Thalia Marakas' concern for the welfare of children is intrinsic. As a mother, teacher and poet, the focus of her life's work has been both the education and emotional care of the young.
Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Thalia Marakas' mother died while giving birth to a sibling and Marakas was then adopted and raised by a Greek-American family from Cleveland, Ohio. She later went on to graduate from Bowling Green State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.
When it was time to choose a career path in those days," comments Marakas, "women either received a teaching or nursing degree or got married." Since she always loved children, she went into elementary education. "I love the creativity teaching allows you," she adds. "Teaching is like putting on a production every single day." She taught in the Parma, Ohio school system for five years then started a family of her own and became a stay-at-home mom, raising her two children in Germatown, Tennessee.
In 1990, Marakas wrote a poem for her mother's 80th birthday, not knowing what else to give her. She had written poetry as a child in elementary school and had forgotten how much she loved doing it. The poem to her mother was to be the catalyst for her re-entry into the world. When her mother died the following year, in 1991, she was glad she had given her that poem. Marakas, in fact, had always thought of poetry as a gift to give others.
As the expression goes, "once a teacher, always a teacher," and Marakas' writing reflects her dedication to the learning process. She made a point of writing about subjects that would open up the doors of discussion. And her chosen topics have proven timeless. Subjects in her poems for children include adoption, the death of a pet, and sibling annoyances. "My daughter would make a comment, and I would write a poem," the author recalls. Soon there was nearly an entire book of poetry and a determination to have it published.
In 1994, Marakas and her family moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut, and the following year, her husband died after a brief illness. For more than a year after his death, Marakas didn't write any poetry. She decided to pursue a new career in television production, since she could transfer her teaching skills to that line of work. She started as an intern in May, 1996, at an area television production company, as was soon offered a position to market and sell children's videotapes produced by that firm.
Wishing to help grieving children, including her own, cope with the death of a parent, Marakas left the company in December, 1996 to produce a documentary of children and bereavement. The documentary, The Tomorrows Children Face When a Parent Dies, aired on Connecticut Public Television and throughout the country.
In November of 1997, Marakas started her own company, TM Enterprises, to create and develop supplemental education materials for children. She had begun writing again over that past year, finished her collection of children's poetry and found a young illustrator, Ben Griffin, then a senior at Ridgefield High School.
If Raindrops Fell Like Gumdrops was published on October 1, 2000 by TM Publishing, a division of TM Enterprises, LLC.
"I think this book will demonstrate that children really do love poetry," reflects Marakas.
For more information, you may contact the author at 203.240.4313 or Thaliagm@aol.com.