I am Greek, with a Romanian-Egyptian heritage. I was lucky to grow up in a house filled with theatrical plays, ancient myths, poetry and literature. By age 9, I’d read the Odyssey and almost all of Shakespeare (I flipped through the Richards). By age 11, I could tell the difference between the melancholy of Poe and that of Lorca (#teamPoe). My first friends were the stories in my head, stories I only put to paper later in life when I made actual friends. And although I’ve been writing professionally since 2004, it was only last year that I committed to fiction and finished my first book. I’m still learning what makes me tick as a writer. I hope to never stop.

My literary influences run the gamut from Sir Terry Pratchett’s use of satire to Nnedi Okorafor’s ability to create never seen before universes and flip sci-fi on its head (I’m still not over how brilliant Binti was). I love the way Alexis Hall and Talia Hibbert write romance that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking — often in the same sentence. The way T. J. Klune and Alix E. Harrow create characters that are both soft and sharp. The way Neil Gaiman, N.K. Jemisin and V. E. Schwab spin alternate realities that seem real and unavoidable.

The stories I want to tell are anchored in the fantastical or the speculative; yet my own experiences tend to shine through. Many of my characters are immigrants like me; they struggle with mental health issues; they have lost at least one parent; they’re exploring their queerness and reclaiming their power; they believe in magic.

I hope they never stop.

“There are limitless ways to start a story, but only one way to start a life. Unless, of course, you’re me.” 

The Red Candle, Danai Christopoulou