Sunday, November 20, 2016

Featured Author: Annastasia Arnold

Welcome Today's Featured Author
Annastasia Arnold!!!

Books by  Annastasia Arnold
 Rosamond: Traces of Ink (vol. 1), Rosamond: Diversions: Diversions (vol. 2), Rosamond: Of One Accord (vol. 3)
        [The next two volumes, 4 and 5, are available for pre-orderand will be released in January. My main focus are the three that are currently published.]

The books of the Rosamond Series are about this girl who was orphaned at a very young age and taken in by a friend of her father's, Mr. Pemberly, as she calls him. She is raised at his home, Parrington Estate, alongside his children, one of which, Jackson, who is the son and heir of the family, becomes her best friend over time. But unfortunately, she must leave. Once she does, all her troubles truly begin. Dawned with a new alias, she has to learn to stand on her own two feet, make friends, follow rules, and try to make sense of the world that she has been thrown into. Meanwhile, Mr. Pemberly and Jackson struggle to find answers as to why someone so sweet and innocnet has disappeared so suddenly with hardly any reason as to why.

About Annastasia Arnold
I was born in Michigan, but spent a good deal of my life in Ohio. Other states I have lived in would include Alabama, Vermont, and Nevada. I’ve lived a rather safe life, with some hardship; but who doesn’t? My parents divorced when I was ten years old, and from then, I looked up to my mother, who raised me, my older sister, and my kid brother the best she knew how. I’ll always be grateful for her.

I am currently twenty-seven years old, living abroad in Japan as a teacher. I’ve been teaching in Nagoya since November of 2012, and it pays the bills. But I do hope that I will be able to turn my sights on strictly writing all the stories inside me in the years ahead.

My first series, named after its heroine, “Rosamond”, is a fictional account of a girl who had the fortune of being adopted by a wealthy family. For reasons beyond her control, she must learn how to live without those that she has come to call family. Inspired by writers such as Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters, this particular story takes my influences and aims them towards people of color. I have enjoyed the plots of “Pride and Prejudice”, “Jane Eyre”, and “Wuthering Heights” very much over the years; but considering that such stories are placed in a time and in countries that are naturally aimed towards non-POC audiences, I wanted to insert my own dialogue into the conversation that such writers started before I was even born.

Rosamond has been in the works since August of 2012. The idea for her came to me sometime in 2010, but it a few years of sketching and daydreaming of it before I even began to document anything. Months before I moved to Japan with my sister, I began to write my ideas down in a word document on my laptop, which I still used to this day. During that time, since finding a steady, reliable job for the purpose of saving up money was very difficult, writing became my escape from those circumstances. I was truly humbled by that experience, and I feel that those feelings translated into the character that Rosamond ended up becoming.

Once I came to Japan, the writing continued nearly everyday. My first job in Japan was hardly ideal; so my writing captured all my frustrations, all my passions, all my thoughts… and furthermore, some situations embodied the troubles of people I’ve met throughout my life, giving me a way to work though situations that I could never encounter in real life. So writing was my therapy and my outlet. What am I saying? It continues to be! Except now I am finally mixing art into the mix, after years of having to put my degree to the side due to my occupation. Let’s just say I couldn’t be happier to be starting down the path of being a published author. It’s been a long time coming.
Social Media 
                           Website  : https://alaserieswriter. intros/

Interview With Annastasia Arnold

  1. Can you tell us a little about your books?
So my series is a sort of coming of age story for the main character, Rosamond Sterling. The book is categorized as a Contemporary Women's novel series, and though my aim is toward women between the ages of eighteen and thirty, I hope a few men will pick up my book too as I do try to add some appeal for them. I am heavily influenced by Victorian literature, so I tried to incorporate my influences into certrain aspects of story, especially when it comes to the characters' manner of speech, the etiquettes of society, gender roles, and so on. On top of all this, I stirred in race too. I have seen the absence of people of color from many mainstream narratives, and most times, if they are present, people of color are in set roles as a generalized stereotypical idea of their race. As a woman of color, I have felt the impact of my skin from all kinds of people, lighter than me and darker than me. And as a mixed woman, I have almost always felt like an outsider from the races that helped create me, so I wanted to put this struggle on center stage in my own way through a character that I hope many women can relate to. No matter what race we are, we all have to grow up. I want that to be the common vein in which follow Rosamond's story.

