So I’m playing catch-up, as you all know. This is the first of three new blog posts for the Touchstone Thursdays! Yes, I know today isn’t Thursday, but Ksenia has been waiting VERY patiently for me to get internet and post this. So, without further ado, I would like to invite you to discover, Ksenia Anske.
Ksenia was born in Moscow, Russia, and came to US in 1998 not knowing English, having studied architecture and not dreaming that one day she’d be writing. SIREN SUICIDES, an urban fantasy set in Seattle, is her 1st novel. She lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and their combined 4 kids in a house on top of the hill that they like to call The Loony Bin.
Before quitting her career in 2012 to write full time, an entrepreneur and social media marketer by trade, Ksenia helped clients establish their social media presence via her consultancy Plumagram and ran her own start-up for 5 years, Lilipip, a company that created animated explanation videos. Ksenia’s been named one of the 100 Top Women in Seattle Tech, Geek of the Week of Seattle PI, and judged UW CIE Business Plan Competition.
So let’s start with something easy. What is your favorite color and why?
Um, blue. Why? I don’t know. I think my grandmother liked making me dresses from my dad’s old shirts, and they were all blue, light blue, and I loved them.
Oh! That’s cool. So, just curious, Do you have any odd, strange, unusual or outright bizarre habits? Please note, with this blogger, bizarre is a stamp of approval, not reproach.
Hmm, I guess I do. When I get stuck writing a particular scene, I often lie on my bed so that my head is hanging down or do a hand stand, getting the blood flowing to my brain, and then within a minute I would get unstuck!
I’m going to have to try that, especially for the novella I just started. So you mentioned your grandmother. Can I ask where you’re from and if you still live there?
I’m from Moscow, Russia. I live in Seattle, WA now.
WOW! That’s a journey. There must be a great story there. I’d love to hear it sometime. Speaking of stories and journeys, can you tell us about your stories and your journey as a writer?
I haven’t published my novels yet! I only self-published BLUE SPARROW, a little book of my tweets, and have yet to see the results. It happened a few weeks ago.
I’m writing ROSEHEAD, my 2nd novel, and it’s a mystery fantasy about a 12 year old girl who goes to a family reunion and finds out that her grandfather, a famous gardener, kills women and feeds them to his roses, in the rose garden.
That’s an intriguing story. I’m curious to see how it pans out. So knowing that, I’m interested in knowing, are you a pantser or a plotter?
Both? I don’t know. I just sit a write. But I have plotted SIREN SUICIDES, my 1st novel, very thoroughly. So I guess ROSEHEAD is different in that regard, a bit of an experiment.
Nice! So one of those more, time will tell sort of deals. You’re definitely on your way though! So, curveball time. Who is your favorite author?
Oy, this is tricky question to ask! Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Chuck Palahniuk, Haruki Murakami are favorites, and Lewis Carroll, of course.
Ha! So all the best huh? I definitely can see the influences of Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Lewis Carroll in your writing from what I’ve read on your website. So, which of them inspired you to start writing? If none of them, what/who inspired you to start writing? Were your roots such as where you’re from or your family what inspired you to write?
I sort of started writing in my head when I was little, without actually writing it down, because my childhood was pretty grim and my stories were my escape. When I was a teenager, I started writing a diary. My father is a writer, and seeing him write, I suppose, made it feel natural for me as well.
Whoa. That’s amazing and inspiring! On that note, how long have you been writing?
Full time? Only since May of last year!
When did you first consider yourself a writer? If you don’t remember that, when was the first time you introduced yourself as a writer and to whom?
I think it happened last year. Until then, I didn’t think of my writing as REAL WRITING.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Believing in myself, believing in myself enough to actually starting to write. I battle anxiety every day, afraid that what I’m writing is not very good and nobody will ever want to read it.
Do you have a favorite character from a book or book series? If so, who, what, when, where and why?
Tricky question again! Alice from Alice in Wonderland, of course! Why? Because I saw myself in her, my curiosity getting the better of me and making me go places where I shouldn’t go, hoping to discover fantastical things. And I love Roland, The Gunslinger from The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written a trilogy, SIREN SUICIDES, it’s not published yet, coming out in July, and am in the middle of writing my 2nd novel, ROSEHEAD. I don’t know, I like them both! They are very different.
Do you have anything that your readers would be shocked to know about?
I’m afraid of the dark, like a little girl. If I’m at home alone in the house and I have to sleep alone, I would go into every room, turn on every single light and open every door, and then crawl into bed and tremble there. Well, it’s not as bad as it used to be, but still. That’s why I’m afraid to travel, I’m afraid to sleep alone in hotel rooms in the dark!
How do you keep your writing different from all the other novels in your genre(s)?
I don’t make an effort to keep it different, I just write the way I write, for therapy, for the joy of writing, and it seems to be coming out as mine, or so people told me.
Lastly, what advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Write every single day. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise, who tells you that you can’t write, can’t make a career out of it. Despite everything, keep writing, for the pure joy of writing, of being a kid while you write, and then one day you will find yourself writing a masterpiece.
Thanks once again, Ksenia for being a guest on my blog! I look forward to seeing great things from you!
All of her books are available for free as downloads, forever. Here is the link: http://www.kseniaanske.com/books/
Here are all of her links: