Angela B. Chrysler: Author Interview

BOOK COVER

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.

1.    Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing? What is one thing that would surprise us?)
 
Well. First, I want to thank you very much for having me appear on your blog. I am an easy going, 30-something year old writer who embraces all things nerdy. I collect abstract art, old movies, and cats. *grin* I also love a fresh ground coffee, Guinness, and gardening. I play the piano, dance, and jump at the chance to enable my anime addiction.
 
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?

Fire and IceDolor and Shadow is a Dark Fantasy and is about the elven witch, Queen Kallan. She is the last Drui and is hunted by the Fae gods.

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?

Dolor and Shadow absolutely came to me out of need. Creating Kallan was easy and I started with her, but I knew Kallan needed problems to write about, so I invented them. I started with her having to pair up with her enemy, Rune. I shaped the book around their backstory and invented reasons why she hated Rune. Also, how they came to be in the same predicament. Later, I added the Dvergar, her abduction, a war, a rogue advisor looking to usurp her.
 

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?

BOOK COVEROh! 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!

7.    If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
 

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.

8.    Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
 

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.

He’s sharp, strong, a little impatient which has made him quick on his feet and quick with his tongue. He has a smile that just…he has a great smile. But really, he’s just so much fun to interact with. He’s the character that can get away with anything and come out laughing with a great story to show for it and that opens up so many possibilities for me.
 

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.

12.    When did you first consider yourself a writer?
 

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?

Fantasy backgroundA lot. This is my career and I have no intentions on slowing down. Dolor and Shadow releases on May 31st.

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.

18.    What makes you laugh/cry?
 
The anime, One Piece. Really, the main character, Monkey D. Luffy, who makes me laugh every time. And when he cries, I cry. Every time.
 
My husband introduced us and by the end of my first episode, I was curious. I went back to episode one and by episode three I was hooked. My husband and I then spent the next three months—three months—doing nothing but watching One Piece locked in a room with Chinese food and spumante. There are more than 600 episodes in One Piece, which had been running for 17 years in Japan and is still going strong. In those three months, we watched them all. It. Was. Epic. To this day, One Piece makes me laugh and cry.
 

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.)

*****

Angela B. Chrysler

…is a writer, logician, and die-hard nerd who studies philosophy, Angelatheology, 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.

While writing, Ms. Chrysler fuzzies her cats and survives on coffee, Guinness, and the writings of Edgar Allan Poe.  When she is not writing, she enables her addictions to all things nerdy, and reads everything she can get her hands on no matter the genre. Occasionally, she finds time to garden, mother her three children, and debate with her life-long friend who she eventually married to simplify things.

Find Angela’s work at: Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads and Book Promotion Sites.

Connect with Angela at: www.angelabchrysler.com
as well as at Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Google+.

 

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4 thoughts on “Angela B. Chrysler: Author Interview

  1. This was a very fun interview to read! These questions are creative. It’s awesome learning more about you, Angela. Luffy is one of my fave characters, he’s so funny! Oh and researching names for books is a guilty pleasure of mine; you’re not alone in that. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Dolor and Shadow (Dark Fantasy) | Angela B. Chrysler

  3. I’m a little confused. Is this Ben’s blog & he interviewed Angela?
    I am following it now so I guess I will find out very quickly! LOL!
    All the best to you!
    Sherrie
    Historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is a/b an American girl in war-torn ES: http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
    Sherrie’s husband made a video for her novel & wrote the song too:

    Like

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