Monday, June 17, 2013

This Message is Brought to You by: Newbie, Asja!

Hi All! It's exciting to join Tangled with so many amazing women. I can't wait to add my voice to the awesome that is already cooking here!

Below you'll find some strangeness about me and a candid photo at the end (sometimes I wear glasses and jump on couches. No biggie).

If you could be any item on Mexican restaurant menu, what would you be and why?
A quesadilla. Because you can put anything in it and as long as it has cheese, it’s awesome. Mmm…cheese…

If you were an item of clothing what would you be and why? 
Well, I’m Asja-skirt, so there’s that. But that’s an inside joke. So really, I’d probably be a crazy vintage headband. Because I’m not for everyone, but I’m really awesome.

When's your birthday? 
January 26th

What quote inspires you most? 
There are a ton of quotes out there that speak to me, but I’ll just choose this writerly one:

Life’s not a paragraph And death i think is no parenthesis –e e cummings

What's a pet peeve you have? 
People who refuse to learn how to pronounce my name and yet interact with me on a daily basis. I’m really approachable and would rather you ask me a million times how to say it than have you call me, “Asia”. I’m not a continent and I will embarrass you and call you out on it. It also kills me when people ask me if I’m sure that’s how I spell/pronounce my own name.

*On that note, a short lesson on the pronunciation of my four-letter name: Asja, phonetically looks like US-YA. "Us", as in you and me. "Ya", like how Germans say "yes". Two syllables :)

Something about you that no one would know just by looking at you? 
I’m left-handed.

And she wears a tutu
Who's your favorite princess and why? 
The Swan Princess, Odette. Not the movie princess, but rather the princess in the ballet Swan Lake. It’s my absolute favorite ballet. I know the story (and most of its variations) very well, love the music, love the choreography, and I tear up at the end, every single time I get the opportunity to see the ballet. I’ve been lucky enough to dance in the ballet too, so it has a special place in my heart.

Why do you want to write within the YA genre? 
Because who wants to grow up?

Which YA book character are you most like? Explain. 
Tally Youngblood from the Uglies series. She’s extremely intelligent, totally flawed, and a really strong female character.

Plotter or Pantser? 
I wish I were a plotter. I imagine that there’s so much comfort in knowing what in the world is going on whilst writing. Generally, I create characters and then put them in a strange situation. Then I imagine what I want them to do and they invariably do something completely different. When I try to control my writing environment, it lashes out at me. My creativity craves a certain amount of freedom.

What do you like to do when you get stuck while writing to help work through it? 
Dance. It’s my first love and going to a class, being silent, and just listening with my body helps to clear out that annoying voice that tends to be what gets in the way of my writing. A lot of my writing has a cadence that comes from movement, so letting the writing come out through my body helps whenever I get stuck. That and eavesdropping on the subway (people say the weirdest things out loud and in public).
I may have multiples running around Central Park.
Photo by Ernesto Mancebo
Was there a specific book you read that inspired you to start writing? 
Really it’s an author that started my writing: Christopher Pike. When everyone was reading Goosebumps and Animorphs, I was reading Pike books (because my older sister had shelves full of them). I wrote a little before I started reading him, but I remember starting a mini-series in elementary school called “The Killer” based entirely off Christopher Pike’s book The Starlight Crystal. I had an amazing teacher (Mr. Smith) who would set aside time in class and let me read my latest installment of “The Killer” to my classmates. That’s what started it all.

What is your single most favorite thing (feel free to be as vague as you like) about your current WIP? 
Now that I’m out of graduate school: there is no pressure to write a certain way/form. It’s quite freeing.

What book from childhood do you most wish you had written? What book from the past year? 
From my childhood: I wish I had written Ella Enchanted. Before it became a lackluster movie, it was the best Cinderella story and all sorts of magic in it. Ella was a strong female character who learned how to say “no” in the best way. I love it. From the past year? That’s a harder question. I’ve been devouring books left and right, especially since I recently lugged over 30 books home from BEA. Right now, I had the privilege of reading an ARC of fellow left-handed author, V.E. Schwab’s Vicious and I envy-love her ability to give me a protagonist that’s a villain in his own right.

Two truths and one lie about yourself.
-I'm a vegan.
I was trying to get away from something...
Top of the couch was the obvious answer.
-When I was in elementary school I frequently wore neon colored/floral printed biker shorts
-I have an obsessive-compulsive tick that compels me to eat in evens.

And that's my nerdy self. I look forward to regaling you all with just the right amount of snark and sarcasm :)



  1. ASJA-SKIRT I LOVE YOU! And I shall always yell at people to pronounce your name correctly. And laugh as you hug famous authors who DO pronounce it correctly. ;)


  2. You will always be my Asja-Skirt, and I will always be your Haley-Capris! I look forward to seeing you in July, and reading your beautiful words!

  3. I love quesadillas. And that dance picture is super cool!

  4. I really want to read Vicious!