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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Doll House Tour! An Interview with Anya Allyn.

Anya Allyn has joined us today for our stop along the Doll House Tour! We are so happy to have her here and even happier that she agreed to answer some questions for us!

How long have you been writing?
Since I was small. I used to write tiny books when I was eight that were the size of postage stamps — which must have been great fun for my family to read (not!).
In my adult life, I've had short stories published in Australian magazines and worked as a Features' Writer for a media organisation.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Dollhouse is the first book I have finished, and the inspiration was a trip to the part of Australia in which the book is set —Barrington Tops— a wilderness area that contains forest types from tropical to alpine. Discovering the deep, wild forests there sparked a story idea. It was meant to be a short story, and was written as such, but then the characters had other ideas and they wanted their full story told!

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?

I'd say I relate the most to Ethan. He's most at home out in the natural world and is content with his own company. He's a lot more mysterious than me though!

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Absolutely no one knows this (thus far!) but the men I crush on are likely to be unusual choices, such David Suzuki (love his knowledge and passion in science) and Jack Black (just so naturally funny. I just have to look at him and I start smiling).

If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?

I'd like to say I would be fearless and kickass, but in reality, I would be the main character in a book such as
Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I'm more of a reserved observer than someone who jumps into the middle of the action.
What book have you read too many times to count?
1984 by Orwell.
If you could hop into the life of any book character for a day, who would it be, and why?
I would be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, because it would be so much fun to be swept up in that world. Also, I wouldn't mind taking a carriage ride with Mr Darcy ;)
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
That the story is paramount. Strip away everything that doesn't move the story forward. The story is a spine that your whole book hangs off — so don't break the spine by leading the story off into areas that have nothing to do with the main story.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I actually can finish an 80,000 word novel!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love getting out somewhere that's natural — skipping stones with the kids at a lake, or venturing into forest where I've never been before. When I'm at home, and the weather's blah, there's nothing better than immersing myself in a great book.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Probably my favorite chapter to write is the part when things are at their most dire for the main character. She (or he) is at a point where things are hopeless, and they are going to have to pull strength from themselves that they never knew they possessed. I like reading these parts in books as well, because I think they give you hope that there is a light even in the worst darkness.
Thanks for the fantastic questions! They were a lot of fun to answer!
Thank you for taking the time to answer them! This tour has been super fun! 

About the Author:
Anya Allyn lives near the beach an hour north of Sydney, Australia. She loves anywhere outdoors that is natural and wild. Or anywhere indoors where Black Forest Cake is on offer. She has four amazing boys and enjoys their energy and happy-go-lucky spirit, and wishes she could plug into some of that energy on days when her 'get up and go' has packed up and gone! She is a former Features' Editor/Community Manager for a media organisation in Australia. The idea for Doll House was born after a trip to the beautiful Barrington Tops region of Australia--sparked by places there such as Devils Hole, Ladies Well and Thunderbolt's Way.

To learn more about Anya Allyn and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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