If you missed my epic interview with Faith Mckay last week then you missed out on a lot and I feel sorry for you. (This is your cue to read it now for some instant awesome.)
This week, I had the opportunity to interview one of the first writers I connected with on Twitter last year, Ksenia Anske. Let me tell you something about Ksenia, she is an absolute firecracker. Then again, if you know her then you probably already know that, too. I imagine the inside of her brain looking something like one of those toy machines in a fair. The ones where it's all colourful inside and there's a crane that dips down and clutches away at the cuteness waiting below. She's just full of so much cute randomness and it's beautiful because it always makes sense somehow.
I won't make you wait any longer. I've been desperate to share this one with you!
Q: You’re working on your novel in a coffee shop. I sit down at the table beside you with my laptop. You notice I’m also working on something. Introduce yourself to me.
Nice shoes. Where did you buy them? Oh, Goodwill? Oh, you’re a poor writer like me? Hey, awesome, we’re sisters! Whatcha writing? (Then I will nod a lot and listen a lot, until I get my turn to talk, which is so terribly hard to do, since I’m a talker). I actually rarely get asked my name, but when I do, I usually tell people I’m an alien panda from the Moon by the name of Ksenia Anske, and my job is pretending to be a writer.
Q: Do you think people are basically bad or basically good?
People are basically awesome, and everyone who doesn’t think like that, doesn’t know people.
Q: What scene in your writing has made you laugh the hardest, and what made you cry the most?
I would say I laughed the hardest at one of ROSEHEAD scenes, one of the arguments between Panther, a talking whippet, and his owner, twelve-year-old Lilith Bloom, where Panther agrees to participate in an investigation into the mysterious bloodthirsty garden, but only if Lilith will buy him a pink doggy jacket he saw the other day at the pet store. And I cried the hardest when I wrote the ending to THE AFTERLIFE (Siren Suicides, Book 3), which closed for me the suicidal part of my life and brought me immense relief from my pain, giving me happiness. Even as I type it now, I get goose bumps chasing up my arms and down my spine, that’s how strong the feeling was.
Q: Would you rather change gender every time you sneeze, or not be able to tell the difference between a muffin and a baby?
I can’t tell the difference between a muffin and a baby unless I sneeze, so what exactly was the question again? *sneezes really hard*
Q: You have a beautiful imagination. In five sentences, paint me the most beautiful picture you can create.
There sat a hippo on a tricycle, holding up a cone of ice cream that melted in the sun. The hippo was happily pedaling along the street, until the street turned into the edge of the world and off the hippo went, but then a purple eagle snatched it right out of the air. The hippo, however, kept licking the ice cream, gazing around at a flock of pink glittery butterflies that appeared out of nowhere. In another reality, three teenagers looked up dizzily, studying the smoke cloud. “DUDE!” Said one, watching the hippo, the eagle, and the butterflies explode in a sower of iridescent shimmering stars.
Q: What is your most annoying habit?
To try to give help to people who didn’t ask for it, like the insufferable know-it-all.
Q: People often tell me I’m strange, funny and quiet. What do people say about you?
That I’m sweet, direct, and stubborn.
Q: Would you rather live in a world where Pokémon exist, or where you can play real-life Mario Kart?
I already live in the world where you can play real-life Mario kart, just look at what Rémi Gaillard is doing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MytfhzcSF-Y
Q: Cats have begun to rule the world and humans are pets. The queen kitty, Meowli banishes all other animals from Earth by shooting them into space with bazookas. A handsome cat, Jonathan opens a fish bar. What happens next?
In her haste, Meowli forgot to banish the fish, thinking they don’t’ count as animals. A pack of piranhas camouflage themselves as goldfish in the bar’s aquarium, descend into plumbing at night, and eat every cat that decides to see what the commotion is in the toilet bowls. Jack Cringe, professor of biology who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of cat ulcer disease and who currently serves as Jacky-boy, pet to queen kitty, conspires with Chu-cha-cha, the king of piranhas, to take over the furry vermin. In one daring operation, he snatches Meowli by her tail and drags her to the bathroom, enduring her wild shrieks and scratching. Just then the door to the bathroom opens on its own accord and whatever comes out, stops Jack Cringe in his tracks. His arm hangs slack, and even the queen kitty ceases her thrashing…
Q: Would you rather have all the knowledge in the world, or all of the power?
Neither. I’d rather have all the love.
Q: What’s your favorite piece of dialogue in any book you’ve ever read?
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where –"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
Q: Tell me stuff about Rosehead. How’s it going? What does this story mean to you?
It’s a book I’m writing for fun, letting my sarcasm reign free, but it’s also a book I’m writing to fulfill my dream of having two loving parents, something I never had. I mean, of course I had parents, but I was neglected by one, and abused by another, and since they moved apart when I was 1 and divorced when I was 4, I never saw them happy and together, and this book is kind of like my childish dream come true. And, of course, it’s harking back to The Hound of The Baskervilles, one of my favorite books growing up.
Q: In a zombie apocalypse, would you rather be the last person on Earth who is constantly running and barely surviving, or would you let yourself be turned?
I’d partner with aliens and shoot all zombies from space with one huge bazooka, and save mankind. I would, of course, expect a cookie from mankind, for my service.
Q: Just because something needs to be told, that doesn’t mean it needs to be heard. What does this mean, and do you agree?
Whoever will want to hear it, will.
Q: This question is open for you to answer with whatever the hell you want. You can talk about how pretty giraffes are if you want, or you can give me some terrible writing advice.
Giraffes are extremely beautiful, that is true. But the only writing advice I can give you is this. WRITE EVERY DAY NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE TELLS YOU AND EVEN IF IT’S ONLY FOR 1 HOUR. There is no better and cheaper therapy than writing. All you need is pen, paper, and a quiet corner to concentrate, and off you go to the races!