Author Interview with
I was raised on stories: I cut my teeth on Golden Books and hung out with Laura Ingalls Wilder, Trixie Belden, and Anne Shirley until I graduated to Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine, then Stephen King and Thomas Harris. That sort of variety has, of course, found its way into my writing. The novels of Aviario defy genre, but they all concern the inhabitants and defenders of a little fictional town in Connecticut. My debut, From The Desk of Buster Heywood, is a straight up thriller, while my latest, In The Cards, is urban fantasy with a touch of horror. This year's The Proper Bearing is a coming of age with some magic thrown in.
What drew you into writing?
I have to say, it was all that reading. It was only a matter of time before I started coming up with stories of my own, telling them to family and classmates. I remember that in my freshman year of high school, I had my friends hooked at the cafeteria tables, passing around the latest chapter of the adventures of a tribe of gypsies - all based on us, as teenagers do - during the French Renaissance.
What's your favorite genre to write within, and why?
Urban fantasy is my favorite... Aviario began as a way to write magic into the modern world. I started it before I'd even heard of Charmed, Buffy, Anita Blake, or The Dresden Files ... I just knew I wanted to see magic in a small New England town, and I made it happen. I was delighted to find that there was actually a name for what I'd been craving for years!
What do you hope to accomplish with writing?
I want my readers to feel like Aviario is a second home, a vacation getaway. I want them to feel as close to the characters as I do, to welcome them on the page as old friends the farther into the series they go.
But most importantly, I want to entertain, and bring some good things into the world.
Your three biggest author inspirations.
- The late, great Brian Jacques, who first inspired me to pick up a pen and make a world of my own.
- Neil Gaiman, who blends the real with the fantastic and makes it look not only easy, but dazzlingly beautiful.
- Thomas Harris, who knows how to turn a villain into a well-loved character while still allowing him to remain monstrous.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good: The moments when some tiny little thought arrives, then clicks into place in a way that connects elements of story and characters in ways I can't believe I thought of. (Example: the search for a supporting character's surname based on meaning led to her being related to one of Aviario's oldest families, with some awesome plot implications.)
The Bad: I love the freedom of indie publishing, but I'm still very new at marketing and promotion... so sometimes it feels like no one knows I'm out here. (That's when I just grab a megaphone and a soap box and get to work.)
The Ugly: I wrote my first draft of In The Cards over a decade ago. Combing through it was like finding old emo poetry, because I had that curse of all new, young writers: I believed I was the absolute dog's bollocks (as Crowley would say). Hey, 19-year-old me? Give it time, wouldja?
If you could give past you advice on writing, what would it be?
We're going to pretend I led right into this on purpose, okay? I'd tell myself that I don't have to spend all that time reading books about writing and doubting myself and feeling like I have to Be Ready. I'd mash my collegiate face into the spiral-bound paper and tell her to just write and never stop. Oh, and to not throw out things just because friends stop being friends. I lost a lot of great notes that way, that I wish I still had.
Ang has a weekly blog where she shares her writing process musings, and review books by other indie authors.
You can support her on Patreon.
Check out Ang's first two books at http://angeladonofrio.com!
Her third novel, The Proper Bearing, is due out in September!