Author Interview: Angela Morrison

Sunday, November 29, 2009 |

Today, I'm happy to feature Angela Morrison! I had the pleasure of interviewing her and I was lucky enough that I could! Angela is the author of several YA books, Taken By Storm which was an amazing book, and Sing Me To Sleep which is due March 2010. Please welcome Angela! =)

Did you ever think you were going to be an author?
I always wanted to be an author, but I wasn't sure I would ever break through that brick wall into publishing. After I finished my MFA, it took me almost four years to finally land a contract.

What are you strengths and weaknesses in writing?
I'm best at dialogue. That's what comes out first. I'm worst at plotting. My editor is great at it. I've learned so much from working with her.

How are you and Leesie alike? How are you different?
Leesie lives in the house where I grew up, goes to my high school, and shares my faith. At first I gave in to the temptation to make her too much like me. I saddled her with all of my worst high school experiences in the first five chapters. It was awful. A wise advisor pointed out she needed major revision. I changed her up. Gave her my sister's long, beautiful hair, another sister's mad driving skills, and my son's friend's vintage leather jacket. She started to become her own person. (And Michael fell in love with her hair and jacket!) Leesie's family is very different from mine. I modeled her father on my grandfather. And I think her mom is me. Every character I create comes out of my heart and emotions, so they are all kind of me, but Leesie struggled more than the others to be herself.

What was the most difficult aspect of writing Taken By Storm?
Getting Leesie's voice to click. It took many, many revisions, rejections and critiques until I started messing around with the collage format. Once I put Leesie's voice into her poetry, I knew I'd found the best way to share her with readers.

Is there any scene/part that is your favorite in Taken By Storm?
Most of my favorite scenes got cut! TAKEN BY STORM was seriously overweight when I sold it to Penguin. We cut a third of it. And then I had to rewrite a lot of it to make it work after the cuts. But I guess my favorite scene is the ending scene. That changed very little from my first draft. My favorite line is when Leesie says, "I'm way better online than I am in person." I think a lot of us word and book lovers can relate.

Do you have any "must-have's" while writing?
Bleck Zebra gel pens, pale pink paper, and my kidney shaped lap desk.

Your upcoming novel, Sing Me To Sleep is due March 2010, can you tell us a bit about it?
My daughter sang with the Junior Amabile Singers--a competitive girls choir--when we lived in London, Ontario. I always wanted to set a novel in that world. But I didn't have a story. Then a quiet tragedy happened in Amabile's young men's choir, and Razorbill decided to wait on publishing the sequel to TAKEN BY STORM. So I had a heart breaking story for inspiration and the opportunity to shape it into my art. SING ME TO SLEEP has a power far beyond me. Stop by my website and read the first chapter where you'll meet Beth, SING's ugly duckling heroine.

What is the best piece of advice for those young aspiring writers out there?
When I was a young aspiring writer, I hated that old advice, "write what you know." It gave me writers block for decades. But, when I finally got down to writing a novel, I wrote about what I knew. But it's so much more than that. To write, you have to draw from everything you've ever experienced, learned, imagined, and dreamed and refashion it as story. So, I tell young writers to write what they are dying to know, write what they just learned and are jazzed about, write what they dream, write from their deepest beliefs, and write what they miss so much it makes their hearts ache. I left the small town where I set TAKEN BY STORM as fast as I could, but I was so homesick for it that I returned the only way I could--in my imagination.

Lastly, is there anything else you'd like to add?

Reader's might just be interested in knowing that this fall I finally wrote the sequel to TAKEN BY STORM, UNBROKEN CONNECTION. Razorbill hasn't signed it yet, so I'm not sure if or when it will be published. Watch my website for updates.

Thank you Angela! =)

2 comments:

brizmus said...

Ooh! I love the name Leesie. It's so cool.
That's so sad that all of her favorite scenes got cut from the book. She's going to have to go and release a behind the scenes later on. So we get to see them. :-)

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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