Greek author Stephania Roulaki spoke to The National Herald about her writing career and her latest work. His historical novel, Ego tha Ziso (I Will Live), set during World War II, is available in Greek online from Pigi Publications.
The book, based on real events, asks tough questions about life in wartime and surviving devastation. This is a fictionalized account of the heartbreaking true story of Dina Pronicheva, one of the few survivors of Nazi atrocities and the 1941 Babyn Yar massacre in Kyiv, Ukraine.
TNH: Tell us a bit about your background, where did you grow up and study?
Stephania Roulaki: I grew up in Athens, and now I live in Moschato, a place near Piraeus actually. I studied Advertising at Eurocenter College, Management at Deree, Mental Health Counseling and Group Therapy at Athens Synthesis Center.
I worked for several multinationals and in my forties I decided to change careers because I wanted to focus on more humanistic work. I have always had the need to write, mainly to express my feelings. When I learned to express them, through personal therapy, I felt confident enough to write to convey messages to readers through my stories. I find it to be a magical procedure! It gives me the opportunity to experience the lives of others through the heroes of my stories and to touch the lives of others too!
TNH: What inspires you the most in your career as a writer?
SR: I’m inspired by true stories right now. My first book – which is already published – is a true WWII survival story. A children’s book to be published in June is inspired by stories of international adoption. Another psychology book, this time, is due out in September. The book I am currently writing is about an ordinary man living in Ethiopia. What is it like to live your life in such a country, outside the comfort zone of our western world? I wrote another adult book for publication, a mystery story that started out as an exercise in a creative writing lab with two other students and it was interesting enough for a company to pitch to readers!
TNH: How long does the writing process take, from idea to publication?
SR: For me, as a writer, the idea of writing for something might stick in my mind for a few months. I read carefully and learn about my subject. When I feel ready to write, it’s a matter of hours – for short texts, and a matter of months to finish my books. Now, for a writer, finding the right publishing house for him and his creation is something very personal. For me, so far it’s taken me a month or two to find it, for each of my books. Between the time of the contract and the publication, it usually takes six months.
Ego tha Ziso by Stephania Roulaki is available online: https://bit.ly/37yn5Xi.