Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Anastasia. I am a writer, dreamer, baker, wood worker and many things besides. For this, I’ve been called a renaissance woman and, though I’m usually modest, I most humbly agree. I love nature, live for coffee and enjoy food more than I should – particularly sweets.
I’ve completed and published the first two books in my Flower Child saga and have at least half a dozen other book ideas in draft. Among these drafts are the final two books for Flower Child, a dystopian thriller, and a magical fantasy aimed to children of all ages.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Full bloom is my latest book. It is the second volume in my Flower Child saga and was inspired by an incident involving a stray dog. I was driving along when I saw a dog walking on the edge of the road. I pulled over and got out of my car – calling for the dog and trying to gain its trust enough for him to come up to me. After a half hour of coaxing that resulted in the dog running away, I thought to myself “If only I could have made him understand that I only wanted to help.” That is when I started daydreaming about a girl who had the powers to communicate with animals. This evolved into her having powers to heal injuries and control nature and eventually developed into a story, played out in my head, which grew too large to keep there.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure this is entirely unusual for a writer, but I daydream before I write my scenes – placing myself in the hero’s shoes. I imagine myself living in their world, playing out their decisions and actions. I envision everything so vividly that I find myself feeling every emotion I want my character to feel. I even made myself cry once or twice.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I don’t know that any one book or author has influenced me, but rather all books and authors that I’ve read. I’m inspired by various writing styles and captivated by an author’s imagination. Reading stimulates my thought process and triggers my desire to dream up a new story and write it down.
What are you working on now?
I just wrapped up volume two of my Flower Child saga – Full Bloom. Though I fully intend to get to work on the third volume, I am taking a short break to work on another story inspired by a dream I had. It will go in an entirely different direction from the young adult fantasy – landing in the dystopian fiction genre.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still putting feelers out for the most effective method for promoting my books. I’m seeking a solution that doesn’t overwhelm potential readers with “buy my book” spam while still ensuring that the widest audience is reached. I’m also on a limited budget.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t let self-doubt be your kryptonite. Believe in yourself and just keep writing!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
By far, the best advice I heard is that reviews are for the readers, not the author. Reading this from a fellow indie author I interviewed for my blog completely changed my way of dealing with reviews. I was very anxious about getting reviews for my books before. But after shifting my attitude that the reviews are not for me, I feel much more relaxed. I still like to get high ratings, and I know that they do impact my sales. But ultimately, I understand a bad review doesn’t translate to me being a bad writer. It just means that my book wasn’t for them.
What are you reading now?
I am reading, with great determination, Persuasion by Jane Austin. I’ve read several of her books, but find her verbose and meandering sentences a bit of a challenge to digest. It’s totally worth it in the end and I always feel smarter by the time I read the last word.
What’s next for you as a writer?
The big screen! Not as an actress, although that could be fun. But I’d love to see my books made into movies. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Oh boy… well, I think I’d want at least one of the first three Harry Potter books (they’re the happier ones) though I enjoyed the entire collection. The Hobbit, for its ability to engross me completely – distracting me from my dire circumstances. Then, of course, I would want an empty journal because I’m sure to have many stories to write while I’m waiting to be rescued.