Anastacia Walden - Meet An Author
For this interview, I asked questions to none other than a blogger on this site, Anastacia Walden.
These questions are designed so that you can meet this author, and learn about her.
She is a talented writer and always has insight into improving this blog.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden
Who are you?
I’m a woman, a writer, an editor, a matchmaker, a health educator, an artist, and a mother.
Where are you from?
Where do you live?
What books have you written?
HEART QUEST: Social Skills: Cultivating Kindness, Compassion, and Empathy (A workbook for children ages 6-12) 2017
Miles of Trees (a novel) 2019 (not published – seeking representation)
Greater Than a Tourist: Gainesville, FL, USA 2019
What genre do you write?
I don’t have a specific genre, per se. I write memoir fiction and non-fiction, self-help, educational books, and articles.
Do you write other things besides books?
Yes, I do! I write articles, blogs, and website content. I copywrite for a few different companies each week on the topics: herbal tea, health, and feminism. The blogs I write for my website cover a plethora of subjects including the writing process, dating, parenting, meditation, and tea.
What are you currently working on? What is your major writing project right now?
I am currently working on a series of articles that cover various dating topics. I recently wrote an article about Ghosting for my matchmaking business. As a Professional Matchmaker and Relationship Coach, I receive a lot of material from my clients daily. I want to empower my clients to show up authentically on dates so they have the best chance at a fulfilling relationship. I am easily inspired to write based on my daily life which includes my work as a freelance writer and as a matchmaker. I can reach a broader audience with my writing and I feel called to produce new work each week.
How long have you been a writer? How did you get into doing it?
I started a writing company on August 6, 2019: Walden Writes For Women. I always thought I would “be a writer” someday when I was older. I would write books and articles when I didn’t have young children at home and didn’t have to work outside of the home as much. After a lifetime career as a healthcare professional as a Licensed Midwife and Health Educator, I decided to retire at age 46 to start writing professionally. I knew it was my time to write with the intent of publishing and to pay the bills. It was equally scary and thrilling to start working from home, juggling various writing and editing assignments.
I have been a writer my whole life. As a child, I wrote in journals regularly. For a couple of my early teenage years, I typed my journals on a typewriter and kept the pages in a folder. I wish I still had those! I took English Honors classes in high school and enjoyed writing poems and short stories. I have always been a voracious reader, which I feel is the perfect education for a writing career.
I started a few fiction novels (memoir-style) in my 30s, which I never brought to any type of completion. I wrote a couple of children’s books in my 30s – which I self- published.
I wrote my first big novel in 2018. It took me nine months to complete and another three to four months to edit and re-write (especially the first chapter, which changed about a million times!) After being turned down by 5 literary agents and publishers, I put it away for a year. I’m feeling drawn to start seeking an agent again. This book is very special to me. It felt like my therapy and my girlfriend rolled into one. That’s how I referred to the book during the writing process. I wrote every single day. I was obsessed with this book, Miles of Trees. The words poured out of me in such an organic way. It took me by surprise and kept me feeling high. I’m ready for it to be out in the world, even though it used to scare the hell out of me to imagine that!
What do you like the most about writing? What do you hate the most about writing?
Writing is art; I create stories on the page. I feel led by the creative process as it moves through me and out of my hands. Writing flows easily when I am inspired and all other times it can feel difficult. When I write for other people and the topic bores me, I try to find beauty in the boredom. I aim to discover what is intriguing about the topic and let that feeling take over. Deadlines are the worst part of writing for me. This is why I wrote my novel without telling many people. I did not start the process of finding a publisher or a literary agent until I felt complete with the editing process. I had no timeline and it felt incredibly freeing.
What do you want readers to know about you and your writing?
I write because I have to write. I do hope I am read and that my words empower, entertain, and educate others. I would be pleased if my writing inspires other people to write with abandon. Or if it leads others to pursue their dreams and creative passions. I love writing and I write for myself, yet I also write for everyone. It’s not logical, the creative process is magical.
What do you read? What authors/books have inspired you?
I mainly read non-fiction these days, except for Margaret Atwood. At the moment, I am reading Atwood’s Alias Grace and Christiane Northrup, MD’s Goddesses Never Age. I completed Untamed and Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle recently. I finished Big Magic earlier this year, by Elizabeth Gilbert. My all-time favorite writer is Virginia Woolf. I’ve been reading her fiction, journals, and books of letters for over twenty years, with even more fascination as I become wiser with age.
I read books like Big Magic and Untamed like some people read the bible. I read a chapter in the morning with my breakfast and tea. They uplift me and get my creative juices flowing for a productive day in my writing and my work. Oftentimes I cannot even complete a chapter before the compulsion to write takes over me. I often have 2-3 books going at a time, pulling open the one that speaks to me in the morning and the evening.
Gilbert is perhaps the most inspiring to me. She writes about the writing process in a way that I can relate to. She doesn’t believe it has to be painful and grueling, as some famous authors describe. Writing is a passionate art form and unless you are moved by the process, I don’t understand why you would do it. It doesn’t pay well (for most) and its incredibly time consuming. I write because I need to. Writing is a part of me and its delight has never escaped me through the years. I always come back to writing and I believe I always will.
Got any pet peeves that you have as a writer?
I don’t like being asked about a book that I am writing. I find the question uncomfortable and annoying. I do not want to talk about something as intimate as my book before it is completely written. I have similar feelings about discussing a new relationship to others. It’s private and it’s all mine while still in progress.
I would much rather someone ask me how my writing is going, in an abstract way.
“When do you find the time to write your book?”
“Where do you go to write?”
“How are you able to tune out the rest of the world when you are writing?”
These inquiries intrigue and excite me, as I love talking about the writing process.
How would you describe your writing?
I enjoy a stream of consciousness style of writing as it comes naturally to me. Generally, I write from the heart and my experiences. When I am in a creative headspace, with ample uninterrupted time, I can write and write for hours without stopping. I enjoy flowery descriptions and timeless proper grammar styles, which most likely stems from my voracious reading of Woolf.
Do you have any good writing related stories that you’d like to share?
Writing from the heart and about emotions can be impossible when I do not identify with a character, or if the experiences I am drawing from have happened years ago. I go through old journals as a way to become deeply enmeshed in a feeling that I need to create on the page. The years tend to take me away from painful and truly exciting events, leaving a vague grey pillow of the original emotion. For stories to draw the audience in to another world, the words must convey these emotions in a palatable way to create the same sensation in the reader. Reading journals from times when I wrote in a raw and open way, without censorship, bring me back to that time. I find I must feel strong powerful emotions while I am writing to create scenes of the same.
About The Writer
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden lives and breathes in warm Gainesville, Florida. You will find her writing at an outdoor cafe or on her expansive back porch, always with hot tea or chilled kombucha to keep the creative juices flowing. Anastacia is a writer & editor, a matchmaker & a Licensed Midwife. She enjoys writing articles, books, and ghostwriting on various projects. She writes articles on health, vulnerability, empowerment, yoga, mindfulness, social/emotional learning, travel, nutrition, pregnancy, parenting, feminism, natural remedies, and emotional health. She has three books in various stages of editing. She is the author of Greater Than A Tourist: Gainesville, Florida. She makes art with found objects, cooks delicious and organic whole foods, practices yoga, exercises outside, travels, and writes daily as her passion.
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About The Blogger
Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. He did not make the meme for this interview. He did come up with the questions for it. He enjoys interviewing authors about their writing careers.
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