Today my guest is Angela Brown, author of the recently released Neverlove. Welcome Angela, why don’t you take a moment to introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.
Thank you, Julianne, for having me here today. Name’s Angela Brown and when I’m not at my paying gig for eight boring hours, helping my kiddo with her homework or sneaking in some sleep between jaunts around the interwebz, I write…oh, and read. My novel, Neverlove, is an upper young adult novel with elements of action, romance and the paranormal infused throughout. It’s the first book in my Shadow Jumpers series. I also enjoy reading and writing middle grade stories.
Tell us about your writing process?
Not exactly a writer with a process, unless I’m working on a high fantasy novel where I have to construct everything from the ground up. But with most of my stories, I prepare a skeleton outline of the story so I have an idea of where I’d like to start and where I’d like to finish, then start clacking away at the keyboard. For the first draft, I tend to allow myself to be more of a conduit to what the characters want to share, which can take the story on some interesting detours and back roads I would miss if I tried to adhere to a detailed outline. From there, I try to ensure I’ve done my best by having beta readers and critique partners check for gaping plot holes a Mack truck could plow through, ridiculous abuse of adverbs or overly purple prose and inconsistencies. I use their wonderful feedback to rewrite/revise and revise again until the story runs smoother without losing its unique voice.
That’s a great process! Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?
I wish I could do horror. When I had the honor of hosting you on my blog, Julianne, a horror story idea was planted, but I’ve been scaredy-cat afraid to really see what could come of it. I still question my fear of horror given I love to read and write paranormal. I’m such an enigma.
Angela – you need to write that story and you can consider this a challenge! *wink* Tell us about the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis introduced me to a spectacular world reachable through our world. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien energized my imagination for completely separate worlds and made me believe in the triumph of good over evil, even when outnumbered a thousand to one. Evelyn Palfrey’s “marvellously mature” romance/suspense novels, such as The Price of Passion, opened my eyes to recognizing there is an audience for much of what our imaginations can devise. Eragon by Christopher Paolini challenged me in realizing that age is nothing but a number when it comes to reaching for your dreams. And Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight reminded me that more times than not, it isn’t about the writing, it’s about the story, which is most important since the story is what readers focus on, not whether or not a sentence fits some perfect grammar structure.
I remember the first time that I read Lewis and Tolkien. Such great memories! If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?
Let’s take a sneak peek at Neverlove…
For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V’Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.
Basil’s off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.
Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.
Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?
Neverlove even has a book trailer!
Well Angela, we all know the best way to get your tale the movie treatment is to end up on one of those bestsellers lists. What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?
LOL!! Well, first I’d have to make sure I actually woke up. So there would probably be a bit of pinching of my arms. Then there’d be a whole lot of “OMG!”, “Thank you, God!”, “Is this real?”, “OMG! This is real!” Then I’d probably just go through the day like it’s any other day because that’s what it’ll be. Just another day.
Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?
Wild Cherry Pepsi. It and chocolate are uplifters of my spirit when I feel a little beside myself.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Reading or spending extra bonding time with my daughter by watching movies or playing with her xbox 360 kinect.
Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.
This is from a novella I’m working on tentatively titled JOURNAL OF THE DAMNED:
I start this journal knowing I’m breaking the first rule an assassin must live by: never leave a trace. Most rules are made to be broken. So here goes.
My name is Tsuka and by the age of six, I knew how to paralyze a man with a six point touch. Not my proudest boast, but the first truth I can recall. Being raised by a grandfather better suited for the era of the samurai explained a few things. Being a girl made it all the more…awkward. The fact that I took to the tortuous training better than most men three times my age made me well known in our village. So of course someone had to be jealous. Leave it to Omi to fill that position.
Here is a quick excerpt from Neverlove...
The following morning, sunshine filtered through her blinds and mottled her bedroom floor. The beautiful day beyond her window could not break the perfect storm that consumed Abigail. She struggled, pained in all the wrong places, and got out of bed. Glancing at her clock, she knew she had the house all to herself. She pressed a finger to her cheek and moaned at the soreness. Abigail trained all her thoughts on putting one foot in front of the other, leaning on the wall for support. She was determined to make it to her parents’ bathroom if it killed her.
Ironic, since that was her intent anyway.
Minutes passed to an hour when Abigail finally sank into her parents’ claw foot tub. Steam rose in white, smoky wisps from the water’s surface. Stinging warmth seeped into her skin, her pores taunted open by the heat. Just the thing to cleanse her father from her system. Release the filth of his still-lingering touch. Not that it would matter soon. After last night, she’d made up her mind. Seventeen wasn’t such a bad age to die.
Abigail cast a glance toward the bathroom floor. Ripped pieces of her mother’s stationary littered every inch, her failed attempts to come up with a poetic message, something meaningful to leave behind. The lace edging of each pink scrap curled from the steam, pitiful imitations of rose petals. Her tired gaze slid up to the mirror where her final words stood out bold in her favorite shade of dark red:
Deciding to die should have been the hard part. Not the stupid note!
Three empty lipstick tubes sat on the pedestal sink.
Yeah. That’s about all her life amounted to.
Thank you Angela for taking the time to answer my questions. If you like to connect with Angela, you can find her on her blog – In a Pursuit of Publishness, on her Amazon Author Page, or on Twitter. Angela can also be reached with Partner Gwen Gardner at Partners in ParanormYA and on their Facebook Page.
Don’t forget to join me next week when Alex Laybourne will be my guest!