Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Featured Author: Angie Gallion

Welcome Today's Featured Author
Angie Gallion!! 

When Alison Hayes walks into her storm-darkened trailer the afternoon of her sixteenth birthday, she has no idea that it will be the beginning of a year like no other. Her mother has lost her job, again, the most stable man they’ve ever had in their lives is looking for the nearest exit, and her best friend is dating the prom queen. She can’t remember the last time anything good had happened to her. If the rails still passed through the town, she would definitely be on the wrong side, always looking across to everyone else, it seemed, who had it so much better than she.    Dirty. Trash. The words have followed her through her life in her tattered, rust-stained jeans. She longs to understand her mother--who is lost and broken, driven by her addictions, by her losses--and to reconcile the memory of MOTHER before with MOTHER now.    In the chaos of their one acre in the world, Alison strives for sanity, forging a path through the wreckage into the light. She is alone and must learn to stand alone, or she will be swept by the same undercurrents of self-defeat that took her mother so many years ago. During these worst of times, she discovers her own strength and determination and a powerful drive to do something better.

When Alison Hayes finds herself suddenly set free in the world to build her life out of the crumbled ruins of her childhood, she must come to terms with her own demons before she can make her way out of the chaos left by her mother's life.  Were people right to think she would follow the same road her mother travelled, or would Alison be able to forge a new path?  Is she destined to repeat the mistakes of her mother, or is she free to make choices for a better way?  When there are opportunities to make good choices, how will she ever know which choice is right?

Alison Hayes is set to fly or flee. When she follows her friend, Cici, to California she hopes it will be the beginning of a new, perfect life. She has spent her days trying to do something better, trying not to repeat the mistakes made by her alcoholic and broken mother. Yet, she is haunted by the only "right thing" she has ever done being the one thing she couldn't keep.

Can Alison create a new, charmed life in a land where nobody knows her history? Can she soar to the elusive "something better?" Or, as she fears, will the cracks in her foundations break through and send her careening to the ground?


About Angie Gallion:
Angie was born and raised in East Central Illinois and has a strong relationship with the land and people  from her childhood.  She graduated college with a BA in English and wrote the first draft of her first novel, Intoxic, in a creative writing class at Eastern Illinois University, her alma mater.  She followed her love of theatre to California and spent several years there before she was drawn back to the Midwest, with it’s black soil, and rock and oil roads.   Angie is a wife and mother who resides now with her family in Georgia. She enjoys participating in author events and talking to people about her own books as well as their favorite books.  She recognized early on in her publishing the importance of reviews in the marketing of her work.   As she met more small press and independent publisher she saw a great void in spreading the word about some of these quality works.  She started publishing reviews of quality small press and indie press books on her website, www.angiegallion.com.  

Interview With Angie Gallion:
  1. Can you tell us a little about your books?
  2. What is your newest release?
My series is called The Alison Hayes Journey.  So far, there are three books in the series, Intoxic (8/16), Purgus (12/16), and Icara (6/17).  Alison Hayes is a fictional character who has walked with me since a creative writing class in college.  I was invited to complete a master's  program in Creative Writing and Literature, with Intoxic being the creative portion of my master's thesis.  I worked really hard and completed my coursework with no problem.  I worked hard on my novel, too, but when it came time to hand it over to a panel of professors for judgement I wasn't ready to share.  I wasn't ready to set Alison free into the world, I wasn't ready for her to be judged.  I walked away from my masters program with my coursework complete.   

I put Alison's book in a drawer and once or twice a year I would bring it out and make changes and over the years it transformed.  There is very little resemblence now to the book it started out to be.  It is a much more mature book, because I have enough experience now in living to see life without being sentimental.  A couple of years ago, I reread the book, and realized that I was finally ready to share it.  Through sharing it with the right people and connecting with my editor, Janet Fix at thewordverve.com, we brought Intoxic to press in August of 2016.   At that time I thought I was done.  I had finally completed something, and for the rest of my life I could say that "I wrote a book" and be satisfied.  What I wasn't expecting were the reviews.  I wasn't expecting for people to feel about Alison the way I do, after all, she had been a part of my life for years.  The most frequently asked question about Intoxic was "What happens next?"  I began to realize that I needed to know too.  I started listening again, to Alison in my head, and thinking about the people who could help her find a path.  Once I started listening, I started writing and the second book was completed in 30 days.  It was an incredible, cathartic experience, writing that book.  I sent it to my editor, and, she like me, felt there was something special in Purgus, something powerful.  We released it in December of 2016.

I started work on Icara in February of 2017, and all through the writing I hedged, walking with Alison up to the ledge and turning her away.  I had a really hard time writing the story she was telling me, because it wasn't what I wanted for her.  I wanted this third book to show that she had found a path, that she was making good choices, and that her life was better because of it.  I finished it and sent it to Janet, who said what I already knew, "You didn't tell the story you needed to tell."  How she knew that there was conflict in me about this book I will never know.  She was right, of course.  Janet has incredible instincts.  I got the manuscript back and did a ninety percent rewrite, and I let Alison tell her story without me interfering.  It was better, much better.  My editor agreed, even though it was essentially a different novel for her to edit.   We released Icara in June 2017.  

3. What inspires you to write?
 I am inspired to write by the strangest things.  Sometimes it can be as simple as the light falling through a window, or some snippet of conversation overheard that inspires some sort of an emotional response.  My newest work was triggered one morning while I was cleaning my daughters' rabbit cages.  I'm 40,000 words in and am excited to see where it goes from here.

4.  Do you have a favorite spot to write?
 I generally write in the kitchen, standing at the counter.  I like to be available for the kids and luckily don't require silence to write.  Editing, is a different story.  I need to be alone and undisturbed to edit, so I generally do that work at my desktop in my office.

5. Do you have any “odd” writing habits?
 I don't think I have any odd writing habits, beyond the fact that I sometimes feel I am just transcribing as the story is channeled through me, but when I am writing I follow the nanowrimo method.  I try to write 1600 words a day and be satisfied.  That generally works out to be about a chapter.  It's a goal.  Some days I come back to it throughout the day, but most times I write it and let it sit, working out the details for what comes next as I live through the day. 

6.  If you ever experience a case of writer’s block, how do you cure it?
Writers block has always been that voice in my head that tells me that I'm wasting time.  I stopped listening.  

7.  Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I don't work with an outline, but I do generally know the arc of the story when I start writing.  Sometimes the story has a mind of it's own, like the one I'm working on now, I though it was about one thing, one main problem, but as I've gotten to know my protagonist I realize that it's really about something else.  I tell people that I'm a method writer, meaning that I very much take on my character's internal thoughts when I am writing and sometimes it's not easy to come out of.  When I wrote Purgus it was a real struggle to rebalance myself after writing.  

8.  If  you could spend 24 hours as a fictional character, who would you chose?
If I could spend 24 hours as a fictional character, it would probably be Claire Randall Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  Although I'm not generally a fan of romance, these books are brimming with non romance details.  I have read the first three books in that series multiple times and what I love about Claire is her intelligence.  She is very savvy and practical with a keen eye for observation.  Also, I like history and loved Scotland when I visited, so that would be a treat, especially knowing that after 24 hours were up I could come home and  have a hot shower.  

9.  What are you working on next?  
My current project is the first book in what I expect to be three, it's about a woman who find some secrets about her childhood after her mother passes away.  The new details of her life, and the loss of her mother, sends her into a bit of a tailspin and I'm anxious, right now, to see how she comes to terms with her new altered reality.  I hope to have it for a first glance to my editor sometime early fall.  

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