My little sister has been such a major event in my life that I had to ensure she would be in my second blog—or she might just kill me or nag me to death! Kidding. I love my little sister, as I’m sure all of you out there love your siblings.
We’ve been through a lot together. Maria Nicolette Alexandrou was born when I was ten. Only, she was not born Maria, but Nicolette Alexandrou—don’t you all agree that Maria Nicolette sounds more exotic? There’s a reason for the additional name…and I’ll explain that soon.
We were born to Greek Cypriot parents. My father used to be a school teacher, having completed the Teacher’s Academy in Nicosia majoring in Classical History. I say, ‘used to be’, because he then went on to obtain a Civil Engineering degree in London. Well, this man with the glasses, very professor looking, used to read me stories from a very young age, feeding my impressionable mind with images of Gods, giant Cyclops, flying Pegasus, Jason and his gold fleece, Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra, Achilles and Hector…and the list goes on; but always the themes were stooped in ancient history and lore, mostly Greek, of course, or Roman, but they were just Greeks from Rome, ha, ha, ha—just kidding, again!
Anyhow, I can blame my father for my love of literature. Yes, I admit I love Shakespeare too, and why not? And I love the Odyssea, the Iliad, and this started me down the path of fantasy, with other works being added to my list: Tolkien’s world, Eddings…
Back to my little sis. You must understand that younger siblings are oft influenced by their older, bigger bros. And that’s exactly the case with Maria. Which brings me back to the point of how Maria got her name: our family is Christian. May I at this point add that I respect all religions.
‘Why is he mentioning religion?’ I hear you ask yourselves. Well, the answer is quite simple, really. My sister, as I said before was born Nicolette. And she was born with a problem: a stenosis (this is a Greek word meaning a narrowing of a passage in the body) in the ureters which resulted in the urine not draining to her bladder. As a result, her kidneys got damaged. We baptised my sister, Maria Nicolette Alexandrou, in honour of the Virgin Mary.
Maria lived. I remember growing up we used to fight a lot as children do. We used to do everything to the extreme. I blame it on our Mediterranean temperamento and would have it no other way. We used to fight, we used to play, and we used to visit those hospitals every other day. Those times were the hardest, when Maria’s life was treading a thin line. Maria grew up, and despite her illness graduated from City University and went on to get a masters. And she is studying again now—masochist! Joking, joking! Good for her. She has had repeated kidney transplant operations and is currently in need of a new kidney, but is living quite happily on dialysis and enjoying life to its fullest with her husband, Kostas—a great guy if you should ever meet him.
Remember what I said about big brothers influencing their siblings? Well, we aren’t the exception. Maria is a fantasy freak, and I’m to blame for that. How could she not be? She used to watch me read those books with the amazing covers, or stoop over my shoulder when I was drawing fantasy maidens, knights, beasts, and dragons—did I mention: We love dragons! I remember when playing Hero Quest with my friends, she would grab a chair and join right in.
Nowadays, my sister spends a lot of her time hitting me over the head. Yes, you read it right. Basically, she is full of life, bubbly, and very, very persistent. I’ve had my emotional ups and downs over the years. At times, my attempts to get my writing noticed have wavered, but Maria was there to keep me on that path, cajoling, prodding, at times shoving: so that explains the being hit on the head part.
We both enjoy fantasy, and meeting people who are like-minded. Recently we visited the fantasycon By the Sea event at Scarborough (you can read more about that on my News/Appearances Tab). What a great time we had!
And we’re going to have more such times together. If you would like to meet my sister and say hello—she’s very easy to talk to—come to the Eastercon on April 2017 (you can read up on this one also on my News/Appearances Tab).
Little sis, I just wanted to say that I’m proud of who you are, I love you—my wife says, we men don’t say that enough…and it’s true. And I’m glad to have you around, enriching my life and those around you.
Maria Nicolette Alexandrou has her own fashion design company. You can learn more about her by pressing on her picture below:
I’m drinking to your health—literary and figuratively.
These have been the ramblings of epic fantasy fiction author