2.  What inspires you to write?
Many older stories like that get my mind churning. Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice" and "Persuasion" work on so many levels for me too, and I am always forced to examine the appeal. It's during those reflections that I have felt the most inspired, and writing has been such a healing outlet for me, especially when I am frustrated, sad, or unable to express myself. When the idea for this story popped into my head, I was watching a movie adaptation of "Jane Eyre" on PBS. I think it was back in 2010, maybe. Anyway, I thought to myself, "This whole family ward bit is so interesting. What could I do with it?" I started sketching and thinking of characters soon after that, and didn't really commit myself to writing the story until August of 2012.

3. Do you have a favorite spot to write?
I've always prefered to write at home. I live in Japan and have to listen to Japanese all day when I'm at work, so I can't really focus outside of the house. With that being said, I have a writing corner in my room. Unfortunately, it has sort of turned into clutter space, so I can't really call it my writing corner at the moment. But in general, I either set up at my low table in my living room or plug up my laptop right next to my futon on the floor, get a cup of tea or coffee, and go to town.

4.  Do you have any “odd” writing habits?
I have a tendency to read out loud right after I've sorted out some difficult dialog to really get a feel for my characters' emotion and tone. Inflection is so important to me, but maybe I get too into it because sometimes my eyes will water due to how seriously I'm reading it. It's so weird, I know! But maybe another strange habit I have is accidentally skipping out on sleep so I can write. Like, I'll get in my bed with my laptop open at 11:00, saying, "Let me edit this one part that needs blah, blah, blah, and then I'll get to sleep." But then, I find something else that I don't like or see that if I change something in a chapter, I need to go and immediately type up the effect of that action in a future volume. So, as you can imagine, what I thought would be just an extra fifteen or thirty minutes turns into an hour or more of bouncing around in the timeline of my book. I'm a "seriously, just five more minutes" kind of writer, but I'm seriously lying to myself.

5.  Do you listen to music while you write?
Most times, I listen to music. Super emotional parts or moments where there is a lot of tension need that little bit of drama that background music can provide. Some sexual or sensual moments need that little kick too, I think, because pushing characters to those places can be a stretch for me sometimes. But when I need to read what I've written back to myself, I have to turn off the music and focus on the content.

6. Do you have a favorite character to write about?
Wow, how do I pick my favorite character to write about? There's a little something I love about nearly all my characters and a little something I can't stand too; that was my way of trying to balance out everyone so I wouldn't get bored with writing about them. And in the scheme of my book, there's a good deal of clashing between characters that I love to flesh out. With only three volumes published at the moment, I'll say that my favorite character that I've written about SO FAR is Jong Gardener, and though he doesn't have a very big part in the series, his impact is quite large. He shows up in Volume 2 for the first time, and I will say that he does pop up again in the future, but not as much as I thought he would when I started writing that volume. He is my ideal of a decent man who says things right when people needs to hear them. He knows himself very well and his gentle soul makes me feel refreshed. I hope everyone else likes him too, but I will say that beyond the first three volumes, there are other characters that I LOVE to write about even more, but I don't want to spoil anything. So, I'll just keep my mouth shut.

7. What are writing projects are you currently working on?
Writing-wise, The Rosamond Series is my main focus and only ongoing project. I have other ideas that I have tinkered with but haven't fleshed out because if I start another project, I fear I won't finish this series. Let me be clear though. This series is finished, plot-wise. All the volumes are stored on my laptop, waiting to be edited and released, but it's that editing that is getting my attention now. As an artist, I jump around more in my sketches to sort of shake up the monotony, if I ever feel it. If i tried to split myself between this series and something else, I think my characters would change and even my writing style would change. There is very distinct voice and tone I want the Rosamond Series to have, so I'm giving my all to it until I feel confident enough to split myself. I hope that makes sense.

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