This is your chance to get to know one of our newest authors, Angela Myron, a little bit more. Angela is the author of Ennara and the Fallen Druid.
Q – First off, tell us a little about yourself and your books!
A – I’m a nerdy girl from a middle-class family in Canada who ended up in California thanks to following my heart early on in life. I have a lovely little family here with sweet, silly two year-old twins and my own tall, dark and handsome knight. I wage a continuous war against squirrels, gophers, possums, and various critters who plunder my tomatoes, strawberries, and zucchini plants. In the very early mornings (on days when everyone sleeps until a sane hour), I write.
I long for the days when I was a kid and spent my days running through the woods and nights gazing into the star-filled sky. I relive them sometimes in my stories, and someday soon, I hope to share those days with my kids.
Q – When did you start to write?
A – Oh gosh, nineteen years ago. Hey, now I feel old! :/
I started writing in my early twenties when a roommate introduced me to the Artist’s Way. I became addicted and haven’t stopped since. It took me a long time to find the courage to write what I wanted—fiction—but I’ve been writing daily, professionally for almost two decades.
Q – What inspired your Ennara series?
A – Ennara’s story began as a writing exercise for a Mythic Structure class. I wrote scenes that mirrored each stage of the Christopher Vogler and Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. After the basic story structure was there, I used the story in comedy, horror, setting and character classes, and scifi and fantasy workshops. Before long, I only needed to flesh out a few scenes before I had a short novel.
Themes and the magical system in Ennara’s story come from my love of Buddhism. The world of Lan comes from my desire to see humanity plan for its distant future; this story takes place about 9000 years from now. Lan also reflects a big worry, only amped up: in this future, global warming and a catastrophe involving a comet has flooded almost all habitable land, and wars have devastated the human population and ended the scientific and technological revolution.
A lot of ideas I’ve been mulling during my decades of writing everything but fiction ended up in Ennara’s story. And what started out as a class assignment ended in my first novel. It was pretty exciting. I started writing it when my baby twins were four months old, in stolen moments while they napped (from birth until then, I was too exhausted to do anything other than take care of twin newborns!). I finished a bit more than a year later.
Q – Tell us about your writing process?
A – I’m a natural plotter. I’m so envious of writers who can create an amazing character and just follow her as the story unfolds! For me, everything is created beforehand, though I never really understand my characters fully until I have them in-scene confronting their obstacles.
I’m fascinated by archetypes, mythic structure, and the natural resonance these stories carry for so many people. All my stories currently explore forms of the hero’s journey and the archetypes that appear in these tales.
Q – From concept to completion, how long does it take you to write a book?
A – It seems as though it takes me a year and a half, which is a really long time! Back when I wrote manuals, I’d have maybe three months to get a new book ready. So eighteen months feels like forever to me. I hope I’ll be able to write faster (that is, more) when my little twins are a bit older. As it is now, I only have a couple hours a day in which I’m free to write.
Q – What was the first story you remember writing?
A – The earliest one I remember is a poem in the eighth grade about a Neanderthal. His home was destroyed in a lightning strike and instead of praying to his nature god (I think it was a bear?), he dropped animal deification and worshipped the lightning. I think I was trying to make a statement about how fickle human beliefs can be.
Q – Which authors have inspired you the most over the years?
A – My current favorite is Neil Gaiman. I drink his words like a parched desert traveler. His stories demand that I write better, take my time, and tell a story that’s worthwhile. I also wish someday to write with the clarity and profundity of Virginia Woolf. Though these writers are far from being my equals, it’s good to have goals to strive for.
Q – What would you say is the most difficult thing about writing fantasy books?
A – Names! The names drive me crazy. I want to name my characters simple things like “Penny” and “John”, and towns like “Hogtown” with “Market Square”, but conventions demand that I come up with names like “Vortrand” and “Hildebrandt” and such. I swear, the next series I write is going to be about Kiddo and Puppy who have an adventure in Scary Forest outside of Smalltown.
Q – If you found yourself face to face with Ennara right now, what would you tell her? (no spoilers!)
A – Like many teens, Ennara feels a lot of pressure to live up to expectations. I’d tell her to relax a little and give herself a break.
Q – Finally, what’s next for you?
A – Way back in May, September seemed like a long way off. I told myself, “Surely, I’ll be finished Ennara and the Book of Shadows long before then. I’ll set a release date.” But now, September is just around the corner and there is so much I want to do with this book before it is released. I’m looking at a mid-to-late fall release of Ennara’s sequel so I’ll have plenty of time to make it shine.
I have a sci-fi space opera planned based on the Buddhist parable “Flying White Horse”, and some ideas I’d like to explore with other characters in Ennara’s world. And a detective story featuring a werewolf sleuth that I’d love to have a few months with to fix up and sell.
I’m also having a lot of fun making book trailers. I’m a visual person, so the medium works really well for me. I’m currently brainstorming something good for the upcoming release. (My first book trailer is here http://youtu.be/-e05_FKm4gk, and my second here http://youtu.be/LBSxW_EktEo.)
Lastly, the audio book for Ennara and the Fallen Druid is coming out soon, so if anyone would like to exchange a copy for a review, let me know!