I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia. Poughkeepsie is a moving story about love, life, and the human condition in a modern and often cruel world. It was an absolutely fantastic story and I am honored to be able to offer an E-copy for two lucky readers!
Debra also agreed to do an interview with me as well, so without further ado please welcome Debra Anastasia to The Lit Bitch!
The Lit Bitch: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book Poughkeepsie?
- Debra: See, I’m awful at this. The story is very different so I feel bad telling people to read it. I’m more likely to paste warnings all over it like: Creative Curses! Angst! It’s raw, this story. When you’re done reading it you’ll know exactly who I am. Whether that is good or bad, I’m not sure.
I just have to add my own personal musing to Debra’s response to this question….one of the things I liked BEST about Poughkeepsie was the use of creative curses! Two thumbs up from me when it comes to the colorful use of profanity I about died laughing at several new phrases LOL :).
The Lit Bitch: I am absolutely in love with the cover art for Poughkeepsie. Where did you come up with the idea? Were you involved in the design?
- Debra: My cover artist, Micha Stone, and I have very similar tastes. We are both fans of stark covers so our process is very fun. The tattoo was designed by Shannon Lumetta, an amazingly talented graphic artist and author. I’m thinking of getting it on my actual body.
The Lit Bitch: What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself when you were writing Poughkeepsie?
- Debra: That I could end it. I could tell a tale and end the hell out of it. As a reader, I really enjoy a satisfying ending. It’s, in my opinion, equally as important as the beginning. The reader has devoted their time and I want them to feel I worked my damndest to make sure their time was well spent.
The Lit Bitch: Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Who was your favorite character or the one you identify with in Poughkeepsie?
- Debra: I see myself in all of them. Every single one lives in my head, even the villains! Beckett scared me the most, when I wrote from his point of view, my heart would pound because he was so unpredictable. I love to write what scares me.
The Lit Bitch: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your characters in Poughkeepsie? Would you change anything about the story?
- Debra: I would not change a single thing. It was the most organic story I’ve written to date and I appreciate the gift that was handed to me when I was so sure of each chapter. My other stories had many different ways to be told, Poughkeepsie had only one.
The Lit Bitch: What do you think makes Poughkeepsie ‘special’ for readers? Is it the journey or the character growth? Is it the experiences facing the characters? Is it the characters themselves?
- Debra: Poughkeepsie really does belong to the readers. I love when someone approaches it and really lets it in. I know a lot of the readers are exactly as brave –or more so– as the characters portrayed in the pages. I think they can easily see themselves making similar choices, like standing up to bullies.
The Lit Bitch: What are your top three favorite books of all time?
- Debra: That’s a hard question. First, would have to be the whole Harry Potter series, I’m so glad that was published in my lifetime. I would have seriously mourned not reading that whole universe. Second, would be the Host by Stephanie Meyer, her imagination is off the charts in that book. Third, would be A Time to Kill by John Grisham, I’ve never been as struck as I was by his depiction of his character’s closing arguments. Just stunning. It, for me, proved that a book could really make a difference in how people viewed things. I could name a million though, three is way too hard.
The Lit Bitch: What are you currently reading?
- Debra: I’m tearing through the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning at the moment. I love it so much.
The Lit Bitch: What are your plans for your next book or project?
- Debra: I’m currently writing the sequel to Crushed Seraphim and that should be out in Fall of 2012. After that I have a paranormal romance that I’d love to see how it ends, so I’d have to write that. I’d also love to try to write a screenplay for Poughkeepsie.
The Lit Bitch: Is there a specific element in your writing that you find most challenging?
- Debra: Finding the time to do it. Shuffling it into real life can be a challenge. My family comes first and then I have a job as well.
The Lit Bitch: What is your favorite book that has been made into a movie or TV show?
- Debra: I’d have to say the Twilight series. I see the movies with my sister and mother in law, usually in Poughkeepsie during a visit to New York. I have a lot of happy memories and laughter surrounding that tradition.
The Lit Bitch: Which literary character would you like to take out for tea or drinks?
- Debra: My character, Satan Jack. Please.
The Lit Bitch: Many people believe they have a book in them. What does it take to go from “Someday I’ll write a novel” to actually writing one?
- Debra: I think if you believe you have a book in you, then you do. I’m a huge advocate of people giving writing a shot. This is the perfect time in the word to try it out. If you have access to a computer, you can open a word document and see what you’ve got. You can even promise yourself know one else will see it! The Internet is available for research; plenty of people are out there willing to read and help.
The Lit Bitch: When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how did your personal story develop?
- Debra: Writing a book for me happened one chapter at a time. I never imagined it would be a full book. I started writing in 2009, and I’m grateful I get a chance to play in my imagination. All you need is time and I think writing a novel is a very real possibility for anyone who wants to try.
The Lit Bitch: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? How much time did you spend researching your book?
- Debra: Google is a library, a trip to a foreign country, and a thesaurus. I hit it hard and often. I’m not nearly smart enough or worldly enough to do without my Google crutch.
About Debra Anastasia
I’m a mom and an avid reader. I love knitting and slapping clowns. My favorite stories are the fearless ones that grab you by the throat. Writing is a release valve for the crazy in my head.
He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.
Other Books by Debra Anastasia
I again want to thank Debra Anastasia for stopping by and granting me an interview and giving away two copies of her book! Make sure to enter the giveaway and if you haven’t done so already, add Poughkeepsie to your TBR list, you will not be disappointed! Cheers!