Anaïs Chartschenko Interview

Anaïs Chartschenko hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works include two collections of poetry, Bright Needles and The Whisper Collector. She is currently writing a series of dark fantasy stories.

What inspired you to write?
Starting with my earliest memories, I was making up stories. I grew up with tea times where the neighbors would gather. Everyone would share stories and consume large amounts of tea and crumpets. I'm sure wanting to be a part of that story telling helped me along the path of becoming a writer.

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I have piles of notebooks dating back to my childhood. Inspiration can come through a dream, or a conversation with a friend, or thoughtful contemplation of a topic. Because I have been writing for so long, I've dabbled with many different ways of finding inspiration.

How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I've written with and without outlines. When I was a child and a teen I always wrote without an outline. As an adult, I've come to appreciate planning more. Now I outline, and have character sheets. But at the end of the day, every project can be different. I'm a firm believer of the "whatever works" motto. You can always edit something you wrote poorly, but an empty page won't help you at all.

Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
I've written with supportive people around me, and with people who did not support me. For me, internal drive is much more important.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
I found arranging the pieces for maximum emotional impact took the most planning.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
I truly enjoy the actual act of writing. I love creating something from nothing.

Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
No. I just opened up another notebook, and started working on the next book.

What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Whenever flu season comes around, I know I am going to lose some writing days.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I learn what I can from criticism, and after that I don't worry about it.

Where did you grow up and what is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
I am from Canada. My favorite memory is playing with a timber wolf my father's friend owned.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“People have forgotten this truth," the fox said. "But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

What is your favorite show on TV?
Criminal Minds and The Golden Girls

Favorite movie?
I don't tend to think of my favorites much because it depends on my mood but usually I like something light-hearted like Scott Pilgrim or Beetlejuice.

Favorite book?
The Little Prince ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Any editor from Harlequin.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I wish I were naturally athletic.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I'm a classically trained opera singer.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
strange and unusual