This interview is with Angela Dawn Staten author of The Blue Solace Series written under Angela Dawn Atchley. Angela, where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I mostly grew up in Hendersonville and Springfield, Tennessee. During my adolescent years I moved more than I wanted, so reading and writing was my escape from the world around me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Well, as some of you know, Home [The Blue Solace Series II] is a lot darker than my first book [Blue Solace]. For me, this was about shedding your skin so to speak. It was about leaving your old life behind and dealing with the new. Some of the characters aren't able to do that. And bad things happen.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
With Smashwords, and being able to be more involved with all of my projects, I now have more retailers carrying my books. Smashwords allowed me to reach readers outside of the US.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I'm utterly shocked by the number of people following me on social media.
What are you working on next?
Well, Rebirth [The Blue Solace Series III: Home: Part Two) is coming soon! I also have a few things that haven't been officially announced yet...
Angela, do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh my gosh, yes! It was in second or third grade when I wrote my first short story. I didn't really know that's what I was doing though.
A friend of mine brought a story she had written to school and she let me read it. The experience was just so magical for me. I was a huge fan of 'Goosebumps' and when I realized that we could wrote stories as well I couldn't believe it!! So I went home that very day and wrote a three page mystery for my mom to read!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Five? You're only asking me to pick five? That's too hard! (Laughs). I would say "Interview with the Vampire" by Anne Rice is my favorite book. I think that's because it's deep. I like a few more in her series 'The Vampire Chronicles'.
Even though I'm older now, I'm still leaving Goosebumps on my list. Those were my childhood favorites and they're just fun to read! I also like a few, more than a few, Steven King books, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer books by Christopher Golden.
I also like poetry. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is my favorite poet. And a book that has recently made my favorites list, "Springtime in Autumn" by John Chuchman, has helped me discover new ways of thinking. It's a collection of poems about his self-discovery.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love seeing and hearing reactions to my twists! And I like that I can inspire others to write and not give up on their dreams.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, acting, or modeling, I like to read, play video games, do Yoga, hang out with friends. I also like to play card games and do outdoor activites. Oh, and play with my dog.
The following is from fans: Billy, "How did you come up with Loki? She's nuts!"
Ha! Actually one of the female characters from "Supernatural" was my inspiration. I played off of her and before I knew it Loki was "nuts"!
TimArnold44 from Instagram asks, "When you get in a writer's slump how do you get out of it?"
First of all, I stay away from the naysayers. Or I simply refuse to talk about my writing with them. What's the point? I don't need that negativity (no writer does), and it's certainly not up to me to give someone faith in me or my writing. I do, however, believe in having people in my support system that will give me constructive criticism; kindly expressing why an idea of mine might be bad (we've all had some not so great ideas from time to time).
Second, I always have multiple projects to work on; whether it's story ideas, marketing (indie author here), or projects with my modeling and acting. I also know that however long I stay in a slump depends on me. No one controls how I feel.
Jesscat16 from IG wants to know, "What's your least favorite character from Blue Solace?"
Oh man, that's impossible! That's like asking which one of your children is your favorite? They're my creations so I love them all! (Smiles)
A Twitter fan page asks, "If you could be any character from your book, who would you be?"
I would have to say Raven or Cricket.
This question comes from Gary via Facebook, "What was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be an author?"
I didn't know it then, but that moment in elementary school when I wrote my first short story set me up. And then in high school my English teacher asked me if I had considered a future in writing. I though about it but I didn't really believe in myself. But then one day I just couldn't stop creating characters and the plots in my head wouldn't go away.
One night when I was in my early twenties and laying in bed, I made the decision to put my characters out there for the world to discover! That's when I started writing the series!! (Smiles really big)
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