Today’s interview is with fellow Pendrell Publishing author Angela Corbett. She hails from the fantastic state of Utah, so that gives her extra points in my book. Eternal Starling is Angela’s debut novel, and was released on Dec. 6th. It’s getting great reviews and the people I know who have read it really enjoyed it. It’s on my to be read list, so I’ll hopefully get to it soon. It’s available on Amazon and BarnesAndNoble.com, so check it out, and I hope you enjoy the interview!
First, tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I spend most of my free time reading, but I also love a few TV shows (Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time, Dexter, Revenge). I also love going to the mountains, and I enjoy riding four wheelers.
When did you start writing?
I started writing poetry in elementary school and had my first poem published in a magazine when I was 11. I wrote a lot of short stories when I was a teenager, then fell in love with journalism. I studied journalism in college and did some freelance writing, but a few years after college, I realized how much I missed writing fiction. When I got the idea for Eternal Starling, I knew being an author was what I wanted to do.
Do you write free-hand or on the computer?
Definitely on the computer, but I have papers with story notes all over the house. I seem to get inspired in the middle of the night, and in the shower.
Who are some of your favorite authors and/or writing influences?
I love Maria V. Snyder, Patricia Briggs, and Kristin Cashore.
What are some of your favorite books?
I have so many! In YA: The Hunger Games, Fire Study, Iron Kissed, and Graceling. I also love classics and some of my favorites are: To Kill a Mockingbird, East of Eden, Wuthering Heights, Gone With the Wind, and The Thorn Birds.
What’s your favorite genre to read?
I read everything, but I really like YA, romance, and mysteries. I’m also a fan of any book that makes me laugh.
How does it feel to have your debut novel come out?
It’s surreal! Getting Eternal Starling published was such a long process for me that I’m still a little stunned each time I walk by my bookshelf and see a copy of my book there. Seeing it on a store bookshelf next to the Hunger Games was a pretty amazing moment too! I totally took a photo!
That’s awesome! Tell us a little about Eternal Starling.
Evie Starling is a stubborn, independent girl who meets two guys who tell her they’re her soul mates. She mostly thinks they’re insane, but when things start happening that they seem to have answers to, she has to consider they might not be as nuts as she thought.
Where did you get the idea for the soul protectors and soul destroyers?
The soul protectors and destroyers really came from me wanting the book to be a romance about people finding their soul mates. I knew there would need to be some force keeping them apart. It’s a love triangle, so I wanted each guy in the triangle on a different side of that force. One side that protects souls, and one side that destroys them. My idea behind the mythology was really basic at first, and evolved a lot as I revised.
Evie has a ’66 Mustang. What’s special about that car to you?
Evie’s car is based on my 1966 GT Mustang. I come from a family of classic Mustang fans (my dad, grandpa, and uncle all have them), so I was determined to have one for my first car. I found my ’66 Mustang when I was 14 and got a job so I could buy it. I drove it all through high school and had it restored while I was in college. Now I drive it during the summer and put it in car shows. I like all classic cars, but Mustangs are my favorite.
That’s a nice ride. I love Mustangs. Eternal Starling is the first in a trilogy. How is book two coming along?
It’s good! I’m working on the first draft of book 2 now! I’m really excited about it. Eternal Starling was really about establishing a romantic relationship between Evie and Alex, and Evie and Emil. However, because of what happens toward the end of Eternal Starling, the next book in the series has a lot going on.
What’s your writing process, if you have a specific one? Does it usually start with a story idea, or a character, or something else?
It depends on the story for me. With Eternal Starling, it started with me wanting to write an eternal love story and the characters came after I knew the basic story idea. Another book (an adult mystery) started with the characters and a specific setting I wanted to write about.
Once you have your general idea, do you outline extensively or just write as you go?
I’ve learned that the better my outline, the less time I spend revising, but it’s not like I write 50 page outlines either. My outlines are usually about 8-10 pages long. I detail the plot and know what all of my important scenes are and where they need to be, but from there I just write. I like to leave enough creative space for the story to unfold on its own a bit.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?
Music inspires a lot of what I write, but I don’t listen to it while writing. I write better when I don’t have distractions. With Eternal Starling, I listened to a lot of Muse and U2 to help spark ideas. Gavin Rossdale’s “Love Remains the Same” is the song that inspired the book.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Read, read, read! I don’t think there’s a better way to learn about voice, plot, pacing, etc. than to read and see how other authors do it. Then take the things you’ve learned, and write. A lot. Then revise. A lot!
And finally, and probably most importantly, your favorite superhero?
Wonder Woman! I used to make my own indestructible bracelets and headband out of construction paper when I was a kid.