Irreverent Questions With… Anya Bast

Midnight EnchantmentThe next victim author to brave our Irreverent Questions is bestselling paranormal romance author, Anya Bast!

Anya is a much loved and experienced author of the hot, steamy and paranormal, with several series under her belt.  I came across her work when I picked up Witch Fire, book one of the Elemental Witches.  I was still quite new to the genre at that point but what I loved most about her style of writing were the exceptional characterisations.  In my opinion that has stayed true throughout her career and when she released the ebook Keeping Kaitlyn last year, I realised I had a lot of catching up to do!

Her latest release is book four of the Dark Magic series, Midnight Enchantment.

Anyay, enough wittering from me, on with the irreverence!

What would you be or want to be (or still are), if you weren’t an author?
I would have been a psychologist. At the time I sold my first book that’s what I was on track to become. Who knows, maybe I’ll go back to school one day.

Describe your working environment right now (desk, sofa, bathroom, etc.)
I work in an office with a desk in the corner right in front of two windows that give me a view of the great outdoors. There is always a dog on a doggie bed near me, sometimes more than one. I have bookshelves behind me stocked with my novels, bookmarks, etc. I have a poster with pictures of a kitty of mine that recently died on the wall next to me. There’s a space heater. Not very exciting. Pretty much your standard office.

How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
My family bought me a bottle of champagne and took me and my husband out to dinner.

Do you get fully dressed to write?
Pajama pants and sweaters (or T-shirts) are sort of my standard uniform these days. 😉 Oh, the hardship.

What gets you in the mood or inspires you to write?

What is the weirdest comment you’ve had?
“Uhm, excuse me, you got [this] wrong in your novel, (XXYY). I KNOW because I’m REALLY a vampire.” I’ve had almost this same comment from an alleged faerie as well.

How do you deal with negative comments?
They used to really bother me, but my skin has grown pretty thick over the years. I usually just shrug off negative comments about my work.

It’s movie night, the credits are just about to roll, Happy Ever After or Everyone Dies?
Everyone Dies, but in a funny way. 😉 I tend to go for dark comedies or dramedys (which, I guess are kind of the same thing). Right now I’m working my way through Breaking Bad and loving it. I also like (no big surprise) science fiction movies/TV or anything fantastical in nature, like Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, and Grimm.

What do you do to relax?
I watch movies at night, cuddling on the couch with my husband and/or dog. Sometimes I engage in retail therapy. I try to make sure I take the weekends off to spend with my family. I like to do exactly NOTHING on Sundays.

BingoDo you have pets, and if so, describe them.
We have six cats and two dogs. Kitty is the most recent addition. He used to be our barn cat, (was an outdoor cat for at least eight years), but we made him an indoor cat recently when we moved. He’s adjusting surprisingly well. The second most recent addition is Bingo, a basenji mix. He’s a character, pretty high-strung, but such a great cuddler. We rescued him from doggie death row and I’m so glad we did. He’s my boy. I adore him.

What are your preferred conditions for writing, i.e. silence, background noise, TV?
Mostly silence, sometimes music. Music can change the rhythm of your brain wave patterns (feels that way, at least). Sometimes it helps me write.

What is your favourite type of music?
Hmmm, depends. Nothing slow, usually not love songs. Depends on my mood. Some days it’s Nine Inch Nails, other days it’s Billie Holliday.

Do you have any phobias?
I don’t know if it’s a phobia, but I really hate dentists. I think it’s the perceived lack of control. I also truly hate centipedes. They are just WRONG on so many levels. And wolf spiders. ARGH. Too many legs, too fast, way too hideous. Dentists all over the world will be happy to know I put them in the same category as centipedes and spiders, right? 😉

Slippers, socks or barefoot?
Slipper socks are a win/win for everyone.

Many thanks to Anya Bast for taking part in our feature and if you want to know more, visit her Website, Facebook or Twitter!

Pictures provided by and used with permission of Anya Bast

Irreverent Questions is BookThing‘s fun, new feature where we ask a series of random questions that popped into Grete’s curious head. If you are an author and would like to take part, please get in touch!

