Welcome Iliki, thank you for answering my questions.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don't think I actually realized it, it just happened. I have been writing short stories and poems since the time when I was a little girl, but I never realized that I wanted to really be a poet. As I began to make friends with other poets and writers on social media, most of them told me to keep writing free verse poetry and develope my short stories.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes about a year. Mind The Gap (*poetry collection), took me about a year to write, because I wanted it to be complete in every way. I wanted it to be the best possible reflection of my writing—like a good play. When I write, I keep myself focused on the beginning, the middle, and the end. I like a smooth transition from one to the other.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I do the marketing thing in the morning. In the afternoon I devote my attention to whatever there is that I need to get done so that I can stay on my schedule. Nighttime is when I usually write. I try to write every night, even when I'm too tired. I may be tired when I start, but writing gives me energy when I need it, and it relaxes me whenever I feel tensed.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
The amount of coffee that I consume is probably my biggest quirk – LOL! It is probably my only quirk. At least, it is the only one that I am aware of.
How do your books get published?
Both self-publishing and traditional publishing have pros and cons, but I decided to self-publish my first book. I wanted it to be me that would put the finishing touches on, Mind The Gap.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
When it comes to poetry, I never get outside information. Instead, I just express my innermost feelings—I write what I feel inside. For the novel that I'm writing, my inspiration comes from people's daily lives, social rules and events. They are social standards that everyone hate, yet no-one does anything to try to change them.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote, Mind The Gap, at the age of twenty-two. I was going through a very tough and emotional period of my life. The only escape for me back then was writing.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love sketching portraits, cooking, physical workouts, and reading. I also am a beauty/fashion editor on a blog. When I have some free time, I attend seminars about history and literature
What does your family think of your writing?
My parents don't understand the concept of ploughing heart and soul into something and not getting much in return. But I'm staying committed to my artistic works—writing is a way of living.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I realized that people have the ability to be whatever they want to be. They just have to do things step by step. Everything is easier that way, even writing a book.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Mind The Gap is my first book, my first poetry collection. It will always be my favorite, because it is dedicated to my aunt's memory. I wrote it for her and for me. Losing a loved one can destroy you, and writing helped me not only to avoid destruction, but I became a stronger person with the ability to create beautiful things even in the worst of times.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Write, write, and write, and read, read, and read. A good writer should never stop reading and writing. Moreover, please control your perfectionist tendencies – perfectionism can make you end up with nothing but a lot of blank pages.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I’ve not heard from them much, probably because my book was just recently published. I get really nervous discussing my book with readers, but the good thing is that no-one has contacted me to tell me how awful my book was.
Do you like to create books for adults?
I love writing, and I believe that my writing style has no boundaries when it comes to age. At the same time, I don't think that I could write a book specifically for children.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story must have characters that are passionate as well as characters with visions and flaws. I believe that writing is like “living...” , like Standford Meisner said about acting, “...truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” A good story is all about truth and I couldn't agree more with the quote by Ernest Hemmingway, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be the prime-minister of my country.
Iliki Stergiou was born in Athens, Greece but grew up in a small a seaside town, in East Attica. She is a poet and a poetry blogger since 2012.
Iliki Stergiou - A Young Poet From Greece, And The Land of Sorrow
In this poetry collection, Iliki Stergiou describes the struggles that every person has to make at some time or another in their life—crossing the labyrinth of losing someone that they truly love. The author experienced the unwanted but ever-present trauma of loss and grief following the loss of a loved one—a loss that cannot be replaced, but one that is sure to come, and one that must be accepted, because there is no other way.