Hey there everyone.
I’ve got a really exciting treat for you all tonight.
However, before we get to experience it, let’s get this Public Service Announcement out of the way first.
Just a quick note before the fun and games start – I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your spam folders and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉
We are lucky to have a very special guest return to us. Author & Musician Anaïs Chartschenko has released a new novel! Anaïs was interviewed by me earlier last year and you can read that interview, along with finding out more about her music and other books here:-
So, let’s hear about her new novel and as an added bonus, she has also completed an interview about her love of tea too 🙂
Hi there Anaïs, a real pleasure to have you back here with us again to chat about your latest book release “Perfect Break”, which is a Young Adult novel in verse that focuses on exploring friendship and family abuse.
Thank you for having me!
Who are the key players/lead protagonists and antagonists that pop up in your book?
The book revolves around the close friendship of two teen girls, Claire and Madison. Claire’s mother died of cancer, and her father recently remarried. Madison’s parents are in the process of getting a divorce.
What is the story about regarding the conflict that needs to be resolved by the characters and what are the stakes for them?
For Claire, it is learning how to navigate her new blended family. She is working on her first real relationship, learning about politics and social issues, and coping with her mom’s death.
For Madison, her parents’ divorce puts her in the middle of their issues and pain. She has to balance being a good daughter with self-preservation.
The secrets Maddie keeps makes her hard to be friends with, and that is a core issue. Should we distance ourselves from negative people or engage them? Should we work just a little harder to love someone when they can’t love themselves? Should we keep trying even when we make mistakes?
How did the idea for this tale take shape? What inspiration did you draw upon when you came up with the concept of the novel? And why did you decide to write it in verse rather than in the conventional novel writing way?
Statistics say that most people are abused by people they know, yet by and large the media I’ve been exposed to focused on “stranger danger”. I wanted to write a realistic story. I wrote it as a series of texts/emails sent back and forth between the main characters because it felt like a natural way for me to tell the story of modern best friends.
What sort of research did you do for this novel to help flesh it out further?
I looked up statistics of family abuse, and the types of dialogue that is used to marginalize victims.
Regarding research for your books, is there anything that has surprised you or completely changed your world view after learning more about it?
If you consider my life as the book research, I’ve been surprised and changed many times over.
What aspects of your characters in this book would you say that you relate to on a personal level?
I relate to Maddie’s anger and depression. I was angry and depressed as a teenager after being abused. I had a close friendship like the one she shares with Claire as well. We called each other silly pet names, which was the inspiration for my characters doing that.
What were the hardest parts of this book to write? And what were the easiest?
The easiest parts for me were the fights between the girls. I had fun with the retorts. The hardest parts were getting across the pain Maddie was experiencing without being dramatic. A lot of people minimize their own pain while they are experiencing it, and need a friend to reach in and say it’s not your fault – like Claire did for Maddie.
Were there any significant concepts that you had to edit out of this book that seemed like a good idea in the first draft but became too unwieldy as the story progressed?
There was minimal concept editing with this book because I plotted the story in advance and knew what was coming.
Do you hide any secrets or Easter eggs in your books for dedicated readers to find?
Perfect Break is a very direct book, so there aren’t Easter eggs. There are real places references, like Portland, OR parks and sand dunes on Lake Michigan.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
I don’t have any spirit animals, but I do have garden gnomes at my writing table for a bit of a laugh.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
My common themes are human worth, resilience, and surviving trauma. I am passionate about critical thinking and reason; everyone is responsible for their own choices.
Finally, regarding your subsequent projects, are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I have a YA novel I am writing involving a talented pianist who suffers anxiety attacks from the pressure. I am also working on developing a romance novel.
And once again, that’s a wrap! 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us more knowledge of your latest release and the intentions behind it Anaïs. It’s not quite over though because there’s more, so here we go 😉
Bonus questions about your love of tea!
(Photo by congerdesign at Pixabay)
How many cups of tea do you drink in a day? Do you drink more tea at the weekends than you do in the week or vice versa?
Oh my goodness. I don’t know! A lot. I try to mix it up with herbal teas so I am not drinking caffeine all day long, but it’s tough. I drink tea at the same rate no matter what day of the week it is.
Why is tea so important to you as a beverage? Is it a culture/social thing for you, in addition to the taste, smell and how it makes you feel?
I grew up with tea time, and that was one of the best parts of my childhood. The neighbours would come over, or we’d go there, and we’d all share crumpets and tea and…my favourite, stories. It welded the two in my mind forever.
Is aroma important to you when it comes to drinking tea?
I do love the aroma of certain teas, and I use it as a guide for buying loose leaf tea.
Do you find that you get specific health benefits from drinking so much tea?
I’m always hydrated!
Which things/flavourings do you like to take in your teas?
I don’t take anything in my tea. I just make the water an appropriate temperature for the type of tea, and time it accordingly.
Do you tend to pair teas with different foods? If so, what combinations do you tend to partake in?
Black tea = everything.
White tea = delicate food.
Rooibos = desert.
Green tea = fruit.
What factors do you use to choose the teas that you like?
Basic black tea is my favourite.
I usually go with organic, fair trade tea where the company uses ethical practices.
Do you only drink hot teas or do you also drink cold/iced teas too?
It is very rare for me to drink cold tea. I prefer hot tea 99 times out of 100.
Have you ever made your own specific blend of tea by mixing up other blends that you like?
I have with black tea and vanilla black. I like a touch of sweetness, but not too much.
Tell us more about your electric tea kettle obsession and collection.
I had a standard old fashioned kettle for most of my life, and I stand by that kettle. It was a brilliant kettle. However, my mother in law bought me an electric kettle and it blew my mind! Tea, so fast! So convenient! It allowed me a new level of sloth! I converted, happily, though I still know how to operate the original and keep a Stanley thermos on hand for travel.
I have a cupboard and a drawer full of tea. It may be out of hand. May be. I have promised myself to buy no more tea until I clear some of it out. We’ll see how that goes the next time I see a sale on some fabulous sounding tea…
And that is the end of the bonus round regarding tea, thank you for sharing your passion about this delicious beverage with us, along with your novels too 🙂
Anaïs Chartschenko hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works include two collections of poetry, Bright Needles and The Whisper Collector as well as now two novels in verse, The Weightless One & Perfect Break.
You can connect with Anaïs via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Anaïs Chartschenko – Author, Poet & Musician (FB)
Goodreads:- Anaïs Chartschenko (Goodreads Author)
Instagram:- @anaischartschenko (Instagram)
Twitter:- @anaisbelieve (Twitter)
Website:- The Website of Anaïs Chartschenko
YouTube:- Anaisbelieve (YouTube channel)
You can buy her books here:-
You can buy her CD’s here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.