Anja Kersten

Biography

You sit on your comfy, blue sofa chair right by the shelf of your most beloved books and read a story, that transports you into a different world like Tim Burton’s version of ’Alice in Wonderland’.
It’s wonderful, it’s dark, it’s magic.

I know you love books that are entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time.

This is exactly what I set out to do, when I sit at my desk and write.

Hi, I’m Anja and I love to invent quirky stories, write soulful memoirs and meaningful essays. I grew up in Germany in a small, very picturesque town, called Bamberg. Now I live in beautiful St. Ives in Cornwall, surrounded by the turquoise sea, cliffs and romantic landscapes. It suits my dreamy, creative nature.
Books have always been a very important part of my life. My parents, instead of watching TV with me, read out children’s books like ’The Neverending Story’. I used to secretly read books until late at night, using my torch underneath the blanket. My bedroom door was unfortunately made out of glass …

I seriously started writing after having found out on my 18th birthday, that my aunt was an incognito poet, writing me birthday cards with her brilliant poems for years on end. She inspired me hugely.

I studied Social Work and later trained as an actress in the School of Physical Theatre in London. I wrote and developed two solo shows, as well as co-wrote a four women piece, that was performed at the Fringe in Edinburgh.
Since 2013 I have focused mainly on writing fictional short stories, memoirs and essays. My love for improvisation informs my writing process greatly. In my newest book ’Inapprorpiate Colours, 12 story-delights for the whacky mind’ my imagination has certainly taken me to a lot of absurd places.

I often get asked: 'So, when do you write a novel?' And I answer: 'When the time is ripe!'

Head over to my website to find out more about me and what I’m currently up to: www.anjakersten.com

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
Often I happen to improvise something and afterwards write it down. Most of the stories found in ’Inappropriate Colours, 12 story-delights for the whacky mind‘ have been created this way. I improvised, than wrote it down in my moleskin book by hand and afterwards typed and reworked it in my computer. It also can happen, that I switch languages during my writing process. For example I note something down in German and than translate it into English or vice or versa. Of course I also write stuff directly into the computer, making things up on the spot. It still feels like a form of improvisation to me. I usually don’t have much of a plan except of a vague idea, wanting to invent a quirky character for example. Or I might have heard or seen something, that inspires me to write. A couple of months ago I passed dustbins on my walk and couldn’t help but to imagine what it must be like to have disgusting leftovers thrown into you. Also, if I particularly liked one of my performances, I’ll try to turn what was said on stage into a good piece of writing. I am sure you sussed me out by now. I mainly work from my instincts. They help me uncover my original ideas. But there is a downside to this way of writing, especially when it comes to longer more complex stories. The difficulty is to find the hidden innate structure of my first draft in order to be able to take it further. Since I didn’t have a particular agenda before I started writing, I put a lot of work into finding out what the story is actually about. I’ve had my desperate moments, I can tell you. I have gotten so stuck, that I needed my editor to prompt me with some invaluable questions.
Shorter pieces are more likely to come out in one go and I don’t have to do a lot to rework them. With the longer ones, it’s a different ball game altogether. You never can tell, really!
How do you approach cover design?
That’s very simple. For the current cover of ’Inappropriate Colours, 12 story-delights for the whacky mind’ I asked a designer to come up with something that reflected the title. I know it is important to have a cover that speaks to people. I was playing with the idea to have another design, which reflects the fact, that the book is illustrated, but opted out, because at this stage would have cost too much money to implement. I would love to experiment with different cover designs for the same book and see which one works the best. I think it is really worth while to explore this area much further. To me it’s a form of art as well. In general I believe, that in terms of creativity there could be much more done in the area of book covers. I often am disappointed when I look at some of them. After all, they are the ones, which are supposed to draw you in.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Anja Kersten online


Videos

About my new E-book: 'Inappropriate Colours, 12 Story-Delights for the Whacky Mind'
In this short video snippet I tell you the shocking truth about shitholders, snoring blueberries and troll hoovers. I also let you in on my writing process and how I find the inspiration for my stories.

Books

Inappropriate Colours, 12 Story-Delights for the Whacky Mind
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,560. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00)
Inappropriate Colours,12 story-delights for the whacky mind is for adventurers at hearts like you, who love to venture into new imaginary realms, full of absurdity, laughter and surprising twists you didn’t see coming. Meet Mr. Nobody or Somebody, the pasta measurer or the conductor frog amongst many other peculiar characters.

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