Welcome, Ange Chrysler! We’re looking forward to learning more about you, your writing and your upcoming novel Dolor and Shadow which was just released on May 31, 2015.
Something that would surprise you? *laughing* I smoked a Cuban cigar once. I did it only to say I’ve done it.
2. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
Dolor and Shadow is my first book. Broken—macabre memoir/ psyche thriller—is my next release due to release this summer.
3. What genre is it and what is it about?
After being abducted, she is rescued by her nemesis and finds herself lost with her nemesis King Rune, who was framed with her father’s murder.
Half the book focuses on Kallan having to work together with Rune while her own Drui powers awaken and Kallan has no idea what she really is.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
Then I added secrets and two thousand years of history. When I was done, I was looking at seven books in the series at least and three additional novellas on Bergen.
5. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
The title evolved with the story. Dolor and Shadow began as a romance called “The King’s Warrior.” (Yes. It was as bad as it sounds). I realized that the story had far more potential as a fantasy so I dropped the romance and brought out the fantasy.
The book is about Kallan’s grief and the Shadow that slowly kills her. Sorrow and Shadow sounded too…well, romantic, so I changed Sorrow to Dolor, which means the same thing.
6. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
Oh! The cover! The cover was designed by Indigo Forest Designs. I loved the quality of the artwork and the price was substantial! They asked me some basic questions. What do you want to see on the cover? Colors? Genre? Design? Personally, I didn’t care. I am a writer, not an illustrator.
I told them I wanted the Seidr, Kallan, and ravens on the cover. I wanted it dark and “fantasy” looking. I told them the color scheme. Blue and black. The rest was up to them. What they came back with was their first try. We changed nothing. It was gorgeous! Exactly what I wanted!
The golden light under “Shadow” is the Seidr (magic). The Raven on the “O” is Fand, the Fae goddess who hunts Kallan and Fand wasn’t in the book until I saw the cover and was inspired. The coat Kallan wears and the sword she holds all have stories that are revealed in the book. He pegged the details without ever reading Dolor and Shadow! So amazing really!
I actually did this! Gerard Butler is Bergen and I won’t lie. I love Gerard Butler and did a lot of imagining of Mr. Butler when I wrote Bergen…. Clint Barton is Rune. So much about him reminded me of Rune and he pairs up beautifully with Emmy Rossum who I would cast as Kallan. Ms. Rossum would be a stunning elf and she is so much a lady, but I see her harnessing a truly darker talent. She could totally handle Kallan’s dark side. And believe you me, Kallan goes dark.
Oh. My favorite is Bergen. I adore Bergen. He is the guy every man wants to be. He is the man every woman wants to be with. And he knows it. In truth, Bergen is the part of me that never holds back. He’s confident, bold, and is always…always looking for trouble…or adventure. He can’t sit still…ever. And is always the first one out the door.
9. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Yes, actually. First and foremost, sex scenes. Hate doing them. I hate reading them. I don’t think I can do them and I don’t think I ever will write them. I would like to try primarily because I view it as my bane and I don’t like having a bane. It will not be for the Drui series.
The other scenes, are the torture scenes. I am no stranger to torture and have been on the receiving end. I think this allows me to really put myself in the mind of the victim…it’s hard for me to go there. Kallan is tortured for several chapters and when I was finished…I was not okay. In Lorlenalin’s Lies, I torture a character and afterwards…I broke down. You’ll notice, I never actually show the torture. With Kallan in the caves…it was hard.
I do have troubles with the children dying, but I will not water down the reality of war. War. I had difficulty writing war as it is. But it’s honest.
10. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
I’m going to also say genre. I am eager to try most genres. I want to write romance, goth, I already wrote fantasy and non-fiction. I may try sci-fi and I have some ideas…but erotica. I will never write erotica. Ever.
As for a subject? No. I can honestly say I never want to put a limitation like that on myself. I have no way of knowing what I will embrace in the future…except it won’t be erotica.
11. What book do you wish you could have written?
Isn’t it obvious? Harry Potter! Seriously? Patrick Rothfuss’ books. I would have written them very differently and it bugs me a lot.
Last month, April 2015. In all honestly, I started feeling guiltless about introducing myself as an author the moment I realized I was self-publishing and hired my editor. It was hard drawing that line and saying, “I had earned that title” as an author/writer. It was no longer a hobby. I was a professional.
