Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interview (and Giveaway!) with Angela Lovell

Today, I am very pleased and excited to welcome Angela Lovell to the blog! *cheers and throws confetti*!!Not only is this chick a fabulous author of one of the most surprising books I've read this year, she's also incredibly down to earth, hilarious, and just plain awesome. I'm so glad she approached me to review her novel Blood Drunk, not only because I got to read something completely original and amazing, but because she's so much fun to email! especially about the crazy spontaneous family that pops up unannounced...*shakes finger at family* Anyways...Angela let me interview her about her book, her life, and all sorts of other random stuff. So without further ado. I give you...Angela Lovell!

Angela Lovell is an award-winning playwright, director, screenwriter, podcaster, writing instructor, sex columnist, and performing monkey. She’s written for MTV, several independent film studios and the fancy-pants publications below. She's taken first place at The Moth's NYC StorySlam and performed with Mortified. You can hear her as Mark Twain's daughter on the new album Mark Twain: Words & Music (featuring Clint Eastwood, Garrison Keiller) She lives in New York City with her very handsome husband and their two very opinionated dogs. She loves your love.

Me: Hi Angela! Thanks so much for coming on the blog today. I am so excited to chat with ya, mostly because you wrote a fantastically awesome book, but also because you're from New York City! (One of) My favorite cities of all time! *cheers while wearing an I <3 New York Shirt* Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Angela: Though I started out as a screenwriter/playwright, I've been lucky enough to work as a freelance writer on everything from scripts to sex columns to astrology for unborn babies. I’ve lived in New York City for most of my life but I grew up in what’s been called “The Shark Capital of The World” so beaches are kinda ruined for me. I also spent much of my childhood in haunted houses. I've worked off and on as a psychic and have a lot of good stories that instigate sleeping with night lights on.

Me: you've been writing for quite some time.Have you always wanted to be a writer or did you go down any other paths to greatness?

Angela: No, I wanted to be a musical theatre actor and I guess I was for a while. But I ended up writing so much material in high school and college that I realized I was a much better writer than actor (especially the dancing side of it!) But I wrote compulsively and it eases something in me to do it. But sometimes I still find something to perform in, even if it’s just singing along to Broadway tunes in front of my bedroom mirror.

Me: WOW!!! That's so cool! I'm talking to a famous person! I'm in total awe!! Heheh :) Well, now that you're mostly a writer, what's a typical day like for you?

Angela: I wake up to the man (and dogs) of my dreams! Then he goes to work and they go to the park to poop. After that I force myself to sit still until I crank out 4,000 words. Somewhere in between I drink tea and go to the gym (on good days.) I go a little bonkers when I’m on a tight writing schedule so it’s important that I get out of the apartment.

Me: Awee thats so cute! Maybe someday we'll all find the man and dogs of our dreams what kind of writer are you: a plotter or a panster?

Angela: Mostly a panster. The fun is finding out where something’s going as you’re writing it. And it’s funny because I love to write mysteries even though I’m never sure where they’ll end up.

Me: Yeah I also find that writers who are mostly pansters come up with more original ideas. When they don't know where there going, I usually can't figure out all the twists and turns as well...which makes the experience so much better! So what types of scenes are the hardest for you to write?

Angela: The boring transitional ones. BLEH! I’ll jump off a bridge before I have a character do something boring. I try to skip all of that stuff and race ahead to the good parts.

Me: Ha you know, I think I could have guessed that. Blood Drunk is constant action! Something new is always popping up right around the corner! You have no idea what's coming next. Definitely awesome...So where do all of your ideas come from? Are they real life experiences? Based on real people? Or are you just pulling everything out of that magical place in your head?

Angela: A lot of my best stuff is inspired by real life but I prefer to make up characters so that I don’t get too attached. And I suffer from an incredibly morbid imagination (my therapist has tried to “retrain” my brain but it just didn’t work.) I’m constantly thinking up the worst case scenario for any given situation. (Un)fortunately, those usually involve some sort of monsters too.

Me: Yeah, I'm all for the monsters. Even so, I have to ask...other than the fact that they are totally fabulous and so much more fun to read about than normal charachters...Why Paranormal? Why Vampires?

Angela: I looooove all things paranormal, especially vampires! They’re the ultimate bad boys (and girls) and it’s never their fault. They’re misunderstood, which makes us want to love them more. I also love all the crazy history that can be crammed into the lifetime of a vampire. It’s such a broad character - so much time to screw up, learn, love, lose, and drink blood.

Me: Exactly! I love me some vampires :) So what do you think was the most challenging aspect of writing a novel?

