In June, Open Book Society reviewed the brilliant debut novel by Debra Anastasia, “Crushed Seraphim”. We were recently given the amazing opportunity to speak to her about her inspiration, her wicked sense of humor, new projects and of course, angels.
Read Autumn’s review of Crushed Seraphim here.
1. What inspired you to write Crushed Seraphim? It was Christmas time and I wondered what the journey of a one winged Angel would be. And I wanted my Angel to be a strong lady with a dirty mouth. Writing about angels really did force me to address some deeper topics like faith in the unseen.
2. When you think of your characters, is there anyone in particular that reminds you of them? I picture Jack the Devil as Johnny Depp. Luckily I don’t know anyone that reminds me of Everett, the mean angel. My Emma is totally a representation of all the strong, beautiful ladies I have in my life. I like to highlight how amazing females are. Brave, selfless, brave and a lot of the time? Bad ass.
3. Was it a long process getting published?. Writing took about six months. ( I had a typo there which said “Six moths” that made me laugh) And the publishing process was a rigorous five months. I had no idea how long it took someone to write a book, and now I have much more respect for the novels I devour.
4. When you write, do you follow an outline or do you prefer to let your work come together naturally? I definitely know where it is going to end, but each chapter takes me by surprise. Many times a scene will take a turn and I’m like, damn, I didn’t see that coming. It is great when I have an emotion to work out and the scene in the story matches what I need. Anger, sadness, all of it can find a place in the words.
5. If you didn’t have your writing as a creative outlet, what other medium would you use? Writing has been such a release of the weirdness in my head. I have kids so a lot of what I do in my spare time revolves around them. I really like painting my nails crazy colors and I recently learned to knit, which has taught me to have a little bit of patience. ( A lesson I always need.)
6. What are you reading currently and do you think that influences your writing style? Right now I’m reading the Karen Moring Fever series. I’m really enjoying her wild imagination. Very cool. No, I don’t think it effects my writing because I write from a different part of my body than my head. That doesn’t make sense. Walking around everyday I’m not thinking of 100 ways to describe a sunset. But when I sit in front of a keyboard I realize I was paying attention when I thought there was just white noise in my mind.
7. Do you believe in angels? Yes. Very much so. My vision of angels has nothing to do with how I wrote them. To me angels are created from tremendous love. Our spiritual connection with someone whom we love can’t be broken when they die. I actually think that love, good energy keeps us closely tied to those who have passed. And maybe that’s Hell? When you have no love energy to tie you to someone else? But I have a deep faith that how you act affects how your eternity will be spent.
8. Can you tell us a little bit about the sequel and when it will be available? I would like to be finished writing by Christmas of this year. The sequel has a lot to live up to. My readers have committed their time to book one –which ends on a cliff hanger. So the sequel has to not only gratify them with a satisfying ending, but reward them for the time spent waiting for book two. Endings for me can be more important than beginnings, so I am writing my heart out, hoping I can be those things for my readers. One of the scenes I was recently working on had Jack (the devil) and Jason (the half minion) taking a very tense car ride together. It was great working on their angry testosterone. They are not fans of one another at all, but they need each other to help Emma.
9. Do you have any new projects coming up in the very near future? I’m of course, writing Crushed Seraphim’s Sequel. On July 5th I will be included in a charity compilation put together by my publisher, Omnific Publishing where all proceeds are being given to Save the Ta-ta’s foundation. A bunch of my other author buddies are in it as well so it is a good read for a great cause.
In October 2011 I’m releasing Poughkeepsie, a novel about daring to love. Blake’s homeless and as good as invisible to the other commuters at the train station where he sits. Every morning and every night he counts the smiles of Livia, a kind girl that insists on acknowledging him. Blake counts Livia’s smiles knowing he was never meant to keep them. This story follows what happens after Livia steps in and prevents bullies from tormenting sweet Blake.
10. What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you? I love to laugh my ass off. I can barely be trusted with cooking anything. Recently my oven tried to call the authorities on me. No, really, it did. It won’t let me open the doors and the digital display reads “Error F-b Call An Authorized Dealer Immediately.” I’m pretty sure its worked up an escape plan. So I’m cooking on the grill and in the microwave until it learns its lesson and start cooking for me again. Though, I do believe my family is rooting for the Maytag.