Monday, June 06, 2011

Interview with Josephine Angelini

(Josephine Angelini)
Born in a tiny town in Massachusetts called Ashland, Josephine Angelini moved to New York as soon as she was legal to attend NYU, where she graduated with a BFA. After that she moved to Los Angeles where she still lives with her husband and writes YA fiction. Starcrossed is the first novel in her debut teen trilogy.

For those who don't know about the book, I invite you to check my review (where you can even watch the video of the song created for the book), while here you can read a little summary: Helen Hamilton has always tried to hide how different she is—no easy feat on an island as small as Nantucket, and only getting harder as she finds herself haunted by hallucinations and vivid nightmares. It's not until she crosses paths with Lucas Delos at school that Helen's true heritage is finally revealed. Yet even as Lucas helps her awaken to her startling powers, they can never be together—not unless they can break free from the tragic destiny the Three Fates have in store.

This is your first YA novel, how exciting! Were you nervous?

I didn’t have a chance to get nervous until right before the release of the book. I swear, I’ve been running around like crazy, writing the second book, Dreamless, and promoting Starcrossed. But now that the book is out, I’m SO NERVOUS!! I hope people like it.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always written. I started keeping a journal when I was ten and I wrote in it pretty much every day from then on, but I didn’t think I could be a writer until much later. I always held writers in such awe, mostly because I love books so much, and it took me a while to get the confidence in myself to become one.

What is your writing style? Do you have a writing schedule or do you write at your own pace?

I’m a pretty disciplined writer with a set schedule. I write in two shifts-- three or four hours in the morning and then another three or four hours at night. Afternoons I run errands, go to the gym and all that stuff to give myself a break in between. I’d go crazy if I tried to sit in front of my computer for more than a few hours at a time.

(US book cover)
Have you always been a fan of Greek Mythology?

Yes. I actually studied a lot of those ancient plays by Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus in college. I was a Classical Theatre major at NYU and I was always drawn to the really tragic, bloody plays, like Oedipus Rex and Medea. Strange, right? I love epic stories with lots of action and fighting and killing—and love, of course.

Have you been inspired by someone you know to write about your characters?

All the time! I used teachers from high school; I even borrowed some of my old pal Matt Mitchell’s real personality and put it into Matt Millis in my book. And of course, Claire is a mash up of several of my best girlfriends. I think it’s always good to start with what you know and then build on that when you are writing—or at least when you’re trying to write your first book. Start simple and start with what you know was some very good advice that was given to me.

Which of your characters' powers would you like to have the most?

I flip-flop on this question all the time. Usually I say flying—until I have to move some furniture in my apartment and then I definitely want super strength. Being able to feel a lie would come in handy too… but it would probably mean that I could never bear to watch a politician on TV ever again! LOL!

What about the topic of sex? It plays an important role in your book and in a YA is something hard to find...

Well, there is no sex in my book, really. (Except for Hector, although I only imply that he gets around a lot.) But I’m not afraid to bring up the topic of sex though. Sex is a very important issue, and I think not talking about it doesn’t stop people from doing it. I think that avoiding the subject altogether when you are writing a YA supernatural romance novel is, well, kind of silly. After all, where does all that hot eye contact and all those stolen kisses eventually lead to for some teens? Ignoring that fact won’t make it go away.

Do you have a favourite quote from the book?

I have no idea! It’s too hard for me to judge my own work. There is one quote that seems to be really popular, though.
…she (Helen) decided that if Lucas was gay then she was going to have to get a sex change operation. He would be so worth it.
I almost didn’t even put that line in because I wondered if people would think it was odd. I’m so glad I went with my gut and kept it in.

This was the first time I heard about a song for a book (and I was pleasantly surprised!). How did it happen? Did you specifically ask for someone to write that song?

I didn’t ask for it, but I couldn’t be more thrilled. Dressler, my German publisher, put together the band and they wrote the song and shot a video… I think it’s just fantastic. When they were done with it they sent it to me and I had the refrain “Where Do I Belong?” stuck in my head for days! It was awesome!

(UK book cover)
The UK Book Trailer got over 27.000 hits in one day, WOW! What do you think about that?

I’m over the moon about it! Macmillan, my UK publisher, did such a great job on that trailer and then they promoted it like crazy. They have been so supportive of my book. And the couple they cast as Helen and Lucas are so beautiful! I love it.

Did you expect such a positive feedback just a few days after Starcrossed release?

I don’t know what I was expecting. I was hoping everyone would like it. Hearing all the amazing things that people are saying about it has been really humbling. I feel very, very blessed.

The release of Dreamless is planned for spring 2012. Can you give us just a little hint?

Dreamless is darker, and it has more action. I also think it’s sexier.  I introduce a new character named Orion, who I just adore! I couldn’t be happier with how the book turned out, and I can’t wait for you to read it!

What are the book tour stops planned so far?

I don’t have any tour dates planned in the UK yet, but I’d love to go out there! In the US I’ve got a few stop. Check out my site. I give all the details.

Thank you so much for the interview, Josie! You're really one of the best 2011 debut authors I've discovered so far and it was a real pleasure to work with you, so much that I really hope to repeat the experience again!

If you wanna know more about Josephine and her beautiful novel visit her official site!

back to top