Smyrna, just before 1922
Katinaki and Maritsa Voulgaridou
My mom and her twin sister
The actual "Girls in the Sailor Suits"
I read a lot as a child, counting the stars and dreaming of when I would become an author.
My first short-stories were published in the magazine "Diaplasis ton paidion" when I was still a student. More stories were later published in newspapers and literary magazines.
When I finished high school I got a job at the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, where I stayed for 17 years mostly as a personal assistant to the Director of Public Relations. If you were to ask me about these years I wouldn't have much to say. Though it was a time strongly linked with two of the most important people in my life, my husband and my son; and some friends of the heart who make feel gifted because there is no greater luck and blessing than meeting these kinds of people in your life.
I resigned from my position during the summer of 1989. That same year, in October, I learned about a competition for children's or YA novel hosted by The Organization of the Association of Smyrneans with a set topic of Minor Asia. For me, a child of Minor Asia descent, it was a topic which spoke to my heart.
I decided to take part in the competition; and that was how "The Girls in the Sailor Suits" came into being.
It was the start, a magical conjucture during which I discovered that I hadn't forgotten the language of children, the one that both children and grown ups understand.
Since then I've been writing and dreaming just as when I was a child; writing and smiling and feeling like I have my arms stretched open for everyone but even more for children. For only if children learn how to smile our world will become more beautiful, the world that we try so hard to turn into a grey wasteland around us.
I really can't separate my readers in children and grown ups, because we all hide a child inside us in a hidden nook; a child who doesn't want to grow up and doesn't want to confess it either.