Q&A with Anyta Sunday

[WARNING: This post may contain spoilers.]

Anyta is from New Zealand. She has written stories such as Shane and Trey, and Get It.

Q. Tell me a little bit about yourself

Oki-doki, so I’m a kiwi, born and raised in good ol’ New Zealand. After finishing uni, I followed my heart and love to Germany, where we tied the knot. I’ve spent a few years teaching English at grade school (whoa was that hard!). And now I’m a mom of an almost two-year-old. And I consider myself a writer, even if I do have to live with the eye-rolls I get when I say that, lol. 😀

Q. What inspires you to write?

Hehe. I love creating stories. My motivation to pull through the tough moments (you know, the slog and grind of actually writing it) is knowing that at the end I’ve achieved something. And that (hopefully/ideally) the writing is improving with every book I write. Because another thing that inspires me is the idea of seeing my own work in print, someday.

On a daily basis, coffee does a lot for inspiration too. 😛

Q. What are your favourite books?

Okay, this is something that continually changes. I read in a variety of genres, my favourite being romance, mystery, and stories with a paranormal twist. One book that really sticks in my mind that doesn’t fit the above categories is Andre Aciman‘s “Call me by your name”.

Q. What is the most thoughtful feedback you have received from a reader?

Ohhhh, dang this one’s sort of hard, because I’ve actually been blessed with such great and constructive readers. I’m just swamped with thoughtful feedback, especially from GA members. Things like showing me how I could get more into the mind and psychology of my character, and pointing out if something I’ve written is inconsistent, and how it could be improved.

I can tell you the bluntest feedback I’ve gotten is from my husband: You will have to re-write this again, at the moment it’s only okay-ish, (and to soften the blow) but there’s potential.
Ouch. Sting.
But he was totally right, lol.

Q. Do your characters represent anyone in your life?

For the most part, no. I’ve never written a character with someone I knew in mind, to me that could just lead to trouble, lol. I want the freedom to let the characters make mistakes, or do something stupid–if I had them representing someone, I would feel obliged to curb a lot of their actions to keep the people they’re about from hunting me down, or worse, writing their own story with me in mind. Yikes.

However, sometimes I’ll take an attribute from someone I know and incorporate it into a character. Also, I find I make jokes about vegetarianism a lot in the stories I write. My husband is a vegetarian (I’m not), and I guess it’s a little dig at that. All in good humor, of course. Hmmm, speaking of food, in six of the seven novels I’ve written I have at least one scene involving pancakes. This is done unintentionally everytime, but I’m beginning to suspect I have serious unresolved pancake issues. *tummy rumbles.*

And, I suppose, personality-wise, if I could liken myself to any of the characters I’ve written, I’d have to say June from Shane and Trey. I didn’t intend it that way, but on reflection, she probably comes close.

Q. What’s your favourite cereal?

I haven’t eaten cereal for years. In Germany it’s just so easy to walk to the bakery and get freshly baked bread. But if I think back, then probably Skippy Cornflakes.

Q. How do they get the caramilk inside the caramilk bar?

What the heck is a caramilk bar?
*googles*–Ah… in NZ we call it caramello. Um, I haven’t a clue, but I know how to get it out. *licks lips.*

Q. What do you think of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer?

ROFL, I should have expected this question to come up. Okay, in all honesty, yeah, I liked it. Bella had practically no personality, but that’s what I think makes it such a success, she’s like a placeholder *insert own personality here*. Who wouldn’t want the chance to swoon at a dark, dangerous, and mysterious vampire that thinks you’re the shiznit? Hell’z yeah.

It’s not a favorite book or anything. But it was an okay read (ignoring some of the more blatant religious messages, of course).

Q. Tell us a little about your story Shane and Trey?

Shane is a little bit screwed, he’s just started college and stuck rooming with that bastard Trey. His sister’s boyfriend. His sister’s damn fine boyfriend. Uh-oh. This so wasn’t going to happen. But try as he might, there’s just a little too much to ignore between the two of them…

This is my first contemporary story where I didn’t have a paranormal theme, and it was the first time writing a full length novel where my central characters are gay. (though virtually all my novels have a side gay romance). I decided to write the story because I was recommended to check out GA as I wanted some help with the credibility of two characters I’d written in another story, anyway, people were immediately so incredibly helpful and nice, that I decided I wanted to write another romance where the gay romance was central. So I started Shane and Trey. I recieved such great feedback, and enjoyed the process of writing the story so much, I find that I can’t wait to write more for all the lovely peeps out there reading it. 😀

Q. Is there another gay online author to whom you look up to, and if so, why?

Yes. Quonus10, and my beta reader have been incredibly supportive of my writing, and are just generally amaaaazing people. I’m so lucky to have met them through GA. I look up to them for many reasons, above all for their honesty, for their passion in writing, and for their humor and kindness.

