Friday, December 28, 2012

Ansha Kotyk: Debuts MG adventure

You may remember today's featured author, Ansha Kotyk, as one of the founders of The Writers' Lens. A busy schedule kept her from being a regular contributor, but here's a glimpse into what kept her hopping in 2012.

Ansha writes upper middle grade fantasy adventure stories for kids and adults who are still kids at heart. Her novel GANGSTERLAND, about a boy, a bully, and a magical comic book, spent its first 3 weeks in the top 10 of Hot New Releases in Children's books about bullies. Available now in paperback and ebook. She will be teaching a workshop on Using WordPress at the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference this May.
Visit Ansha's website
Twitter: @AnshaKotyk
Find when Ansha Kotyk host's #mglitchat 9pm est, Thursdays
Share your books with Ansha on Goodreads

The Writers' Lens is about "Bringing fiction into focus." What brings your writing into focus-- the characters, the stories, the love of words? My writing starts with the plot. I'm a story kind of gal. After I have the story idea, I look for my characters, the one's that will work the best and make the story better.  And then the story forms as I write it. And I suppose the characters have a lot to do with that. It's always magical to me how a story can start as one thing in your mind and turn out completely different once you start writing it.

What inspired your latest book? Gangsterland was inspired by my love of the 1920s, and after reading The Great Gatsby I wanted to experience the '20s for myself. Then I thought, how cool would it be to be inside a book like The Great Gatsby? I decided to find out.

What do you think readers will like about your book? Gangsterland is a story about a boy who is learning how to grow up. He's learning to believe in himself and to trust himself in making the right decisions. I think everyone can identify with Jonathan this way. But the story of Gangsterland is also the adventure of being pulled into a comic book, meeting the characters there and finding your way out. A true adventure.

Would you share a bit about your next project? I would love to! The next book in the Ink Portal Adventures is called Apocalypse Junction. Jonathan and the gang must search for Molly's little sister while playing part in a geo-cache competition.  The villain pushes the kids to overcome their greatest fears to win each cache, and each clue, in order to find Margaret. The question is will he push the kids too far?
What's your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? I love chatting with my readers on my Facebook author page. My fans are full of awesomeness.

How much fact is in your fiction? I enjoy research. I want to provide as much honest detail in my stories as I can so that I can give the reader an authentic experience when they read my stories.

What makes your book/characters unique? I think every book and every story is as unique as the person who is writing it. Each writer comes to the page with their own life experience and their own ideas for stories. I think every writer can find readers that will believe in and love their work because of this.

What are your top three reasons for writing? I write because I love stories. I love how they come together in my mind and I love to see them evolve even as I write them. Stories have a life of their own and I feel like it's my job to help them into the world.

What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing?
 I think the greatest compliment is when an adult finishes reading Gangsterland and tells me how much they enjoyed reading a children's book, it's something they didn't expect I guess. :)

Is there a different genre or type of book you'd love to try to write? I would love to write Science Fiction. I love reading it. But I find that the stories I write are more fantastical than SF would allow. So yup, if I were to choose another genre to write it would be Science Fiction in the vein of Ray Bradbury.

What's your favorite writing accessory or reference? Google. and my friends. I have friends that have some awesome hobbies like mountain climbing, wilderness hiking and marathon running. I love to ask them detailed questions on their experiences. 


This is T.W. Fendley. Thanks for reading and commenting on The Writers' Lens.You can find out more about me at


  1. Thanks T.W. for having me today. You guys are awesome!! :)

    1. For all those new kindles out there this holiday, I've lowered the price of the Gangsterland ebook to 99 cents. So if you're not sure if you'd like children's books, try it out, and see what you've been missing!

  2. Awesome interview! I loved Gangsterland, and my son did too!