Once upon a time … is how the stories used to start.
Not anymore. Now they start with chocolate (and maybe a little bit of passion).
At least in Anya’s world where passionate pleasures are explored …
One Story at a Time!
1 Why did you decide to use a pseudonym? Is there a story behind the name you chose?
I think the ‘pastor’ aspect had something to do with it How many pastors do you know who write kink? Wait .. Don’t answer, I actually know a few (shhhh) I wanted to be sensitive to those who knew me as a pastor until I realized that it really didn’t matter if I kept it quiet or not. Anya Winter … I love the name Anya. My one daughter actually gave me the name and I thought it fit.
2 What do you have published under other names? Will your future stories all be Anya Winter stories?
Ack – no! I also pub under my real name – Steena Holmes. Anya will be kept for my kinker stories. My plan is for the heavy kink to be under Anya and slowly move all my other stories under Steena.
3 What did you do to have Tiffany Reisz name a character after you?
How did you find that out? LOL … I was thrilled when the fabulous Ms. Reisz named Daniel’s lover after me. OMG he’s hot stuff. When I first read her 7 Day Loan I fell in love. With erotic romance and with Daniel.
4 What was your path to publication?
My path makes me shake my head. I wrote a story in 6 months (an inspirational romance) and won a publishing contract with a small press back in 2005. I was estatic until someone pointed out I basically self published. AUGH. Back then, that was the kiss of death. I let it hold me back, I didn’t think what I wrote was good enough. Until I received an email from someone who had read that story and wanted more. WOW. That opened my eyes – hey, someone who didn’t know me liked what I had written. Go figure. So I wrote a supernatural thriller and got it torn apart by an agent. Ouch. But I kept trying. I wrote another story that tore my heart and while I was recovering, I decided to try my hand at a novella – just for fun. Well…that ‘just for fun’ story ended up getting sold to Liquid Silver Books – The Master.
5 Have you always considered yourself to be a writer, or was there a time in your life when you decided that is what you were?
I never thought I could write. I love to read, always have – but writing was for those who were gifted. Or so I thought I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. Deciding to be a writer was really my choice – when I realized I could, so I did
6 Do you have any of the proverbial first books shoved in the back of the drawer, never to see the light of day?
I have a few. I think we all need them, don’t you? But I refuse to let them collect dust. I’ll use them one way or another.
Right from the beginning, the idea of secrets and how we hide behind them fascinated me when I began to write Maddie’s story in The Master. Maddie is a woman who wanted to shelter herself from her inner passions.
For Eve in the Mask, she hides behind her mask – literally. It takes a strong man to show her that the Mask does only one thing – reveals her true character.
The Masquerade Series is about looking past the masks we wear, the facades we work so hard to maintain and coming to the point where we can accept who we are for what we are.
Throw in a little bit of passion, chocolate and some kink … and you have the Masquerade Series.
It’s heavy on the chocolate, decadent with the passion and just a hint of kink … almost sounds like a steamy cup of hot cocoa
8 What social media do you use? Do you combine your personal and professional or keep them separate?
Facebook, Twitter and my blogs.
9 What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
My Mac. OMG. I love my Mac.
10 What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?
Non? I have a notebook and pen in my purse if I need it … But I find I’m so tech oriented now that it’s just as easy to make a note on my iPhone or pad and email it to myself. LOL
11 Is it true “Once a Pastor, always a Pastor?”
Absolutely. The term isn’t a job or even a career. It’s about the heart. About the passion to serve others, to see things that others gloss over and want to do something to help. I think if you were to breakdown what it means to be a pastor it would be simple, so clear – its all about love. Loving others. Putting others first. Its sad its been warped..but that’s another story
12 Why did they call you “The Sex Pastor?”
I tend not to be shy about certain things. Go figure When we were in churches, we worked with youth and young adults. Hey – sex is a HUGE part of growing up and it’s not okay to sweep it under the rug and pray the kids will be smart about their bodies. So I’d talk about it. Still do
13 Is there anything about Christianity that is anti-sexual?
I think that depends on who you ask. Me – no. God created sex. Sex is fun. Sex is also sacred and complicated but being a christian or atheist or muslim or … It doesn’t matter … Sex is a part of life – not matter what life you live.
14 What other roles do you fill besides (former) Pastor and author?
I’m a mother of 3 girls, married to the love of my life for 15 yrs now.
15 Where do you get the images for the covers you design?
The usual sites – Dreamstime, Shutterstock …
16 What is the best form chocolate can take?
Melted. In my mouth.
17 What is your ideal writing environment?
Quiet. With a cup of coffee or a glass of Coke and Rootbeer flavored Vodka (or chocolate flavored).
Have you ever been able to create it?
I work from home as a virtual assistant so as long as my kids aren’t home, I’m good. Or late at night.
18 Do you have rules for how steamy you write your sex scenes?
As long as its safe, consensual and fun then I’m good.
19 In all you’ve published, were any changes suggested to you that you were reluctant to make?
I trust my editor and beta readers. If they feel something needs to change then its for a good reason.
20 Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
I can’t believe you’re asking me this! Who is Greedo? OMG! All I remember of those movies are the cute little ewoks! When they first came out I would hide my head during the shooting scenes, or bury my nose in a book … But once those cute little creatures showed up … Wait … Hans was cute wasn’t he? So … Sexy Hans HAD to have shot first … He’d want to protect the princess right? (I totally need to rewatch these movies.)
Anya will give away a copy of her book The Master to a random commenter, winner to be drawn next Friday, December 23! To enter just tell us what your favorite form of chocolate is.
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