Interview with Angela Morrison (TAKEN BY STORM AND SING ME TO SLEEP)

terça-feira, 21 de setembro de 2010

Hi Guys...
I´m here today to show you a delicious interview that I had the pleasure to make with an international writer - Angela Morrison that wrote TAKEN BY STORM and SING ME TO SLEEP.

I confess that I´m delighted with Angela, not only because she´s extremely caring and gentle, but because her answers made me her fan and I haven´t even started reading her book (soon I´ll review it!). It was a big pleasure to translate this interview and I confess that Im touched with the message she left!

See for yourself...

AMS: When and why did you start writing?

AM: I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl. I read a biography about Louisa Mae Alcott and decided I wanted to be her. I had a big sister just like Meg--pretty and perfect. And I was the sister who wanted to run around outside and climb trees. I also loved to make up stories. In high school, I went to workshops for kids who wanted to write fiction and got to meet real life authors who encouraged me. In university, I majored in English Literature. That turned me into a really good critic. I got married and had four children, but I always felt like I needed to work more on my writing. In 2002 I enrolled in Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA (master of fine arts) in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I learned from professionals how to write professionally. And I've been trying to do that ever since. It took me almost four years after I graduated to sell my first book, TAKEN BY STORM, to Razorbill at Penguin.

AMS: Why writing books for young adults readers? And why do you think that they touch grown up´s heart and attention so much?

AM: I write for young adults because those are the voices that surrounded me when I started writing every day all day. My oldest sons were teens at the time. And I'd taught teens at church every morning for three solid years. I love the concept behind YA now. The poignant struggles of teens trying to move through the transition from child to adult and trying to figure out love as part of the process are what draw me to a story.

AMS: You have two books already released. What are the most perceptible differences between your writing in each of them?
AM: TAKEN BY STORM is a collage novel. What does that mean? The story is told through a "collage" of entries. Leesie contributes poems from her "Most Private Chapbook," Michael lets us see his journal entries that he scribbles in his dive log (he is a scuba diver!), and then I added online chat transcripts of Michael and Leesie's chats and Leesie's chats with her poet friend, Kim. This story starts with a tragedy and ends with a sense of healing.

SING ME TO SLEEP is written entirely from Beth's point of view. We don't see into anyone else's head. My editor wanted a poetic element in this book, too, so she asked me to sprinkle lyrics from the songs Beth writes throughout the book. I also had to make up lyrics for all the choral songs her choir and she and Derek perform in scenes. This story ends in tragedy with a hope of healing.

AMS: Who is your favorite character from these two books?

AM: That's a tough question. It's like asking a mother to choose a favorite child. I just finished writing the sequel to TAKEN BY STORM, UNBROKEN CONNECTION, and Michael is so amazing in that book that I have to say he is my favorite right now. I'm starting to work on the final book in Michael and Leesie's saga, CAYMAN SUMMER, and I'm so excited to see what he'll do. I've decided not to keep that journey to myself. I'm going to write CAYMAN SUMMER and post it on a dedicated blog as I write it--poem by poem, dive log by dive log, chat by chat. I hope some of you will want to join me!

AMS: What do you think that´s essential in a book, something that makes you really stuck on it?

AM: I love to read about wounded characters who learn from their difficulties and find happiness with a precious person who will love them forever.

AMS: Can you name three perfect books in your opinion?

AM: Perfect? Whoa. Is anything perfect? I think there are some books that come close. I love Jane Austen. PERSUASION is my favorite because Anne suffers so acutely and Captain Wentworth is so horrible to her, but he finally returns to the love he knows is true. Katherine Paterson's JACOB HAVE I LOVED breaks my heart every time I read it but closes with a sense of spiritual joy that is palpable. My favorite YA novel in recent years is THE BOOK THIEF. The artistry in that book is incredible. When I feel like I need to tune up my prose, I read it again.
AMS: Can you give some advice for new writers?

AM: Read hundreds and hundreds of books. Write every day. Try to find opportunities to learn from professionals--whether it is in a formal degree program, through online classes or critique groups, or studying all the amazing material that is on the internet these days. Study your craft. Search out mentors. You would never expect a professional soccer--oops, football to you--player to star in the World Cup without years of professional coaching and thousands of hours of practice. The same is true for writers. Writing is a vocation that we are driven to do--despite how difficult it is to make any money do it. I'm miserable unless I'm writing. If you feel the same, you're a writer. Keep at it. You will get better and better. Take advantage of all the new avenues that are opening up for writers. Publishing as we know it is under going a gigantic shift. The trend to ebooks and print on demand books is just the tip of the iceberg. Get involved. Enjoy the journey. And write fantastic books! (There are lots of practical writing how-to's on my liv2writ blog on my website.)

AMS: I wish you could leave a message for the blog and for my readers ^^.

AM: Thank you, Bianca, for hosting me--sending me questions in English and translating my answers. I know how hard that is. I appreciate it so much. My motto these days is from Robert Frost, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood / And I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference." Check out the roads less traveled. Trust your life to a higher power. He knows what's around the corner. And I know He has some amazing surprises in store for all of us!


Angela, thanks so much for using your free time (that I know that must be very rare) to answer my questions!
And for my readers, I hope you like it!

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