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EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH DR. ANAY AYAROVU
Originally from Russia, Dr. Anay Ayarovu left the medical field behind to focus all of her time on her true love: storytelling. She initially turned to artistic photography, but when she found herself writing backstories for each of her photoshoots, she knew the direction she needed to go. She claims that some of the short stories from those shoots made it into the STAZR – The World of Z Series!
Dr. Ayarovu hopes to bring reading back into the common household through multi-media portrayals. Her primary goal is to bring the Stazr universe to life through a video game series and scripted television opportunity. A journey through the stars, quests invaded with monsters and magical beings, and new languages and cultures have led readers of this adult fantasy book to call it a refreshing combination of writers like Neil Gaiman, Dostoevsky, Sholohov, Tolkien, and Dan Simmons.
Q: Can you tell us something about yourself that not many people know about? Like your hobbies?
A. I love reading (an obvious one) - once I start a good book I must finish it. And until then I don't eat, I don't sleep... I don't do anything that can interrupt me from an excellent story.
Walking long distances also helps me a lot when thinking about the plot - almost always I find the desired solution.
Something that not many people know about is that I have a full body tattoo. You can see me walking around the beach, while people are questioning behind ‘What is it? An octopus? A dragon?' While the simple answer is buried deep in the mythology.
Q: When did you write your first story and how old were you?
A. I did not start writing until later. Probably I was around twenty six years old, when I started to write short stories for my photo shoots.
Q: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A. When I was a child I did not have anything particular in my mind for the life path and I'm still surprised how the things turned out for me. From a doctor to a creator seems to be a big of a stretch.
Q. What inspired you to start writing?
A.My photography gave me a creative push in first. Though only after I was struggling for a while to find a good read for myself, I felt inspired enough to start writing my first novel that two years after became STAZR The World Of Z: The Dawn Of Athir
Q: What is your favorite book from your childhood?
The ones that come to my mind first for some reason are The Headless Horseman by Mayne Reid and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I'm sure if I think long enough some other long-forgotten titles will come back to me.
Q: What do you like doing when you're not reading?
When I'm not reading I'm writing or thinking about writing. From time to time I like to play with different situations or dialogues in my mind to see how they can turn out.
Q: Where do you get your writing ideas from?
Usually the writing ideas come to me very spontaneously - during conversations with my husband, simple observations or that special time just before I fall asleep.
Q: Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Everyone has different process of developing a character, mine changes from story to story. Sometimes it's a feeling, sometimes it's a visual. I think most of my characters to date are a mix of the people that I've ever encountered or read about. Though I never take a person and put him or her completely in the story, I like taking interesting parts from them.
Does this sound like stealing someone's identity? Hmmm.
Think of creating a character like building a house from LEGO details. It starts simple. Take a hair color from your best friend, add those shiny and kind brown eyes from your mom, floppy ears from a stranger that you've met yesterday at lunch. After your first model is created it's time to think about important things. What was character's past? Why they will be making certain decisions in your story? What drives them? What makes them special? Those and many more questions are essential for building a very special character.
Q. Can you describe us your ideal writing space?
Ahh. There is just one word for that - quietness.
Q. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
The most difficult part about writing for me is to sit myself still for more than five minutes.
Q. How do you handle a writer’s block?
I never had a writer's block. If I'm stuck with the main story - I write a short one or move to the next chapter.
Q. What advice would you give to a new writer, someone who’s just starting out?
A. I'd tell to believe in yourself, not to follow any rules, read a lot and don't watch those types of YouTube videos like 'how to write a book in 10 steps'. If you have to push yourself to write - maybe it's yet not your time to write. Wait a little bit, make observations, and collect experiences and memories to have a solid base when you will feel a NEED to write. Then no one will be able to stop you.
Q. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
A. Currently I'm working on the next book of STAZR The World Of Z series, which will be very different from the first one.
A secret lost in time. A prophesied savior found. Can a naïve hero return his people to the stars?
Aspiring novelist Lael believes he’s destined for greatness. But he’s stunned when a talking pig arrives with a prophecy naming him the Chosen One. Guided by a vision, he embarks on a life-threatening quest to reopen the gates to forgotten interstellar worlds.
Chronicling his encounters with volcanoes spewing body parts and monstrous hybrid beasts, Lael discovers dark secrets buried within his own realm. And when a mysterious flying tree takes him into dangerous territory, his grand ambition may come to a deadly end.
Can the people’s last hope fulfill his destiny, or will he watch his planet die?
The Dawn of Athir is the enthralling first adventure in the STAZR The World of Z science fiction fantasy series. If you like imaginative creatures, wisecracking heroes, and magical lands, then you’ll love Dr. Anay Ayarovu’s utterly unique tale.