Guest Blog by Anastasia V. Pergakis

1.    How did you get started writing?
It was just something I’ve always done. When I was younger I wrote mostly poetry and short stories. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I tried my hand at full length novels. And it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that fantasy novels were my calling. I still write the occasional poem or short story, but now my focus is always one novel or another.

2.    What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I write fantasy to enchant adults to remember that magic can still be real. My debut novel is a fantasy adventure, but I also have an epic fantasy series in the works along with a few other fantasy adventure stories. I have one or two ideas for Urban Fantasy titles, but have yet to explore them fully. And then of course, some day, I’d love to write a few sci-fi stories, but time will tell on that one.
I think the reason I love writing fantasy so much is the “other world” aspect. I get to make up everything about the world, down to how the grass looks like. Some might say I have a “God complex” but really I just find it fun and interesting. I do a lot of research into religion and government and culture in order to make my worlds as realistic as possible. It’s great fun for me to learn about new peoples – and then make up my own!

3.   What movie best describes your life?  Why?
Oh goodness. Let me see…that’s a tough one. There is a line in the movie Avatar where he says “Everything is backwards. Like the real world is in there, and this is the dream.” in reference to his life with the N’abi and his life as a “researcher” in a wheelchair. I get so engrossed in my stories that it’s literally like I have two lives. One “in there”, the world I’ve made up and the one “out here” where I’m a mom, wife, etc. And while Avatar might not be the best example to show that point, it’s the first one I thought of LOL

4.    What inspired your latest book?
I had the idea a few years ago to write a story about my Dad’s military career and his life. He was great and answered all the questions I had, even though I’m sure some of them were hard to answer. I began writing the story and got about a page into it when I realized there was no way I could do it. I didn’t think I could capture the feelings, the emotions, he felt during that time in an accurate way. I would hate to write a story to honor him – and all soldiers – but only end up ruining it completely.

So I fell back to my passion – fantasy. The story now is completely fictional, and not based on any one truth really. Although, my Dad’s military career is a huge inspiration. I call him often for help with military strategy, tactics, and even plot ideas.

Because, I wanted to honor my Dad and all soldiers with this book at the beginning, I decided to continue with that idea despite the book being fiction. So, I donate a portion of my royalties to the Wounded Warrior Project. They help wounded soldiers and their families heal after they return home. You can read true stories of soldiers they’ve helped at their website,

Cleanse Fire is the first book in the The Kinir Elite Chronicles. Filled with edge-of-your-seat action, suspense, and a bit of romance too! Follow the Kinir Elite as they track down a traitor and find more than they bargained for.
Complete the mission, no matter what…

Captain Derac Vidor has served Kinir for nearly twenty years. It’s his life, his blood, his soul. And then his Commander betrays everything Derac holds dear. Now he has to focus on his own life and his team instead of saving the citizens of Kinir.

Treason is only the beginning…

Fueled by rage, the team chases the source to their Commander’s betrayal – a powerful wizard bent on revenge. The wizard seeks to destroy the Kinir Elite, in both mind and body. No place is safe, even among their allies.
The past holds the key…

Derac’s tragic past may be the key to saving the team. But can he face the gruesome nightmare in time?

5.    What is your favorite part of writing?
Oh this is a tough one. I mean, I like being able to connect with people through my writing and learning new things. Then of course, I love watching a plot unfold, new characters showing up unannounced, and twists in the story that I didn’t expect. But I think my favorite part is seeing and hearing what other people think of the story. Hearing how much they loved it and how they connected with the characters is the best feeling in the world.

6.    What is your least favorite part of writing?
I don’t think there is anything I don’t like about writing. I mean, it can be tough sometimes when the words won’t flow or if a scene doesn’t come out right no matter how much I try. But, I can’t think of anything I don’t like about writing at all.

7.    What is your next project and when will it be released?
I’m already writing Fire Renewed, the sequel to my book Cleanse Fire. The Kinir Elite Chronicles continues with some new faces, new missions, but still the same edge of your seat action and suspense. I don’t have a set date yet, but Fire Renewed will be out Summer 2012. I’m shooting for July 4, but that’s not a firm date yet.

