Thursday, June 19, 2014

Angela Hartley and Metal People

Angela Hartley
Debut urban fantasy author Angela Hartley is in a kerfuffle over a copper child. I try to help.

Johnny: It would help if I knew what urban fantasy is. What is it?

Angela: Urban Fantasy’s a lot like you, Johnny. It’s placed in the real world, but has magical undertones. Does that help any?

J: Nope. Doesn’t help. Here’s a Steel Overseer will that work?

A: Uhm, no. The chemical make-up of steel is man-made. It’s not even on my list of seven metals. Plus, this is paper...

J: How about a jade monkey? I have one around here somewhere.

A: I hear those are nice, but no. Again, I need copper, as in Copper Descent. Focus.

J: I’ve got an Iron Lady.

A: Wait a second, Isn’t that?

J: Margaret Thatcher. I have a couple around here. You’re welcome to one.

Iron Lady
A: Uh no, but can I ask why you thought she’d be a good fit for a Native American story?

J: This is harder than I thought it would be. Good thing I have a huge collection of metallically themed things.

*Angela stares at the sharp, rusty metal objects protruding out in every direction with her eyes as big as saucers.*

A: Yes you do. Perhaps I should wait outside. I haven’t had a tetanus shot in twenty years, and I’d hate to ruin such a perfect track record.

J: Oh no you don’t. To help me narrow it down, maybe you should tell me about your book, Copper Descent.

A: Nineteen-year-old Nina Douglas has been told her entire life that the dark god of her ancestors will someday claim her. She didn’t ask to be the Copper Child. She wants a normal life with love and security, but has found herself literally in bed with Lucifer. It’s a story about fate and circumstances, but most of all, personal choice. Think Pocahontas meets Fallout Boy and you’ll get the picture.
This Fallout Boy?

J: It’s the first book in a series right, the Sentient Chronicles? A Trilogy?

*Johnny disappears under a mountain of shifting artifacts as Angela dodges the knives and swords he tosses out. Finally, she grabs a shield that narrowly misses her head and avoids the rest of Johnny’s missiles.*

A: There’s actually seven, each represents a different metal. The series follows three separate groups of characters that all come together in the fourth book. I centered the premise on Lucifer and his evolution. It follows his fall, his rise, and ultimately his return to the angel city. Seriously, are you aiming for my head?

*A golden mace hits the shield with a loud thunk. Johnny grins sheepishly and shrugs, but doesn’t answer the question.*

J: What? Huh? Uhm. No? How goes work on the other books?

A: Pretty good so far. I’m hoping to release one a year for the next —

Copper Man
J: Oh, look what I found! A copper man. We’re getting close.

A: You’re not paying attention are you?

J: It’s my bit and I’m sticking with it. You know how long I’ve waited to pull all this out?

A: Why?

J: There you see?

A: No, but I understand what’s going on here. My dad was a hoarder too. You don’t have to live like this. I can get you help.

J: How about a Silver Surfer? (superhero)

A: No. Unfortunately, he’s trademarked by Marvel.

J: You are so negative. Tell me story, where’d you get the idea?

Silver Surfer
(not good enough for Angela)
A: I first started writing Copper Descent to explore a dark figure that always appeared in my work. He was always lurking in the shadow waiting to cause all sorts of mayhem. I wanted him gone, and I figured the best way to get rid of him was to tell his story. Once he started talking, he didn’t want to stop, and I found I had and interesting meshing of the book of Enoch, Paradise Lost, and Native American folklore tied into a pretty copper package.

J: And your characters? The non-metallic ones, where’d they come?

A: I like to get into people’s heads and try to understand why they are who they are. Fictional people are no different from the real. If you give them the opportunity and safety to be themselves, you’ll discover things you never would have known otherwise.

J: What age group?
A: The series is classified as New Adult. It’s dark, edgy, and very sexy.

J: No hot make-out scenes with a billion dollar movie star?

A: No movie star, but Lucifer does take the form of devastatingly beautiful rock star named Sinclair Devereux. My main character has some pretty hot make-out scenes with him.

J: Am I in it? Hero maybe? Eccentric troll perhaps?

A: I could make that happen in the next book, but are you sure this is what you want?  People who wind up in my pages generally die horrible, agonizingly painful deaths. Unfortunately, I don’t write warm and fuzzy, and I wouldn’t be capable of controlling your fate anymore than I can control my own.

J: I’m getting close. Look. A golden child.

A:  I don’t even know what to say to that…

J: I’m surprised you ever got a publisher as picky as you are. How did you get one by the way? What was your journey from writer to author?
Golden Child

A: Six years from the first draft to publishing contract. Some would say the stars aligned, but the truth is I worked my butt off. I went through countless rejection letters and a lot of tears. Eventually, I had to accept that I wasn’t perfect (shocking, I know). I swallowed my pride, and realize I needed other writers to help me grow. I would never be where I am today without the amazing support system we have in our little writing community.

J: What authors inspire you?

A: When I was young, I read a lot of Stephen King. I love the way he can build tension effortlessly. Cassandra Claire is simply amazing. She can create a scene as vivid as any imagination will allow. I adore Jude Devereaux’s quirky humor and how the damsels are always saving the knights in her historical fiction. Johnny Worthen is releasing The Unseen: Eleanor on the 28th of this month, and I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy. All I can say is WOW. The story is so beautiful and unassuming.

J: I love you. Dump what's his name and move in. I'll give you gold. Have a Golden Girl.

A: Isn't that a murder victim? From a movie.

J: Quite a collector's item.

A: You keep it.

J: Where on the interwebs can my peeps find out more about you?

J: Here’s a silver lady.

A: Right gender, wrong color.

J: Picky picky picky.

A: A woman has to have standards.

J: So I guess you don’t want to see my Iron Man?

A: You have an iron man? *perks up*

J: No, I have Robert Downey Junior, the billion dollar movie star I mentioned before. He’s in the back suiting up for you.

A: Really? Robert Downey Jr?

J: Yeah.

A: I’d see that. Make out scene you say? Well, the next book is Iron Resolve. I should probably check out the Iron Man for research purposes, of course.

J: Hypothetically speaking?

A: Uhm, Sure!  I’ll be right back. *opens dressing room door*

J: But he might not be decent.

A: Oh, he’s decent. More than decent.

*closes dressing room door*

Iron Man
(I'd do him)

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