Interview with H. Anastasia Rego

What are you working on next?
I will be editing and designing the fully illustrated children's book, "Sebastian and His Androids."
Who are your favorite authors?
I am an avid reader, but favorites include Phillip K. Dick, Vonnegut, and Clive Barker/Neil Gaimen. I have read thousands of books and comics since I learned to love escaping into them as an only child.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I handle daily grinds like running errands, taking the kids to school, and hanging out with my family. But I remember being the rock star and the beloved promoter of my previous life, as I remember crawling back up the rope after depression and addiction destroyed my life. You can begin again, if you believe in yourself, and feel stronger then your circumstances.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was in the sixth grade, and I was working independently from classmates by writing a play about a ten year old girl adopted into a family of a different race. Some of my friends and I put that play on in front of the entire school, I played the soundtrack from my old double decker tape deck beat box, and my parents were so proud. I cant remember the name of the play, but that was the first story I wrote.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up to two parents in San Leandro, CA until the sixth grade, when they bought their first home in Ceres, CA, about 80 miles away (and 20 years behind). I was used to living by the City, SF, but now there wasn't a city for miles and I was stuck in a place I hated, where no one really liked me. I changed my name from Holly to Anastasia, and have lived in the Central Valley more then anywhere else. I loved the Bay Area, Portland, and Washington, which I left and came back to my parents house several times. I am an only child, except I was introduced to the half brother I learned of at age 30, about five years ago. We haven't really ever talked.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My entire life has been shaped by the DIY (Do It Yrself) ethic of self publishing. I have organized rock shows, run a small indie record label, and organized a festival (Indie Fest), plus played in the project "The Autis Toole" from 2000-2009.

I have always published my own work, and when eBooks became the most popular way to discover new authors, I chose to stay on the same track I have, and I know that there are so many ways to grab an audience's attention through promotions, campaigns, etc. I went from handcopied Zines at Kinko's to the world of digital publishing, with a smooth transition, and a very excited crew of folks that cannot wait to actually read a book of my own.
How do you approach cover design?
I am a visual artist as well as a writer, so images are very important to me. I try to imagine the characters I write like I am watching them in a great Indie movie, so they can speak from their own hearts to the audience. I am usually not a victim of writer's block, and generate from 1000-100000 words each day, using prompts, journals, and theme topics. I have always liked to include photos or graphics with all my written work, and so I use the covers to try and lure the reader in, and keep that image fresh until they read the book and can make their own mind up.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Martian Time Slip by Phillip K. Dick
The Sandman (Graphic Novel) by Neil Gaimen
Invisible Monsters by chuck Palahniuk
me talk pretty one day by David Sedaris
and the great William S. Burroughs- toss up between "naked lunch" and "junky"
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything I can find.
Describe your desk
My "desk" is anywhere I can plant myself for twenty minutes with my tablet or laptop, which is nearly impossible with a family like mine!
Published 2017-11-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.