The Tenerview with Ksenia Anske

Apr 25, 2014 by

Her tweets read “I get high on new words” and “At the sunset of your life, what will you regret? The fact that you never wrote a book, never got a chance to tell your story. WRITE.”

Ksenia Anske, Fanstasy Writer

She’s so compelling, she’s even changed my behavior, and I’m pretty stubborn. As a writer who has a full-time job that has nothing to do with sitting for long glorious hours writing on my laptop, I have wrestled with the tension of wanting to write but having little time for writing. (Poor me!) Ksenia’s tweet was innocent enough:

“If you want to be a writer, write, write every day, that’s all there is to it.”

That single tweet started my new, very difficult practice of waking at 4:30 in the morning … the only discretionary time I have to give … to write the sequel to my first book. Ksenia, I sleepily bless you. I curse you, yawning.

Ksenia was born in Moscow, Russia, and came to the US in 1998 not knowing English, having studied architecture and not dreaming that one day she’d be writing. SIREN SUICIDES, an urban fantasy set in Seattle, is her 1st novel. She lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and their combined 3 kids in a house on top of the hill that they like to call The Loony Bin.

Siren Suicides, I Chose to Die (Book 1): On a rainy September morning that just so happens to be her sixteenth birthday, Ailen Bright, a chicken-legged, straw-haired teenager, decides to commit suicide via drowning in the family bathtub. The ornate marble tub, adhering to her abusive father’s love for anything expensive and Italian, is decorated by five sirens – who seemingly help her escape the house when her father breaks down the bathroom door. After an almost-successful suicide attempt number two, which lands her at the bottom of a lake, she learns that sirens are, in fact, real, and they want to turn her into one of them. An amazing, yet dark look into the mind and heart of a suicidal teenager, this urban fantasy follows Ailen’s struggle to figure out the meaning of life, the unraveling of her confusing feelings for Hunter, her theatrically goofy best friend, and her desperate battle for her father’s love.

Siren Suicides, My Sisters in Death (Book 2): In the second installment of the Siren Suicides trilogy, Ailen Bright finds herself in a sticky situation. Her new supernatural abilities haven’t solved anything – in fact, they’ve royally messed up her life. She can’t be with the one person she loves (though her self-control is wavering by the second), her old, well-dressed dog of a father hasn’t learned any new tricks, and her supposed siren sister doesn’t seem to have her best interests at heart. A pawn in the game between her father and the Siren of Canosa, Ailen is constantly searching for her next move. Through all the hardships, however, Ailen’s self-doubt begins to dissipate as she comes to accept her new identity.

Siren Suicides, The Afterlife (Book 3): Ailen Bright is more lost than ever. Her father has betrayed her yet again, but keeps her longing for his love alive with some almost-heartfelt confessions, though few and far between. Her and Hunter can never be together without fighting the urge to strangle each other with their bare hands. And to top it off, two-faced Canosa won’t leave her alone. Her resolve to do the right thing is wavering as she tries to protect the ones she loves, simultaneously searching for a reason to keep on living, and the final chapter of Siren Suicides comes to a tumultuous close, bringing death, life, and love.

  1. What inspired your latest book or book series?

I wish I had a pretty reason for my inspiration, but I don’t. I started writing for therapy, and I started doing therapy because I was suicidal. My writing literally made me open up and share my story, pulling me out of depression and giving me a new reason to live. I was sexually abused by my father and have been repressing my memories for most of my life until I finally gathered the courage to speak openly about it, after confronting him. On top of it, I was always fascinated with rusalkas and all things water when growing up, so naturally since I moved from Russia, Moscow, to Seattle, where it rains pretty much all the time and water is everywhere, my love got rekindled and sparked the long forgotten interest on myths and folklore tied to creatures that love living in the water. One day I was visiting Lake Crescent and was taken by its beauty and the myth surrounding it. Supposedly it so deep and cold that if someone drowns in it, the body doesn’t float up but turns into soap instead, due to undercurrents. On top of it, the lake has rock bottom, literally, having resulted by a glacier carving out a deep valley during the last Ice Age. Two stories collided in my head, and, presto, the ideal background for SIREN SUICIDES was born.

  1. If I were to ask the main character of your latest book what you least understood about her or him, what would he or she say?

Main character in SIREN SUICIDES is 16-year-old Ailen Bright, and she would say that I have no clue about the real nature of her moods, and it’s not adolescent angst, it’s much deeper than that. She would also suck on her joint and puff it into my face, making her point clear.

  1. What lessons has writing taught you about life in general?

Writing made me want to live again. If that’s not the biggest lesson it taught me, then I don’t know what is.

  1. What’s your favorite quote?

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill.

  1. What is perfect just the way it is?

Us. Humans. People. We keep striving for improvement, keep trying to better ourselves, but we don’t need to, we are already perfect, just the way we are.

  1. Prince or Michael Jackson?

Madonna. I was so totally into her songs in the 80′s, it’s not even funny. I would record her music videos on the VHS and then pay and pause it, mimicking her and learning how to move and dance. Just don’t tell anyone, okay?

  1. In five words or less, what do you most want people to know about you?

I’m a pathologically immature writer of fantasy stuff. There.

  1. What song best describes your current mood?

I’m about to start writing 2nd draft of ROSEHEAD, my 2nd novel, tomorrow, and the perfect song to describe my mood right now is Björk’s It’s Oh So Quiet, about this gap between being alone and being in love, which I am about to dive into tomorrow:

  1. From Proust, which living person do you most admire?

J.K. Rowling. She is my idol for perseverance and writing craft. I even had a dream yesterday that I spent a whole day with her, chatting about writing. Now that would’ve been a blast!

  1. What question didn’t I ask that you wish I had and what would your answer have been?

What do you do when you are done writing a book? I do a crazy dance like this one!

Follow Ksenia on Twitter at your own risk (but DO follow her, you won’t regret it). You can also find her online at her website where she posts great blogs, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon pages too.  (Man, I don’t know how she does all of this … but I’m so glad she does!)

Thanks, Ksenia, for hanging out with us at the Tenerview! I can’t wait to enjoy the Siren Suicides!

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