annia-lekka

About me

I was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1968, and grew up in London, UK. I obtained a BA (Hons) in Theatre Design from Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design and was awarded a scholarship by the Royal West of England Academy for research studies in Nepal. I have worked as a set and costume designer in Athens and London, and was also the stage manager for five years at the Athens Concert Hall. In 2008 I gained an MA in Creative Writing (with Merit) from Lancaster University.

In 2009 one of my short stories, Medicine Man, was published in the Year Zero anthology, Brief Objects of Beauty and Despair: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7242834-brief-objects-of-beauty-and-despair?

In 2011 my short story, The Unfolding, won joint-second prize in the Ifanca Hélène James Short Story Competition: http://ifancahelenejames.wordpress.com/to-apply/ It will soon go into production as a short film.

In 2012 my novella, Fishtail Mountain, was long-listed for the Cinnamon Press Novel/Novella Award.

I live with my music composer/sound engineer husband and our two teenage children in downtown Athens; our eldest son is off studying at university. My first three novels are set in Istanbul and on nearby Pringipos Island (now known as Büyükada). The Man Who Stole Satie, which is quite a different novel to the previous three, is set both in Athens and Paris. I am currently writing and researching my fifth novel, Monochrome, set in London, which is all about colour.

My short memoir story, Alice, is now published in Go World Travel magazine Chance Encounters anthology:

http://www.amazon.com/Chance-Encounters-Travel-Tales-Around/dp/0990878600/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417449357&sr=8-1&keywords=Chance+Encounters%3A+Travel+Tales+from+Around+the+World++

 

 

54 Things Not Many People Know

 

Why 54? No particular reason. It just happened this way. Besides, 5 and 4 add up to 9, and 9 is one of my favourite numbers (see question 11).

 

1) I was born with only 1 wisdom tooth. (You can draw up your own conclusions!) 

2) I am addicted to Sudoku, my favourites being Samurai Sudoku. 

3) When I was sixteen, I took part in Peter Hall’s production of ‘Coriolanus’, starring Ian McKellen as Coriolanus, at the Herod Atticus theatre. I had a walk-on role in 2 performances. 

4) I started drinking coffee at the age of 18 months when my grandmother would pour a little out of her extra-sweet Greek coffee on her saucer and let me drink it. 

5) I still love coffee but without sugar. 

6) I also love tea, especially white tea with orange or raspberry and Earl Grey. 

7) When I was sixteen, I volunteered as an assistant zoo keeper every Saturday, for Biology Club. You’d be surprised how many people like throwing chewing gum at the animals….not funny. 

8) Dreams are vitally important to me. I would never survive without them! 

9) I love autumn, winter and spring. I don’t like the summer or intense heat. 

10) My favourite pastime is relaxing in a hamam. Especially if it's cold outside.

11) My favourite numbers are 23 and 9. 23 because a lot of wonderful life events have happened on that number and 9 because it has always been the most balanced, wise number in my mind. (see questions 45 & 46) 

12) One of my dreams is to travel to Bhutan

13) Most people would never think this of me, but I am extremely shy. 

14) I have toyed with the idea of making soaps for a living.

15) In Athens 2004 Olympics I worked as a milliner and artisan for the Opening Ceremony. We made all the clothes on the floats out of thermoplastics and other unusual materials – no real materials! That was an incredible experience. 

16) As a child, I loved watching horror movies. Alone. In the dark. 

17) I went through an obsessive phase of listening to Erik Satie’s Gnossienne No.1 for days. It drove the children, my husband, and even the dog, insane! 

18) I would love to own a house up in the mountains and am working my way towards achieving this dream some day. 

19) That’s why I now live right in the centre of Athens! Baby steps! Baby steps! 

20) I love spicy food like Indian, extra wasabi in my soya mixture, Thai, Arabic. 

21) I love sweets. And by sweets, I mean almost anything sweet! 

22) Having said that, I don’t like doughnuts or sponge cakes that have been soaked in alcohol. 

23) My favourite fruit is the mango. Heavenly! 

24) My favourite pizza is very thin, with spinach, olives, garlic and an egg on it. 

25) My favourite pasta is Tonnarelli al pesto. I worship fresh basil! 

26) I would love to live in Rome. In fact, I would love to spend a year travelling around Italy, staying wherever I want, for as long as I want. (Another dream!)

27) My favourite female music artist is Kate Bush. There is no one like her. 

28) A very close second is Suzanne Vega. And, recently, I've been fortunate enough to discover a young Canadian singer/songwriter, Ruth Moody; she is now my very very close third!

29) I love art and paintings. 

30) I am addicted to yoga.

31) My favourite animal is the elephant, and I would love to wash one a least once in my life.

32) I would also love to jump out of a plane. 

33) I write some poems, but I think it’s a sacrilege to call them that. 

34) So I call them things

35) A few years ago, I had a panic attack in the Sistine Chapel. The worst experience I’ve ever had. 

36) Gazing at the sea for long periods of time unsettles me. It moves too much. 

37) Jeremy Irons autographed my back! I do have a photo of it on my blog page! 

38) I once rode on top of a bus in Nepal, whilst we were making our way up the mountains. What a ride! 

39) I once spent a day lying in bed, in Varanasi, India, watching a lizard on the ceiling. It was so hot and humid, I couldn’t move. Neither could the lizard. 

40) A taxi driver in Karachi, Pakistan, proposed he take me to his house instead of the hotel. I politely refused. 

41) An older gentleman in Prague asked me to marry him. He was a complete stranger. And I have a sneaking suspicion he was also a liiiittle bit drunk!

42) Oh, and I also got ‘leeched’ on in Nepal…and by that I mean real, live leeches! 

43) I would love to travel to Chile and Peru – up in the mountains 

44) As you can see, there is a mountain theme running along here... 

45) Numbers from 1-9 are real characters in my mind, with proper relationships between them. 

46) For example, 4 and 6 are female and rivals over the number 5. 9 is the sage of the group, the wisest number of all.

47) I know. It sounds weird. But this is how I’ve always thought. I could not imagine living without this. 

48) I also have a strange relationship to the months of the year. Spatially speaking, summer months feel very far from me, and are double the length of autumn months. 

49) Days of the week have colours. 

50) For example, Monday is always red. 

51) Some years ago, I found out that this is called, synaesthesia. What this means is that the brain joins sensations that are normally not experienced together. 

52) I love fresh lemonade with spearmint. 

53) I love clouds. 

54) I saw this idea and loved it, on Tracy Chevalier’s official website, who, in turn, took the idea from Joanne Harris’ official website. They are both two writers I admire and love. Thank you, ladies! 

 

 

 

 

http://www.tchevalier.com/index.php/about

http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/