Q: What got you into writing?
Angela : The short answer…stories. I remember a time when I was a child reading a book. While reading the story, I became inspired to write one of my own. The thought was, “Wow, this story is so good. It would be fun to write my own story. I could do this.” As I got older and exposed to different types of storytelling as well as different techniques of the craft, I started thinking, “I would’ve written this differently.” And now I do.
Q: How did Lockdown come to be?
Angela : About four years ago, I got an idea to compile a series of short stories together where each story was from the perspective on an inmate within a mental institution. In this four year period, I wrote ten or so pieces that fit this idea. In December, 2008, I sat down and really thought about this compilation. What it needed was a flow-through, a group of characters that connected everything else I’d already written. These characters are Dr. Michaels, Nurse Claire, and Edgar. Edgar is the crazy killer guy in my story. He is crafty and completely insane. He escapes from his room. When Nurse Claire discovers this, she tells the doctor and they put the sanitarium into lockdown to make sure Edgar doesn’t leave the sanitarium and no one else comes in. It’s a safety precaution. Lockdown is this event from Dr. Michaels twisted perspective.
Q: You’ve said Lockdown is in the draft phase, does this mean that we’ll see another version of in the months to come?
Angela: Yes, as a matter of fact, you should be seeing another version of this in May once I’ve had the chance to edit Sanitarium. If I’m not mistaken, I believe there are a couple inconsistencies in Lockdown that need to be corrected. When read with the entire work, some details are off. I need everything to flow together like a novel even though it is a collection of short works. Also, I need to make sure Dr. Michael’s character stays consistent. He’s got three stories in the collection and in going back through the work, I want to confirm that I don’t change certain details. So, yes, there may be a different version, but, hopefully it’s a better version.
Q: Tell us about the character Doctor Michaels, he’s seems a bit of an odd ball. But you’re the writer so who is Doctor Michaels?
Angela : Dr. Michaels is a burnt out psychiatrist. He once had a dream where he would have an amazing program specifically for the criminally insane. His idea was that so far, the programs out there are meant to simply keep these people from the public, but nothing was working toward making the insane people within better so that they could become functional members of society. After working with these people for so long, his own sanity begins to fade; his reality becomes skewed. His wife left him because she felt “left out” of his work and what he was doing. He’s taken residence at the sanitarium so as to always be on hand for his patients. He has a good heart, but at the same time, he’s tired. At the point we meet him, he is self medicated so he can sleep and he’s attracted to Nurse Claire, the resident Nurse. He still believes in his dream, but he hasn’t had much success with his program, even after all these years. Sanitarium captures Dr. Michaels at the end of his patience.
Q: Whose Your Favorite Author?
Angela: Wow…so many to choose from. To be honest, that’s hard to say. The easy answer is Stephen King. He’s been an inspiration to me. He started off struggling to make ends meet, working toward his dream of getting published. He found fame along the way, pulled himself up, and now makes a living terrifying people. His name is synonymous with horror. My hope is that one day, my name will also by synonymous with horror. Whenever I find myself feeling like I don’t want to write or edit, I remember that I can’t get to that point unless I do the work. Though it’s hard work, though it’s lonely work, every popular writer out there had to do the time before they got recognized. I’ve read Stephen King’s book, On Writing, several times. His tips in that book are invaluable. Also, his book, Danse Macabre, was a huge inspiration to me as he explores the horror genre in this book, going into detail as to why it is a legitimate genre, more literary than people give it credit for. His work, especially the Dark Tower series, is something to aspire to. On the flip side of this coin, however, there are a lot of writers out there I really enjoy, books I love. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, for example. I’ve read that collection at least five times. I love those books. Also, my best friend, Claire L Brouhard, is an amazing writer. I absolutely love her work and can’t wait to see her novel in print. It’s very controversial and amazing, digging back into the Mary Magdalen history. Very amazing work. So really, there is no favorite, per se. If the writing is great, I’m in.
Q: What’s the next project for you?
Angela: Well, once I’m done editing Women Scorned (my newest novel), and Sanitarium (the book where you’ll find Lockdown), I’m going to start working on a new novel tentatively titled Djin: A Love Story. I only have a vague idea of what this story is about, but it will be incorporating the Arabic style of story-telling as well as the Muslim idea of the Djin. This is no Clive Barker Wishmaster geni, or the benevolent geni from Alladin. In my book, I’ll be delving into the world of the Djin, who they are, what they are, and what they are capable of doing. I’m bringing the Middle East to the West, hopefully with good results.
Jessenovels: Angela Thank you for conducting this Q &A with us.
Angela: You’re very welcome. It was my pleasure
We’ve linked with Angela Alsaleem, who seems to be rasing star. Here at Jessenovels we hope to see more of her work soon.