Angela: Forcing myself through doubts. I didn’t know if what I was writing even made sense half the time because it felt like I was just channeling it. I’ve started many big projects that weren’t finished, but writing this book was so much fun that as soon as I forced myself to sit still I was utterly delighted. Don’t get me wrong - I had to disconnect the internet in our apartment everyday for the first week of writing, but as soon as I figured out who this guy was and where he was going, it was downhill.

Me: What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself when creating Blood Drunk?

Angela: I couldn’t believe how obsessive I became. It was all I thought about. I can’t even tell you what was happening in the news or what movies I saw. I was constantly working out this story and structuring the next two books. I worried about my characters when I wasn’t writing them as though they were my best friends.

Me: Wow. It sounds like you poured a lot of yourself into these characters. It totally shows in how fabulous they are by the way :) Well...besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

Angela: I love karaoke, sewing my own clothes, swing dancing, knitting, cooking, building terrariums, and frequenting dog parks with my two lil’ rescued Pomeranians. I was lucky enough to marry the most lovable man I’ve ever met, so I enjoy hanging out with him as well.

Me: You...are a crazy person...I can barely handle ironing my clothes let alone making them, sewing them, knitting them, etc...props to you sista! And I LURVE swing dancing! I usually go every Sunday, but the only guy I know who swing dances with me is now being kept under lock and key by his girlfriend...*grrr*...oh well, maybe I'll find a lovable man like yours to hang out with instead :) Are there any projects that you're working on right now?

Angela: I’m working on the second and third books in the "Blood Drunk" series, and sometimes I switch over to a super-fun zombie book I’m writing, also a YA set in New York City. And I just had the incredible honor of performing alongside Clint Eastwood as Susy Clemens on the new album Mark Twain: Words and Music.

Me: OMG that's so awesome *ogles* I can't believe it! Clint Eastwood!! Oh my gosh! That's so fabulous! I am in total awe of you as a person...I don't think I can even talk about you any more. I can't handle the greatness! lol..So let's talk about Blood Drunk instead :) Describe Blood Drunk in 5 words.

Angela: Edgy, surprising, original, super fun!

Me: Are there any other authors/books in the Paranormal Genre that influenced or inspired Blood Drunk?

Angela: Stephen King big time. I used to sneakily read his books when I was a kid. My mom would find them and throw them away, but it never deterred me from finding another copy. The guy is a genuine storyteller. Lots of writers can WRITE, sure, but to really weave a story is tough stuff. When you read him the flow of his books feel very natural, like you can feel the story coming to him without being contrived. I try to write in that same style so that it always feels like it’s happening in that moment. I also relate to him in how to properly apply a morbid imagination.

Me: Stephen King is a fabulous writer. I think he's inspired the dark in a lot of, OMG! That opening scene with the girl getting murdered! And then the scene with Blue looking at the possible body of his baby sister! So dark! So awesome! I absolutely adored how vivid the scenes were, but a lot of critics are saying that YA literature is getting to0 dark or too graphic. Do you think that YA is getting too dark? Or do you think, “Hey, they’re teenagers..they’re already dark and twisty, so why not give ‘em what they like?”

Angela: Hah! Yeah, it’s DEFINITELY getting darker and more graphic! But YA is for those on the cusp of adulthood, which I’m sorry to say, is a pretty dark place. So it’s tough to say what’s too much, especially since we’re all so hungry for gritty material in our teens. Personally, I wouldn’t be the person I am today (who I genuinely adore) had I not read books that were way too adult at the time. Plus I’m glad YA has gotten darker since it makes it more fun to write!

Me: Yeah, I'm a total sucker for the dark side. I love reading about the dark twisty-ness of a really complicated villain or main character. Though he's not really dark, the main character of Blood Drunk is a male. Did you find any surprising catches or difficulties in writing a male protagonist?

Angela: YES! Males are very straightforward thinkers. They can only focus on one thing at a time. That can make it easier to write from a male perspective, but then because I’m a scatter-brained female I had to resist the urge to have him multitasking too much. The good thing about writing from a male point of view is how obsessive they can become. It’s easier to keep threading Blue’s ongoing issues throughout the story, which made some of the themes more vibrant (I hope!)

Me: Oh believe me, you really know what makes Blue tick. He's a very driven character...but I've kind of been wondering, is there any significance to the names you chose for the characters? I feel like Blue could be meaningful in some way, as well as the others...Tristan, Kat, Alex, etc.?

Angela: Tristan is named after a beautiful boy I befriended years ago who never seemed of this world. Kat is definitely supposed to be feline. Alex was a nice, normal guy’s name, and since he’s newer to vamphood I wanted him to still feel human. Blue is a big ol’ bleeding heart who holds onto sadness and responsibility so much that his character felt literally blue to me.

Me: Of all of your characters, who do you relate to the most? The least?

