The Author Inside You Podcast Show Notes:
114 Anya Stassiy
No Time To Write A Book?
Don't think you have time to write a book? Check out this episode of The Author Inside You podcast where we interview Anya Stassiy who wrote her book while waiting for her children at after school events. That's not all, Anya wrote the whole novel on her phone!
You're listening to the author insides you podcast, a weekly podcast designed to motivate you to finish writing a book, choose a publisher, and have your work build an audience. Keep listening if you're looking to get propelled into the next chapter of your life. And now it's the author inside you podcast with your host, Leah and Matt Rafferty.
Hello and welcome to the author inside you podcast. I'm Matt Rafferty, and I'm Leah Rafferty. Joining us today is Anya Stassiy, author of Eyes of Amber, which was released in March of this year. This is her first published novel, and she recently has begun working on her third novel. Welcome, Anya. Thanks for joining us today.
Hi guys, how are you? Thank you for having me. Well, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. So Anya, I see that you're a physician assistant, and does that background play any role in the eyes of Amber? Yes, it did. Uh, both of my characters are physicians and it takes place in a hospital. So there are a lot of medical stories that I took from my own medical experience of seeing patients and them telling.
About their lives. So definitely great. So it probably helps knowing all the details, you know, because if I tried to write a medical novel, I think I would have to do a lot of research, but that probably saved you a lot of time. It did and it didn't because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't too medical, that it was interesting, but not in a complicated way.
So, um, I kind of drew a lot of inspiration from Michelle, like Grey's anatomy, ER, I just to. How are those stories relatable and understanding? When did you decide that you wanted to write a book? I actually remember exactly when I decided to write a blog. I have three kids. My, uh. Daughter, she's a middle child.
She was still a baby. She's six now. I was nursing her and I, uh, you know, pump sessions to get enough milk for her when I would go back to work and it would be like 20 to 30 minutes spans several times a day that I would be just attached to this machine. And it was, I fell just so. Useless and having no purp purpose other than producing milk.
So I decided that I would read books from New York times bestseller. Oh, okay. I read some books and there were amazing, and some books they were just questionable. I did not understand why they were best sellers and I had this idea, I think I can write a book that can be interesting. And that's how I had this thought that I could, and I should write a book because I thought that I could write a better story than some of those books that I've read.
Great. So then, all right, so you decided you're going to write a book, but then how long did it take you to actually start writing the first 20,000 words? They came very easily, very quickly. Within a couple of months they were done. And then because I wasn't familiar with the publishing process and what to do with the book after it's done, I kind of slowed down, put it aside.
I had another child, it was about a year and a half that I haven't written anything, and then I went back to it because my husband was very encouraging and I kept writing. All of the book was written on my phone. Oh, dad's. Yeah. I would just ride while waiting for my kids, you know, for their activities to be done.
Just well breaks and little snippets from start to finish. It took me six years. I have a question about your, your writing on your phone, so where you actually like just doing it with your thumbs or were you doing some text to audio or text to voice also? I was, I was doing it all with my thumbs for some reason.
I cannot. Think and speak. I have to be typing for my for form ideas. I don't know why. Oh, that's a lot of thumb wax in there. Wow. 20,000 words and say you completed your book and then what? How did you find a publisher? I sent out the book to a few agents and some didn't respond. I have, I had a few rejections.
There is a local author who is an indie. And she is in New York times bestseller. And she actually, um, created a workshop how to publish this in India, authors. So I went to her workshop and got really inspired by her success and I decided to throw Indy. So I am the publisher and I'm the author. So tell us about the workshop that you went to that was like a local workshop that you physically went there.
It wasn't something online. It wasn't online. It was a local and one of the bookshops. There were about six authors and she just went over her process. . How she wrote the blog and how she had about 30 rejections over a three year period. What do you think the biggest takeaway was from her workshop? At that point, I had about 30,000 words written, and I got really inspired and I really sat down and then the next two month I finished the book and wrote another 30,000 words.
Wow, that is great. So you wrote to a few agents and then you decided to go to this workshop, and then what happened after that? So after the workshop, I completed the novel, and because she kind of gave us a blueprint of what to do, how to look for an editor, how to look for a proofreader, uh, about the importance of designing, uh, the cover and writing an amazing blurb.
That's what, you know, I got away from the workshop. Because on my own, I was completely clueless about that part. Well, it obviously worked out quite well for you because you did publish your book. Yes. It looks like you've been very motivated on Facebook to create content and you, it looks like you're also, um, very active with author groups.
I saw that you were at your local library, and can you tell us a little bit about promotion, promotion, the marketing? I think that's one of the toughest parts. After you've finished writing. Yes. I try to stay active on social media. I do have an Instagram account. I do have Facebook. I recently, um, started on Twitter, but I'm still unfamiliar with that.
