Author Interview & E-book Giveaway: Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

by 5:39 PM 10 comments
Welcome Debra Anastasia to Understanding Shae's Story!

Debra Anastasia grew up in New York and got a bachelor's degree in political science at SUNY New Paltz. At the start of her marriage, she moved to southern Maryland with her husband. She still doesn't trust crabs and all their legs, though everyone else in her family thinks they're delicious. Her favorite hobbies include knitting, painting furniture and wall murals, and slapping clowns.

Earlier this year Omnific Publishing published her debut novel, Crushed Seraphim, and she's currently pounding out the sequel to angel Emma's adventures. You can visit her website at and find her on twitter @Debra_Anastasia.



Favorite Color and why? 
Pink because I’m such a nimrod. I always gravitate towards it.
Dog or Cat? 
Both. I have three dogs and one adorable cat so I’m not allowed to pick.
Twilight, Harry Potter, or the Hunger Games. 
Harry Potter is first, but I love the others as well. JK Rowling is amazing though, her circular plot through seven books? Bam. That’s how a master does it.
What/Who inspired you to write your book?
It was sort of a slow process but my own stupidity gave birth to my first tale for entertainment purposes. I went to the do-it-yourself car wash and wound up squirting myself in the face with the huge sprayer, fighting off a hairy spider and flashing my boobs (unintentionally) at a group of guys. I laughed so hard at myself that I had to share it with the world. Then I went on to detail my family’s trips to Disney Word in trip reports online, and finally I tried making stuff up.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
I have to have music on in the background and 99% of the time I write “fro” instead of “for.” Which makes things interesting because fro is a word, so spell check ignores it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
The message in anything I write is (I hope) for women to trust that they are beautiful and warriors. And that love is the most important thing in any day we get live.
Summarize your book in 3 sentences or less. 
A homeless man and a girl fall in love. The world crumbles around them. Love gives all the characters the strength to fight for one another.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
I’ve always had a plot working in my head, but I was very afraid to put it on paper. People would know what I was thinking! The anonymity of the Internet gave me courage. Now I can stand behind my words with my name. So I guess I knew all my crazy dreams would be real when I held my first book.
Can you describe what you think makes a good story in 3 words? 
Characters, love, and adventure.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 
I wanted to be a vet, the President of the United Sates, a teacher, and a lawyer. No kidding. All those things. I was a mess. And my parents supported me in every one of those choices. They rock.
What are your current projects? 
I’m currently working on finishing the sequel to Crushed Seraphim.
Give 5 interesting facts about yourself. 
1 I hate spiders. 2 I love my readers. 3 My kids are the only things that matter. 4 My husband still puts up with me after almost 15 years. 5 I will slap a clown hard if it gets too close.
Hardest thing about being an author? 
Finding time to write that doesn’t take away from other important family things.
 Most rewarding thing about being an author? 
The readers. Hands and feet down. I’m the hugest fan of my amazing, intelligent readers. They floor me.
Can you share with us your favorite line(s) from the book? 
My favorite has to be when Blake says to Livia, “When you saw me, you saw me and then you smiled like I was anyone else on that platform.” I love it because it sums up what I think is so special about the characters. He wants to be seen as a person and she can’t stop herself from caring.
What would you say is the best part of your job? 
When I like what I wrote but don’t remember actually typing it. It feels like a gift. When the words flow like they were already supposed to be on the paper. 
What do you think people search for in a book?
Themselves. I think they relate to finding how they might react in certain situations. At least that's what I do and I really love to read.

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.

Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right? 
Giveaway Details:
1 Ebook copy of Poughkeepsie
Open Internationally
Ends 4/27/12
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Carmen Shaw


Carmen N. Shaw is currently a biology major at Georgia State University. She is the owner and developer of the book blog, Understanding Carmen's Story.


  1. I loved how she said she would slap a clown!

  2. Awesome Giveaway!

  3. Interesting interview :)

  4. Hahaha, I'm also scared of spiders and clowns. Don't ask, don't ask LOL

    Nice interview! :)

  5. Interesting interview and awesome giveaway.

  6. I FLOVE POUGHKEEPSIE! cant wait to get my turn with the cardboard piano :)

  7. Great interview! Proud to call Debra one of my friends and her writing is just amazing. She makes me laugh and cry while reading which is what I love about a great book. You have to read her books they are the best!

  8. Great interview. I always love when people can poke fun at themselves, and the bit about slapping a clown was great too :)

  9. "When I like what I wrote but don’t remember actually typing it."

    She is lucky to be able to feel that way about her work. For me, I'm usually wondering WTF was my brain?!?


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