Friday, March 18, 2016

About the Author: Heidi Angell

Guys, I am SO excited to share with you my first ever author interview! Heidi Angell is an author I've known for some time now, I've reviewed just about all her work, and am always so excited and so entertained about her stories. Her most recent, Hell School: Fresh Meat is a partly auto-biographical story about a high school student burdened not only with being a freshman in a new school and new town, but also with having the unwanted attentions of a suitor who just won't take 'no' for an answer. I had the chance to interview Heidi, and talk a little bit about what it was like for her to write a story that hit so close to home with here. Here it goes!

How are you? Any good reads lately?
I am great! So excited to be here! I am always reading something, and most of the time it is good! I recently read a really edgy book called One Night Stan's by Greg Sisco. I was kind of surprised that I would like it as it is about a strip club and some really seedy and misogynistic stuff, but I found myself absolutely loving it. The writer has a great dark sense of humor! 

I read off your Goodreads profile that you rarely find yourself getting writer's block, but that you get 'writer's derailment' in which you come up with ideas for new stories while you're in the middle of writing one already. I was wondering, where do you feel you get the inspiration and the ideas for your stories?
It is always different. Sometimes they are influenced by real-world events, sometimes I dream them, sometimes they develop from conversations with my kids! That is part of why new stories will interrupt current stories. I have found that simply getting the idea down into my idea folder will usually give me some piece to finish up one project before going to that one. 

What kinds of thoughts and feelings came up while you were writing Hell School: Fresh Meat, given that you've mentioned you used your own experiences in high school as the premise for the story?
My stalking experience left me with PTSD (didn't know it at the time.) and going back to try and write about the experience re-awakened a lot of that trauma. My kids couldn't figure out why the door was locked when they got home from school. I would wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night because someone had gotten up to get a drink of water. I had to change my walking routine because I was having really bad anxiety walking by myself. And that was just from the first book, which many had noted "wasn't that scary". Stalkers don't usually start out scary... but by the time it reaches that level it is too late. The next books will grow in intensity for sure! 

What advice would you give to a high school student (or anybody, really) who finds themselves dealing with unwanted or potentially threatening advances from another person?
A couple of things. First, make sure that the person is clear that you are not interested in any way, shape or form. Second, make sure you tell family and friends what is happening. If you go missing, they need to know who the number one suspect should be! Third, get the police involved as soon as possible, and keep going to them even if they "can't do anything" the first dozen times. If you tell your stalker that you do not want him/ her calling you and they continue calling, report it to the police. If your stalker is following you and you tell them to stop following you, the next time you see them following you, call the police. 4th. Take a self-defense class. not Karate, a class that is specifically geared around self-defense. These classes will focus not only on defense moves, they will provide information on ways to protect yourself. They also provide an amazing support group of people who are going through or have been through what you are experiencing. 

What drew you to becoming a writer? 
 I love stories, and how they shape the way we view the world. I wanted to tell stories that would shape how others see the world. Here I am. 

Are there any other passions or interests that we should know about you? 
I have so many! But, I'll give you a special insight into a new passion of mine! I got a Kitchen Aid for Christmas (my husband is bound and determined to find a way to get me to like cooking as much as he does!) and I LOVE my Kitchen Aid. I might, might even be learning to love to cook! For 12 years my husband has been trying to get there, and he may finally have achieved his goal. I am making homemade bread as soon as we get done with this interview ;)

Can you tell us anything about upcoming books? I'm particularly interested in the Hunters and Clear Angel books.. ;) 

Ha, me too! I am so excited. The second book in The Hunters series will be out this summer (I know, finally, right?) It is going to be pretty awesome and will follow Screvin, Havoc, and Fury as they track down the werewolf who turned Screvin. Then they will discover that they are now the hunted. I know, cruel teaser, huh?! 

The third book in the Clear Angel Chronicles should come out the end of the year, or possibly early next year. I have a busy year coming up! 

I, for one, can't wait for the next installments in these series, and also for Heidi to add a cooking section to her own blog, particularly the baked goods section, now that she has a Kitchen Aid ;) Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of this Heidi, I can't wait to see more of what's to come!

Hell School: Fresh Meat is now available! Go check it out on Amazon, Smashwords, and other major e-book retailers. Here's my review if you want to find out what it's all about before grabbing your copy!

Justin :)