Monday , March 4 2024
"I swear, being an author is the best form of therapy."

Interview: Karen-Anne Stewart, Author of ‘Ash to Steele’

Karen-Anne StewartKaren-Anne Stewart fell in love with books before she could read herself and has now fallen in love with writing. Addictions aren’t her thing, but she can’t deny her obsessive need to tear the stories out of her head and gulp her daily fix of caffeine.  Her first love is her family.  She lives with her husband and daughter, nestled near the Blue Ridge Mountains where she enjoys getting lost in its natural beauty by Sunday drives and hiking.  Her debut novel, Saving Rain, was a nominee for the Book Junkie Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards.  Connecting with readers is one of her favorite parts of being an author, and Karen-Anne plans on writing New Adult Romance until her fingers no longer have dexterity.

Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Ash to Steele. When did you start writing and what got you into New Adult Romance?

Thank you for having me!  I began writing in September of 2012 and have become completely obsessed with New Adult Romance.  I fell in love with this genre for many reasons, the main one being how I feel this age is such a powerful, enlightening time where everything seems tangible, and you feel the full intensity of life and the possibilities it lays before you.  I’m a bit of a dreamer, and this age was a time in my life when dreams were swirling around in my head, breathing life to what would later become the path for me to follow those dreams.  New Adult is more than just a genre; it’s a realm all on its own where you’re young and brave enough to jump in, take risks, and figure out who you feel you were meant to become along the way.  

Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to right. Can you relate to this?

Ash to Steele 8Writing is the antidote to my anxiety.  I swear, being an author is the best form of therapy.  When anxiety strikes me is right before I hit that beckoning publish button.  That’s the point where I’ve had moments of second guessing myself, worrying about what others might think, and wondering how in the hell I’m going to go about marketing (which is the most anxiety inducing part of writing…for me, anyway).  I’m a terrible sales person, so marketing is my weakest strength, but I am getting better with practice. 

How do you define success? 

I love this question!  My answer to this would be different if you asked me at various points throughout my life.  Now, I define success by what makes me feel good inside, knowing I did my best and wrote a book that I stand behind.  If I’m happy with how my novels end up, I feel I was successful.  Of course, I want others to fall in love with what I write, but it’s okay if they don’t.  We are all different, and I respect those differences.  My definition of success is based much more on how my books make me and other readers feel rather than by how many I sell. 

What do you love most about the writer’s life? 

I’ve been blown away by the amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to meet so far.  Connecting with authors, bloggers, and readers from all around the world has been an experience I will always be grateful for during this wild ride.  The new friendships have been the biggest blessing since becoming a writer.  

Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about your work? is my website where readers can go to see excerpts, enter giveaways, see blogs about other author’s works, and to subscribe to my monthly newsletter, Scripted Happenings.  I recently started a monthly giveaway with #favreadingplace so readers can send in their picture of their favorite reading place where they get lost in a great book.  This is a small way for me to give back to the readers for the support they’ve given me.  I also have a sneak peek of, Feel, the book I’m writing now, on my site. 

Where is your book available? 

The Rain Trilogy is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most of the other online retail sites.  Ash to Steele is available on Amazon in e-book form as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback.  

George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”  

I have a totally different opinion…for the most part.  Yes, there will be times when a writer is overwhelmed to the point of hysterics and tears, but, personally, I feel that this anxiety is brought on by everything that comes with the writing; not the act itself. Writing is exhausting, but it’s also agonizingly beautiful, magical, redeeming, and even healing.  For me, being driven to write comes from my soul, deep in my heart, and, instead of feeling like I’m compelled by a demon, I feel that writing has broken the chains of so many insecurities I once held, freeing me.  

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

Thank you for taking the time to hang out with me a bit today.  I hope you fall in love with Ash to Steele as much as I did writing Breck and Emma’s story, and I would love to hear from you.  Enjoy the rest of your week and happy reading.

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.