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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Guest Blog: Author Ksenia Anske

If you're a writer and you've never heard of Ksenia Anske, you've probably been living under a rock. Don't worry, I was living under a rock too, until a few months ago when I started looking for fellow writers on Twitter. I didn't expect to find much, but boy was I wrong. I have found some of the coolest and most inspiring writers through Twitter, and Ksenia is one of them. She has a wonderful website and a blog in which she often gives great writing advice, which I appreciate, and she is one of the sweetest writers I've met. She is also a survivor, which comes across in her book series Siren Suicides, and she is someone every survivor can look up to because she is speaking out about it and trudging fearlessly down the path to healing. She recently finished a new book, Rosehead, which I'm sure will be a fantastic read.

I have never done a guest blog before, and when Ksenia mentioned it I knew I wanted her to be the first person I featured on my blog. I talked to her and asked her a few questions, which she answered brilliantly. Here they are:

1. How is your new book Rosehead different from your last work, Siren Suicides?

"It's different in several ways, actually. Number one, I planned Siren Suicides inside and out, before starting to write it, meaning, I plotted it, I wrote out Chapter summaries in a notebook, I rewrote chapter summaries in the notebook, and then rewrote it again. With Rosehead, I didn't plan anything at all. I had a picture in my mind, an image, I started writing from there, and every day I would sit down in front of my laptop, not knowing what would happen or where the story would take me. Number two, Siren Suicides is told from the 1st person perspective, and Rosehead is more of a classic 3rd person tale. I like 3rd person better, I think. Number three, Siren Suicides is very dark and dreamy and full of teenage angst, as well as some heavy underlying topics like suicide and domestic violence. Rosehead is more of a funny story with dark undertones, not unlike the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, but with a spin of YA. Number four, Siren Suicides I wrote for therapy. Rosehead I also wrote for therapy, but mostly I wrote it for fun, to get my head clear for the next heavy book I'm getting ready to write, a literary novel called Irkadura."

2. What is the message you hope to convey with Rosehead?

"Oy. What message. Well, probably that kids imaginary world is very valid and deserves a 100% attention from adults, which it doesn't get, most of the time. Adults don't like believing in kids tales, but kids often see things adults don't, and that was my own personal experience growing up, so of course it spilled into a whole book. In the book, Lilith Bloom, a 12 year old girl, suffers from a certain disorder that causes her parents to dismiss her observations. Alas, they realize at the end of the book that they were wrong. And, of course, love wins over everything."

3. How have recent events in your life impacted your writing?

"I would say, my life's events impact my writing in general, all the time, every day, because I write to process my life, to make sense of it, and to make myself believe that I can continue living, despite things that happen to me. I mostly store things that happen to me, to reuse in my stories later. That's how I survived the bad things that happened to me, by tuning out, packing them deep inside, to process later. Maybe that's why I have so many stories sitting inside me, waiting to get out? I dunno. That must be it."

4. Any new projects on the horizon?

"Oh yes, I have about 8 novels planned out, to write after I'm done with Rosehead. Well, 2 of them are more fleshed out than the others, Irkadura, a literary novel that is based on my growing up in Soviet Union, and Page Turner, a fantasy novel about kids who discover that the world has pages and they can be turned, like the pages of a book."

5. Any advice for new writers?

"Yes. KEEP WRITING EVERY DAY, no matter what anyone tells you. And after you're done writing, read every day. Without reading, you will hardly be able to write. There are a million books out there on how to write. I would suggest you read only one, ON WRITING, by Stephen King, and do everything he says. That's what I do, and so far, King's advice has been golden."

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Being a fairly new writer myself, I will certainly be taking Ksenia's advice to heart, and I look forward to reading her books, especially Page Turner! I hope you've enjoyed my first guest blog, and I hope you will check Ksenia's work out, as well as follow her on Twitter, and subscribe to her blog.

Thanks for the inspiration Ksenia!

Keep Rising,