Interview with Maro Leonardou

Interview by Vassilios Nicolaos Vitsilogiannis
(IG: @vassiliosvitsilogiannis)

Maro Leonardou is a journalist and author. She was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1965. She grew up in Athens and she graduated from Maraslio School in 1983. Graduating from French Literature in 1987, she worked for 33 years, from 1984 to 2017, as a journalist for television stations such as ANTENNA (ANT1) and MEGA, newspapers such as MESIMVRINI, EVDOMI, REAL NEWS and on radio stations such as ERA 1, FLASH, REAL FM. She has three children and a grandchild.

Could you tell our readers about your new, sixth consecutive book titled “Freud in Love”?

It’s a love story about heartbreak. There is much pain in most of the similar stories have, as long as there are still stories of love and affection. A psychoanalyst who is married falls in love during a flight from London with an unmarried astrologer who is seeking true love. Through their story, the reader is guided through the paths of psychoanalysis and astrology, not conventional astrology, as we know it today, but the occult one that was once a Science, a Magic and a Medicine.

What drives you to write the books? Were there any Greek or foreign writers who influenced you?

I have to mention two things…First of all, the story, which is either a real event or includes experiences and truth, must be original and interesting, it must be worth telling. In this book, the relationship of a married person with a single woman is not original, but it makes it interesting the fact that he is a psychoanalyst and she is an astrologer, it certainly acquires a different reading approach. The moral of the story in the book is the "message" it conveys to the reader. I have been influenced and continue to be influenced mainly by foreign writers, such as Marques, Allende, Bolaño, Thafon, but also Philip Roth and Doris Lessing. Some modern Greeks I love for being influenced are Sfakianakis and Sotakis, but in general Greek authors are not my cup of tea.

Do you believe that reading books broadens horizons and creates a badge in a nation’s culture?

Of course! Unfortunately, the Greeks don’t love reading though. It’s tragic, unbelievable.

What made you decide to become a journalist and not practice your job with studies in French Literature?

Economic reasons. At the age of 19, I had to work, I could not continue to be a burden on my family’s finances. At that time, due to a journalist father, journalism was the only option I had, convenient to me, so I did it along with my studies in French Literature. Then I remained in that industry, haha.

What do you think are the values that a journalist should have in order to be able to search and broadcast the news?

Before we talk about the values a journalist should have, we must pinpoint the necessity of a code of ethics, to know what is broadcast and what is not broadcast, something that existed recently on other TV channels like BBC. Now, I doubt if it does exist anymore. Beyond that, a journalist should, as in other professions, be honest and high-minded. Unfortunately, journalists are not like that today. I wish we had listened to what we were told by our teachers, that journalism is a purpose and not a profession.

Do you believe in objective journalism today?

There has never been objective journalism since it draws its conclusions and research from different sources. And the “sources” are the propaganda of each political party, businesspeople or any other entity that echoes the message to a certain target group. It is just that in the past there was concealed objectivity, while today all pretexts have fallen.

You have refrained from appearing on television for the past several years. Do you miss it?

Not at all. Not even, after all, a recorded show wasn’t what fascinated me with television. What I miss is the ‘live’ on television. What we say on a live broadcast during a big event, wherever it happens. It fascinates me that I have a split second to think and need to be quick-witted, fast and apt. In a sense, I could have become a pilot too, once it requires more or less the same qualifications as our job, excluding the verbal skills.

What are your dreams for the future both on a personal and professional level?

I want to write more books, maybe I get more professionally involved in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, which for the moment is my new hobby- occupation, maybe at some point I move to Kythira, my island.

What is the motto in your life?

Never put off until next time what you can do now.

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