Author Interview – Heidi Angell

What is your pen name? 

Heidi Angell

Where are you from? 

A little bit of everywhere. I was born in Montana and still consider it home, but spent a good chunk of my young adult years in South Carolina before moving to Salt Lake City about 5 years ago.

Tell me about yourself? (family life, education, growing up)

I am a bit of an incongruity. A gentle giant (at 6’2) who prefers action and horror flicks to romance (much to the chagrin of my husband who has a soft spot for rom-com.) I have the joy (no sarcasm there) of rearing two teen boys who are keeping me quite busy and have put my bachelors in marketing and communication to good use as an author and publisher.

What is your latest release or when is your book going to be released?

I am actually in the process of re-releasing the Clear Angel Chronicles in preparation for the latest book to release in 2018, and I have a serialized apocalyptic series that will release in November.

When and why did you start writing?

I have been writing since 1st grade. I always knew I would be a writer, but I didn’t realize until my oldest was diagnosed with ASPD that I would pursue writing full-time rather than as a passion project.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first full-length novel was actually written in 6th grade. I had recently moved away from my best friends in Montana to Louisville KY which was a bit of a culture shock. Big city life is so different! I wrote my first book about a game my friends and I used to play, Lucky 7. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the master of the game, Rob Smith, had stolen a lot of material from popular horror movies of the 80’s. Once I realized that I knew the book would never be published.

Is there anything in your writing that is based on your life, people you know or events based on real life?

Yeah, there is always one character in each book that is based on me. My hard core fans like to guess which one! Often characters are also based on people I knew. I deal with a lot of real world problems from the safety of urban fantasy.

Have you ever traveled for your writing process for research?

No, but my travels have influenced my stories.

Would you like to tell us who edits and designs your books and covers?

My re-release for Elements and Angel’s Dance was actually encouraged by a fan of the books, Jo Michaels, creating the new covers because she loved the books so much and felt they deserved better covers. I was humbled and appreciative and look forward to using her services for future books in the series.

Is there a message in your book or key things that stand out?

I am like an ogre, lots of layers. Some common themes you will see are strong female characters, but I explore different types of strength. I also dabble with perspectives and the idea that our world doesn’t exist in a state of duality, there is a lot of gray.

Is there an author that helped influence your writing? Do you have a favorite independent author that you love?

Oh man, this question trips me up every time! I have so many favorite authors, and I think all the authors I read influence me. I actually run a bookish blog, An Angell’s Life of bookish goodness https://www.heidiangell.com/blog, to share all these amazing authors with the world. Would love for you to stop on by!

In the beginning of your work did you have a good support system in your writing? People that stood behind you and encouraged you.

Yeah, I did, and still, do. My mother has always supported my dreams and was actually one of my first proof readers for Elements of a Broken Mind. My husband, of course, has invested tons of time and money into my writing. My best friends and my brother all offered critiques and support. Yeah, I was really, really lucky.

Would you consider writing to be a career or a hobby?

It is my career. It affords me the ability to be home and care for my son, help him with his struggles, and be his advocate, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Is there anything you would change with your writing?

I am always trying new genres and starting new series. Part of me kicks myself every time because I probably should stick to the four series (Ok, once Survivalist bible releases, 5 series) and give my fans some closure! The fact that they are all in different genres doesn’t really help. Every time I turn around I am building my audience all over again. At the same time, I feel like the story that is speaking to me is the one that needs to be told. I just have to figure out how to write faster 😉

What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?

Hmm. I wouldn’t say any of it is particularly easy. It’s work, just like any other job. But the part I like the most is the first draft. Letting the story grow and flow, sometimes surprising me with the twists it takes. That purely creative non-critiquing phase is beautiful.

Do you have a favorite character in your book?

My characters are like my children. I love them all.

Do you have a character you could see yourself dating?

Ha, no. I have some that I think are totally hot, but I don’t know if I could live with their flaws.

Some say they learn things when they write. Is there anything you learned from your last book writing it?

Oh, I am always learning. As part of my research for Survivalist bible, I learned how much damage the average body will take from a three story fall and that shrews have a ridiculous metabolism and literally eat all the time. They can starve to death in as little as 5 hours.

Do you have advice for any new writers who are considering self-publishing?

Start learning everything you can about marketing. Don’t just throw your book up there and pray. Research is your best friend. Also, start networking and building your platform now. A great group to help with that is Our Write Side http://ourwriteside.com/

Is there anything you would like to tell your readers? 

Please leave a review for the books you read. Not just mine, everyones. Most authors I know read their reviews. This is your chance to influence art. I know for me, I take into account what my readers have to say. A lot of readers felt there was too much language and some unexpected scenes in The Hunters, I cut back on that stuff in The Hunted. We write for you, the readers. We want your input.

Are you reading anything now?

I am always reading! Yes, right now I am enjoying The Ambassador’s Wife by Jake Needham, an international thriller following Detective Samuel Tey of the Singapore police. Loving it!

Do you remember the first book you ever read?

No. My mother fostered a love of reading very early on. I was reading by three years old. I don’t remember the books we read, but I remember the feeling. I still get that feeling when I read now. Wonder, excitement, curiosity, and feeling like I am home.

Do you have any hobbies you enjoy? That isn’t book-related?

Hiking and camping with my boys, swimming, dancing, playing board games, watching movies, and binge-watching Netflix.

Do you have any films or TV shows you enjoy?

SO. MANY. If it appeals to the geeks and the nerds, it is totally my jam.

Do you have a blog or website readers can visit, possibly a newsletter?

I do. I offer a weekly e-newsletter full of bookish goodness from author interviews, book reviews, character spotlights, poetry, and notifications about cool book events and sales going on. You can subscribe here: http://bit.ly/2hHAEUh You can also visit my website at http://www.heidiangell.com

Your book link?

You can find all my book links and all the retailers who sell them on my Book page https://www.heidiangell.com/books

Do you have any social media links you would like to share?

My super fans get to be a part of my Geek Street Squad on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1695573887379175/ and get first peek at my works in progress, and what’s going on for me as an author, but if you just want to talk about books in general, I am kind of everywhere. From bookstagram to booktube, and pretty much anywhere else. Find your favorite social media platform and connect with me. https://www.heidiangell.com/connect