Today I welcome Angeline Trevena. Doesn’t she have a gorgeous name? She is a superwoman-rasing two young boys under five, pumping out dystopian/horror books, and keeping a keen eye for inspiration wherever you goes. Let’s meet her, shall we?
And her’s your visual. You know, face with the name thing:
Tell us a little bit about where you’re from, what genre you write in, and how you came to be an author.
Angeline: I grew up on the edge of Dartmoor, Devon in the south west of England, and lived there up until two years ago when work commitments forced us to move 200 miles away to central England. Even now, I’m still homesick for Devon. That place has been such a huge inspiration; from the rocky outcrops overlooking the open moorland, to the waves crashing against the coastal cliffs.
I write horror, fantasy, and science fiction; specifically dystopia. I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to hold a pen, but always wanted to make a living on the stage. While at university, studying for a degree in Drama and Writing, I found that I didn’t want to act, I wanted to write. I started out with short stories, getting published in various anthologies and magazines, until I found the confidence to wade out on my own into the world of indie publishing.
Wow, what a journey! I’m glad to hear you found your calling, though. Funny how sometimes that takes shape differently than we first imagine. Now, tell us: who is in your family?
Angeline: I live with my husband, our two young boys, and a rather neurotic cat.
Awesome! Can you share with us something from personal life that inspired a particular work?
Angeline: My ideas tend to come from tiny snippet moments; very much mighty oaks growing from tiny acorns. My upcoming collection of post apocalyptic stories, After, for example, was inspired by an early morning walk into town. I was with my two boys, and for some time we were the only people about. No cars moving, no other pedestrians. It was so quiet. It got me thinking about deserted towns and post-apocalyptic worlds. Hence, After was born.
Very cool. It is so fascinating how one tiny thought can inspire a whole novel. Do you model characters after yourself or after someone you know or do they all materialize into thin air from your imagination?
Angeline: I think there’s always going to be people we know in our characters, even when we don’t realise it. I don’t purposefully base my characters on people I know (that’s always dangerous territory!), but sometimes I recognise traits in my characters. More often though, it’s my readers who know me personally who spot similarities. In The Bottle Stopper, my brother found a character with many of my traits and, amazingly, her name used the same initials as mine. I hadn’t done that intentionally at all!
How wild! Your sub-conscious must have been buzzing when you wrote her–haha! Is there a particular message you try to convey with your work, or do you write purely for the entertainment factor? Both?
Angeline: My stories tend to be quite feminist in nature, with women driving the story, and fighting to improve their position in a dystopian society. I’m very interested in the idea of revolution; of the marginalised and ostracised rising up against those that seek to keep them down. But then, when you’re writing dystopian fiction, I think it’s part of the genre. But it is an idea I enjoy exploring through my fiction.
Very cool. Those themes resonate with me as well. How do life and art intersect on an ongoing basis?
Angeline: Being Mum to two boys under five takes up most of my day (and night!), so writing has to fit in around that. I’ve learnt to write in stolen snippets of time; nap time, snack time, movie time. I’ve learnt to write through the noise of children, of Peppa Pig, I can even concentrate at a soft play centre! It’s amazing what a person can adapt to when they have to. It inspired my non fiction book; ‘How to Survive Working from Home with Pre School Children’.
I play a lot of creative games with my boys; telling stories, making up songs, creating characters. I encourage them to be creative, and I love listening to my 4 year old making up stories with his toys. I also love taking photos when we’re out and about; buildings, stairways, alleyways, shops, trees, anything I think might end up in a story one day. So, wherever we are, I’m constantly looking for things that might spark off a story idea.
That’s so awesome. It is certainly a balancing act between young children and writing, but it sounds like you have a good system down. I love how you incorporate inspiration wherever you go. What’s one thing your readers and mine would find really interesting or unique about you as a person?
Angeline: This is always the dreaded question isn’t it? Having to think up an interesting fact about yourself. Well, for a horror writer, I’m not very brave. In fact, I’m scared of a lot of stuff. I’m scared of spiders, flying (I actually have to be heavily medicated to get on a plane), I’m scared of the dark, black-coloured food makes me nervous, tinned fish freak me out, I get bouts of agoraphobia, I have terrible stage fright, and even a bit of trypophobia (Google that one!)
I just did–had not heard of that one! You’re so right–I hate that questions when it’s turned on me, truth be told, but you answered like a champ. Perhaps your fear allows you to really give an experience to your readers–you know what it feels like!
Tell us what you have out and where we can find it (include social links to your website, book sales page, etc).
Angeline: The first two books of my dystopian series, The Paper Duchess, are available as ebooks or paperbacks, and the first, The Bottle Stopper, can be picked up for free. I have another stand-alone dystopian novella, Cutting the Bloodline. After, my collection of post apocalyptic stories can be preordered from Amazon, and my non fiction book How to Survive Working from Home with Pre School Children is available on Kindle.
You can get all the information and buy links for my books at http://angelinetrevena.co.uk/
Thank you, Angeline, for being here today and for sharing a little bit about your life and your writing. It’s been a pleasure. And now, folks, go. Run. Frolic–if you wish–to her page and grab the freebies and then maybe even buy a copy of something that sounds intriguing.
Happy Monday all!