Interview with Angela Youngers

Who are your favorite authors?
I love a variety of genres and writing styles for many different reasons. I love reading John Irving, whose epic common-man stories are written with such blunt rawness and detail.When I'm in the mood for a dramatic crime mystery, I like Jodi Picoult. I enjoy reading classics by authors including Jane Austen, Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and more in order to expand my literary appreciation and make me a more effective English teacher, but I also need quick, fun reads to break up the longer endeavors. Because I teach adolescents (and also because I am a sucker for a good romance), I try to keep up with the popular teen choices. My favorite authors for teen reads include Veronica Roth (Divergent series), Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky series), Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games series), Lauren Oliver (Delirium series), Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments series) J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series, and yes, even Stephanie Meyer (As I said, I'm a sucker for romance...and vampires). I am a huge fan of seeing my favorite books turned into movies, or reading the original book once I watch the movie and discover it was written first. Sure, they don't always live up to my expectations, but I can't miss the chance to see if what I imagined is close to what is created.
Conclusion to an expansive answer: I appreciate and enjoy different authors for different reasons, and I haven't even touched on all of my favorites.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am an annoyingly chipper morning person. I'm at my physical and creative best early in the day, so I wake up and exercise. This might not be what inspires me, but it certainly gets me going. I especially enjoy dance videos and Zumba where I can move to good music and continue moving all day with that energy in my veins.
I love my job, even though it can be stressful to be a teacher. However, even on the worst days, I always find myself laughing with my students or colleagues. I am especially thankful to be able to teach subjects that I am passionate about including drama, speech, and writing.
I have a wonderful husband who I get to spend my days with, and even if our mornings are abbreviated, I look forward to seeing him at night.
Having my cat greet me at the top of the stairs every morning (behind a baby gate because otherwise he would whine at our bedroom door every night) makes me smile. His cute, furry face is definitely something that inspires me to get out of bed.
While my ideal morning includes working on my writing on the back porch with a never ending cup of coffee, then exercising and getting ready for a day with my husband and cat, every morning is inspiring because I have surrounded myself with wonderful friends, family, and activities about which I am passionate.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Most of my time is spent teaching, because that's what I do for a living. I teach eighth grade drama, tenth grade speech and writing, as well as direct the junior high mime show and school play. That keeps me busy, especially around show season. But I also like to act and sing myself, so I am involved with an area community theatre, which I also currently serve as a member of the board. I enjoy getting to make decisions about the theatre in order to make it a better venue, while also learning more about theatre and making some great friends and connections. For my passive hobbies, I spend quite a bit of time involved with my free reading or favorite television shows. I am an avid fan of television, as my DVR shows. My favorites are How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Nashville, The Vampire Diaries, and Saturday Night Live. (I think I have a problem). Oh, I also spend time with friends, family, and my husband, because that's healthy, right?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The one that sticks in my mind was a fable assignment I had to complete in elementary school. I had to write a story about how something came to be, then draw a picture. I wrote about how giraffes came to have long necks. I don't remember the logistics, but I do recall the picture (let's just say my illustration skills haven't improved much). I'm sure my mom still has that story somewhere in a box in my old closet. Maybe I'll publish that. I did receive an A on it.
What is your writing process?
The first draft is quite a long process, mainly because I'm so busy with my job and my television/book addiction, but I try to get a lot of writing done when on breaks, summer vacation, and weekends.
When I get an initial idea for a novel, which usually hits me randomly all at once, I scribble down a bunch of notes on scratch paper. I add to this a bit and talk out the story with my husband. When I think I have enough to move forward, I start writing. In the summer, when I get most of my writing done, I see my husband off to work, grab a cup of coffee, and write for two hours, outside if it is not too windy (which it usually is in Iowa). Then I like to work out or go for a run. I zone out to my music and come up with more ideas to add to my story. Long car trips also have the same effect as running for me, as long as my mind can wander to the background of mood-matching music. The first draft may take a year or more, but after I'm done with that, I let it sit for a few weeks, then start reading through and editing, faster this time because I'm focusing on continuity. I get friends to be beta-readers after the revision, take their suggestions, revise again, then hire out a copy editor.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember a time where I didn't read. My mom always read to me as a child, and then I took over. I had (and still have) an impression collection of Golden Books, and I also enjoyed the Bernstein Bears and Little Critter books. But the first two chapter books that really catapulted me into my obsession with the imagined world were Black Beauty and Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams. I've always loved animals and being able to read a story from a horse's or cat's point of view was just the most amazing experience. I would pour over those words for hours. Black Beauty's detail and emotion hooked me. Tailchaser's Song had a darker imagined world of cat underlords and minions, which probably opened me up to fantasy and science fiction. Anything is possible in the written world, and these two books showed me that.
Published 2013-12-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Painting Walls
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 121,440. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Bennie Daniels has an odd coping mechanism to deal with her issues including her ex’s engagement, best friend’s wedding, roommate’s new relationship, and co-worker’s amorous jugglings. When she runs into her ex’s best friend, she pursues him to prove she is capable of moving forward. However, she has many revelations and more growing up to do before she can put her paint brushes down for good.