Greek-American author Marilena Fallaris has released her latest book, Womenemies: How to Eliminate the Enemy Within, the sequel to her previous bestseller Womenemies: And How to Eliminate Them.
The first book looked at how women can become each other’s enemies in various settings, while the second installment is more introspective.
Fallaris spoke to Greek Reporter about the role of her own personal and professional experiences in writing both books.
The second installment of Womenemies is an inward-looking work that examines careers, families, friendships, and romantic endeavors as well as the joys and challenges associated with each.
In contrast to the first book, which is more outward-looking and centers around the types of relationships women have with each other in the workplace and other more personal settings, the author draws on the full range of her own experiences in her latest literary endeavor to examine inner conflict and how women become their own worst enemy.
“One of the biggest gifts you can give to yourself is to be honest with yourself,” muses Fallaris, when discussing the themes of the book. “Not only honest but forgiving and gentle, especially when you confront past mistakes. When you are able to do that, you truly value your worth and are able to see yourself for who are you—a unique human being capable of so much, and deserving of so much. You are free.”
“This is an important theme because only by identifying how we are enemies to ourselves can we heal, forgive, and learn,” she continues. “Women tend to focus on others and the needs of others rather than themselves first. This could be for many reasons—avoidance, societal norms, etc. Regardless of reason, when the focus is on others we become stagnant in growth, self-love, and seeing our worth.”
“Lastly, I want the readers not to judge themselves,” she says. “I judged myself a lot for all the past ways I was an enemy to myself. What did that do? It made me ashamed and I didn’t share my experiences for years, sometimes decades. When I share my experience, I release the enemy within and I learn to love and forgive myself.”
The author: Marilena Fallaris
Fallaris’ writing has resonated so strongly with her audience due to the breadth and depth of her experiences. She has taken on multiple professional roles as a vice president, manager, attorney, and even as a dance instructor.
Equally important are the roles she has embraced in her personal life as a mother, daughter, wife, and friend. “Parenthood is its own animal in a good sense,” says Fallaris when asked which role was the most gratifying. “It is the most rewarding. So I think that role, but also I would say the biggest role is finding out who I was and I started doing that at 38.”
In speaking about the themes and structure of the book, Fallaris comments: “Each chapter deals with an experience of mine to which many women can relate. I think the discussion about negative treatment we allow in relationships, not asking for our worth at work, and body hate were three big experiences which influenced me to write this book.”
Writing the book
Fallaris’ experiences in writing the first book gave her a chance to reflect on the process before penning the second. “I learned to leave it on the page for the first draft,” she says. “No edits, no judging, just type as I speak. I got good reviews because readers have told me they felt as if they were across from me sipping wine and having an intimate conversation.”
“I did the same thing with this book,” she continues. “However, I took it a step further. In the first book, I still was having issues juggling Marilena at work and Marilena who wanted to say everything. I had to self-edit. With this book, I have one face forward—me, Marilena Fallaris.”
Fallaris advises other would-be authors to “[not] hold back, just write. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you now, I’ve learned to just keep on writing and it will come, and not be afraid to say what you really think, because that’s what really hits home with people.”
Fallaris also collaborated with her manager Anastasia Laskari and her company Brand Name to make publishing the book a reality. Her translator Kalliopi Miltsakaki ensures that the books are available in both English and Greek. The latter is expected to debut in spring of next year.
The author’s first book was warmly received by readers and Fallaris’ latest offering also promises to be a hit.
“I have received positive responses from both women and men,” reflects Fallaris. “They say it is relatable and is as if I was sitting across from them, talking.”
“I recently was written to by a reader saying my book made her cry tears—she was happy to know she was not alone,” she revealed. “This is the goal of my book—for us to realize we are not alone and to give steps on how to heal.”
Where to purchase Womenemies
All of Marilena Fallaris’ books are available to purchase on Amazon or on her personal website. Her second book, Womenemies: And How to Eliminate Them, is already available in English, whereas the Greek translation will be available in 2024.