Friday, April 3, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Angela V. Cook


The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
Hi, Angela.  Welcome to The Gal.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Angela V. Cook:  
I live just outside of Detroit with my husband and two children.  During the week, I work part time as a records clerk at a nearby police department.  On the weekends, I can usually be found at a soccer field (but I will give a death glare to anyone who calls me a "soccer mom").

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Angela V. Cook:  
I've never read a Harry Potter book (which I realize is the equivalent to blasphemy in the book world), I cry at movie trailers, I have an unhealthy obsession with Minions, I can't stand it when adults cut their spaghetti, and the smell of chocolate-covered cherries makes me nauseous.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What is the first thing you remember reading?

Angela V. Cook:  
I remember my mom trying to teach me to read The Cat in the Hat.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What are you reading now?

Angela V. Cook:  
I just finished Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.  That girl can write YA romance like it's nobody's business.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Angela V. Cook:  
I've always had an active imagination.  When I was little, my Barbies would live lives that rivaled popular soap operas, and as a teenager, I wrote cringe-worthy, coming-of-age poetry (what writer didn't?).  College, marriage, and kids took over my life for about a decade after that, but then - thanks to an early mid-life crisis - I decided I'd try my hand at writing a novel (or die trying - which almost happened).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Angela V. Cook:  
I usually write in bed or in my husband's recliner after he goes to bed.  Comfort is a necessity. :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Angela V. Cook:  
Well, my husband always laughs at me because I can't seem to open up a writing document without checking on my social media first.  I'm not sure if that fits under quirks or processes (or mental illness).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Angela V. Cook:  
My ideas usually stem from a single piece of inspiration - a song, an image, a "what-if," a short-lived TV show (as was the case with Into a Million Pieces), but the ideas morph and grow the old fashioned way - through my overactive imagination.


The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What books have most inspired you?

Angela V. Cook:  
Authors like Stephanie Perkins (mentioned above) and Bethany Crandall have inspired me to really embrace my voice - seriously, if you need a lesson in voice, read something by either one of them.  Those authors also have a very unique way of getting the reader to feel.  Whether it's happy, sad, annoyed, or loved, they know just how to get you there.  For example, the other day, I was reading a scene from Stephanie Perkins' latest, and all of a sudden, I started laughing and crying at the same time!  That had never happened to me before.  If I can ever get a reader to do that, I'll feel like a success. :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Angela V. Cook:  
Finding the time to do it!  I work outside the home, plus I have two kids and a husband.  The kids have homework and extracurricular activities, and the husband - for some strange reason - likes to spend time with his wife on occasion.  So yeah... time is a very valuable commodity.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What do you think makes a good story?

Angela V. Cook:  
I think everyone has an opinion on what makes a good story, but for me, it's all about keeping my eyes glued to the pages.  I don't care how it's done - whether it's because of quirky characters, non-stop action, or toe-tingling romance - but I want to be able to get lost in the story and forget about everything going on around me.  If I can read in the living room while a football game is on and the kids are fighting, then the author is doing something right.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Angela V. Cook:  
Definitely Allison (my main character).  First of all, she has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor (like moi).  Second, she's a bit of a loner (*ahem* me, again).  Last, she's very protective of her loved ones (just call me momma bear).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
Why did you pick this particular genre?

Angela V. Cook:  
I've always been a bit of a paranormal junkie.  The paranormal genre teeter-totters on the border of contemporary and fantasy.  It's real life, but something is just a little ... off.  That keeps things interesting.  I love that.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What makes your books different from others in this genre?

Angela V. Cook:  
Into a Million pieces is a story about a teenage succubus, which is a topic that hasn't been done to death in the young adult paranormal romance genre.  Because a succubus is associated with sex, I think it's a premise that writers have been hesitant to explore in the young adult market, but I was able to keep the story sexy and edgy without crossing the line into more adult themes.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What is in your 'trunk'?

Angela V. Cook:  
Into a Million Pieces is my second novel, so I do have a first book that is hidden away in the dark recesses of my computer.  I don't regret the first manuscript; I learned a TON from it, but the beast will never see the light of day.  Trust me.  It's better that way.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
What can we expect from you in the future?

Angela V. Cook:  
I have two other manuscripts that I wrote after Into a Million Pieces, but those are on hold right now because I'm writing a sequel to Into a Million Pieces that I'm really, really, REALLY excited about.  A sequel wasn't necessary, and I even debated whether or not to write one (the book could stand alone as is), but I just don't feel like Allison's story is over.  I have questions I want answered, and to be honest, writing about a teenage succubus is exciting!  I really enjoyed writing Into a Million Pieces, and I feel that same excitement as I continue Allison's story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:  
Well, Angela, thanks for stopping by.  I had a great time and I can't wait to read the sequel to this book.
            One more thing before you go - Where can we find you?

Angela V. Cook:  

About the book:
Allison McKready is a succubus.  So is her twin sister.  But while Allison spends her summer break hiding in the library behind her Goth makeup, Jade fools around as often as she can.  Allison can't believe Jade would ignore their mother's fatal example so recklessly, but concealing a cursed bloodline and its dangerous effects is far from Allison's only problem.  Mean girl Julie's snob mob is determined to ruin her summer, and Aunt Sarah's Bible thumping is getting louder.  Only her new friend, Ren Fischer, offers safe haven from the chaos of her life.
            When one of Jade's risky dates leads to humiliation and sudden tragedy, Allison reels, and Ren catches her.  But as her feelings for him grow, so does her fear that she'll hurt him - or worse - in an unguarded moment.  The choice is coming - love him or save him - but Allison might not live to make it.  One way or another, the curse will have it's due.

3 comments:

precylarkins said...

Sequel?!?! Yes!!!!

precylarkins said...

Sequel?!?! Yes!!!!

Meghan H said...

That's EXACTLY what I said hahaha. Thanks for stopping by.