Meet Anna Gragert, our contributor of the week!

When Anna Gragert isn’t writing, she’s catering to her little black cat, worshipping Audrey Hepburn…

or dreaming about becoming a shaman. She attempts to read one book every week and is currently loving Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. She also loves Parmesan cheese, the state of Maine, and the smell of vanilla. Things she hates: fruit flies. To keep up with Anna’s adventures in all things human/creative/mental health-related, you can follow her on Twitter (@Anna_Gragert).
Hometown: A small town near-ish New York City.
Where I live now: Surrounded by nature, also near-ish New York City.
Fave book of ALL time: John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.
 
Person who inspires me the most: I’d say that womankind – collectively – is extremely inspiring. If I had to pick one of said women, it would have to be my mom/best friend. (Is it sad that my cat was the first “person” who came to mind?)
What made me want to become a writer: During my freshman year of college, I took a Creative Writing course and – just like that – I stopped questioning what I was doing with my life.
Music I listen to when I write: I’m one of those people who can’t concentrate when music is playing (even with one those “listen to this while you work” playlists in the background), but I blast Beyoncé during my writing breaks.
Fave place to work: Someplace quiet and cool, with plenty of natural light, where I can rest a cup of kava root tea close by (this tea keeps me sane, I swear).
Writers I look up to: Sarah Dessen, Ami McKay, John Steinbeck, Cheryl Strayed, Ray Bradbury, The Brothers Grimm, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. But really, I look up to anyone who isn’t afraid to share their ideas, thoughts, and opinions in a writerly way.
Favorite GIF ever:

 
My favorite story I wrote/made for HelloGiggles is… All the books we turn to when we’re stuck in a life rut (I love the HelloGiggles community and I love books, so this is literally the best of both worlds).
 
The title of my memoir would be… Stay Gold, Ponygirl (inspired by a line from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, which was, in turn, inspired by Robert Frost’s poem Nothing Gold Can Stay)
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