Friday 27 July 2012

My Friday Fantastic: Debra Anastasia

It's Friday, Yay! It's been quite a week, and I am grateful the weekend is finally here. Today I'm really honoured to have Debra Anastasia, the author of Poughkeepsie. I discovered Debra through a group in Goodreads that offers books for reviews, and once I started reading Poughkeepsie, I couldn't put it down. It's one of the most romantic books I've ever read. Then I also found out she knits. Imagine my joy. I'm a knit-n-crochet person and anyone whose fingers can work the intricacies found in knitting, is coolness itself. So without further ado, lets get down to knowing more about Debra.

Author Bio:

Debra Anastasia is busy, just like every other mom. There's dinner, the dogs, the kids, and their homework. The laundry pile turns into a big, heaping monster. When the clothes finally make it into the washer, it gets unbalanced and puts on an elaborate show before it cuts out. This crazy job that never ends is her first love and her crowning achievement.
Her writing started a decent handful of years ago when along with the dogs, cat, kids, and husband, the voices of characters started whispering stories in Debra's ear. Insomnia was the gateway for the plots that wouldn't give up, wouldn't let go. In the shower, a twist would take hold and--dripping and frenzied--she'd find somewhere, anywhere to write it down.
Debra grew up in New York and got a bachelor's degree in political science at SUNY New Paltz. At the start of her marriage, she moved to southern Maryland with her husband. She still doesn't trust crabs and all their legs, though everyone else in her family thinks they're delicious. Her favorite hobbies include knitting, painting furniture and wall murals, and slapping clowns.
Earlier this year Omnific Publishing published her debut novel, Crushed Seraphim, and she's currently pounding out the sequel to angel Emma's adventures. You can visit her website at and find her on twitter @Debra_Anastasia.

CeCe:  I'm ├╝ber-excited to have you here with us today, Debra. Please tell us a little about yourself. 

Debra: I’m thrilled to be here! Thank you for putting up with me. I’m a mom and wife and I love to write. I hate spiders and slap clowns if they get too close to me. I’m not thrilled about mannequins either. I never trust them. One day I expect one to come to life and chase me down.

CeCe:  I had the pleasure of reading Poughkeepsie, and I fell madly in love with your characters as well as the story. How did you come up with such diverse and unique characters? 

Debra: Thank you so very much for reading my crazy story. Poughkeepsie was a unique experience because I sat down every chapter and it was like the story was already there. My fingers just revealed a story piece by piece. I would expect the plot to go one way and by the end of the chapter I was like, damn. Okay, now where’s it going to go? Each character had a plan they forget to tell me about, but they certainly wanted to be heard. 

CeCe: Do you plot a story or just write as the story comes to you? 

Debra:  I know how the story will end and I have a few key scenes that must exist, but the plot around those scenes is totally fluid. I love when the chapter totally shocks me.

CeCe: Why the title Poughkeepsie?

Debra:  It is simply the most interesting looking word in the first chapter, which is how I usually name my books. I grew up near Poughkeepsie and I always felt sorry for the people that lived in that town because they had spell it all the time on mail, etc. look at me now, I write it all the time! I actually love the Poughkeepsie Train station is stunning. I’ve never scene one quite like it. The Hudson river is the backdrop. I actually just got back from a brief visit and was able to take the book there. It was a teary moment. 

CeCe: I love your cover. It’s simple, yet symbolizes a lot. How did you come up with that idea? 

Debra: My cover designer, Micha Stone and I tried many different covers. I love simple, clean ones and she rocks at that. The Poughkeepsie cover went down to the wire. At the last second she sent me a picture of the hands and it fit like a glove. (hehe)  It held the love and pain we needed with one image. It was missing something though. That’s when I contacted Shannon Lumetta and she designed the tattoo on the cover. Once it was on Blake’s wrist it was a done deal. 

CeCe: I can’t seem to make up my mind which character is my favourite in Poughkeepsie. Do you have any character you particularly enjoyed creating in this story?

 Debra:That’s really like picking a favorite tooth! You need them all to get the story down. I think I loved writing love scenes between Blake and Livia most. But Beckett, he is the scariest one for sure to write. And I really believe in writing what scares you so I looked forward to him because he made my heart pound a bit.

I couldn't choose which character was my favourite as well. They all added a lot of somethings in the story.

Cece: Do you believe in Soulmates?
Debra:  Yes. Back to Livia and Blake, their scenes on tenderness (not the sex!) where they are on the phone or just being together are plucked straight from my relationship with my husband. He is just the best person in the world. I can’t believe I tricked him into marrying me. 

Those scenes (not the sex) made me all mushy inside. loved these two when they were together. 

CeCe: Are you working on any other project at the moment?

Debra:  I am! I’m editing Bittersweet Seraphim right now and I’m really excited to crack that baby open to the world. It’s the sequel to Bitttersweet Seraphim and it has Satan Jack who just calls to me. The ultimate bad boy. I’m also working on Return to Poughkeepsie which is Poughkeepsie’s sequel.

CeCe: What book are you currently reading?

Debra:  I’m reading Gabriel’s Inferno! Mr. Reynard is in my publishing house and we are friends as well. I love that the sequel is ready for me as well.

I have heard alot of good things about Gabriel's Inferno and I really need to read that book. Soon. 

CeCe: What do you do when you are not writing? 

Debra:I love being with my kids and husband most of all. We are all really best friends, when we get nice chunks of time together we laugh so hard. I love to knit and read. And I have to have music on all the time. Always.

I know what you mean about best friends with your family. There's nothing can measure to that. Knitting,rading and music. I echo your thoughts on that.

CeCe: Where can readers and fans find you online?

Debra:  I’m an internet whore. Chances are if it’s around and free, I’m on it. I’d love to friend readers on Facebook here and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia.

Thank you Cece for letting me come and play today. I’m so honored.

You are very welcome, Debra. And thank YOU for taking time to stop by. 

Book Description:

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.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.
Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?

In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.