13. How important are names to you in your books?
Oh! The names are everything. The name, in most cases, is the first thing you learn about a character and it can make our break them too easily. The first thing I do when choosing a name is I make a list. I mean, I open my baby name book with more than 500,000 names and I write down every name of a specific region.
In the case of Dolor and Shadow, I pulled every name with Scandinavian roots. That list I made seven years ago and I still have it. I still use it. I was pulling names from that list as recently as six months ago. Lodewuk for instance…I needed a name for the legendary king Gandalf because…well, it’s pretty obvious why I couldn’t name a character Gandalf. So I changed his name to Lodewuk.
Kallan was chosen for the strength in her name. Rune was chosen for the ancient mysticism in his name. I wanted something that said “bowman,” “hunter,” “king,” all while saying “wise”. Bergen just sounds fun.
14. What can we expect from you in the future?
Broken is due out this summer and Bane is due out this Winter. Then I aim to release Lorlenalin’s Lies. These books are all started and in the works. I have a full six to seven books planned for Tales of the Drui plus three Bergen books.
I have a number of other ideas still floating about in my head, some as part of a series. As an author I really want to explore new genres. I want to play around with gothic fantasy (no vampires), macabre fantasy, macabre romance where the romance ends badly…I really want to delve deeper into the mood of Poe and bring that out more in my writing.
15. What do you wear while writing?
99% of the time, I wear lounge pants with t-shirts. Currently, I am wearing my “I cry because people are stupid and that makes me sad,” Sheldon Cooper t-shirt. Sheldon Cooper is my hero. I also have a lot of Ireland t-shirts, Guinness t-shirts, Star Trek T-shirts, and super hero t-shirts. I wear floor-length knit skirts. On cold days, I wear the lounge pants under the skirt.
16. What literary character is most like you?
Dorian Grey! Lol…Not really, I just really love Dorian. I know he was evil and I don’t care! I love him!
In all honesty, I am not exactly like any literary character I know of. In truth, I am a lot like Dick Solomon from 3rd Rock From the Sun and I am NOT exaggerating. I adopted so much from John Lithgow’s character and Dick Van Dyke when he danced with the penguins in Mary Poppins. I am a combination of Dick Solomon and Mr. Spock. I also have a little bit of Sheldon Cooper in me. The cat lover, social awkwardness about Sheldon. I’m probably too blunt for most people’s taste and I don’t know why the bluntness is so inappropriate. I was forcing people to hold up sarcasm signs long before he was!
17. If you were a super hero, what would your name and power be? What costume would you wear?
Two superheroes come to mind. The first hero was a collaboration a friend of mine and I created when we were teens. I was Water Girl. He was Dirt Boy. Together…we’re Mud! *Insert Dick Solomon pose here* We had capes and everything.
As an adult, I had a similar brainstorm with my girlfriend (yes…I said adult). She was Captain Obvious and I was Doctor Logic. We were super villains and I reasoned people to death. But in all seriousness—Did I just say “in all seriousness” while answering a question about superheroes?—I would have Kallan’s powers. It’s why I wrote them…to live vicariously through her. She throws fire and fights with swords.
But above all, my super power would be the ability to fight in stiletto boots with the powers of a Jedi. Aside from being lethal with swords and bows, I would reason people to death and they would call me Doctor Death because it’s catchy.
19. Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Yes! I want to meet H.G. Wells because I want to ask him why he never names any of his main characters. “The Time Traveller” and the main character of War of The Worlds is never introduced. I made it half way through before realizing, Hey! I have no idea what his name is! The only character Wells ever names is Griffin and that’s the invisible man…the one without a face…or a body! I was so thrilled to finally see “Griffin” until I realized I had no idea what Griffin looked like. Argh! Weeeeeells! (See, there is that “Dick Solomon” coming out of me again.)
…is a writer, logician, and die-hard nerd who studies philosophy, theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm.
In 2009, after completing two courses from Long Ridge Writer’s Group, her articles appeared in Kritter Kronickles Pet Magazine, and she began work on Dolor and Shadow: a dark mythological fantasy that depicts the Viking era from the elves’ point of view. Despite her smile and passion for laughter, Ms. Chrysler survived a number of unique hardships that fueled her darker side and love of macabre. She is active on most social media platforms and can usually be found tweeting on Twitter at @abchryslerabc.