If you want to say hi to Anastasia, you may find her meandering the skyways of downtown Minneapolis to avoid going out in the snow. When she isn’t reading, she likes to daydream or craft plant based recipes. She is currently writing an urban fantasy novel, but often procrastinates by writing flash fiction.
In 2019, she took third in a flash fiction contest put on by Brilliant Flash Fiction. Her stories have appeared in, or are forthcoming from, Thunderbird Studios, Psychopomp Magazine, Bending Genres, The Molotov Cocktail, and Ink In Thirds. You can also find her work at akstories.ink.
If you haven't done so already, check out Anastasia's award-winning story "High Heels" and then return here for a chat with the author.
WOW: Congratulations on placing third in the Summer 2019 Flash Fiction Contest! What excited you most about writing this story?
Anastasia: I originally wrote this as a one-hundred-word response to a photo prompt I found online. It’s exciting coming back to a story weeks later and finding you want to continue it. This is the way I write a lot of flash. I’ll jot down some thoughts or respond to a prompt, and then I’ll let the story sit and brew for a while. Coming back and expanding it later is my favorite part.
WOW: It’s so fascinating to hear how writers work, so thank you for giving us a glimpse into your writing process. What did you learn about yourself or your writing while crafting this piece?
Anastasia: Every time I finish a story it helps me feel like I can finish others. I sometimes have a short attention span, and flash fiction helps me take a story through the whole process. It makes hitting that submit button less scary because I’ve done it before.
WOW: Are you willing to tell us more about your novel-in-progress? Does your flash fiction ever inform or inspire your longer-form writing?
Anastasia: Writing flash definitely helps my longer form process. It gives me a way continue writing when I get stuck on my bigger projects. Often times the inspiration I get from writing shorter pieces will lead me back to my longer projects.
The backdrop of my novel features this long-brewing power struggle between witches who have organized into a government called the Mother Coven, and The Wheelers: individuals with power who grew up isolated.
There’re multiple points of view:
- Dennis, a successful businessman who knows nothing of the paranormal when he contracts a thief to finish a unique collection his ex-wife started.
- Trick, the motorcycle jacket clad thief of mysterious origins and strange electrical powers who seems to be fleeing a strange darkness that peruses him between worlds.
- Tabby, a magical prodigy and daughter of the current leader of the Mother Coven who believes her parents are lying about what happened to her adopted brother, and takes off on her own to find him.
- Mikah, Tabby’s adopted brother, a painter plagued by strange visions who feels he doesn’t belong in the Mother Coven or with the Wheelers.
WOW: Excellent! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, and have fun with the process! What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it?
Anastasia: I’m currently reading The Dead Girl’s Club by Damien Angelica Walters. I’ve recently become a fan of thriller mysteries written by women and featuring complex, emotionally damaged female characters. There’s something really unsettling about the story so far and I’m really enjoying it.
WOW: If you could give your younger self one piece of writing advice, what would it be and why?
Anastasia: When I was younger, I read of lot of books, but I didn’t really write much. When I started writing in high school, I mostly wrote role playing stories with friends of mine. I’d get frustrated when the other participants would stop writing their parts and the stories would fizzle out. I felt like I needed others to participate in my writing process. So, I guess I would tell myself that it’s ok to finish those stories on your own. In fact, start writing your own stories!
WOW: Yes! Nice progression into the writing life, which can be collaborative or individual. Anything else you’d like to add?
Anastasia: If you’re reading this and you haven’t submitted to any flash fiction contests yet, you should definitely try it! It’s a lot of fun and it can only help strengthen your writing process.
WOW: Thank you again for sharing your story and for your other thoughtful responses! Congratulations again, and happy writing!
Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, who keeps a blog of journal entries, memoir snippets, interviews, training logs, and profiles of writers and competitive female athletes.