8.    What is your typical day like?
Oh goodness. It’s crazy. I’m a stay at home Mom and my three year old is extremely active. (What three year old isn’t right?) But I also try to write, run my web design business, network, homework, oh and then of course there is the laundry. It’s hard sometimes to find the balance but I wouldn’t have it any other way really. I love being busy. I’m never bored for one thing! It is hard to schedule things for my work side sometimes since my son can be so unpredictable, but I like the spontaneity he offers. Like I said, keeps me from getting bored!

9.    How much time do you spend promoting your books?  What works best for you?
Depends on the day really. Today for example, my son was content to spend most of the morning playing on his own. So I was able to do a lot of things around the forums and social networks I belong to. But yesterday, I could hardly do any promotion it felt like because he wanted some extra attention from me. Even at night after my son is in bed it varies as my husband’s work schedule is never the same. On nights he’s at work I glue myself to my computer and don’t do much else. But on days he works in the morning, I try to spend time with him watching a movie or playing a game on the Wii. So, I can’t really put a number on time I promote.

10.  Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
My son’s imagination and innocent view of the world gives me a lot of inspiration for sure. But, really, I get ideas from almost anywhere. An overheard conversation, TV, books, dreams, etc. But overall, I’m the type of author whose characters talk to her. And most of the time it feels more like I didn’t have the idea at all! The characters are the ones that tell me the story – like a friend would tell me about their weekend. I just listen and write it down for them. It sure makes for fun times. I’m sure my husband thinks I’m insane talking to “imaginary” people, but hey, my son can do it, why can’t I?

11.  How has your experience with self-publishing been?
FUN! Yes, it has been difficult when things don’t go exactly how I planned or stuff pops up that I wasn’t prepared for, but over all, the experience has been a thrill. I know every writer is excited to see their book published, but I think – for me – it’s taken on a new level because I had a direct hand in every stage. Writing, editing, the cover art, and then actually publishing it. It is overwhelming sometimes for sure, I feel like I don’t have enough ours in the day to get everything done that I need to. But I’m still having the time of my life.

12.  What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Do your research. And then research some more. Ask lots of questions! There are so many steps, so much to know about self publishing, it can be a little overwhelming. There are plenty of people out there to help you, plenty of blogs with information. So, take your time and keeping reading, keep asking until you feel completely comfortable going forward.

And sometimes I feel this is more important to self published authors than traditional, only because traditional authors have the help of their publisher to figure this part out. Know your market. Know your audience. If you don’t, you can’t promote your book anywhere. Find the main theme or genre of your novel, then figure out the second and third. Don’t exclude something just because it appeals to a “small” group of people. As a self published author you have to think like a publisher – a sell is a sell. So make sure you know who to sell it to!

Thank you so much for having me Cynthia! You had really great questions and I had fun answering them. 🙂

Purchase Cleanse Fire


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In honor of Veterans Day, I’m giving away an e-copy of Cleanse
! Leave a comment on this post to enter into the random drawing by 11:59 pm
November 6
(Eastern Standard Time). You MUST leave your email
address IN the comment so I can contact you when you win!

All commenters will also be added to the drawing for a
chance to win a signed hard cover version of the book when it releases December

I’m having more giveaways throughout the months
of November and December! “Like” the series’ facebook page to keep up to
date on all the events!

5 thoughts on “Guest Blog by Anastasia V. Pergakis

  1. Linda:

    Great question! No, I did not use any of my Dad’s stories from the military to craft Kinir’s missions. He never talked about exact missions but he did have some other great stories that I plan to use in future books in the series. The stories I do know are more “fun” in nature – like the practical jokes the men used to play on each other and things like that. I never asked him for specific missions or anything and honestly, I don’t think he would ever tell me simply because I’m his daughter. He did tell me one story once that made me cry, so I think after that he decided to not tell me anymore. *shrug* (Yes, I might use that story in one of the books.)

    But he is a great source of inspiration for the missions. In fact, the major plot in the second book, Fire Renewed, was spurred from his ideas but I don’t know if it is from an actual experience he had or if it was just his military brain coming up with a great story based on the pieces of information I told him about.

    Thanks for commenting!

  2. Well, since we only had two commenters here, I decided to give both Linda and Joe copies of my book! Congrats to you both! I’ll be contacting you soon with the coupon for you to pick up your book! I hope you enjoy it!

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