Q. Is Shane and Trey intended one book, or will there be a sequel?

Shane and Trey is a stand-alone book. No sequel. However, I’m currently writing a story that involves two of the characters introduced in this book (Karl and Paul from Treewok Elementary). Only the story is set when the meet again at 27.

Q. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Oh, I’m so boring, I’d invest it, live off the interest so that I could write and it would never matter whether or not I got paid. Yup, I’m a very practical person, that goes for all my gifts too.

Q. What is on your favourite iPod play list?

Don’t use an iPod–that’s my hubs’ thing. But here are five of my all-time favourite songs (in no order):

1) Ben Folds Five — Army
2) Kings of Convenience — I’d Rather Dance
3) Eels — Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues
4) Fleet Foxes — Strawberries in Summertime
5) Essex Gree –Lazy May

Q. Tell me a little bit more about what it is you do for a living.

Ben Folds performing in Knoxville, Tennessee
Image via Wikipedia

Well, I just got off parental leave (we only just got a day care spot–crazy waiting lists), now I guess it’s back to teaching freelance. Although, there’s the good chance the family will have to relocate for my husband’s job next year to the States–so I guess there I’ll be doing unpaid internships (ideally at literary agencies).

Q. When do you feel most out of your comfort zone?

Um, meeting new people (haha, and some old ones) face-to-face. It totally depends on their character–some are just so easy to feel like you can be yourself around, but there have been plenty of times where the conversation is so awkward and I swear everything has disappeared from my head, because I can’t think of scant to say.

Q. Does anyone in your every-day life know that you write?

Yup, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t.

Q. What are the top 5 reasons you started writing specifically gay stories, when there are several other kinds of stories to write?

LOL, five? Hmmm. Okay, firstly I do write other kinds of stories–Straight, Romance, Mystery, Children’s.

1) Two people falling in love, whoever the two people, is a beautiful thing in my mind. And I love to write about that. :)

2) Everyone was so nice to me at GA that I just wanted to write a story for them. Since then I’ve discovered I just love writing gay stories. Hmm, maybe because I find guys so fascinating? Dunno.(certainly I find them hot, lol)

3) Uh, entertainment.

4) I guess to a large extent with Shane and Trey it was about discovery of what I could do as a writer. I don’t believe I have to know something first-hand to write about it, but I do have to do my research. I can’t say how nervous I was posting, being a woman and all, lol!

5) My husband is really supportive of me and he thinks it’s great that I don’t just write conventionally straight romance. 😀

Q. If you could work with any author who would it be?

It’d have to be someone whose opinion I trusted (like Quonus10, and Jian_Sierra) and also who shared a similar writing interest. I admit that I’m quite a stubborn writer, and anyone who did work with me would probably have to be the more flexible. Perhaps I’m a little controlling in this area. Most likely.

I would like to try writing something as a joint effort, though. The problem is I have so many stories I want to write, and it’s always–I have to write them first.

Q. Do you have any little quirks when you are writing?

Okay, I get a lot of ideas when I’m out and about. Unfortunately, most of the better ones come when I have no paper, but desperately need to jot down a note. So, for example, while changing my bub’s diaper, I’ll lunge for some toilet paper (interestingly enough, there are usually pens around, or crayons) and jot it on that. Same goes for napkins in cafes, but mostly on the backs of reciepts. I often wonder how it must look when I suddenly stop pushing the stroller or drop my shopping bags to scribble something down.

Q. Who do you think you are?

Um, okay. Psychoanalysis time, huh. In some ways I like that I can be whoever I want. All I have to do is open a document and start typing, and I can be someone else for a moment. I can make other mistakes, say something brave like I wouldn’t dare in real life, or be able to crack a joke that people actually laugh at, lol.

Anne of Green Gables (1985 film)
Image via Wikipedia

What I know for sure about myself, is that I’m a bit of a schmoopy gal. That I’m sensitive (and hate the fact), and that I’m loyal to those I care about.

Q. Have you ever thought when a hearse goes by that you might be the next to die?

Lol, who doesn’t?

Q. Who was your favourite author when you were young?

L.M Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) and Roald Dahl (Boy/Going Solo/The BFG)

Q. If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?

That’d depend what you needed it for :P, and the exact limits of said wish (can I wish for more wishes? Then abso-freaking-lutely!). There are just so many people I could think that need a wish that I’m not sure getting one is such a good idea. I’d always feel bad I didn’t give it to someone else that may’ve needed it more. And how can you really judge? Argh.

Q. What’s your favourite board game?

Well, I really like Pandemic. It’s a co-operative one, so I don’t end up getting too pissed for losing, lol. I hate to lose, if that wasn’t already clear.

Q. Is there anything you’d like to plug?

Yeah, I’d like to plug away at my next novel: St-st-stuffed. :)

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