small child, I dreamt up all sorts of fantastical stories, and I have just never stopped! It’s my way of relaxing and living a different life through different characters, a bit like acting, but without actually seeing your audience. I want my readers to escape into my books, like I do, and be entertained at the same time.
WHERE ARE YOUR BOOKS SOLD?
I’ve been lucky to have a loyal set of readers who have supported all my books. I have a lot of readers in California, but also right across the globe to Perth in Australia, and from South Africa up to Germany. I’ve also been in the Contemporary Romance Top 10 Amazon Best Sellers List, interviewed by Woman magazine in the UK and the Daily Mail online, which was all a bit surreal. But, what I find the most rewarding is hearing from my readers. I have been contacted by so many of them over the years who have just wanted to ask questions and thank me. I’ve met many of them at book signings too. The biggest thrill for me, is to hear that they enjoyed my stories and loved my characters.
WHERE ARE YOUR BOOKS AVAILABLE?
My books are available worldwide on Amazon as ebooks and paperbacks. They are also stocked at The Mediterranean Home in Limassol and, I am pleased to say, they will also soon be available at the Saint Raphael Resort gift shop in Limassol. I also have a limited stock myself!
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
I am currently writing the second book in the Blackthorn series, Signed and Sealed, which I’m hoping will be ready for Christmas. I also have a standalone novel in the pipeline due to be out in time for next summer, and another series that I’m working on as well.
To find out more about the books mentioned in this interview or to connect with the best-selling Limassol-based author, Anna Maria Athanasiou, visit her Facebook page here and send a message.
best-selling author based in limassol
Published by Cyprus in Style September 2020 – #InStyleBusinessNetwork