I hope you're all enjoying the summer as we step into August. It's that time again! Today we are meeting American fantasy author Anne Stryker.
PB: Hi! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
AS: Hello! Thank you so much for inviting me to interview with you! I’m Anne Stryker, and I grew up deep in the city of Jacksonville, Florida, USA. It took me a little while to fall in love with writing, and when I did, it was without any purpose. I never suspected becoming an author. I never so much as thought I’d finish a book. I would write around twenty stories at once without any intention of finishing them. It was more like solo roleplay than anything else. I’d slip into different worlds and characters and play for as long as I dared. However, like most things, that changed.
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
AS: I found out I could. I was already fairly deep into the publishing world since I was helping other authors polish and put out their work. Working so close and seeing how a document turned into a book, I watched the whole process become something attainable and real, so I embraced it. And I wouldn’t trade that decision for the world.
PB: When did you first start writing?
AS: I first started writing a handful of years ago when I found some notebook paper and wrote down a song; the single song turned into a book of songs, which merged into stories. Stories and words have always been a part of my life. All growing up, I would make up songs on the swingset or paint a story around me. The years of pretend lasted longer than most would consider acceptable, and it took a long time before I found the paper to put all my imaginings down on.
PB: What was the first story that you can remember writing?
AS: My first story was a mess. An absolute mess. It was all poor grammar and typos on ten loose pages of notebook paper. Something without direction. Something with little meaning. Perfect characters and absent plot. Despite that, it was free and fun. It was an escape from this world into somewhere else, and at the time, it all made sense. I do believe it was about a girl who wandered into the forest and had to save a fairy prince...or something. I guess the fairy part stuck.
PB: When you begin writing a new story, do you always know the ending?
AS: Pshhh… No. I hardly ever know the ending when I start a new story. Only very occasionally do I begin writing with the ending in mind (only very occasionally do I fully outline a story before starting). Normally, I can’t see the ending until I have a few pieces of the story in place first (the first few chapters). It’s difficult for me to plan out characters before diving into their lives in a story format in some aspect. Until I’ve played in the sandbox with them for a moment, I don’t actually know who they are. And until I know a sliver of who they are, I don’t know where they ideally want to end up.
PB: If you could meet any of your characters, who would you meet, and what would you say to them?
AS: I think I’d like to meet Flint from my story Day of Wishes and Wonder. He is such a fun character to be around, and the mischief we’d get up to would be grand. I don’t know exactly what I’d like to say to him, but I’d definitely like to make a day of wandering through the realms, frolicking without care, and breaking every rule we stumble across.
PB: Tell us about the Kingdom of Fairytales series.
AS: The Kingdom of Fairytales series is a magical getaway into a mythical world. We hadn’t expected it would be so very needed this year...but things just ended up playing out the way that they did. Kingdom of Fairytales is a series that introduces a new character each month and a new book each week. Every book has seven chapters, for each day. All the books together have an overarching plot, and in December it will all come together… We’ve been tedious about keeping the details in line with the natural world, to the extent that we have the moon cycles accurate. The whole series is available on Kindle Unlimited, and there are some epic giveaways tied into it as well. For anyone stuck at home and craving a bit of an escape, I’d definitely recommend checking it out!
PB: Where did the idea come from?
AS: Only the crazy beautiful minds of Ja Armitage and the other fearless leaders working on the project know. I honestly haven’t a clue where they come up with these amazing things, but I know I’ve loved working on every single project of theirs that I’ve joined.
PB: Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
AS: More so than being proud of any specific thing, I’m proud of the fact I’ve managed to stick around and keep going. There have been too many times when it would have been easier to walk away and forget about all the hard work that goes into being an author. I’m proud that I haven’t given up during the roughest points.
PB: What is your favourite book series to read and why?
AS: I love the magic and world and characters in Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I still remember when my dad introduced the book to me. He only wanted to share one scene: Be That Cat. And I can still picture where we were when he played that portion of the audiobook on his car radio.
PB: What are your long term ambitions with regards to writing?
AS: I just want to be able to exist as a writer. Not a writer and. I want to drop the day job or ulterior form of income entirely, unless the ulterior form is another creative outlet of mine. I want to exist within the realms of what I love, not what I love mixed with something less-than-great because survival is a necessary requirement for existing.
PB: If you weren’t an author, what career would you be in?
AS: I would make magical tiaras. At least at the moment, that’s what I’d want to do. I’ve been toying with the idea for a little while now. I think it would be grand to learn how to sauter crowns and tiaras, though I’m not sure how many I’d want to give up.
PB: What’s the next target for you?
AS: I’m dreaming big. My next target is hitting the USA Today Bestsellers list. I’m planning to make that name come 2021. After that, I want next year to be the one where I quit ye ol’ day job and become self-sufficient on words alone.
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
AS: I love watching Minecraft Youtubers, Anime, and Cartoons. When it comes to peaceful, happy stories, I’m hooked. Sometimes life is just too stressful for anything else, and my anxiety can’t handle it to the extent that I can’t watch certain dramas without wearing out my nerves (if I really enjoy a certain drama that stresses me, I have to set it aside for months at a time). Anything calm pulls me in and allows me the relaxation I need to recharge.
Well, I think I speak for all of us when I say that we wish Anne luck in her ambition to get onto the USA Today Bestsellers list.
Thank you so much to Anne Stryker for speaking to us today. If you haven't yet tried her books, and would like to do so, you can purchase them via the links below:
Until next time, happy reading!