Anissa Stringer - Apocalyptic Fiction With a Twist
Anissa Stringer has lived through more than 20 years of 115+ degree summers in Phoenix, Arizona. That's about as close to surviving the apocalypse as you can get! Of course, all that sunshine means she doesn't have to bother with whatever "snowpocalypse" the rest of the country deals with during the winter months. Stringer is the author of The Glare, a thrilling series of apocalyptic proportions that you don't want to miss. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about it.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Glare is about.
The Glare is the first book in an exciting apocalyptic trilogy: Jenna is just thirteen and she’s already survived so much that the end of the world is a relief. But new dangers lurk around every corner. And if Jenna can’t find the grit and determination to rise up to face her worst fears, she won’t survive the apocalypse…
What inspired you to write about a strange light that blinds nearly everyone on Earth?
I’ve always loved apocalyptic fiction, especially when the end of the world is caused by something unexpected. The idea of being blinded by a light (rather than being enveloped in darkness) is fascinating to me, and it was especially fun coming up with the science to support the glare’s sudden and unexpected appearance.
Tell us more about Jenna. What makes her tick?
Jenna isn’t your usual apocalyptic heroine. She’s just thirteen, and she’s already a survivor even before the world ends. It shouldn’t be a surprise that she doesn’t trust anyone….or that she thinks the apocalypse is the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Because of her circumstances, she’s mature for her age—and also very stubborn.
Your twist to the apocalypse scenario is quite unique. Why did you take this approach?
The Glare is a gritty and dark story, which is a juxtaposition to the bright light that causes the apocalypse. I chose to end the world as I did because it allowed me to put Jenna in a situation that gave her both what she wanted the most and needed the least—to be isolated and left alone.
This is the first book in a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
The Glare is the first book of a trilogy which consists of The Glare, The Glare Continues, and The Glare Ends. The Glare can be read as a standalone, but the ending definitely hints that there’s more to come! The series itself covers a time span from before the apocalypse strikes to many years afterwards.
There are currently two companion books to the series (Since the Glare: Susan’s Journal and Before the Glare). These books offer different perspectives on the events that take place in the series. In fact, of all the books, Before the Glare was my favorite to write. It’s a collection of short stories about characters in the series, and there’s so much Jenna doesn’t understand about the people in her life!
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills? Hmm. Most people don’t know that I can juggle (though not very well), and I can also do a few bubble tricks like create a caterpillar of bubbles, a rotating “carousel,” and even a cube-shaped bubble. And you didn’t ask, but if I had a superpower, I would be Sarcasm Girl, although I try to use my powers for good (to make people laugh) rather than to hurt anyone.
Why do you write apocalyptic fiction and where do you get your ideas?
One of the cool things about an apocalypse is that it strips away the veneer of society and exposes our vulnerabilities. Writing apocalyptic fiction allows me to delve deeply into themes like trust and betrayal, resiliency, and even the “dark side” of human nature. As for where I get my ideas, I find that walking and hiking get me in touch with my creative side, especially when I happen upon a long, winding trail with no other human in sight. It probably helps that I live in Arizona where summers really do feel apocalyptic!
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I work full time, so writing fiction is currently my side gig. I work eight hours a day, and spend several more doing something related to my writing most nights. I might write, edit, or work on marketing. On the weekends, I try to write for a few hours both days. In fact, you can often find me at my local coffee shop on Sunday mornings, enjoying a latte. I’m usually completely oblivious to what’s going on around me because I’m so lost in the world I’m creating!
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a book that take place hundreds of years after the Glare Series. In By the Oath, Earth has changed radically, thanks to the influence of the glare, and there’s no such thing as modern medicine anymore. Lista is a healer, and she’s been sent on a journey to help a sick woman in a nearby village. But despite her years of training, Lista is terrified of making a mistake. All she wants to do is treat the woman and get back home without accidentally killing someone. But nothing in Lista’s world is ever that simple…
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
The best way to get in touch with me is through the Contact tab on my website (https://www.stringerstories.com). You can also sign up for my Newsletter of the Apocalpyse there, but be forewarned: It’s not your typical newsletter! It’s written by a survivor of the apocalypse, and there are lots of opportunities for you to connect with me (and the rest of the survivors out there)! All my books are on Amazon, and most are available through Kindle Unlimited (KU). My Reader Hub on Facebook is another way to interact with me: https://www.facebook.com/StringerStories/
Everyone loves free stuff. Do you have any freebies our readers should know about?
I have a growing list of freebies on the FREE tab of my website (https://www.stringerstories.com). There, you’ll find things like a gruesome cut scene from The Glare Continues, the evolution of the cover for The Glare, and even the list of all the things Jenna wants to get when the glare strikes, complete with her doodles. There are some freebies for a few other books I’ve written too, and you can expect more when By the Oath is released!