Aneesa completed her internship in counselling psychology and went on to work first as a therapist and then in Corporate Finance in on projects and in organizational change. She writes to give her readers the gift of experiencing the new and fascinating, something she strives for herself when she explores new places, reads, cooks with her kids or goes picking for antiques with her husband.
Welcome to We Do Write, Aneesa. How long have you been writing?
I detested high school and loved university and because of that I've blocked much of what happened during school from my memory. *grin* Apparently, I'd forgotten that I used to entertain my friends while we sat in study hall preparing for exams with conjured tales of hot romance - something which a friend recently reminded me of. I haven't put my fingers to a laptop to write since until around August last year. I was off sick from work, bored out of my skull and decided to give it a try. What ensued was 2 weeks of madness as I fell in love with the process of writing. I wrote Finding Promise in two weeks and then began writing Coffin Girls this year, which took 3 months to complete due to the intense research involved (and because I had hand surgery).
Tell us about COFFIN GIRLS. What’s the story about?
How did the idea of the story come to you?
I never know how a story comes to me to be honest. I usually dream up an idea then research. As I research the idea evolves and I then do some more research. *grin* With Coffin Girls, I utilized google, google maps, read books on voodoo and magick, I researched the history of New Orleans and even went so far as to read hordes of articles on New Orleans speech. I even read the Wiccan bible and the history of magick. All the reading I did helped spark my imagination and shape the text but the idea really came out of nowhere. I suppose that it develops once I sit and write. I write freely for about the first three chapters then sit back, think, research and begin plotting. Plotting only serves as a guide or 'sanity check' but I've found that my best work happens when I lose myself in it and forget what I've plotted.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I would love to use an editor but as a new indie publisher with a day job and responsibilities, that is a future goal. For my first novel, I didn't use a beta reader and it was all mine. For the second book, Coffin Girls, because of the French in it, I obtained assistance from a French friend who provided me with invaluable guidance on the complexities of the French language. Other than that, I did all the editing myself. Fortunately, I hold a major in English for my undergraduate degree and progressed to complete my internship in psychology, which requires much reading and even more writing. So, I had many opportunities to practice. Even so, grammatical errors do creep in and I found myself editing and re-uploading both books many times even after I published them. I hope that they are now error-free but I would in future like to save myself that particular pain and utilize the services of an editor.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
A bit of both - see previous answer lol. But I do like to plan how to light fire under the pants of my readers in terms of suspense *wicked grin* and interesting love scenes of course.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
"How to fake your death" and "Spiritual Vampires"
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: erratic, Switzerland, and propaganda.
The propaganda I’d been subjected to had led to the most infuriating of erratic sensations, placing me in an disturbing hell that was far from the neutral, comfortable emotional state of Switzerland that I preferred.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
My motivation to write, my inspiration ultimately comes from my life, my loves and the journey that I'm on to becoming. An undeniable influence in this is my husband, with whom I have my own Romeo and Juliet experience and my two beautiful daughters to whom I'd like to illustrate that dreams can become a reality through passion and hard work.
Thank you to you, Dorothy Dreyer, for this wonderful opportunity and the support you show to indie authors - I wish for you much positive karma returned.
I need to thank the Facebook literary community, particularly the members of Wanda's Amazing Amazon Reviewers or WaAr and my friends at Mystic Press. My friend and inspiration to keep going is Rose Pressey whom I look up to as an author and a beautiful soul. I cannot omit Kendall of Book Crazy, Mary-Nancy of M-N's Amazing Reviews (she was my very first formal reviewer), Carmen Ramirez Sanchez, Carrie-Anne Phillips To Be, Sam Sheerin, Brittany Weidenfeller and so many others. I'd love to give a shout out to the fabulous reviewers and authors at Trudy's Reviewers and Street Team. One reviewer, Michelle, was so forthright and shared so much of herself in what she wrote on amazon that I realized the power of the written word - my written word - and when I am frustrated, I remember how I touched a life and it keeps me motivated.
I also have a wonderful following on twitter and on my Facebook fan page where I've candidly shared my thoughts, promoted other authors and reviewers and have had many interesting conversations.
And finally, where can people find you and your books online?
My books are available on many of the retailers - Barnes and Noble, Amazon, smashwords, Kobo, etc. Coffin Girls is also available via createspace.
The easiest link to Coffin Girls and Finding Promise are via amazon. I do encourage readers interested in my work to like my fan page on Facebook where I interact the most and engage openly. I also provide information on future work or work in progress. I'm currently working on a submission to Mystic Press for an erotic anthology, have just completed a emotionally poignant contemporary romance entitled Home for Love and have future plans to embark on an explicit erotic anthology with a group of indie authors. All of this information may be found on my Facebook Author / Fan page.
Here are the links:
Facebook Author Page: