CTC: Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Angie Grigaliunas, author of the medieval dystopian Sowing.
Thank you for joining us today, Angie. Let’s get started, shall we?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
AG: It’s been a gradual thing, really. I’m not sure of one specific moment when I was like, “Yeah, this is what I want to do.” It’s something I’ve always loved, though I got away from it for a while in my teens. I never stopped writing completely, but it wasn’t my focus. I’d say around March 2006, I buckled down and decided to be serious. So just over eleven years ago!
CTC: How long does it take you to write a book?
AG: I have no set answer for this. Ack! My very first book (about elves), I wrote in just over a year, I believe. That was back when I was like 18. My first published book (Sowing) took about a year to write as well…but I had been working on the world for a couple of years before that with a different book one (Searching for Silver). This most recent one (Quelling, book two of that series) is up to about a year so far, if not more, and it’s not done yet. It really just depends.
I take however long it requires, there! Haha!
CTC: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
AG: I write when I can. I have a day job and work 30 hrs/wk, so it’s a lot of writing on the weekends or evenings.
CTC: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
AG: Um…a quirk…hmm. Well, talking to my characters? Arguing with them? That’s pretty quirky…and I do that a lot…
CTC: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
AG: The ideas just come, haha! I get inspiration from everywhere. Conversations, radio talk, songs, articles, brainstorming with friends/critique partners, prompts, dreams every once in a while, etc. I’ve done research on a bunch of different topics and time periods.
CTC: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
AG: My first complete book…I believe I started it when I was about 18 ½. It’s the one I mentioned above and took about a year to write.
CTC: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
AG: Walking/exercising, hanging out with my husband, facebooking…
CTC: What does your family think of your writing?
AG: For a while, they were skeptical and not super encouraging. They kind of thought I was wasting my time. My mom was always supportive, but the dream of publishing was so far-fetched at the time. Now that Sowing is published and in actual book-form, the skepticism has faded into awe and interest. Funny how that happens! 😉
CTC: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
AG: That characters take over! They truly do! It’s the weirdest but coolest thing. I’ve also learned just how much I love writing. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
CTC: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
AG: I’ve completed four now:
-elf one (the one I mentioned previously)
-former book one (Searching for Silver) of my current series (The Purification Era)
-Sowing (actual book one of The Purification Era)
-and as of 4/1/17 (!!!!!!!!! It still needs a lot of edits/revision, but it’s WRITTEN!!!), Quelling (book two)
As for favorite…oh gosh. The elf one was a huge accomplishment – the first book I ever completed – but Searching for Silver was a massive undertaking, taxing, and took like 2 ½ years (and sadly, most of it is now unusable, but still…such a valuable time of learning). Sowing was amazing, and I adore it so much. First published book, eep! Quelling is especially special (“especially special,” haha! Say that five times fast!) because I have never completed a sequel to anything before. Ahh, I love them all for their own reasons! Since I’m coming off the high of Quelling, I’m almost leaning toward that one; it builds on the world in Sowing so much more…and the characters grow…and it’s so intense (I hope!)…
Sowing/Quelling. There. Final answer. They can’t really be separated too much. Haha!
CTC: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
AG: Read! Read a lot. Join a critique group. But the biggest thing is be teachable! Be willing to listen to constructive criticism. WRITE, write, and write some more. Learn the rules and learn when to break them. Find your voice.
CTC: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
AG: Define “much,” haha! Some of my readers are also my crit partners, and I talk to them frequently. Thus far, everyone has pretty much loved my story. I think everyone who has read Sowing is eager for Quelling. They love the characters, the world-building, and they say “WHERE IS BOOK TWO?” a lot…
CTC: Do you like to create books for adults?
AG: Yes and no? I write sort of YA…and I say “sort of” because it’s really dark stuff most of the time. Dark themes, lots of violence… But I’d rather make books for adults than children, so… Haha!
CTC: What do you think makes a good story?
AG: There are so many elements that go into it, but for me, characters make or break a story. I can put up with a LOT of less-than-ideal stuff (grammar issues, plot holes – within reason, at least! – inconsistencies, etc.) as long as I care about the characters. Make me care, and you likely have me. Fail to make me care, and you can have the best plot in the world, and it will feel like I’m forcing myself through your book. Sorry…just how it is!
CTC: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
AG: A cat. Ha! No, I probably wanted to be an artist or something. I’m sure at some point in my childhood, I did want to be a writer, though I don’t know if I even thought it could/would be a career.
CTC: Is there anything else that you would like for the audience to know?
AG: Um…Quelling should be out by the end of the year, and Sowing is out now! =) You can find it here: amzn.to/2ck9So6
CTC: Again, thank you, Angie, for allowing me to take up your time.
You can follow Angie Griguliunas here:
All is not as it seems. In fact, nothing may be.