Two sisters, Amelia and Simona Lillostra, share a secret. One so distressing to them it is never to be revealed. What they didn’t count on is a young Russian man entering their lives, a man related to Amelia’s Russian lover from WWII. When TV anchor, Larissa Mina meets Alexey Dubrovsky at an awards night, neither has any idea there is a secret in both their pasts. What is this dark family secret and why were two loving sisters torn apart?
A family saga spanning three generations and three countries. Full of dark secrets, flawed love and a decision no one was supposed to discover.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
I write family sagas, though I’ve also written sci-fi and crime short stories. My stories always have an element of water or the sea. Having grown up in a coastal beach suburb, my love of water has stayed with me even after moving to Sydney.
Where and how do you write?
I write at home and have for years, usually with coffee by my side. And my dog, Sassie. The Decision They Made was written 25 years ago, shelved then resurrected about five years ago. It was first published on 1 Dec 2019, soon after my short story Xenure Station: A Billion Light Years was published.
What are your thoughts on authors reading reviews of their work?
This can be a minefield, especially for first-time authors. It is reasonable to expect that some readers won’t enjoy your story, but your feelings take a hit when you read a bad review. So far, I have more good reviews than bad, which is a relief.
How do you feel about the ‘write what you know’ mantra?
I have just written two blogs about this mantra. I’m a believer of it. How can you write effectively about something you know little about? If you do decide to write about something you know little about, your research had better be up to scratch.
Were there times you felt like giving up? Why?
Many. It’s probably the reason I shelved the novel for so long. I never felt I was a writer until later in life. This was even though I had a career as a PR writer. I didn’t think someone who wrote about products was a true author. I’ve proved myself wrong. Now I wish I had not left it so long to publish my stories.
What’s next for your writing?
I’m currently writing another short story, a novel about two men who become friends late in life and a sequel to the Xenure Station short story. Xenure Station: The Revenge is a full-length novel and this series will be three books, so it’s a trilogy.
Maria has made a career of using words to communicate. A job in television nurtured Maria’s love of words. Studying Communications gave her the opportunity to work with advertising and public relations agencies, corporate companies and newspapers. She has written PR, ads and newsletters for food, jewellery, fashion and interiors, garden and building products. When she is not writing website content or as a senior reviewer for Weekend Notes, she works on her stories.