But I tried to post just things that inspire me, things that are important to me, little quotes from my writing, things that I do to promote my writing, like just to trying to keep it interesting for people. And how did you get invited to that event? Your library? There was actually a little article in a local newspaper stating that they're planning this event and it's there.
Third event, and then I just reached out to the library director and she invited lots of local authors, so they event. I think there were about 20 people actually. Wow, that's wonderful. What a nice opportunity that your library gave out. Okay. The authors. Yes. It was actually amazing. It was a variety of genres, variety of ages, and it was very interesting.
Well, that's really cool because, and we've talked about it before, how, you know, sometimes you just need to ask and, and you'll, the answer will be yes. You know? So you reached out, you said, Hey, can I come to this event? And there you were in front of people. Exactly what other type of marketing are you doing for your book?
I do a lot of Facebook groups. I have a lot of reviewer reader groups that I belong to. I might get an author spotlight somewhere or an author interview somewhere, or I get beta readers. Like for my second novel that's going to come out on October 31st. I have a few advanced reviewers. And how did you go about finding the beta readers?
There are actually a lot of groups on Facebook authors themselves who do beta reading for exchange. But you would read their novel and you would a review as well. Great. So tell us about, so you have the eyes of Amber and then what's your second book? So the second book is called spice of love. The third one is still in the works, and the working title is key maker's daughter.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? I think it's just sitting down with, now I'm writing on my laptop, just spinning down and they feel like I'm in a bubble and I just create these characters and you know, make up what they're going to say and how they behave. It's just very fascinating.
Just to think. What a certain character will do based on their upbringing or, you know, how they were raised. Just, it's very fascinating to me. And interesting. Do you ever wonder where that character came from? I tried to think back what kind of a upbringing they had or struggles that they had. Um, so yes, it definitely.
Something that I tried to do. And when it comes to character development, do you take notes so that you remember things later on or do you just go back and reread what you wrote? I'm kind of a pantser, what they call, I do not plan. Um, sometimes like in the beginning I might jot down a general idea, but I never really go back to it.
I just keep writing. I'm until I'm done. And then I. Go back and reread. The whole thing. Screwed with bio is the proud sponsor of the author inside you podcast. Looking for ways to improve your writing. Scribble file is a place for you. Skip a file is famous for the detailed and helpful critiques their members exchange.
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Also a great place to make lifelong friends in the busy community of writers. Although writing is a solitary act, that doesn't mean you have to be lonely. Lucky for you. There are thousands of writers on scribble file every day, and they're really a friendly bunch. You've never seen a writing group like this one at dot com well, Anya, what advice would you give to a first time author?
Keep writing. That's the best advice that I've heard and it's something that I would advise to anybody. Is thinking about writing off who has started writing and put it away. Just keep writing. Sit down behind our computer or pick up your phone. It might be just 10 words a day. It might be just one sentence.
It might be just a paragraph, but it keeps your brain on the story and it keeps you kind of in that breed of environment and pushes you forward when you do it. Daily or at least every other day. Sure. It keeps you fresh. It keeps the story going. I understand. Yes. Well, before you were talking about Facebook, how can our listeners find you on Facebook?
So I have a Facebook account on yes. Fasc rights. I also have an Instagram account, and my name is, uh, at writing underscore a mommy. Ah, that's fun. Great. Well, we'll put those links in our show notes. How can our listeners purchase your book? Eyes of Amber is available as ebook and paperback on Amazon, and you for back is also available in all major retailers.
They spice of love is currently on preorder, so it will be available for purchase on October 31st as an ebook and paperback also on Amazon and paper back on the all the other retailer websites. And how did you go about getting it on so many websites? Amazon has this service, indie publishers at KDP eel.
It helps for those who don't format their books or I don't do their coverage payment. I think offer those services to indie authors, but you can publish through them, the ebook on the paperback, and I also use Ingram sparks for wider distribution of the paper back, and I recently also put up the book for preorder on Kobo.
Which is Walmart websites. We have not heard that before. A great, yes, and Barnes and noble as well. Is there a conflict between Amazon and Walmart having him on both web pages? There is no conflict unless you are enrolled into. Uh, Kindle unlimited with Amazon, and it's a service that you renew every three months.
So if you're not using that service, you can be on any other websites. But if you are. I enrolled in Kindle unlimited. I think that's the name, but you can only have your ebook on Amazon. Is there a fee to be on Kindle unlimited for the author? No, not at all. It's just that you are exclusive to Amazon with your ebook.
A lot more exposure. All right, well on yet. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us tonight. We appreciate it. Thank you so much. This was great. I hope I was able to give you and your listeners some useful information. Yeah, it was great advice. Thank you. Great talking. Yeah. We hope you're gaining knowledge listening to the author and side you podcast.
Please subscribe to our podcasts so you don't miss any future episodes, and until next time, write on! Thank you for listening to the author inside you podcast with your host, Leah and Matt Rafferty.
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