I discovered the terrifyingly brilliant Ksenia on Twitter a few years ago and have been enamoured with her hilarious tweets and love of Vodka ever since.
Take a look and discover how brilliant and terrifying Ksenia truly is....
1. What inspired you to write your debut novel?
I started writing for therapy. Writing was my way out of depression. It quite literally pulled me out of the darkness by the ears. All through the simple activity of typing words.
2. Why did you choose the path of Self-Publishing?
My first trilogy deals with teenage suicide, and despite several agents interested in it, I got the same response: “It’ll be a hard sell.” By then I’ve had enough of a readership online, so I asked my readers, “What would you like me to do?” And they said, “We want it now!” So I went ahead and self-published.
3. Do you have any advice for other writers looking to pursue Self-Publishing?
Go for it. Simply start. You’ll learn as you do it. Sitting quietly and wondering if you should do it or not may take years. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I made LOTS. And I learned on them. Mistakes are the best teachers.
4. What inspired you to become an author & has it always been your dream?
At one point in my life suicide was my solution to all my problems. On my website I have two bios—an official and an unofficial one. Here is my unofficial bio: Writing pulled me back from the dead. I wanted to kill myself—life didn't have much meaning—but my therapist said, “No. Don’t do it. Write.” So I did, and that unlocked something—something that soon became a torrent. My native Russian ceded to English. I felt like I’ve found my language, like it was safe to tell my stories. I started blogging, then writing flash fiction, then books. Writing became my therapy. Dark beginnings to happiness. Can you call it a career? I don’t know. I call it life.
5. Where’s your favorite space to write?
At home in my writing cave. I turn into a bear and rawr and suck on my paw while I write. Better don’t know on the door—I might eat you.
6. What are your top 5 must haves for a writing space?
Coffee. Clouds (I stare at them when feeling stuck). Silence. Laptop (obviously). Comfy pajamas or whatever it is I decide that day makes up for my lack of clothes (like a bear skin, for example).
7. How many hours a day do you write?
I write from 8 AM till 2 PM, sometimes longer, if it gushes out of me. Sometimes some pesky creatures called “people” interrupt me, and I have to dispose of them. On those days I might stop writing earlier to suck the marrow from their bones.
8. In terms of Outlining are you Plotter, a Pantser or a Plantser?
Plotter. Recently converted. I plot my books TO DEATH.
9. Because I have a pretty Type-A personality, I’m always curious about other peoples scheduling methods. Do you use a schedule to plan out your life / writing & if so, do you use paper or electronic planning?
My plan is in my head. It’s pretty simple. 8 AM to 2 PM I write. Then eat. Then read. Then sleep. Well, and bathe in a tub of vodka, too, when I feel like it.
10. What is your favorite part about the writing process?
Solitude. I love being alone with my thoughts. It’s very peaceful.
11. What is your least favorite part about the writing process?
Not knowing the right word to use in a sentence. It drives me bananas. English is not my first language, so I struggle sometimes with picking JUST THE RIGHT WORD.
12. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From 3 months to 3 years. Rosehead, my bestseller, took me only 3 months. TUBE, the book I’m finishing right now, is taking 3 years. It’s crazy. Every book is different.
13. What’s your biggest internal obstacle in getting your writing done?
Fear of failure. I think it’s true for all creatives. What if my art will be awful??
14. What’s your biggest external obstacle in getting your writing done?
Interruptions and things I have to do. If only I could just write 24/7! (Like, feeding my body is very annoying. Sleep, too.)
15. Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Nope. I think it’s a convenient excuse to stall. When you feel blocked it’s generally when you don’t know where you’re going. Plotting is the answer to that. That’s why I switched from being a pantser to a plotter.
16. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?
Both. My brain gets all high on stories, and my body always wants a nap after. It’s a lovely paradox.
17. Best piece of advice for other writers?
Never give up. You might be closer to finishing your story than you think. And write every day. If you do it for only 1 hour daily, at the end of the year you’ll have a book written. Try it.
18. What is your favorite quote about writing?
This one: “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
19. Which authors are your biggest inspirations?
It changes. Right now I’m in love with everything Lyudmila Petrushevskaya has written, as well as Tatyana Tolstaya. But tomorrow I’ll discover someone new. Of course, I grew up on dark Russian fairy tales, so you can imagine that darkness is my first love. And Stephen King’s books were the ones that got me thinking, “Hey, I love this. I wonder if I can write scary stories like this too…"
20. What are you currently working on now?
TUBE, the novel I started writing on Amtrak as part of my Amtrak Residency Program. So naturally it’s about a train and a woman who remembers her violent past by going into compartments one by one. It’s launching on March 17th, 2018. Get ready. It’s be scary.
21. What is your favourite Season (Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall)?
What’s a season? I don’t really crawl out of my writing cave. Let me go look...
Connect with Ksenia
Twitter : @KseniaAnske
Website : www.KseniaAnske.com