Today’s interview is with author Caroline Angel. Her novel, Madman Across The Water, has recently been relaunched by Red Cape Publishing and can be bough here.
Hi Caroline! Tell me about yourself. When did you start writing and is it something you always wanted to do?
I can’t remember exactly when I started writing stories, I know I was very young, maybe five or six, and even then it felt like I had always been doing it. I would write what I liked, and at that age it was dinosaurs and other animals. The first full-length novel that I read was a Star Trek hardbound book, and my love of science fiction began.
I can remember reading Black Beauty and the Silver Brumby series, and they fueled my obsession with horses.
I read a few sci-fi/horror novels and progressed to Stephen King’s Carrie. I wasn’t overly impressed but did read others of his and soon became a fan. Various fantasy novels found their way into my library, and if a book combined science fiction, horror, and fantasy I was home.
I took a break from writing for many, many years, though occasionally I’d start a story only to put it aside without finishing.
I caught the writing bug again when I started reading fan fiction, writing a few of my own, and received great reviews. I then penned a few short stories and submitted them into competitions. I was fortunate enough to win or place highly, and took the leap to write a novel. The novel received several offers to publish it when it was only about a third of the way through, spurring me to finish and submit it. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
You’ve published ‘Madman Across The Water’ and ‘Origin of Evil.’ Give us the synopsis of both and what inspired you to write them.
My book Madman Across the Water is a creepy, supernatural horror that spans
many generations of one family as they fight to destroy a curse that kills off
almost every member of that family. The town they live in also suffers from the
curse, and the story takes you from the time it all started, to an epic battle against
a supernatural monster. It came about when my nephew told me about an
internet legend, and I knew I finally had the plot for a story that I wanted to write
for many years. The song Madman Across the Water had always captured my
imagination, and I knew there was a story in there, just waiting for me to tell it.
Origin of Evil, is a horror/sci-fi with a twist of fantasy. It tells the story of a
Strange, immortal being that has been thrust onto Earth by accident, at the same
time unleashing terrible monsters and creatures that kill many hundreds of
people. The horror is matched with a good dose of action sci-fi, and there is a
touch of fantasy thrown in there. My monsters aren’t your fluffy, YA glittery
vampire angst, they are bloody, evil, narrow minded killers. It has multiple
protagonists, and is based on a story I started when I was twelve years old.
The sequel will take you to the immortal being’s creation, the homeworld of the
aliens, and delve a little more into the antagonist side of the story.
Are there any genres you haven’t tried your hand at yet that you’d love to give a go?
I have never written erotica, but don’t think I could. I am sure I would be terrible at romance, too. Maybe a murder mystery? I do love me a twist at the end!
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I don’t give this much thought, really. I am very much a believer in the “show, don’t tell” style of writing, but there are always times you do need to take the reader by the hand and tell them exactly what’s going on.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I just use any names, then, almost without exception, they are changed to those of my family, friends and coworkers. Every now and then a character will come along and just keep their own name, like Harriet, from Madman Across the Water. She was meant to die, be killed off very early, but not only did she not die, she became one of the major characters. She also kept her name, though I can’t answer as to why she did. The Angie character from Origin of Evil, my new horror/sci fi series, kept her own name. She is a character I have played with since I was a kid, and featured in my most successful fanfiction. The surnames of the detectives in that book are from my friends from school when I was maybe 13 or 14, I wrote those characters way back then, though they have new first names now I kept the old surnames as an homage to their earlier creation.
Music while writing – yes or no?
Yes and no! I will have anything from my very eclectic shuffle mix on my iPod, to straight out heavy metal. I also like to write with the TV on, usually a movie I have seen before so I don’t have to concentrate on it.
Finally, what’s next for you and what are your goals for 2020 and beyond?
Finish the sequel to Origin of Evil and start the third book in the series (I’d like to finish that, too.)
Follow Caroline on Twitter.
Buy her books on Amazon.