About the Authors
When Maria and Alexander Green, a mother and son, teamed up to write a novel, Cracking of the Mask was born.
Alexander is passionate about honoring both his American and ethnic Bulgarian roots. A lover of learning, he remains incessantly curious about the world and its inhabitants. His interests include public speaking, organizing tours, bringing people of various backgrounds together, and studying the humanities and social sciences.
Alexander graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.A. in Economics, minoring in Philosophy. Prior to that, he graduated as valedictorian from the Early College of Forsyth and was individually recognized by the White House for his academic achievements in a letter from President Obama. Taking courses in monetary and labor economics, ethical issues in business, ancient philosophy, and world civilizations influenced his contributions to Cracking of the Mask, as well as having great teachers and professors in the fields of English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Geography, to whom he is very grateful.
As a creative entrepreneur, Alexander aspires to produce content that is different yet relatable, thought-provoking yet inspirational.
Maria was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, in a family of writers and book lovers. She came to the United States through marriage, having met her American husband in Sofia. She is continually drawn to the lesser-known and always looks forward to learning about new historical discoveries. Maria is passionate about using the art of creative writing as a tool for self-discovery and healing.
A lifelong lover of history and travel, she enjoys experiencing different cultures and ways of living. She likes to be in the world and watch the flow of life, as it has often been both therapeutic and inspirational for her.
Maria and Alexander currently reside in North Carolina.
• Alexander loves to visit new places and is a self-confessed geography nerd! He used to draw maps for fun as a child and considered becoming an urban planner while in college.
• As a youngster, Alexander became obsessed with shonen anime and manga. During his teenage years, he ran several popular YouTube channels about anime/manga (primarily Dragon Ball Z and One Piece) as well as video games based on anime.
• Maria enjoys Korean historical dramas, with some of her favorites being The Great Queen Seondeok, Chuno, and Tree with Deep Roots!
• While growing up in Bulgaria, Maria’s favorite places to visit, detox, and recharge were Sozopol (the ancient Apollonia Pontica, a setting in Cracking of the Mask) and the mountainous Pirin region, from where some of her ancestors hailed.
• The forest in Cracking of the Mask with the tall pine trees and wild strawberries—the setting of Evmondia’s hometown as well as the goldsmith’s dwelling—is based on land Maria inherited from her ancestors in the Pirin region.
• A visit to the ancient Thracian sites at Perperikon, Tatul, and Starosel in Bulgaria caused Maria and Alexander to become fascinated by the history and culture of Thrace. A desire rose within them to bring this enigmatic ancient culture to life in a story—and to merge their newfound interest in the Thracians with their long-held passions for storytelling, the creative arts, and exploring life’s big questions. Encouraged by Maria’s father, Peter, to join their forces together, the collaborative effort of writing Cracking of the Mask became a reality.