Jen: Please help me welcome Angela McFetridge to Romancing the Book. Angela, will you please share a short bio with us?
Angela: I am originally from Florida; I have been living in Canada for the past 8 years. I am married, with three wonderful children ages 16, 10, and 4. I have a degree in Social Science from Florida State University, and I work as a corporate trainer here in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Angela McFetridge is my pen name.
Jen: Tell us about Deceiving Angela: A true story of one woman’s journey from abuse to exile and where it’s available.
Angela: Deceiving Angela is available at Amazon.com, and I take orders myself for books so I can sign them. Now, about Deceiving Angela…. The story is my journey. It is about recognizing abuse, standing up for yourself when the system fails. It is about fighting a system that does not protect victims. It is about fighting back against someone who tries to break you down. It is realistic, the characters in the book are real, and most of my readers so far have been able to relate to someone in the book. The abuse that I suffered was inflicted to break my spirit, as most abuse is, and I want others to know that you do not have to stay a victim, you can fight back, and no matter how bad things seem, they will get better, but you have to fight for it and the outcome is not always tied with a pretty ribbon. My situation has resolution, but it is not the resolution I had hoped to find, albeit acceptable given the circumstances.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Angela: I have had a love of writing since I was in middle school. I enjoyed English classes where I had the opportunity to write. I wrote notes, for which I used to get into loads of trouble, but it never stopped me! If those teachers only knew that they were dealing with an aspiring writer, not a juvenile delinquent! When I was in high school, I was told that I had a real talent for writing, one teacher was especially encouraging, Mr. Burger, I will never forget him. In University, my professors used to say that they always looked forward to reading my papers. I wrote a short story about the death of my grandmother several years ago. My mother-in-law (whose name is Angela McFetridge by the way!) told me that I should really pursue writing as more than just a hobby.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Angela: My son, who is 16, seems to share my passion for writing. He has a very interesting, entertaining, and unique writing style. He aspires to do dialogue development for video games.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Angela: My novel started out as journal entries, and I developed them into a story. There really was no plot to develop since the story is true- the plot already existed. There were certain parts of the book that flowed naturally; there were other parts where I had to do some research to keep everything accurate.
Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Angela: That is an interesting question. I wrote my book on my laptop. I never once sat at a table or desk. I also have a candy dish that sits on the table next to my sofa, butterscotch discs and cinnamon hearts are my favourites!
Jen: What kind of research did you do for Deceiving Angela?
Angela: Since the story is a true story, there was no research for the most part, but any time I talk about court papers, and hearings, I had my file next to me so I could refer to that information to ensure everything was absolutely correct.
Jen: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Angela: Again, my story is real, so my characters are always with me. There are some parts of the book that were hard to relive, and there were a few times when I stopped writing because I just could not face that character. It was cathartic though, to get through those difficult patches, and now I feel that those demons have been exercised and can no longer cause me any further grief.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Angela: I really enjoyed writing this book because it is all true. I love the reaction that I am getting, the emotion that the story is evoking. I would like to write more stories that are based on actual events. I would not write fantasy / sci-fi, or romance. Fantasy and Sci-Fi seems to require stretches of the mind of which I can not even aspire to reach. My husband is a sci-fi junkie and some of the story lines from these shows and comic series that he reads are so complex and insane, that I can not comprehend the time shifting and character development involved. I prefer to write about things to which people can relate. I prefer to read ghost stories and mysteries.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Angela: I have a few authors whom I really enjoy reading; Mark Twain, Lewis Grizzard, James Patterson, John Saul, Mary Higgins Clark, J.K. Rowling, and my latest guilty pleasure is Stephanie Myer.
Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Angela: My dream is to be able to devote all of my time to writing instead of having to maintain a full time job, even though I love what I do, I love writing more.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Angela: As an avid reader, I know what it takes for a book to be so enthralling for me that I “can’t put it down” so when I get comments and everyone is saying that they “can’t put it down”, for me, that is the ultimate validation.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Angela: Be on the look out for another novel from me, this one will also be based on actual people and events, but is in a slightly different genre; it is about friendship and relationships between young men. This is a subject that I do not think is written about enough, and friendships between boys can be just as powerful as friendships between girls. I can not wait to get this book ready for the world.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Angela: I would like for anyone who reads my book to please send me their feedback. I am not any sort of literary genius and always welcome comments and feedback on my work. I see this as a way to improve, and to become the most relevant writer that I can possibly be. Also, I am always interested in hearing from people (especially from Florida!) who have suffered miscarriages of justice in court.
Jen: Readers, Angela is giving away a copy of Deceiving Angela to one lucky winner. That winner can choose to receive the book in either paperback or electronic format. To enter the contest, you first need to leave a comment or question for Angela. Then to finish your entry, you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, June 13.