Angela: I relate the most to Kat. She has a lot of oddities (aside from being a vampire) and she’s not able to let her guard down, which makes her harder to love. Even though Lacy and I share a love of fashion, kittens, and vegetarian food, she’s a lot more confident than I was at that age. I find myself envying Lacy as I write her sometimes. She’s very sure of herself (though I still favor Kat.)

Me: That's awesome, I found myself identifying with Alex of all people...oh well, maybe I'm secretly a killer vampire from New York of which, a large part of the novel takes place in New York City. Do you think living in the city makes it easier or harder to write about it?

Angela: It definitely makes it easier. I come up with most of my ideas during my subway rides. I spent a lot of hours waiting on subway platforms at all hours of the night, so that setting definitely feels familiar to me. I’ve tried living in Los Angeles and even Scotland, but NYC has something very special if you’re a writer. I can’t live here and not feel constant inspiration. It’s a tough love but totally worth it.

Me: Family also plays a huge role in Blood Drunk. Are there any personal experiences that influenced how the characters interact with each other?

Angela: I’ve been part of a really strong trio for a long time of just my brother, myself and our mom. We’re extremely close and have gone through a lot of lows together. We’d do anything for each other, without question. There were times I’d be writing about Blue’s family of three and almost burst into tears thinking of my own. I tried to make them original but with that same love and dedication to one another that I've been so fortunate to know.

Me: Would you like to be a character in your own book? Who would you be (or be allied with)?

Angela: Yikes, most of what I like writing is dark, and I’m actually a pretty bubbly person, so I’m not totally sure I’d want to jump into one of these books. But if I did it’d probably be a zombie book just so I could fight off a few.

Me: So in your opinion, what makes a character evil? Being a monster? Being a monster and killing people? What?

Angela: I’d say none of those things. There’s a scene where Alex compares himself to a lion in the jungle eating other animals to stay alive. We wouldn’t expect a lion to starve itself so that other animals could go on living. There is a fine line for the vampires in this book when it comes to eating and killing. When a character is malicious and looking to inflict pain on others for purely sadistic reasons, that’s evil. These guys are mostly just hungry. (Mostly!)

Me: How many books can we expect from the Blood Drunk Series?

Angela: There will be at least three, but now that I’m exploring the family history I may have to write one about the ancestors. So, hopefully four!

Me: Wow! That would be fantastic! I cannot WAIT for the next ones!!! Will there be any other type of paranormal creatures creeping up in the next books?

Angela: YES! The next book is actually the prequel and told through Lacy’s eyes. She spent a lot of time underground with more than just those two vampires as escorts and saw some crazy stuff that didn’t show up in the first book. I like to think of the second one as my Empire Strikes Back - it just might be the best book of the series. And it answers some crazy questions about a few of the characters.

Me: *Squeee* You have no idea how excited that just made me! I'm straight up DYING to get the next book! When will the next one be out!?! *crosses fingers for soon!*

Angela: Soon! I promise! I’m hoping by Spring! I’m sort of writing the third alongside it so hopefully I’ll have that one out even faster!

Me: Oh, that would be fantastic! A birthday present just for mee :) And all your other readers of course! Thanks SO much for letting me interview you! I loved Blood Drunk and am totally looking forward to the rest of the series! I'll keep an eye out for them!!

SO that was Angela! Fabulous isn't she?? She is being amazingly generous and is giving away two copies of Blood Drunk here on the blog! One will be print and the other an e-copy! You guys should check out my review below and then enter for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I admit never heard of this book before but looks interesting.

  2. After reading your review and this interview I want to get a copy of this so bad! Angela sounds like such a fun person. :D

  3. if i could ask her a question i would ask is there a big difference between writing screen and play to writing a whole book?

  4. I added Blood Drunk to my To-Read shelf the other day when you reviewed it! I love the cover and I really hope I get a chance to read it :)

  5. I wonder if the monsters imagined are all supernatural/paranormal or does HUMAN come in there somewhere too?


  6. I'm dying to read this book! I love all the research you did before decided how to write your vamps! I can't wait to read about them:)

  7. I like that she considers herself a bubbly person and her book is dark!

  8. oh I DEFINITELY would love to read this!

  9. I totally forgot to answer haha (sorry I have the worst headache!) I'd like to know more about her psychic experiences. Was she born with it or did she develop it?

  10. I never thought about it before! That's such a good reason to write from a male's perspective, hahaha
    Great interview :)

  11. Id love to read this thank you for the chance to win it

  12. I would love to know that if Angela is so bubbly and writes more on the dark side, is it her inner dark she writes about or does she write to get the dark out?
    Thank you so much for the chance at winning this book it sounds great!!

  13. Hadnt heard of this book before stumbling upon this blog but I checked it out on goodreads and it seems really interesting!

  14. This book looks like such fun, thanks for sharing!