R. Anne Polcastro wrote her first book when she was five years old. It was only twenty some words long, typed up by her kindergarten teacher, and bound with construction paper and yarn . . . but it was the beginning of a dream that would later eat at the grown up her until she quit her boring office job to write more books. And while she no longer dictates fantasies about wild ponies to someone sitting at an old school typewriter, Polcastro’s stories still revel in, not just the speculative, but the seemingly impossible as well.
Polcastro was born and mostly raised in the Pacific Northwest. When she wasn’t there, she was growing up on the other side of the Mexican border. And while it was hard to love the wetness again after the desert, Polcastro still hails from the rain infested NorthWest where she lives with her two kids and their family dog.
Like most writers, Polcastro is an avid reader. And also like most writers, what she reads determines what she writes. Some idols that might shine through in her words are Tolstoy and Palahniuk, and after reading The Secret Garden to her daughter she realized what a huge impact her own childhood exposure to Frances Hodgson Burnett had on her character development. With Island of the Blue Dolphins next on the Mother Daughter Reading List, she suspects she is about to discover more clues to how she became the writer she is today. And with reading interests as varied as dark literary fiction, young adult, zombie apocalypse, sci fi lite, family drama, and pretty much anything with good writing and an interesting storyline, Polcastro has a reading list that will never be finished and a decade worth of book ideas to write in a variety of genres, some of them conflicting.
It is out of this conflict that Storyteller Grrrl is born. R. Anne Polcastro is the family friendly side, the other face is Riya, Riya Anne Polcastro, and her stories are not for the faint of heart (or the underage). Author of Suicide in Tiny Increments and the soon to be released Jane., Riya specializes in the dark and disturbing. Inspired by a healthy fascination with mental illness, her stories feature a no holds barred approach to the grittier side of life. Armed with a useless liberal arts degree, she is a student of human behavior and a conduit for raw words. Maybe it is because she learned to read and write in her second language before she learned to do the same in her first. Maybe it is because she was raised a missionary's daughter at the same time that she was taught to question everything. Maybe there are a whole lot of reasons. Either way, her interest in insanity and human interaction is weaved into fiction with a language that is at times caressed and loved, at others beaten into submission.
Regardless of which Polcastro you read, you are guaranteed an authentic tale. One thing is for sure, no matter how much she thinks or plans or demands, her characters run the show. They speak for themselves and do what they want to do. She is no more than a medium for the story they want to tell.