By Jeff Salter
I’ve only recently encountered Michele Anglin, a new colleague at Clean Reads, so her booking as my Guest Fox was a chance for me to get to know her a little better. Michele has a new book out – her eighth, I believe – and I’ll be sharing some info about that title (later in this post). Right now, let’s jump into her biographical sketch and my interview questions, so you can get to know Michele also.
M.R. Anglin has always had a fascination with space—particularly the moon and stars. She also has three amazing nephews, two adorable “near-nephews” (with another one on the way), and one brilliant niece, so it’s no wonder she eventually wrote a story that combines these loves into one. You can often find her gazing up at the Florida sky at night or hunching over her notebook/computer by day.
She is the author of several books, including the self-published, ongoing Silver Foxes series and Lucas, Guardian of Truth (LampPost 2012). She has also has stories included in anthologies and posted online.
Facebook Author page: http://facebook.com/authoranglin
- Jamaica sounds like such a beautiful place. What did you like best about living there as a youngster? How does it compare to the part of Florida where you now reside? Have you ever been back to Jamaica?
[*** MRA ***] — Growing up in Jamaica, my sisters and I played outside more, so we were always exploring together. I think that’s what I liked the most. That and all the fruit trees that grows in most yards, including ours. We climbed trees a lot. Where I live now is pretty similar but nothing compares to Jamaica. The last time I went to Jamaica was about 6 years ago. I forgot how relaxing it is there.
- Along with many others, I love listening to the accents of Jamaican actors and actresses. Do you also have that lovely accent?
[*** MRA ***] — No, unfortunately. I came to America when I was young so my accent is mostly gone. It does tend to come out more when I’m angry or with my family, though.
- You would be the first author I’ve met who drew inspiration from the Super Nintendo gaming system. Can you explain more about what captured your imagination?
[*** MRA ***] — Super Mario World. I loved that game so much—it’s one of my all time favorite Mario games. The characters captured my attention, and since there wasn’t much lore to it at that time (Mario games are pretty light on story), I came up with some myself.
- I’ve never tried fan faction, though I’m aware several authors have made a big splash doing so. Other than the obvious things – like not having to create your own major characters – how does the writing process differ? How much liberty can you take with those established settings and major characters?
[*** MRA ***] — I think fanfiction is an easy genre to get into because world-building is not an issue—it’s already done for you. The characters are already there, so you can have a base on which to express your creativity. As for established characters and settings, it’s fun to expand on the character you love so much and try to make them more alive—give them motivations . . . likes, dislikes, etc. . . . beyond what is seen in the game. Or you can give side characters more presence. Plus, there’s nothing to stop you from creating your own characters. Fan-characters are a way for burgeoning authors to put themselves into the world they love and allows them to imagine themselves doing things they can’t do in the real world.
- Your expanded bio mentioned several jobs you’ve held. Which was your favorite and why? Which did you like LEAST… and why?
[*** MRA ***] — My favorite: being a freelance writer. It was fun to get paid for writing.
Least favorite: working at a dry cleaners. The particular one I worked in was not a nice place to work. I’ll leave it at that.
- Any explanation for your fascination with the moon and the stars? If given the opportunity, would you travel into space?
[*** MRA ***] — No explanation. I just love astronomy. And the moon is so beautiful. But I don’t think I’d ever want to travel to space. The thought of being in a place where a relatively thin piece of metal separates me from a horrible death scares the living daylights out of me. It’s the same reason I wouldn’t go down in a submarine.
- I see you’ve released at least two titles through a “traditional” route and had half a dozen that you “self-published”. Obviously, there are major differences, but what would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of each route?
[*** MRA ***] — With self-publishing you’re in control of the story, formatting, cover . . . everything. And once the book is released, you have direct access to looking at sales, offering discounts, and marketing. The drawback is you don’t have the benefit of a professional to help with book covers, proofreading, or editing unless you pay big bucks for it.
