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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Author Interview – Anastasia V Pergakis

6:00 AM Posted by James Noel , , No comments

You have mentioned you’re a recovering alcoholic. What was your wake-up call to pull yourself together again? Wow, tough question! Warning, this isn’t going to be pretty and will be a little longer than my other answers.

I was sitting there one day in June 2006 and realized that I had pushed away every single person in my life – family and friends a like. I literally was alone. I couldn’t look at any area of life and say “Okay, that part is doing good, let’s focus on that.” I literally had nothing and no one. I don’t know how to describe the utter feeling of loneliness I felt at that time. It was more than just “feeling alone” like many feel sometimes when life gets tough. This was literally like, being in a locked room where no one came to visit you, or check on you, or anything. I was ALONE.

You see, for a long time, I wanted to die. Literally. And I tried. With the amount of alcohol and drugs – in dangerous combinations – I shoved into my system, I prayed every day for years that I would go to sleep and not wake up. I was so wrapped up in my own problems and simply just existing for so many years, that I crushed people along my way. I took advantage of them, manipulated them to get what I wanted, used them and then threw them away. I know; I was not a very nice person at all.

When I was sitting there in June and realizing that I was at fault for being so alone, I cried for days. From guilt, from loneliness, from the pain I felt physically. I had two “friends” that attended AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. So I gave them a call and asked if I could live with them (I was homeless at the time) and that I wanted to start going to meetings with them. I didn’t believe even then, that I was a alcoholic, but I was so desperate to be rid of the guilt and pain I felt, that I was willing to try anything. They gladly accepted me into their home and helped me get back on my feet. I’ll be grateful to them everyday for the rest of my life.

That was seven years ago.

I still struggle with feeling guilty over the things I had done back them. But the more I help people, the more I try to make up for those mistakes, the less guilt I feel. I try to look at each day as a miracle – because it is. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful son, and a great life. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong. So often do the sins of my past sneak up to haunt me again. But today, I can face those problems head on, without drinking and without hurting other people or myself. I don’t want to die and I enjoy every minute of life – even the tough parts.

By rights, I should have died many times over before I even reached the age of 22. I just celebrated my 29th birthday in May.

When did you discover your love of writing? I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love it. I suppose when I was younger I was more into reading. I fell in love with fairy tales, ya know, happily ever after, knights in shining armor, true love conquers all, etc. As I got older, my reading styles changed of course. Now I’m more into action flicks, crime dramas, and of course some fantasy and scifi. Somewhere while growing up, I thought “I want to write stories like THAT.” That touch on people’s emotions in some way. And tada, there it was. In high school, when everyone else was talking about college and careers, and in college it was all about jobs and getting married, all I thought about was being a writer. It was hard going for a long time because, ya know, life gets in the way. But when my husband and I were expecting our son, we agreed that I should be a stay at home Mom. In the almost five years since then, I’ve written more stories than I ever had before – and loving every minute of it.

Do you remember the first story you wrote? What was it? I think it was a story about a Mommy bird and a Baby bird. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old so it was a little on the cutesy side of course. I don’t remember much of the actual story line, but had something to do with the Mommy bird trying to teach the Baby bird how to fly.

What genres are your favorites to read?  How about to write in? I love to read almost anything really, but I love action thrillers. The more “explosions” the better I say. I prefer going to see action movies, rather than chick flicks. And the same applies to books. In fact, my husband once told his friends, “My wife’s idea of a chick flick is going to see Transformers and crying when Optimus Prime dies.” Of course I write fantasy – always have and always will – but, I always throw in a lot of action, fight scenes, chase scenes, and explosions!

Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written?  Please tell us about him/her and what book they are in. This is a tough one! I have so many that I love for different reasons. But, for the sake of this post, I’ll go with Derac Vidor, Captain of the Kinir Elite. He is from my debut novel, Cleanse Fire. He’s a warrior elf, fiercely loyal to his country and her people. When in uniform, he’s often a prickly sort of character, coming off as too serious and rarely smiles. But, get him around his mom, siblings, and nieces and he’s a playful, relaxed sort of guy. I think he’s my favorite just because of all my characters, he’s the one that ‘talks’ to me the most! Plus, he’s 6’4 and full of muscles. How can I resist that?

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2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll Nominee in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Category

* * * * *

Complete the mission, no matter what…

Captain Derac Vidor has served Kinir for nearly twenty years. It’s his life, his blood. And then his Commander betrays everything Derac holds dear. Now he has to focus on his own life and his team instead of saving the citizens of Kinir.

Treason is only the beginning…

Fueled by rage, the team chases the source to their Commander’s betrayal – a powerful wizard bent on revenge. The wizard seeks to destroy the Kinir Elite, in both mind and body. No place is safe, even among their allies.

The past holds the key…

Derac’s tragic past may be the key to saving the team. But can he face the gruesome nightmare in time?

* * * * *

A fun new take on a classic genre: high fantasy. By this, I mean the tradition of J.R.R and Dragonlance, but with an added dash of military thriller. – Rebecca Demerest

The author makes the characters three-dimensional, with strengths, weaknesses, and quirks of personality. – Neil Benson

I love the world Ms Pergakis creates and can’t wait to read more of it. – Linda S. Andrews

* * * * *
Combine the action and suspense of the movie SWAT with the magic and fantasy of LORD OF THE RINGS, you’ll get CLEANSE FIRE!!

*****

GIVEAWAY: Deadline is July 23rd at 11:59 pm Eastern Time!

Win an e-copy of Cleanse Fire!

To enter, answer ONE of the following questions in a comment on this post.

1. “Do you think you’d be better as a strategist (planning missions/a thinker) or are you more action (aka following orders/a fighter)? Why?”

2. “Who is your real life ‘super hero’ and why? (Can be anyone!)”

**If you answer both, you’ll be eligible for a SPECIAL BONUS PRIZE!**

Names will be put into a hat and drawn randomly! I can’t wait to read your answers and good luck!

Win a signed paperback OR an audio book copy of Cleanse Fire!

Two Winners! Winners choose which prize they’d like! You can read or hear a sample of on the Kinir Elite website.

Head over to the Kinir Elite Website to enter! http://kinirelite.com/cleanse-fire-event-july-2013

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Genre – Fantasy / Military

Rating – PG13

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