Author Interview; Angela Brown
March 15, 2013 6 Comments
One thing I have found with doing these author interviews, is how much the energy of the author revitalizes my own love for writing. Reading their replies just re-affirms my own love, and some days we all need a bit of that.
This month I bring to you Angela Brown. Her bubbly comments in the interview and emails made this interview extra fun.
So let’s begin…
1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?
I’d love to say I’m from Venus where all the chicks are gorgeous and HOT, however, my origins are far more normal. Just a nerdy kid from Little Rock, AR who loved reading, went to college, got sidetracked by life and, after a few stutter-starts, settled in Central Texas with my darling Chipmunk (love my rambunctious daughter).
I enjoy fantasy and sci-fi so I tend to write in the subgenres, such as paranormal, urban fantasy and dystopian.
2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?
Passion. My passion for writing was the draw. It’s a driving force to look the risks and uncertainty in the face, scream at it and do a bit of windmilling at it too, then keep moving forward in the pursuit of making what I love sustain my livelihood…preferably much sooner than later 🙂
3. What is it about the genre’s you write, that draw you to them?
Reading was always an escape, even from my days of reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret [I loved that book! ~Darke] and Ramona. Getting a chance to embark on someone’s adventure brought a certain joy. But fantasy and science-fiction, along with the various subgenres of paranormal, urban fantasy, Steampunk, dystopian and more offer an escape that takes my imagination for a whirlwind ride. As a writer, I’m drawn to that “greater escape” and love having it as part of my stories. I’m guessing my characters do to because they let me take them on some wild rides of fancy 🙂
4. Was there any one influence that made you want to write?
Like a lot of writers, I wrote stories and kept personal journals growing up, even participated in a Gifted and Talented class project in elementary where we put short stories together in a hodge podge of pages that were bound in pink covering. Lost mine ages ago, but I remember it fondly. I experimented with self-publishing a suspense romance/erotica novel. It was for friends and family and done at a difficult time in life when I didn’t have the heart to take my writing as seriously as I should have. But that changed when I made up my mind to BE an example of going for my dreams instead of doling our lip service about how important it is to go for your dreams. It was and is important to try my best for my daughter to SHOW her it can be hard work – very hard work – but that making dreams come true is worth all the effort. That SHE is worth all the effort. Sorry, guess I rambled all that to say there’s not really one influence that makes me want to write. It’s a casserole of influences 🙂
5. As someone who has a YA novel, what do you feel is the reason so many adults are drawn to the genre?
As a writer and lover of YA novels myself, I’m drawn more to the wider range of discovery. As adults, there’s a whole lot of been there, done that, bought the t-shirt – twice – and there are certain expectations that come with stories written with adult characters at the center. There’s only so much naivete I can allow an adult character. And I expect some well-written interwoven explanation in case the adult MC has the naivete of a newborn babe. But with YA novels, most bets are off. Puberty’s kicked in or about to. Hormones are about to hit the inner body super highway. The young mind is still pliable, open to things, sometimes in a scary way. There’s so much to discover it almost seems unreal that we ventured through that time in our own lives and made it out in one piece…sort of lol!
6. What do you think of the controversy of having more mature situations in the genre; i.e. sex, drugs.
*Controversy can make for good or bad PR. Being a young adult is not a walk down June Cleaver’s road where the worst thing that can happen is Mary Sue’s shoe laces untie and she bends over improperly to tie them back up. Actually, it never was “Happy Days” clean, even back then. Sex, drugs, suicides – these are all things that happen to adults as well as young adults. Uncles and fathers molest their nieces and daughters. Scarred women are coming out the woodworks dealing with these childhood wounds. Brave men as well. I think it comes to the handling in a story and reader personal choice. My personal choice has been to handle these more sensitive subjects with a due respect. And if a YA story has gratuitous sex in it, like the teens have nothing better to do everyday of the week then to see how many times they can get each others’ rocks off, I probably won’t read it as a matter of personal choice. The sad truth is there is probably some group of kids doing just that in the only hang out spot they have: the back parking lot of the local Dairy Queen. [I will never look at a Dairy Queen parking lot the same way again. ~Darke]
Art is often an imitation of life. That won’t change, no matter how much it reflects our society in a less-than-pleasant light.
7. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?
Thought about it? Oh good gravy…how do I put this without sounding like a whiner? lol! I’ve contemplated giving up more times than I care to count or admit to. I considered giving up when my Chipmunk wanted my attention but a character finally decided to open up to me about some dark thing to add to a story (yeah, my stories tend toward the dark, slightly gritty and emotional). I thought of giving up when the soft sales of the novels didn’t match all the verbose praise received by those who read it and shared their thoughts.(read “soft” as “nonexistent”). Giving up seemed like a really good option when faced with the option of going to bed at 1 am or staying up just a little longer to end that one scene. – knowing I’d have to get up in 4 hours to start my day again.
What changed my mind? I placed a paperback edition of Neverlove in my daughter’s hands. She looked up at me, wide-eyed, mouth agape. Finally, she said, “You wrote this whoooole book, momma?” “Yes, baby. I did. But you’re too young to read it. You won’t be one day soon, though.”
Then I started a special project and let her read the first chapter. She insisted on reading more, which made me feel good, but also helped to keep my writing gear set to “W” (Write for your life!!!)
8. How do you handle negative criticism of your work?
Read but don’t respond. Actually, I try not to read them but fail miserably lol! However, a negative one I choose not to respond to. That reader had their own opinion of the story and that’s all there is to it.
9. If you were given the opportunity to write a fan-fiction novel, who is the author you would choose, and what would be the book?
J.K. Rowling comes to mind first, but I’ve a feeling that’s been done to the gazillionth degree. Much respect to Stephenie Meyer, but I don’t think I could write fan fiction that involves vampires that sparkle. Got to give props that it worked spectacularly for her 🙂 I wouldn’t mind doing fan fiction for an author I really think should be much more well-known: Maria Zannini. Let’s just say Mistress of the Stone is a story I could re-read easily. I loved it!!! Female captain of pirates sailing the seas and dealing with some topsy turvy things. Definitely something I could do.
10. Most writers have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Do you have a few of those or will they eventually come out?
I honestly don’t know. I have aspirations for each idea that has become a full on manuscript so self-publishing may be a great way to get some of them out just for the heck of sharing them one day.
For more information on this author, please follow the links below.
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6476148.Angela_Brown
Angela Brown in the Pursuit of Publishness blog: http://publishness.blogspot.com/