Keeping Kaitlyn

Keeping Kaitlyn is a sweet and excitingly erotic novella set across twin worlds; our own and another filled with a history of battles between Magica and Shapeshifters. Originally one, the worlds were split apart by a mysterious force trying to prevent the destruction of humanity after the shapeshifting Lycaons rebelled against their Magica masters.  I found this premise of a world that was once part of ours, but separated through magic really interesting, and I would love to see the history of that explored more in future books.

When the split occurred, most of the Lycaon went with the Magica to the new world, while a few remained behind. Lycaon souls long to be with each other, and not even the Veil is enough to stop the mating bond from calling them.

Being a novella, Anya needed to cover a lot of ground introducing the story and characters quickly. She did that with remarkable skill, so that by chapter two I already knew the main protagonist, Kaitlyn, well enough to like her and empathise with her. Kaitlyn is from our world, and unknowingly part Lycaon.  I loved that her feisty manner was combined with a caring and practical nature, even when she finds herself in an overwhelming situation.

The characters of Lucas and Rafian were also well realised by Anya Bast. She presents the story from the viewpoint of all three characters and this allows the reader to get a good understanding of them in a short space of time.  The two male wolf shifters know Kaitlyn as their mate, they just have to convince her of the truth.  Anya gives Lucas and Rafian both funny and serious moments, but each also had a distinctly different personality which I thought was very well done.  I loved their amusing reactions when Kaitlyn would do something that proved she wasn’t an incapable female.  Did I mention that they were hot?  They were, very!

Although presenting the story from different viewpoints helped with understanding the characters, I did find it a bit confusing a couple of times. I found myself checking back to see which of the male characters perspective was currently being presented. Other than that though, I can’t find anything in Keeping Kaitlyn that was disappointing, I just wish it could have been longer!

The believable characters and interesting setting are supported by some very erotic and explicit love scenes.  Since there are so few Lycaon females, each of them always has two male mates and this allowed Anya a lot of flexibility.  The resulting love scenes were excitingly hot, very well written and even took into account the practicalities of their situation.  All I can say is Kaitlyn is a very lucky girl!

When it came to Kaitlyn’s choice near the end, I got quite choked up. I was totally invested in Kaitlyn’s character and Anya’s writing allowed me to experience her emotion and anguish first hand. I won’t spoil the context of that choice, and so can’t say much more.

Keeping Kaitlyn combines well realised characters with an engaging story and some super erotic sex.  Highly recommended!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Witch Fire

Mira Hoskins believed her whole life that her parents were killed in a car crash when she was a child.  When a tall, handsome stranger rescues her from being attacked in her home, he tells her she is actually a powerful Air Witch which she finds a little hard to believe.   Her powers were kept secret from her to keep her safe from the evil organisation who really murdered them, their powers drained so demons could be summoned.  Fire Witch Jack McAlister has been sent by The Coven, the ruling body for Witches, to keep her safe and escort her to the Coven before she can be taken and used for the same deed.  One slight problem is that Air and Fire have a natural overwhelming attraction and Jack is forbidden to give in to the fire raging within him.  Mira struggles equally with the power that threatens to consume her and rather than the balancing of their elements that time together should have brought, the fire burns ever brighter.

Apparently I have a soft spot for secret societies of people with special powers living within our mundane world and fighting the good fight against their evil counterparts.  Add in hot men and gutsy women and I’m hooked.

Witch Fire piqued my interest by hitting all those spots and ramped it up with a good story, passionate scenes and well rounded characters.  I loved Mira and Jack, they worked really well together and were believable as a couple, even as Mira learns the truth about who she really is.  The love scenes were pretty steamy and exciting but not excessively written and it did amuse me that most of the book took place in just three locations.  I actually also found that quite impressive.  The plot itself is quite simple but I don’t think that’s a bad thing as I feel the story is mainly about the main players.  I liked the elemental ‘magic system’, it was intuitive and creative, and along with the wiccan ideals and practices made a sturdy base to build it all from.

I did feel the premise lacked originality, which only left the characters and their interactions to help the book stand out from the crowd.  Saying that however, Witch Fire did have a lot of heart.  I felt Anya Bast wanted the readers to love her characters as much as she did, in that she succeeded.

Looking forward to reading more in this series!

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Anya Bast
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)