With a publisher most of your control is taken away, however it is replaced with invaluable help—editors to help you polish your work, professional book covers and formatting, with no cost to you. However, it’s harder to track sales and market, I think.
- Tell us about your ongoing Facebook Live discussion. What can you accomplish through that venue that you can’t with an ordinary blog environment?
[*** MRA ***] — I just started the discussions on June 1, 2018, so I don’t know what works or what doesn’t yet. However, it’s great to be able to interact with readers instantly. That’s all I can say about it at the moment.
- Your bio also notes the spiritual center of your life and your writing. Would you like to add anything to that?
[*** MRA ***] — As a Christian, all my books have a Biblical element about them—even those that are not overtly Christian. The tagline of my website is “sharing Biblical truth through fiction,” and that’s my goal in my writing.
- What can you share about the inspiration for your newest release, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon?
[*** MRA ***] — Oh, boy! You asked for it this time. I have several inspirations for that book. The two major inspirations are my niece and nephew. I came up with the idea for “day-people” and “night-people” in my book when I noticed my niece liked to sleep during the day when she was a baby. (FYI: In my book, day-people are those who get energy from the sun and fall asleep as soon as the moon hits them. Night people gain energy from the moon and sleep as soon as the sun hits them.)
My next inspiration is the old Greek and Roman myths. They inspired Helio and Lumina, the Guardians of the sun and moon, respectively. Astronomy is also a big inspiration to the entire series.
Then we have the Bible verse that is written in the front of the book: Joshua 10:12b-13 where it speaks of the sun and moon stopping in the sky. If you read the book, you’ll see that inspiration pretty clearly.
Yeah, so I had quite a bit of inspiration for this book.
- If sales (money) and critics (reviews) were immaterial to you, what genre and length would you write?
[*** MRA ***] — Fantasy, novel length. Same as I do now.
- Have you ever encountered people who seem unable / unwilling to comprehend that writing is something you are driven to do?
[*** MRA ***] — No, not really. If they did, either I didn’t notice or they didn’t say.
- If you were not a writer, can you imagine what else you might do to express the creativity within you?
[*** MRA ***] — Well, I already dabble in sewing, crochet, quilting, drawing, and embroidery, so . . .
- Give us at least one example of someone who has contacted you and expressed how much your writing meant to them.
[*** MRA ***] — I know I’ve received some, but I can’t remember the specifics right now. I have a terrible memory =(
- In the conversations (about writing) that you’ve had over the years, what is one writing question which you’ve WISHED had been asked of you… but never has been asked?
[*** MRA ***] — Have you ever had writer’s block? No one’s asked, but I’ve given the answer anyway. =) I feel very strongly about it.
- What’s your answer to # 15 above?
[*** MRA ***] — No, I never have. I believe the reason writers suffer from writer’s block is because they write and write until they burn out. For at least one day a week I rest my creative mind and do not write. I believe that’s why I’ve never experienced writer’s block.
Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon
For years the Moon Palace in the Valley of Aijalon and the Sun Tower in the Plains of Jashar has stood as testaments to the power of the sun and the graciousness of the moon. Helio and Lumina, Guardians of the sun and moon, kept watch over them and the Prince and the Princess who ruled them. But the Prince and Princess are missing, and the sun is exhibiting strange behavior.
Now Joshua and his younger sister, Deborah, must untangle a web of lies and deceit to uncover the secret of who they really are and save their world from an imminent disaster brewing in the heavens. And they must hurry. Between the earthquakes, the sun and moon standing still in the sky, and the planet Jants hovering closer than it’s ever been, the planet could be torn apart before they have a chance to do something about it.
Question [for our blog readers to respond to]:
I’ve just started a Facebook Live ongoing discussion group I call Book Chat. If your favorite author started streaming live episodes, what would you want to see them discuss or do? What would get you to stop and watch?
[JLS # 390]