Maria was born and raised in Muswell Hill, a leafy suburb of north London. Her parents emigrated from Cyprus to London in the 1960s and she grew up in a thriving Greek-Cypriot community where Greek School, the local Greek Orthodox Church and the extended family were at the heart of life. Her second-generation Greek-Cypriot origins were a source of inspiration for My Big Greek Family.
Maria studied Law at Queen Mary University and took the Solicitors’ Final Examination at Lancaster Gate Law College. She later enrolled at the London Institut Francais and at the Goethe Institut to improve her foreign language skills for working abroad. During the five years she lived in Germany she taught English as a foreign language and enjoyed visiting other European countries. By immersing herself in a range of cultures, she gained a greater insight into the common challenges faced by second-generation women and she draws upon this knowledge in her writing.
On returning to London, Maria juggled family life and writing. She was encouraged to write about a subject that was close to her heart after reading ‘Eat Drink and Be Married’ by Eve Makis and also found inspiration from writers such as Marian Keyes, Isabel Wolff and Debbie DiGiovanni. Maria was keen to enter mainstream commercial women’s fiction with a different voice and create characters that second-generation women, reconciling two cultures, could relate to. Entertaining, inspiring and connecting with readers remain the cornerstones of her writing.
Maria enjoys cooking and experimenting with new dishes as well as following traditional Greek recipes, some of which can be found here.