Interview with Author Angela Fish
Happy Day, everyone! Back again with another fabulous interview, this time with author Angela Fish. A fellow Darkstroke author, Angela has also published multiple children's books.
So happy to get to know you more, Angela!
What is the first story you remember telling (not necessarily writing)?
The first story I remember telling was to my cat! I was probably about five or six years old and, while I don’t remember all of the details, I do know that it was about a very clever, but homeless, cat who found a lost child in the forest, and he guided her home. Fairly obviously, he was then adopted by the child’s family!
The first thing I remember writing when I was seven, was a poem (of rhyming couplets) about primroses and daffodils.
You have a book published. Do you have a favorite character (and, if so, which one)?
Over the past seven years, I have published four books for children and one novel, The Fractured Globe. In the novel, my favourite character would be Janet, the aunt of one of the main protagonists. She is the catalyst for much of the actions/interactions of the other characters and is a strong, single, empathetic woman.
What is your favorite activity to do in the summer? Winter?
I spend much of the summer months in my garden. I grow lots of fruit and vegetables and it’s so rewarding to see their growth and then enjoy the harvest. Such a sense of achievement to sit down to a meal knowing that most of it has come from my own garden.
Through the winter months, I focus more on writing and all things associated with that, and try to catch up on my reading pile!
What led you to start writing novels?
As I said earlier, I began writing from age seven. I think what sparked it off was my mother reading to me a lot when I was very little, as I was asthmatic and needed to be kept quiet! By age four I was reading simple texts myself and always loved to find new stories and poems. The first poem led to more, plus short plays and stories, although it was a long time before I published anything as school and then work and family filled my time. I love the creative process, taking a random thought or idea through the planning process and seeing it come alive on the page.
Cats or dogs?
Cats, always. I don’t dislike dogs, but cats suit my lifestyle more! The hardest part with any pet is having to say goodbye but it’s the natural course of things.
If you were to be gifted a superpower that you had to use continuously for 8 hours every day, what would it be?
As a writer, I would like to have the power of super concentration and focus! As a human being, I think it would be persuasion/influence and would want to encourage people to be more tolerant, empathetic, supportive and far less violent towards each other. [If you think the last sentence sounds too ‘preachy’, please cut it out!]
What is your favorite author/book?
I don’t have one favourite author or book. It changes frequently, but some that have remained in my memory are Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy; The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka; The Hot Sun of Africa by Alan Caillou; Somewhere a Cat is Waiting by Derek Tangye and I generally love works by Charles Dickens and George Eliot. I’m fairly flexible with my reading and happy to try out most genres, but I can’t read horror!
When is your favorite time to write?
I prefer to write in the mornings but I’m certainly not a disciplined writer and don’t necessarily write every day. If I’m writing a first draft and it’s working out, I have sometimes written for eight hours straight. I find the early stages the hardest – when I’ve had the idea, sketched out the storyline and characters but, to build a sense of tension and not just give away the plotline too early, then I sometimes struggle with the best order of events and will often leave things for a while. If I can sort out the jumble in my head, then I can begin writing again.
Where do you draw inspiration? Real-life? Daydreams?
Inspiration has hit from all directions. Something I’ve read, seen, heard, dreamed. I’ve often used combinations of these things, given them a twist, and tried to make something coherent from them. One of my children’s books, Ben and the Spider Lake, was the third in a series of three and the idea for the first two, Ben and the Spider Gate, Ben and the Spider Prince, had come from using story cubes (they look like dice, but they have symbols instead of dots, and can be used to stimulate ideas for plot/character setting). After the first two were finished, I couldn’t make things work for the third, but one day there were workmen digging up the road outside my house while I was watching a world news report about refugees. The combination of the two events led to the idea for book three.
It is amazing sometimes where we draw inspiration, isn't it?
Thank you for visiting with me. It was a pleasure and I wish you the very best.
Nature? Nurture? Or just plain luck?
Single mums, Tia and Kay, meet when their sons are born on the same day.
Tia is a product of the welfare system but wants a better life for her son. Her entrapment by her manipulative and controlling boyfriend in the world of drink, drugs, crime and enforced prostitution suggests otherwise. Is she a ‘born devil’ or can she change and break free?
Kay comes from a stable home but sacrifices it all, initially, to live her own kind of life.
Overshadowed by betrayals, mistakes, regrets and the mystery of an abandoned child, their paths – and those of their families – run parallel or criss-cross over twenty-five years.
Can determination and the power of the snow globe offer a chance of happiness?
About the Author: Angela worked in medical research, electronic and electrical engineering, and administration. In her mid-thirties, she decided to change direction and returned to university to study Humanities, specialising in Literature and Creative Writing. She then completed an MPhil (Literature) focussing on how women writers in Wales, between 1850 and 1950, portrayed their female characters. Following this, Angela joined the staff at the University of Glamorgan where, in 2000, she set up and directed The Wales Centre for Intergenerational Practice. As well as providing training and advice, she worked with local schools and communities, over a period of ten years, to improve communication between the generations. She has been in demand, nationally and internationally, as a conference presenter and an invited speaker in her field. Her publications include non-fiction, short stories, poetry, and fiction for children. She lives in South Wales.
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