Interview with Lorena Angell author of "The Unaltered" series.
1.Your name: Lorena Angell
I grew up in rural Idaho, USA and still live in a rural setting in Idaho. I’m married to an awesome guy, we have three children: a son and daughter 18+, and a daughter 12, and we just celebrated our 22nd anniversary. I grew up in a large family of nine children, 5 brothers and 3 other sisters, without an Atari or Nintendo... even without a VCR for many years. As kids, we’d play ‘No bears are out tonight’ and ‘neighbourhood’ baseball. I enjoy reading, cooking, camping, and discovering odd facts on the Internet. I designed the home we live in and helped my husband build it. We moved in 1997. Now, I help him with his website about house building and his self-publishing, print-on-demand business.
3.When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in 2006 while operating a home day-care. I would type during quiet-time and in the evenings. It became an excellent way of reducing the stress brought on by other people’s kids.
4.What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband. He wrote his own non-fiction, how-to-guide and then assembled his own book binder and created his own book complete with a high-color, glossy cover and ISBN. I was so inspired by the fact that if I wasn’t able to secure a publisher, I could print it myself and sell it on the internet, just like my husband.
5. Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
My books are not published in the traditional sense. I’ve submitted to agents over and over again and never got so much as a response, only the standard form letter that says, ‘Not for me.’
6.What made you decide to self-publish?
When an author has a completed work they just want it to be read and I wasn’t any different in that regard. Sure, I wanted to be paid for my efforts, but if agents and publishers weren’t captured with my query letter and synopsis, what other option did I have? I decided to publish for free on Obooko.com just to have my book read by an un-biased third party; perhaps readers’ reviews would give me an idea if I should continue to waste my time. However, right off the bat I had people emailing me wanting more and wanting to be alerted when the next in the series was released. I began to wonder if perhaps an agent or publisher would locate me because of my ebook exploding with popularity. (Hey, one can dream, right?) So far that hasn’t happened. A defining moment came when I read John Locke’s book about how he sold one million ebooks on Kindle; this moment was when I realized self-publishing wasn’t about hoping to catch the eye of an agent or publisher, it’s about re-defining the industry via the Internet. The ebook and the digital media devices, like the computer, Kindle, Nook, etc. is and will continue to change the publishing world.
7. How do you market your work?
I market through Twitter, my blog, Facebook, forums, writing websites, and most importantly one fan at a time. Word of mouth is the way something goes ‘viral’. One incredibly satisfied fan who knows I truly appreciate the value of their time is worth a hundred NY Times write-ups.
8. What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest work is book two in The Unaltered series, A Diamond in my Heart, a YA paranormal/suspense. It will release in a couple weeks. Summary:
A wild twisting ride into Calli’s supernatural world, exposing secrets, government projects, dangerous plots, and why Calli was chosen.
9. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It depends on the story. For example, A Diamond in my Pocket was a movie-like dream and I typed for four days getting the idea down, it took a few months after that to complete it. A Diamond in my Heart and the outline for book three has taken several months to formulate and type. On the other hand, the ‘Scars of Defiance’ series began as dreams back in the early 1990’s and simmered in my head for years before my attempt to tackle them. Once I started it took several years and several rewrites to reach the point where I felt like they were ready to be read.
10. What genre would you place your books into?
‘The Unaltered’ series is YA paranormal/suspense/romance. ‘Scars of Defiance’ series is YA contemporary romantic-suspense.
11. Where do you get your book plot ideas from?
My crazy brain, lol. I suffer from outrageous dreams that give me many situations and variables, coupled with my love of spy/thriller movies and voila, a plot emerges. I discuss my plot lines with my adult son who is full of endless suggestions (I keep trying to convince him to write his own books) and he helps me resolve the plot holes.
12. Do you have writing routine?
The morning is my preferred time to write as many ideas are fresh on my mind. However, when I’m in the ‘zone’ I can disappear into my writing cave for days at a time. I prefer to type to music and find I’m able to block out distractions while listening to familiar music.
13. Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"?
What did you do to get past the "block"? Yes, I run out of ideas. I’ve found that reading a book will reinvigorate my creativity.
14. Are there any specific authors whose writing styles or subject matter inspired your book?
J.K. Rowling and Nora Roberts; Rowling for her amazingly in-depth world within a world, Roberts for her descriptive twisting plots, and the fact I can’t put either down once I start reading.
15. What are you currently reading?
The man who drew blood by Chris C. Uzoh
16. Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for?
Indy Authors; Independent Self-published authors.
17. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Never stop learning how to improve.
Negative reviews are valuable free advice.
Read, Read, Read!
18. Do you have another project in the works? If so, what is it?
As soon as book two of ‘The Unaltered’, A Diamond in my Heart is released in a couple weeks, I’ll jump right into book three as book two is a bit of a cliff hanger.
19. How can people get in touch with you?
a) Your blog details? http://lorenaangell.blogspot.com
b) Your Facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/LorenaAngell
c) Your Goodreads author page? http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4976775.Lorena_Angell
d) Your Twitter details? http://twitter.com/LorenaAngell1
e) Your G+ page? https://plus.google.com/110198228714295086769
f) Your book trailer? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8qDIYUw5PE
20. Where can readers buy your books?