Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Anastasia: I’ve loved writing ever since I could write. Growing up, I was especially drawn to poetry and lyrical prose. When I was small I was partial to Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Frost. As I grew older, I fell in love with the English romantics and then Gibran Khalil Gibran. But while I wrote countless poems as a child, I haven’t tried as an adult. I love poetry and actually feel quite intimidated to try it myself. So far, I’d rather read it and I appreciate your website and posts for introducing me to the work of some marvelous poets.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Anastasia: There is not one specific, biggest influence. I like the passion and intensity of a well-crafted romance, so I would say that I am encouraged and inspired by other romance authors.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Anastasia: I grew up in Texas, surrounded by immigrants who were living in very different surroundings from those they were used to. The stoicism of the elders and the tempestuous lives of their children (who were also my elders) taught me that there is so much more to a person than meets the eye. To this day, I try to reflect that in my writing.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Anastasia: Trips to Lebanon and Turkey particularly and directly affected my writing because I returned home wanting to write about them. Lebanon is so tiny and Turkey so huge, but both are ancient lands with dynamic, multi-cultural histories, beautiful people, and stunning geography. But while some intrepid and savvy travelers understand this, most of the world only sees the problems and politics. Again, it’s my desire that people see more than the surface. It’s not very realistic of me, but the beauty is real.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Anastasia: No, not really. It’s always been in me. In the past few years, there have been times that I was actively searching my soul, asking myself if I really wanted to keep writing. My life is full and busy without it. But the question only made me sad, and the answer was always that my life was more full and authentic with it. I suppose that sometimes other creatives might feel the same? I haven’t had that discussion with myself again for quite a while.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Anastasia: Fun question! 😊 There are so many things! I love spending time with those I love. I enjoy yoga, swimming, museums. But to really rest, to forget myself, spending time out in nature is key – whether my garden, the mountains, or shore. I also love reading and find it very relaxing.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Anastasia: I would just like to say that my latest book Tremors, a time travel romance, has been picked up by The Wild Rose Press. It is not available at the moment and will be re-released later this year. Very exciting!
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?
Anastasia: “When you reach the summit, memorize the view before you so you can tell us if it’s still the same. Send our thoughts, our kisses, our tears to the mountains and valleys below. Remember us there, habibti, and know we are with you. Our hearts never left.” – from my book Let Us Not Live in Ignorance
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Anastasia: Not any one person. The dear ones I hold closest and all those who have shown me love. Every person who has uttered praise or encouragement. Fellow authors and other creatives I know who have inspired and celebrated little victories with me. Teachers and editors who have shared wisdom. They have all helped.