... Angela Meadon
1. Tell me about your book, A Taste of You, and where you got your inspiration for it?
A Taste of You is about Robin, a young woman trying to deal with the guilt she feels over the death of her young brother. The situation gets really intense when the undead rise and Robin thinks she sees her brother as she is fleeing her home. The book deals with the zombie apocalypse with a psychological twist that I think makes it an interesting take on the genre. And who doesn’t love a good zombie story?
The book was born during NaNoWriMo 2010 and I drew on my love of zombie literature and my fascination with the darkness inside our own minds.
2. Do you have a writing process? If so describe it.
My process is evolving as I gain more experience. When I first started writing I would sit down and just write whatever came to mind. I have a lot of unfinished projects. My most recent novel had a far more thorough treatment that includes flash cards, 3 Act Analyses and pages of character descrioption and development plans.
3. If someone came up to you and wanted to tell you about an idea or a book they were writing, what would you do? Or what advice would you give?
I would advise them to start writing it. Ideas are cheap, writing is hard work and until you’ve put it on paper it’s worthless.
4. What is the most demeaning/demoralising thing ever said about you as a writer?
I didn’t have an answer for this until last week. My brother told me that writing is just “mix ‘n match” and that we have all the words and we only have to put them in order. Anyone who has ever tried to write something of quality would know that this is utterly false. Writing is easy, writing well is extremely time consuming and takes a great deal of study and practice. I’m still a bit angry about it.
5. How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
I think that positive reviews are wonderful, but I find negative ones more useful (provided there is something constructive and not just “It sucks!”). For a reviewer to take the time to point out what he/she didn’t like is valuable, and I try to use that information to improve my writing in the next project.
6. Are the names of characters in your novels important?
Not really, I try to make them suit the setting as much as possible, and I try to match meanings to characters, but there’s no grand plan behind them.
7. Would you rather write for children or adults?
Definitely adults. My writing tends to be dark and scary and I don’t want to give kids nightmares.
8. Have you ever killed someone in a novel and regretted it later?
Yes! I killed a character in A Taste of You during the first review and I had to edit her out of the manuscript and it was a mission!
9. What are the most important attributes to staying sane as a writer?
A thick skin. Seriously, if you can’t take criticism you shouldn’t be in this game. People who allow themselves to be personally insulted by negative criticism are doomed.
10. Do you research your novels?
Yes! The novel I just finished is set in a fantasy world based on ancient North Africa and I did a lot of reading about the Wagadu empire (although there isn’t much). I am currently researching the Second Intermediary Period of ancient Egypt for a new novel.
11. What are books for?
Sharing knowledge and entertainment. And making my bookshelves look good.
12. Are you jealous of other writers?
No! The more success other writers have, the better. It feeds the market.
13. Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever experienced it?
Yes! When I met my husband it was love at first sight and we are very happy together.
14. What do you like most about being a writer?
Creating stories that other people enjoy reading. I absolutely love it when someone has enjoyed my stories, it’s the best feeling in the world. It takes time to craft a good story and knowing that readers love it as much as I do is wonderful.
15. How do you overcome writers block?
Discipline, you’ve got to have discipline. And give yourself permission to write badly. If you write every day you might not always get great work but you’ll at least have something. Also, I find that once I’ve started writing, I get some momentum and end up having a very productive day.
Don’t allow yourself the excuse. Sit down and write.
16. Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
I’m really loving Tim Lebbon (Echo City) and Mark Lawrence (The Prince of Thorns) and Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds). But none of these guys are “New” so much as they have recently grabbed a lot of attention.
17. What are your current projects?
I’ve just wrapped up the first draft of a dark fantasy novel set in ancient northern Africa which explores a Faustian theme. I’m trying to find homes for two short stories I’ve recently completed, and I’m planning a new fantasy series based in ancient Egypt.
18. Do you recall how your interest in writing occurred?
I’ve been writing since the second grade. It’s just something I have to do. My first story was about a guy exploring a cave. I’ve been a writer since I was old enough to hold a pencil.
19. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I seriously made this lead last year when my novel, A Taste of You, was accepted for publication by Damnation Books. Up until then I’d had a few short stories published and I was trying to be a writer. Now, I’m a writer.
20. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I don’t know. I think that our experiences shape our writing in a fundamental and irrevocable way. If I changed anything about the circuitous route I’ve walked I wouldn’t be who I am now and I wouldn’t have the well of knowledge and experience I do to draw on. My advice would be: carry on.
The undead have risen from their graves. Robin, Carla, and Dylan must try and escape the city and make their way to a secluded nature reserve. Robin is haunted by dreams of her younger brother who died by her own hand a year ago. Will they make it to safety? Will Robin be able to overcome her guilt? Who will survive the rising of the dead?
They all sat together on the couch in front of the television. Dylan sat in the middle with Carla and Robin on either side of him. The tired anchorman continued his vigil, narrating the fall of civilization.
“Despite all that is happening, we are saddened to report gangs of living people have been seen looting houses and shops. Most are stealing tinned foods and bottled water but many have been seen carrying expensive computers and televisions.”
The screen changed and showed footage of two young men struggling out through a smashed store window. They were carrying a large flat-screen TV between them. They did not escape with their prize, however, because as they cleared the debris outside the shop a pair of the walking corpses attacked them.
One of the men dropped his end of the TV screen and sprinted away from the attackers, but his partner faced up to the corpses in a moment of bravado. He took a step backwards and looked into the lifeless eyes pouched in sockets of bone and parchment flesh. He pulled a pistol out of his belt and aimed at the closer of the two attackers. It was about ten feet from him when he squeezed the trigger and delivered a slug of lead to the beast’s unsuspecting brow. It fell in a spray of pus and gore and bone fragments and the young man aimed his weapon at the second attacker.
It was much closer now. It reached out its arm, clothed in decaying rags, and tried to grab him. The young man’s mouth opened in a scream of rage and terror and he shot the creature. Its head exploded and curdled brain matter rained onto its slumped form. The young man tucked his gun back into his pants and set off after his fleeing companion.
Angela is an author of fiction and non-fiction work. Her stories can be found in numerous anthologies. Angela’s novel about the zombie apocalypse with a dash of psychological terror and a sprinkling of guilt, A Taste of You (Amazon), was published in December 2012.
Angela lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her two sons, three cats and a husband who rick-rolled her at the altar on their wedding day.
Angela’s website: www.meadon.co.za