Introducing Author Angella Graff
It’s my pleasure to introduce author Angella Graff in this weeks feature. She is definitely going places. I think you’ll agree when you read her book “The Awakening (The Judas Curse)” that this author is cut from a different mold. Not many are able or willing to tackle the subject matter she does. She’s a mix of Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum, and she makes the reader want more. You can read my review of Angella’s gripping novel, The Awakening (The Judas Curse) here. The idea of using ancient gods and Biblical characters is not new, but in Ms. Graff’s capable hands they take on a life of their own and the reader is hooked from the first page. This is urban fantasy at its best!
Interview of Angella Graff
- Where do you write? What’s your creative space like?
I almost always write in my room. I have a laptop, but I write more comfortably on my desktop computer. I find myself envious of people who write long-hand, and I miss it from time to time, but my brain moves so quickly that when I attempt to write it out with pen and paper I get frustrated. My room is quiet, though, and a place I consider my own space.
- What is your favorite writing tool?
Probably my computer! That, and conversations with other people, if you want to call that a ‘tool’. I find myself constantly inspired by the stories of people around me, and I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate that into my story. Whether it’s an event, a personality trait, or even someone’s habit. I don’t think I would be able to write as much as I do without experiencing life and the people around me.
- What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?
I want to say Benedict Cumberbatch, because let’s face it, I’m mad for him. It’s a problem, haha! Honestly though, my husband and I have fun trying to “cast” actors into my book. I did actually write a character after an actor, though. The character of Greg/Asclepius was somewhat modeled after Harry Groener. He played the Mayor in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just adored the way he could swap between good-old-fashioned guy and evil trying-to-take-over-the-world guy. I absolutely LOVE him.
- What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you realize that dream?
I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up. Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Marine Biologist (until I learned it required biology, go figure haha!) but the one thing I always wanted to be, and the one thing I always came back to was writer. And though I’m not famous or well-known (yet, haha) I have realized that dream. I’m on my second published novel, and working myself into a series, so I’d say that if my dream hasn’t been officially “realized” yet, I’m definitely on my way!
- Explain your creative process. Pantser? Outliner?
Truthfully I don’t have a specific process to speak of. Outlines distract me from what I want to say. I’m a big fan of letting my writing grow organically. I feel that it makes for more realistic characterizations of people, at least for me. When I try and outline someone or something, it sort of gets this forced feel to it, and so I rely heavily on beta-readers (and my husband) to make sure that I’m keeping the story in line. I tend to write a few pages of the beginning, then I start with the meat of the story in the middle and write to the end. When I get there, I head to the beginning and patch it up, bit like quilting, actually. I find it works well for me.
- If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle? Why?
Probably a bicycle. I may get flamed for this, but I’m not really an animal person haha. Although oddly, horses love my husband, and I have pictures of a horse giving him kisses to prove it!! I had one pretty bad injury, a concussion, on a bicycle when I was young, so I was afraid to get on one for years. Then last year while my husband and I were at the beach for our anniversary we rented bicycles and rode up and down the boardwalk for hours. I realized how much I missed biking and would love to get one… once we live in an area that isn’t hazardous to cyclists!
- Do you dream about your stories? Ever written about a dream?
Yes to both. I’ve been inspired by dreams before, mainly for short stories. When I’m in full on writing mode, when my characters and plot have a monopoly on my consciousness, I tend to dream about them. It helps from time to time when I feel stuck.
- What were you like in high school? Class clown? Nerd? Cheerleader type?
Oh dear. Hah. Uh… well… I was more the Marilyn Manson type. Eh heh. I wore a huge black faux-fur coat, torn fishnets, black skirts, Doc Martin’s and my hair was usually some combo of blue, pink, bleach-white and black. I did the crazy eye make-up and black lipstick. The whole deal. Please don’t tell my kids, haha, I want to have some leverage when I want to tell them they aren’t leaving the house dressed like THAT.
- What’s your favorite theme park? Why? (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)
I’m not a big theme park girl. I don’t like rides, or carnival games much. I used to, but it’s just not my favorite. I’d love to visit the Harry Potter theme park because I’m a huge Potter nerd. And last year my hubby and I went to Sea World which was fun, but not nearly as fun as I remembered from when I was a kid.
- Are you a reader? What types of books do you like best? What author(s)?
I am a reader. I read literally anything for my book review blog, and have found some really fantastic books… like Miss Leander’s INZARED, which I plan to re-read here in the near future. When I’m choosing for myself, I almost always go with non-fiction Theology. I studied theology in school, and I always go back that route. My favorite theology author is Elaine Pagels, who writes some fantastic pieces about the Gnostic Gospels and some of the other Gnostic traditions. It’s part of what influences me in my series.
Angella Graff’s Bio: Angella Graff lives in sunny Tucson, Az with her husband, three kids, two cats and one beta fish. When she’s not writing or book editing, she’s either at a kid scouting event, yoga class, or tearing through some BBC show on Netflix, and possibly simultaneously and repeatedly pinning pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston on her pinterest boards.
Thank you Angella for your candid interview and the nice words about my book. (I promise, readers, I didn’t pay her to say that! lol). If you haven’t read The Awakening it’s something you’ll definitely want to put on your list for 2013. The book is very different, with memorable characters and a subject matter that not many people tackle today. I found it engrossing – couldn’t put it down. That, in my mind, is a great read!
If you’d like to find out more about Angella Graff here are some places you can find her.