Interview With Author Anna Koski

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

Hi, I’m Anna Koski. I’m just shy of thirty, have been writing for 19 years. Its such a part of me its a necessity like breathing at this point because I’ve spent more of my life writing than I haven’t. I have quite a few books but only two are published and for sale. They are Broken, a standalone sci-fi romance, and Witching Moon, the first book in a paranormal romance series called Twisted Dark.

My others are published on wattpad under the username @AMLKoski and there are several series and some stand alone novellas as well as a short non-fiction book on there. This is where my community is based and with over 20K of them they are an amazing bunch!

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

There isn’t much for real life behind my books aside from me giving pieces of myself when I make characters (with the exception for my non-fiction, Daddy’s Favourite) but a big part of my stories are happy endings. Every book I write has a happy ending because I want everyone to have that feeling. So that part comes from reality and real life as it comes from what I want out of life.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure. It could be anything from a song or an image or even just a general vibe. I’ve always been creative but for writing books it could be inspired by something as innocuous as a picture I saw, a vibe I got from a song, or a quote.

Broken actually started with the prompt ‘Love is never easy’. Just that and it spawned a book. A lot of my other books are similar, if I look at them I can generally tell you what inspired them and its usually a singular thing that ballooned from the moment I saw it.

# How do you deal with creative block?

Writing is like every other ‘muscle’, sometimes you need to take a break because you have over taxed yourself. I have always treated my writing and creativity as a muscle that I use and sometimes the burnout is real intense when I overtax that muscle.

I wrote the second book in my Forgotten series in less than three months and at over 250K I burned myself out hard. I learned really quickly that pushing myself to write out 5-7k words a day wasn’t feasible in the long term. I was straining the muscles and I needed to learn to take breaks.

So that’s what I do. When I start to feel the burnout I take a step back and take a breath or ten, go do something else for a bit, could be only a few days or could be a few weeks, and then I come back to it. Granted with this last year the burnout was insane but that was generally just caused by stress in this crazy world we now live in. However I’ve mitigated it and I’m back in the saddle so to speak.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Hands down it’s not properly world building before you start writing. Some people might say not having a plan or poor grammar or any of those things but for me its not properly building the world you are writing it. Having the world completely fleshed out and completed before you start writing in it completely negates a significant portion of inconsistencies and plot holes.

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

For titles I always went with what felt right and held meaning to the story. Like Broken for example, the main character spent years feeling as though she was made wrong, that something was broken inside of her and then she is surrounded by governing systems that are fracturing and breaking as well. So it really fit with the book.

As for covers, again it is always something that just feels right. With my Forgotten series, each cover has something on it that’s a theme or important to the story. Red Ribbons has a ribbons (which is important culturally in some parts of the world I made), Forged in Fire has flames, A Cold Wind Blows has a mountain. Each of these things represents something important to the story or a theme it has.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

Not at all. I spent several of my earlier years (14-17) writing fanfiction on fanfiction.net so I learned really quickly not to take negative feedback too harshly and let it get me down. Not everyone will love or even like what I write, that is a big rule for me. I cannot please everyone, I never will. As long as I am happy with the story, everything else is static for me.

Granted if its a really good and thought out critique of something in the book s I am more than happy to sit down and think about it and see if it can actually apply or if what I wrote makes more sense in the context of the world I created rather than the suggestion. Which swings us to the world building. My readers only see about 5-10% of the worlds I create and so I have to constantly remind myself that I see way more than they do and they might not actually understand the subtle rules and laws or cultural norms that I do because they haven’t really seen them in action. Where as I have a full back stage pass to everything in the world. I know every facet of each culture and rule and law there is. So its a balancing act of what critique is able to be applied and what ones lack the subtle nuances of the cultural norms or laws my books have.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

Well after 19 years it has shifted quite a bit. I went from wanting to make fairy tales and imagining the world from this small child’s mind about wanting the world to be safe and fair to expanding more into more sociopolitical elements and adult themes such as infertility, unjust laws and systems, abuse, disabilities, mental health, racism.

When I was young these things never occurred to me to write about because I was a child writing from what I personally knew about the world. I wanted to the world to be fair, I wanted people to not be hungry and to have a loving family, to be happy. I had a rather hard childhood so my earlier creative processes were about fixing the problems I had growing up, having enough food and being with people who loved you, escaping great evils, and being happy. Now they are the same but they have expanded to encompass things I couldn’t see or even understand as a child. Like racism, infertility, sexist mindsets, living with physical disabilities, mental illness, and even unjust judicial systems. Even though I had this hard start as a child with poverty and abuse, I was privileged in the fact I never had to deal with some of these issues I now like to include, like racism.

But even with all that change I still want my worlds I create to become fair and just, I want everyone to be happy and get their happily ever afters.

# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

The best? Realizing that I have written a book I want to read again and again.

Worst? That despite editing a hundred different times there are always a tiny error that end up being missed.

Most surprising? That the ending is the hardest part to write. Not for emotional reasons or anything. Its physically hard to write. Its like I hit the last 6 chapters and my brains says ‘Okay, we finished. We are done now.’ And I’m left like ‘noooo we still have more to write!’ And then I have to force my brain to work with me to heave out those last few chapters.

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

Oh I write for myself 100%. Not saying I don’t care about my readers. I do! I love the community I have built and the people who have helped me build it. Its just my community is a by-product of me writing books that I personally want to read and I do read occasionally. I write for myself because I do know I can’t make everyone happy so the person I aim to please is myself. I just happen to write books that other people truly enjoy as well. Which is an amazing bonus!

As for balancing. If I have some bits and pieces of something that need to be filled in, I will also 100% look to see if something my readers would like will fit into it. I’ve even written a reader or two into my books before. Usually just little things but it does help my readers feel more connected to the books and I like showing them that while I do write for myself, that they can contribute to the books.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

A very big roll for me. A lot of my creativity is an emotional outlet for me. So when I write I am pouring all this emotion out into my books and my words. Its cathartic for me to do and it gives me something that I can really work with that can perhaps make an emotional connection to a reader some day. So I definitely need those emotions in order to feel creative and to really slam out some scenes or chapters.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

Have little games you play with character you use. Give yourself random scenarios and write tour characters into them to see how they react and what will happen to them when they experience something completely unexpected or even impossible.

That and practice. Writing is a skill, no one comes out of the womb a track star. You have to learn how to roll over and then crawl and then walk before you can run. Writing is the same. No one is born a able to write epic tales of magic or intrigue, no one is born a natural Shakespeare holding a pen. You have to practice, practice, practice. As Hemingway said, ‘We are all apprentices in a craft where no one becomes a master.’ You have to always practice and keep growing your craft. That’s the best way to do it.

# What are your plans for future books?

I have a few series I want to do. One is a new and rather large paranormal romance series. Then I have a sci-fi story about a ship crashing onto an alien planet, and then a high fantasy story about a surprise arranged marriage that I am currently plotting out. So lots is going on and I won’t ever want for story ideas, that’s for sure!

# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.

I am an utter rock goblin who collects rocks. I gained this from my mum who is the same. I can’t go anywhere without finding a rock to pick up and bring home. This has resulted in me finding numerous fossils, hunks of quartz, and lots of other stones.

I have thalassophobia. I am utterly terrified of deep water. Any water that does above my chest is too deep and I can and will panic. I can’t do boats for this reason. I can’t even watch videos or movies about boats on the ocean because I will low key give myself a panic attack.

And my number one dream is to be able to fly among the stars.

Here is my linktree to find me across the web:
https://linktr.ee/AMLKoski