Thursday, April 5, 2012

Author Q&A: Angie McCullagh

Angie McCullagh, author of the YA novel Spectacle (you can find my review here), graciously allowed me to ask her a whole slew of questions about her novel, her writing, and herself. I found Spectacle to be wonderfully honest and true to the high school experience, and I really wanted to "chat" with Angie to get her own thoughts on her book.

{ About Spectacle... }

How did the idea for Spectacle come to you?
I am six-two, and like one of the two protagonists–Emily, I was/am artistic and not athletically-inclined. Trix, her best friend, came to me as I wrote and turned out to be the character to which I’m getting the best reaction. She’s spunky and troubled. Both girls just want to feel okay in their own skin.

How did you decide on Spectacle for the title?
The title has to do with kids–teens– feeling like they’re so out there, such spectacles, as they grow and mature. It’s a tricky time, because adolescents want attention, but also desperately want to blend.

How long did it take you to finish Spectacle, from idea to finished work?
Two years, almost exactly.

Between Emily and Trix, who is your favorite character?
Emily is more autobiographical, so certainly I can relate to how she sees the world, but Trix kind of captured my heart as I was writing.

What do you hope readers take away from reading Spectacle?
I hope everyone who reads it is entertained, but I particularly hope that young girls take away a sense that absolutely every other teenager is struggling and that they are not alone.

{ About writing... }

Can you describe your writing process?
I send my kids off to school, work my part-time job, which I can do from home, then open Word and start typing away. Family life leaves little time for writing, so when I get the chance I have to dive in and go.

Where do you find you do the best work?
Sitting on my couch, under a blanket, with a laptop.

Did you always want to be an author?

Do you prefer to write YA or adult novels?
I love writing both. There is a freedom to writing adult novels, in that I feel I can transcribe a broader depth of life experiences. YA is fun, but I also sense more responsibility in writing for younger eyes.

Do you have any words of advice on indie publishing?
Find a mentor, someone who has gone through the process or is going through it but is a few months or years ahead of you, and learn from his or her successes and failures. This alone will save you a lot of headaches. That said, don’t be afraid to experiment on your own, too.

Any projects in the works you would like to share?
I am currently working on a somewhat experimental YA novel (as yet untitled) about a girl named Nelly Platt who is an actor in L.A. with a role on a YouTube-based cop drama called True Blue.

She's falling for the wrong guys (narcissistic actor types), and panicking as her younger brother Graeme starts displaying symptoms of an aggressive disease.

When he gets really sick and Nelly loses her job on True Blue (which is the family's bread and butter), she has to figure out how to keep everything afloat.

The twist on this whole thing is that Nelly is an uber organized control freak who keeps continually updated lists on her iPhone. The novel is told in list format.

I'm not sure how it will be received, but am really interested to find out.

{ About reading... }

What is your favorite genre to read?
Literary, contemporary fiction.

What is your favorite book of all time?
I can’t choose just one, but I loved Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld, The Paris Wife, by Paula McClain, and anything by Jhumpa Lahiri.

When a book is made into a movie, do you read the book first or watch the movie first?
If I read the book I don’t want to watch the movie because it ruins the reading experience for me, and if I watch the movie I lose interest in reading the book. So, one or the other, but not both.

Do you prefer to buy books or borrow them from the library?
I love to support authors by buying books, but I’ve recently put myself on a strict book budget, so have been checking them out. A couple months ago I discovered checking out books from the Seattle Public Library on my Kindle, which is fabulous!

Do you prefer to read print books or ebooks?
I love both.

{ About everything else... }

Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Salted caramel.

If you could travel through time, what time period would you choose to go to?
I would not want to travel to any era before antibiotics.

What is the one place in the world you are dying to visit?
Before last summer, I would’ve said France, but I had the privilege of going in July, so now I’ll say that I’d love to check out southeast Asia, specifically Thailand.

What is your favorite quote?
I cannot retain quotes, but I’m sure it’d be something by Ghandi or Henry Thoreau.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Just thank you for reviewing Spectacle and giving me the opportunity to answer your questions. It’s been fun!

Thank you very much for answering them all! :)

Find Spectacle on Goodreads and Amazon!

No comments:

Post a Comment