Shortly after the release of the fifth instalment of her ‘Ikoyenia’ series of books titled “Christmas With my Family” we took the opportunity to sit down with Greek Australian journalist and author Stephanie Timotheou to discuss all about her recent work and why reading is a great way for kids to learn more about the Greek language and culture.
–Stephanie, what can you tell us about your fifth book of the Ikoyenia series, that recently hit the book stores – without spoiling the plot?
Christmas With My Family is a beautiful rhyming story about the true meaning behind Christmas. It blends a little bit of religion with loads of fun and festivity. But the heart and soul of it is about spending time with family on Christmas Day and appreciating what we already have.
– What gives you inspiration to keep writing?
My kids! I started the series when I was a mum of one and now that we’ve welcomed our second little bundle of joy, it makes me even more excited to extend the Ikoyenia series. I love being able to give them something they can cherish forever and hopefully I can, in turn, inspire them to do whatever their hearts desire – just as I did.
-How did the pandemic impact your writing and what advice would you give to other aspiring writers?
My best advice would be: just keep writing! Even if you think what you’re writing is terrible.
During the pandemic I had huge moments of doubt and writer’s block. It was hard to keep a momentum going when there were so many other things on my mind. But I was persistent and continued writing – even at 3am after an idea would come to me in my sleep.
-When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?
Sadly, I haven’t read anything other than children’s books in about three years! Our favourites at the moment are The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland and various Little People Big Dreams books.
– If you had 15 words to persuade someone that the Ikoyenia series should be their childrens’ next read, what would you say?
Bond with your child through story time while also learning Greek – it’s a win-win situation!
*Christmas With My Family is a special edition book and limited copies are now available at www.ikoyenia.com.au