Monday, June 27, 2011
Meet Ania Ahlborn
I first came across Ania's book,Seed, when another author recommended it on Twitter. She said she couldn't put it down, so I thought, what do I have to lose? The book was scary. You can read my review of it at See Spot Read. Then I started following Ania on Twitter and realized that not only was she a good author, she had a fantastic sense of humor. So of course, I had to interview her~
1.) How long have you been writing?
I 'discovered' writing when I was about nine or ten years old. During
one particular summer vacation, my cousin and I decided to write a
tandem story and I immediately fell in love. But I didn't take myself
seriously until I entered college. I switched my initial major of
psychology to English and never looked back.
2.) Do you write full time or do you have a day job?
I have a day job working at an insurance firm, five days a week, eight
hours a day. I hope to eventually 'retire' from that when my writing
starts selling enough to make up the difference of a lost paycheck.
3.) Is this your fist published novel?
It's my first published novel, yes, but not my first novel in general.
I have a few projects collecting dust on the virtual shelves of my
hard drive, though the quality of Seed pretty much stomps all over
those 'unwanted children'.
4.) What made you decide to go the Indie route?
Lack of options. Frustration. A hatred for writing query letters. The
publishing industry has been in decline for a handful of years now,
and while it was only a year ago that I was still sending out queries
to big name NYC agents, once I learned that I could publish my work
myself and potentially make a lot more profit, I dedicated myself to
going indie and never looked back. I'm glad I did. If I hadn't I'd
still be sitting here dreaming about being published, and I'd be
sitting here for years to come.
5.) How did you come up with the idea for "Seed"?
I didn't really come up with it at all. I've always wanted to write a
possession story, but it was always a really intimidating proposition.
There's a very real potential of swinging from horror to comedy when
topics like demons and possession are the main focus, and I was scared
that I'd end up writing some Exorcist parody rather than do the
subject justice. Because of that, I stayed away from the idea for
quite some time. But eventually the story just kept nagging at me, so
I gathered up my courage and sat down to write it. I didn't know what
was going to happen. I basically knew the beginning and a potential
end (which isn't the ending the book has now) and I let the characters
tell the story. I'm glad I did. If I had told it myself it would have
been far less creepy.
6.) What scares you personally? Do you have any silly phobias?
I don't like being chased. I pretty much curl up into a ball, cover my
head, and wait it out. I also won't touch the Ouija board. Been there,
done that... alone... when I was a kid. That was a dumb idea.
7.) What is your writing routine?
When I'm writing a first draft, I write every day, seven days a week,
for at least a thousand words. I don't really have a routine. It's
pretty basic--just a 'sit down and do it' approach.
8.) Have you always been a fan of horror?
I really have been. Horror movies terrified me as a kid, but I'd watch
them anyway. Now, the only movies I get really excited about seeing at
the theater are horror. That isn't to say horror is all I watch, but
it'd definitely what I enjoy most.
9.) What other authors inspire you?
I love Stephen King. People tend to roll their eyes and say 'oh yeah,
sure, everyone loves Stephen King', but there's a reason he's called
the master of horror. His best stuff is subtle enough to get under
your skin, and that's my favorite kind of scare. I'm also a huge fan
of Brett Easton Ellis. He wrote American Psycho, which I guess can be
considered horror, but most of his stuff is pretty mainstream. I've
just always had a fondness for his unapologetic fast-paced style.
10.) What advice would you give to newbie writers out there?
Stop talking about writing and start writing. It kind of weirds me out
how many 'writers' sit on Twitter all day and talk about writing
without ever actually writing a damn thing. Writing is hard, and it's
a lonely endeavor, but those are the breaks. It's the price an author
pays to be able to call a book their own. My advice: turn on that
laptop, write 1k a day, and continue to write 1k a day until you're
done. No excuses. It's the fastest way to getting a book out of
yourself, and you'll be surprised how quickly it happens if you just
stick to the plan.
Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She'd spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.
Beyond writing, Ania enjoys gourmet cooking, baking, movies, drawing, and traveling. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband and two dogs, Beau the Scottie and Galaxy the Yorkie.
Learn more about Ania on her site, www.AniaAhlborn.com, where you can sign up for a direct-from-the-author newsletter on new releases, promos, and more.
Want to connect? Follow Ania on Twitter @aniaahlborn, or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aniaahlbornauthor.
I hope you all check out Ania's book and her website!