And so I get this awesome FAN MAIL from @zandilefunde. Still pinching myself: "Hello, Ms Anske. This was going to be (my version) an email review of SIREN SUICIDES then I decided to do that, and a bit more...
I read the PDF version of your first book, and I absolutely loved it! :) I was on a short vacation from university so I read it within 3 nights, stopping at around 3 am everyday. :D
I'm sure you've noticed from me filling your mentions with comments about it (@zandilefunde), lol, I get so excited every time I think about it and I want to tweet, hehehe.
The descriptions in the book are out-of-this-world (literally for me, hehehe); even though I've never been to Seattle, (I've just heard about it) and I'm not good with Geography, I still felt as if I were living every the moment as Ailen.
I could hear what she heard, almost felt what she felt and I saw the world through her eyes for a bit. I could even imagine the heartache she felt when her father wouldn't treat her with the love and kindness she deserved. (Because the vulnerability transmitted through your characterisation was that touching.)
I also appreciate that you gave me a better understanding of the phrase, "show, don't tell." I have been told (about my manuscript) that I need to try and show more and tell less and at first, I didn't understand but now you cleared it up for me so thanks! Most writers lack that type of articulation; in my humble opinion, you are a Pro at it.
About character names (I also read your blog post about it), they're really easy to remember, and you have a way about your characters that makes them stand out to me personally; I don't think I'll ever forget their names now.
You also touched on the matter of creating the imaginary band, 'Siren Suicides' somewhere, and I have a quick question about creating spaces in writing: What is your take on writing about a geographical location that one has never been to?
Is research (only) enough to be able to write detailed descriptions about a place one's never been to? (You can tweet me the answer if you prefer, please.)
I just wanted to let you know (I'm certain that you know this by now) that your writing is utterly amazing, in every sense of the word, as in, it sends my mind on a joyride AH-MAY-zing! I have no idea how you do it but you have an extraordinary talent that I am blessed to have come across.
However, your writing has actually pulled me in two contradictory directions:
1) You are so good that you inspire me to want to be better at writing.
I am inspired to want to write, to start typing from where I stopped in February of this year; I don't know why I stopped but I know in my heart, and mind that it is not the end of my writing. I want to be a published author one day, and I know it will take time but I will make it happen.
2) You are so exceptional that you make me doubt my own ability.
Not in a bad way, just enough to want to be better than I am. I am currently a student at a South African university; I am studying towards a BA(Media, Communication and Culture) degree, and at times, there are clashes with my academic schedule so I don't write as often as I want to.
Maybe I should quit university, eh? Hahahahahaha! Just kidding.
Also, the reason I brought up being a student (I'm turning 22 in 2 months) is that earlier this year, you wrote a blog post about how you feel that writing at a young age should rather be avoided (that people should live longer before they decide to write, that's how I understood it).
I then pretty much felt as if I were a modern-day Sisyphus, participating in 'futile writing.' It made me stop and think maybe I'm not yet mature enough to be writing at this point because I haven't been through half the ordeals that you have ...
I am now onto reading ROSEHEAD but not sure if I should wait a week for draft 2 or read the first draft now (which I have started already); I am looking so forward to it, nevertheless. :)
Lastly, about your posts documenting some of the pain about your past:
You are such a strong lady, and I really hope you realise that about yourself. Nothing is as difficult as admitting to the fact that someone has humiliated you, especially in such a disrespectful manner such as sexual coercion.
It probably makes you doubt yourself in every possible way, as someone's life-partner, mother and even as a woman. I can't imagine what you're going through, what you went through but I pray that, as time goes by, you heal.
Right now, you're a force of motivation to so many females dealing with the same problem, and I really respect that about you. I really hope that I meet you one day. I am also planning to purchase all of your books! Just need to convince my parents, or find a job lol! But I will get them all. :)
By the way, I am interested to know how one pronounces your full name; I would probably say: Kseh-ni-yah Ahn-skuh (/_)
PS: As you always say to us as your followers, please "keep writing." :)
Kind regards from a fan