I’ve got another awesome, debut author on Behind the Quill! Today’s guest is the lovely Angela Orlowski-Peart, author of Forged By Greed. When I saw the cover of this novel I had to know more, and not just about the book but about the woman behind the words. Fortunately for me, Angela was happy to oblige when I asked for an interview. She was such a great sport about it that I gave her a break and only sent a few questions out of the 999,999 that I had planned for her.
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
AOP: I have written short stories, poems, and novellas since my childhood. But I haven’t really planned to become a published author until my children were born. It was then when I realized that I have a dream, and I can actually make it become a reality.
Me: Is there a particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
AOP: Since I am a vivid reader, there are always books that influence me, or rather influence my Muse (laughs). Neil Gaiman, Ernest Hemingway, and Charlaine Harris are just a few authors that are responsible for the best ideas popping in my head.
Me: Your debut novel, Forged By Greed, is published and out there for the world to see. How does it feel? And did you celebrate its launch in any special way?
AOP: I have worked on Forged By Greed for a long time. Longer than I intended. There were a couple of major changes to the characters and the plot. My critique partners (Writers in The Rain) and my beta readers have provided an excellent feedback. After another revision, the editors worked on it, and then I had to implement all the necessary changes. So it was a long process, but I have enjoyed every aspect of it, even the revisions. When I finally was sure that my well-nourished Forged by Greed was ready for release, I was surprised how calm I felt about it. But then there was one day when I became anxious, to put it mildly. I emailed many of my friends, my critique partners, my family members, and they all were very supportive and understanding. As for the celebration—that bottle of champagne is still chilling in the fridge. We have to open it and properly celebrate!
Me: If Forged By Greed was made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters’ part?
AOP: Oh, boy. Now you made me grin! Hollywood producers, are you reading this? I hope so.
Jatred Bianchi, my male protagonist looks just like a very young Colin Farrell. And Jasmira Rosewater, my female protagonist would be best portrayed by Tika Sumpter. Many of the characters’ real counterparts are already displayed on my Pinterest board here (http://pinterest.com/angelapeart/the-forged-series/ ). I’m looking for the best matches and as soon as I find more they will go straight to the Pinterest board. So keep checking!
Me: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
AOP: I’m not sure if I have one chapter or a part that I could easily call my favorite. But I naturally like writing and reading fight and battle scenes. There is plenty of that at the end of Forged By Greed. My readers might find it interesting that I listened to the soundtrack from Lord of the Rings movies all the time while writing the final battle scenes. That music was so empowering and inspiring. The words were flown from under my fingertips.
Me: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with in the future?
AOP: Yes, there is a fun idea I am implementing in the second book of the series, Forged By Synergy. There will be much more fantasy and paranormal elements, but the book will still be firmly set in today’s reality. I am very excited to put all my ideas into that new story.
Me: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
AOP: So far I have not received a lot of criticism, but only compliments. Every book, even the most cherished and well-received by the readers, gets those one-star or two-star reviews. Forged By Greed might get them too, but for now I am enjoying the excitement my readers share with me.
Me: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
AOP: I can write the best and the fastest on a very tight deadline. This last summer, right before my trip to Europe, I wanted to leave the manuscript with my critique partners. I was totally running out of time, so for two days and nights in a row I worked on the rewrites almost non-stop, sleeping only four and two hours each night, respectively. And I delivered! But then I slept for twelve hours straight (chuckles).
Me: What are your three favorite forms of procrastination?
AOP: Favorite? I am the world-biggest-procrastinator, so I have a whole list of them. On top of the “Way To Procrastinate In Style” list are definitely: hanging out with my family and friends, walking or running outside, and reading. Oh, and watercolor painting and jewelry design.
Me: What is your favorite food? If you cook, what type of food is your favorite and would you mind sharing a recipe?
AOP: I love food in general, but nothing greasy, processed, salty, and overly-sweet. I love organic vegetables, lean chicken or turkey meat, and seafood. And milk chocolate. I cook almost daily and mostly from scratch. That’s how I have been raised. My mom has always cooked healthy and plenty! There was always good food in our house, even when we were really poor. That’s how we, Polish women, are—we cook and feed. Food is very important and well-celebrated in my culture.
By the way, one of my characters, Georgeta, is a foodie, and her recipes will soon be available on my website.
Me: Are you a pet owner? If so, what pets do you have and their names?
AOP: I have a super-kitty. He has been adopted from a local pet shelter, and has been with us for over a year now. His name is Cinnamon, for the color of his coat and his sweet personality. But I also adore dogs and hope to own at least one in the future. I love wolves, and leopards. If you have read Forged by Greed, you will understand why.
Me: What would you like your readers to know about this book or you in general? What do you want readers to see in your books?
AOP: I write my books for my readers, and not for what the market is hot for now. I know that Young Adult fiction is very popular, but I strive to write books that don’t fall into a “general” YA trend. I include mythology, characters that come from other cultures and traditions, and a meaningful conflict. I want my books to be remembered and cherished for the generations to come.
Me: Tell us about your current or upcoming release. Will you have a new book coming out soon?
AOP: Forged By Greed is the first book in The Forged Series. The second book, Forged By Synergy will be released in summer 2013. I am also working on a new Young Adult sci-fi series. The first installment—a still-untitled novella, is scheduled for release in spring 2013.
Me: What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?
AOP: Read, read, read! And mostly in your genre. It’s amazing how our brains perceive books, and—in effect—how the story ideas flow.
Me: Great advice! My TBR list is packed full of awesome books. I plan on reading every single one of them – including Forged By Greed! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today, Angela!
Wanna know more about Forged By Greed? Of course you do! Here’s a quick synopsis:
FORGED BY GREED:
Here’s a little more about Angela Orlowski-Peart:
Angela Orlowski-Peart was born and raised in Poland. She describes herself as European born, American by choice. She was just seven-years-old when she decided to learn English and translate her favorite Polish fairytales.
Angela is the author of the Young Adult fiction novels, including YA paranormal romance/urban fantasy, Forged By Greed. This is the first book in The Forged Series. Forged By Greed was published on September 17, 2012.
Angela writes in multiple genres, including paranormal, fantasy, urban fiction, sci-fi, and short stories. She is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Western Washington Chapter (http://www.scbwi.org), and several authors’ and readers’ networking groups on Linkedin and Goodreads.
So, what did you think? Do you have other questions for Angela Orlowski-Peart? If so, post them in the comments and I’ll see if I can get her answer a few of them for us.