Today we are visiting with delightful author, Angela Carling.
Angela Carling was raised in Palm Springs California, but lives in Arizona with her husband, three kids and five felines. After years of denial she finally admitted that she is a hopeless romantic which led her to write her first Young Adult book, Unbreakable Love. Since then she’s published three more books, Shackled, Becoming Bryn and The Secret Keeper. Shackled won the silver IPGA award in 2012 and has been optioned as a screenplay. Angela always eats the frosting off her cake and leaves the rest, and can be caught singing in public bathrooms for the acoustics. When she’s not writing YA novels, she’s mentoring teen writers, making pizza with her family or dreaming of taking a nap, not necessarily in that order.
Thanks so much for dropping by, Angela.
Although, like me, you are a California girl, you now live in Arizona. Would you like to tell us a bit about your life in the desert and how you came to live there?
I’ve actually lived in a desert most of my life in Palm Springs, California, except for college, some church service work in North Carolina and a five year stint in Washington State. After 9/11 all my husband’s colleagues were losing their jobs at Boeing. He was offered to transfer to Arizona and even got a raise. We were so grateful; we bought some flip-flops and packed out suitcases. It’s true the desert is warm, but we love it because you can be outside year round and the people are very kind. Plus, we get to have a pool!
That is a plus! When you get stumped on a storyline, a quick dip in the cool blue must recharge your batteries. You are a Young Adult author. What made you decide to focus on the YA audience?
I haven’t decided if I never grew up or I just enjoy the stories about teens and young college students. I also mentor a group of ten teen writers and think they are a blast….so likely…I never grew up 🙂
Your book Shackled won the silver IPGA award in 2012, and has been optioned as a screenplay. Congratulations! Has there been any progress towards a movie production?
The writers of the screenplay are twin brothers and work together on all their projects plus hold day jobs so I know they face heavy challenges timewise and financially! Last I heard they were still working on funding, but as I’ve learned from my fellow authors, Hollywood moves at a snail’s pace and is finicky. For now, I’m keeping with my fingers crossed!
We will all keep our fingers crossed for you, too. You published your first book yourself and the next ones show Acacia, and Az Publishing, LLC. Are the Acacia and Az Publishing your own imprints or small publishing houses? If they are your imprints, what are the issues (legal and otherwise) other authors should know about establishing their own imprint when self-publishing? This is a subject of interest and controversy among indie authors, so I’d love your input. If traditional small publishers, do they do much promotion for you?
Actually Acacia published my first three books but the owner passed away quite suddenly. Her husband shut down the business and released all the authors from their contracts. I then had to republish them on my own and learn overnight how to be a self-published author. I didn’t start an imprint. I published them under my own name. AZ Publishing was also a small publishing house. I did that by choice, so I’ve never established my own imprint (yet 🙂) What I have learned is that there are benefits to a small publisher just like there are to a large publisher. In fact, many bloggers won’t even look at your work without a publisher behind it. However I’ve almost gotten to a point where I’ve learned enough about the industry that a small publisher doesn’t make as much sense for me. No matter how great they are, they do not have the resources to get the kind of visibility that you need and they take a large portion of the profits. So I was doing all my own marketing and making a fraction of the money. As far as legality goes, I haven’t hit that problem yet. If I did start my own publishing company it would likely be to help other authors, not just myself.
I am excited though, the second book in the Secret Keeper series comes out in March. It is called In the Dying Light and I am going completely Indie. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Please do, we are all interested. You have a degree in Psychology. Do you feel that it helps you with your writing?
I do! People who love psychology enjoy observing and understanding what makes people tick. Characters are simply made up people and if we write them correctly, they’re layered and broken and fascinating. The Secret Keeper is really a study of human behavior and how we handle our mistakes. That’s what makes it so easy to relate to Winter and Liam. We all wish we could take back some mistake that we’ve made 🙂
Do you have a current project you would like to share about?
I do! As I mentioned earlier the second book in the Secret Keeper series comes out mid-March. The second installment of Winter and Liam’s story is called In The Dying Light and we get to see what happens after Winter’s bargain with the Secret Keeper. Just like the first book you can plan on some heart pounding and heart wrenching moments! Just for you guys I’m going to share the cover, even though the official cover reveal isn’t quite yet.
Thanks for sharing, Angela. It was super having you here.
Thanks for stopping to read my interview. Come and find me. I love to connect with my readers.
You can connect with Angela:
To purchase The Secret Keeper
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/angela-carling
As a thank you for stopping by, Angela left you this sneak peek excerpt from The Secret Keeper:
Over and over in my head I repeated, “She can make my secret go
away.” I’m not sure if I was trying to convince myself, or trying to keep myself from going nuts, but the phrase calmed me as I drove.
I found Lejo Street and began the steep climb to the top. The houses in this neighborhood were small. Most were weathered if not completely forgotten. Pines grew too close together. Piles of rusted tools and long-forgotten bathroom fixtures littered the landscape, hidden only by overgrown grasses and neglected Quakies. No wonder everyone thought it was creepy.
My heart rate quickened with the ascent, and my palms left sticky sweat on my steering wheel. I wiped them on my jeans only to have the moisture build up again immediately. Soon there was nothing but dense forest; a blur of green, broken only by the ashen skies above. The rain came down in unyielding sheets and I turned up the windshield wipers.
Back and forth they went like a giant metronome, keeping in step with my nervous heartbeat.
I strained to see out the windows until all at once there was nothing in front me but a large rusted metal gate and a cracked wood sign, painted long ago, that declared, “No trespassing.” Beyond the gate, through the trees and the rain, I saw the pale blue house that the girl in the park had described.
One more time I said out loud, “She can make my secret disappear.”
I’d almost convinced myself now. I had to be convinced, what with the dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere and the stormy weather.
Everything screamed “Don’t go in!” but I was driven to try something, anything, not to lose my best friend and boyfriend.
I climbed from the car and ran until I reached the porch, slipping and having to catch myself as I tried to take the stairs too fast. Light spilled out through a crack in the curtains, letting me know someone was there.
I lifted my hand to knock on the old splintered door and froze. I didn’t know the secret keeper’s name. How would I address her? Before I could decide what to do, the heavily scratched door handle turned and the door opened a crack. My mouth fell open. The eyes that peered through the opening were surprisingly young.
My throat felt tight as I swallowed and it sounded loud to me. I could turn and run. Everything in my gut told me to go, but I stood like a marble statue frozen by my anguish.
“Who are you looking for?” she asked.
Her melodic voice made me think of dozens of wind chimes all tinkling at once. Still, I felt uneasy. I made myself spit out the words. “The Secret Keeper.”
An excruciatingly long minute passed and I thought she might tell me that I had the wrong house or that I should get off her property.
Finally, in a voice no louder than a whisper she said, “Come in. I’m The Secret Keeper.”