by Karina DiGregorio
Interviewer, Karina DiGregorio, interviews Author, Dr. Anay Ayarovu,
about her new novel STAZR The World Of Z: The Dawn Of Athir.
What inspired you to write STAZR?
STAZR The World Of Z is about a journey Lael was destined to make, but unfortunately, he has no idea where to start, so he has guides who help him discover things about himself he had known all along.
Before STAZR, I worked as an artistic photographer where I aimed to express important moments I saw in our society. Before every shoot, I would write backstories to the characters my models were playing. Before I knew it, I had a large collection of short stories that needed a place to live; therefore, I wrote STAZR to tie my short stories together in one never-ending parallel universe.
What book has had the most impact on your life?
The Hyperion Cantos Series, by Dan Simmons. Dan Simmons was able to create a full new universe based on our own, and it was the first time I had experienced fiction in such a complete and detailed form. Whenever I think of a new universe, or space, I think of this series.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It entertains me. Aside from my short stories, I started writing because I began having a hard time finding books that fully excited me. At one point, I was reading a novel a day, and I ran through so many that I wasn’t surprised or excited by them anymore; so I started writing my own. I write what I would want to read, it has become my favorite form of therapy.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I believe there is always a fine line. In a lot of cases, a big ego could help you. That level of self-confidence may help you stand out from the crowd and get to where you want to go. Where others may stop before completion, someone with a bit of an ego will probably finish their project and create something that makes them very proud.
On the other hand, you need to be honest with yourself and know deep down inside when it is time to stop and move on. My mom always told me, “If you knock on the door long enough, it will open.”
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I can’t write in a noisy environment, not in a café or anywhere. I need complete silence. I currently live on a boat, so typically I have ample opportunity to sit by the water and be alone with my thoughts.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
No, I only write what I want and unfortunately it gets me sometimes! But like I said, writing is my favorite form of therapy and self-expression, so I know others will honor that. I have a really hard time following the “correct” story structure. Typically, I write by allowing my mind to wander all over the universe while I follow quietly with a notepad.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Anyone can be a writer, but the real question is “Will they be a good writer?” That’s another conversation.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
My only best friend at this point is my husband. He is definitely not a writer, but he loves to brainstorm with me over breakfast and hear where I am taking my characters next. He is incredibly supportive for being so far outside my field.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
My hope is that STAZR will continue to grow for many years and other authors will pick up my universe to build their own stories. I have built STAZR into a project with many different branches, and at the root, I want to bring people back to reading so they have the opportunity to create something beautiful with their own creativity and talents.
We have a place for artists to read and create Stazr-Inspired art, and we have created a fantasy roleplay book reading series where we bring in makeup artists to characterize models and actors who will then read passages of the book in full costume. I really hope other authors and artists will find the STAZR universe to be a place that expands, grows, and reaches new heights I haven’t even thought of, yet.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would create a more detailed outline and put more focus on the details of the universe before starting the story. The way we have decided to market STAZR has shifted from a story to a universe, so now I find myself going back and having to figure out these small details that fit the first novel before writing the second.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
When I first finished the book, I found an illustrator to draw a few key characters in the story, and what came back was beyond my wildest dreams. For me, these illustrations made my book truly come to life in a way I hadn’t seen before.
Karina DiGregorio has worked professionally in content creation for over five years, moving into creative writing after changing directions from a career in television. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing, specializing in Fiction Prose, and is currently working with STAZR Media as a guest blogger on their Fantasy Book Blog.