Interview with Angela B. Chrysler, author of the upcoming series Tales of the Drui
Thank you for having me, Mr. Hermann. I’m thrilled to be here. *smiles*
What inspired you to become an author?
I don’t think I ever was “inspired to become an author”. I simply was. I’ve always had to create something. I still do. I started playing piano at age 4. I spent the first twenty years of my life writing music, creating ballads, essays, short stories, and fan fiction. I was eight when I started writing stories. I wrote song lyrics and that led me to poetry. I choreographed dances and wrote musicals. They were all very bad. I still have them. I was twelve when I started creating book outlines. By the time I was 18, I was writing my first book. I still have all of it. I kept everything. But I didn’t consider writing as a career at all. I knew I was terrible with words. Occasionally, I got lucky and wrote something outstanding, but, for the most part, I focused on music composition, which I was much better at than writing.
In 2001, I lost my piano and, immediately gave up writing and music composition until 2007 when I stumbled upon one of those online poetry contests that led me to a vanity press. I didn’t know what a vanity press was at the time, but I submitted one of my old poems and, when it was accepted (vanity presses always accept submissions), I wanted to see if I could still write, so I tried my hand at poetry.
I found out that I had improved a lot and fell in love with seeing my name in print. Okay, so it was a vanity press . . . but it sparked my dream of being a published author. I knew I wanted to write a novel and immediately took a course through Long Ridge Writer’s Group. I loved it! I emerged eight months later and started Dolor and Shadow in 2008.
What is your favorite genre to read and why?
19th century French literature. Also, certain 19th century poets, primarily Poe, Kipling, Eliot, and Tennyson. I blame Andrew Lloyd Webber for my love of French Literature. *smile* In 7th, grade I had heard an excerpt from the Broadway musical, The Phantom of the Opera. It was the first time I had ever heard a full orchestra. Within that moment, I breathed for the first time in my life. An hour later, I visited the school library where I checked out the first book I ever read: Gaston Leroux’s 1911 novel, The Phantom of the Opera. I also took up music composition that same year.
Thanks to Broadway, I connected Phantom to Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, then Alexandre Dumas. From there, my reading branched into Russian lit with Ayn Rand. Ten years later, I rediscovered my love for the French genre with Jules Verne. *laughing* I indulged like a chocoholic in a chocolate factory. I read nearly every one of his books back to back to back. To this day, I associate French literature with that moment when I first heard music and discovered Leroux, Hugo, and Dumas. Discovering Jules Verne was like reliving that moment all over again, when I found books.
The prose of the 19th century poets must be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard in my life, save for the music of Puccini. Charge of the Light Brigade, Annabel Lee, The Raven, and Gunga Din, their words are like music.
Who is your favorite author?
That’s not fair. *laughing* I will answer instead, which authors have inspired me the most because my favorite author is among them. Rowling has made an impact on me with her clarity of word. Her imagery is altogether rich, crystal, and “E.B.White” simple: Shakespeare, for his mastery of human emotion, Poe for his inexorable beauty of words, Hugo for his endurance, and Tolkien, for his story. Well, I’ve managed to narrow an answer down to the running finalists. Would you make me choose from one of them?
What was the last book you read?
Iced by Karen Marie Moning. I love her characters. I love her world. I love her webbing.
Are you currently working on a book, if so, tell us about it and expected release date.
Oh, my goodness! Am I! Tales of the Drui is a ten books series. That number is subject to change. Book #1, Dolor and Shadow is scheduled for release July 2015.
Tales of the Drui is about three elves and their journey through the Ragnarok. But there really is a lot more to the story than this. A lot more. I have three main characters: Kallan, Lorlenalin’s witch-queen; Rune, Gunir’s king; and Bergen, a legendary warrior with a massive back story of his own.
Without giving away too much, Dolor and Shadow introduces Kallan and Rune. After Rune kills Kallan’s father, they are forced to pair up against the armies that seek to destroy them. While they battle their prejudice and each other across the ancient, uncharted lands of Midgard, they uncover the truth to Kallan’s past. Kind of an “Enemy Mine” meets “Princess Bride” and “Game of Thrones” from what my readers tell me. I haven’t read or seen Game of Thrones yet.
Book #2 Lorlenalin’s Lies is complete and should be available Summer 2016.
But my current project is book #3, which I haven’t named yet. This book is about Bergen.
Where do you find it more relaxing to write?
I can write anywhere. I spent the first five years writing Dolor and Shadow and Lorlenalin’s Lies, on lunch hours, during 15-minute breaks, and in restaurants. I can block anything out. I had to. I prefer writing at home, in my room, at my desk where I sit tucked into a corner with my cat, Cookie, sleeping next to me, a cup of coffee in front of me, and a blanket in my lap.
Do you plot your books out or do you ‘write as you go’?
Oh, they are plotted: every word, every decision, every exchange. Everything has a purpose. Every conversation lays the foundation for another, larger story that’s coming. I see the last scene of the last book and am currently holding in two to three scenes from each book. I have three white boards at home—yes, I’m that kind of Nerd!—all outlining each and every decision and turn my characters all take, when, and with whom.
How do you handle writers block?
Research. I’ve actually never had writer’s block. I have always had something to write. And when I exhaust a topic or an idea, I hit the books and read Wikipedia until a new idea develops. I love reading Encyclopedias.
Where can readers find you?
I am everywhere! I love online socializing and welcome conversation. When I am not writing, you can find me on Scribophile, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. My username, in most cases, is Angela B. Chrysler and on Twitter I am @abchryslerabc. I also have an account on Pininterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+. But, all of my social media links are provided on my website, which is http://www.angelabchrysler.
When I am writing, you can’t find me.
Top 5 reasons why you want to become an author.
Ooh! A challenge!
To get the stories out of my head because they hurt me.
Because I need to.
I think I only have three reasons! Thank you so much for this! I really had fun!
Thank you for taking the time Angela. We look forward to your book next year.
This interview was conducted by the author S.J. Hermann. Learn more at http://sjhermannauthor.blogspot.com/