Interview with Anna Brosalina

June 1, 2023

Anna Brosalina writes short stories to escape reality and poetry to make sense of it. She has a bad habit of falling in love with nearly everything she does and that leads her to having too many hobbies. She creates art, both digital and traditional, is passionate aboutSTEM, reads books and writes about them. The work published here was written during the hardest two months of her life. It was the time of the invasion of her country. She is a sixteen year old from Kyiv oblast’, Ukraine, who also loves Carpathians, her cat and rainy weather.

If you described Ukraine in three words or phrases, what comes to mind?

Brave. Beautiful. Home

Who are your favorite authors?

That is a rather hard question for me to answer. Even though I read a lot, I rarely read more than one book from one author. However, I do have two authors whose books I buy without hesitation and even without looking at the annotation. The first one is Jonathan Stroud, a British young adult fantasy writer. His two book series, ‘Bartimaeus’ and ‘Lockwood and Co’ remain up till now among my most beloved fantasy books. I love his writing style, characters, and, especially, the atmosphere his books have: scary but somehow comforting at the same time. The second one is Fredrik Backman — aSwedish author whose books I didn't think I would like at first. The thing is, I mostly read fantasy, sci-fi, and detectives — everything to experience something as different from my day-to-day life as possible. Therefore I was surprised when I enjoyed books by Backman that mostly feature boring situations and average people. He is an author who will make you fall in love with imperfect characters.

Besides writing, what are you interested in? (Hobbies, sports, music, etc.)

I love reading, but I guess that is a hobby every writer has. Ever since I can remember, I enjoyed drawing. I create digital and traditional art and sometimes share it on my art blog on Instagram. I'm also interested in science, especially anything related to biology or chemistry.

How did you start writing creatively? Do you remember the first creative piece you wrote?

As a kid, I used to read a lot. I always admired the way authors can create whole different worlds and give you a chance to visit them. That's why when I was ten, I decided that I wanted to become a writer. And that is how I got into creative writing. I don't remember my first creative piece that much, but I think it was a short poem about Ukraine, which I wrote when I was seven.

Any advice on how to write in a time of difficulty or turmoil? When parts of regular life are falling apart, how do you find the space in your mind and heart to write?

I am not really an expert in these things. Writing in a time of difficulty can be challenging, but at the same time, you can try to use these emotions for your stories. I still find it rather difficult to talk or write about war and the feelings I have because of it. What helped me was to try something different from my usual writing style. It was relatively easy for me to put all the mess in my head in a poem because I focused more on my sensory feelings other than the structure or the storyline. If you find it hard to write when you experience hardships, I recommend changing the form of your writing (for example, if you can't write a short story, try writing a poem instead). There are times when I cannot write at all. If I feel like I am stuck staring at the computer, with my mind as blank as the documentI'm writing in, I will try to do something else like watching a tv show, drawing, or catching up on books from my to be read.

"Under the Madness lies literature" - Unknown
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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!