I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d be interviewing Heidi Angell during her book tour to announce the release of her newest book, The Hunted. The book went up for sale on February 18th, but the book tour is still continuing until March 1st. This interview unfolds much like most of the interactions between Heidi and me. I ask Heidi lots of questions, and she responds with thoughtful answers that often include a smattering of humor. Without further ado, I’d like to present Heidi Angell, an author of broad scope, amazing marketing skills, and a wonderfully, big heart. I am only one of many Heidi has taken under her wing. She has been a kind and patient teacher, and I am very lucky to have found her along this journey I have been making as an Indie author.
Ilana: Tell us a little about your new release, The Hunted.
Heidi: The Hunted is the highly anticipated sequel to The Hunters Saga. This is a series for those who long for the old days of monsters being monsters. It is a gritty urban fantasy with a touch of horror. In The Hunted we get to see the Werewolf side of the world I am creating. It is a saga, after all, so expect many more books in this series!
Ilana:. You say vampires should be killed not kissed. Can you tell us why you feel so strongly that vampires shouldn’t be romanticized?
Heidi: I wouldn’t say I don’t think they should be romanticized. I enjoyed True Blood and Twilight, and Vampire Academy as much as the next urban fantasy fan. But I saw that there were a group of (mostly young men) who were being marginalized and left out. And honestly, as fun as it was to watch Buffy fall in love with Angel, I kind of miss the good old Lost Boys/ Dracula/ and even Blade days, when monsters were monsters, and these apex predators were given the proper respect and fear they deserved. Even if that means you have to kill them 😉
Ilana: In our first interview together you talked about your experience in high school with a stalker. Do you think that experience influenced your feelings about vampires, who are most definitely stalker creatures?
Heidi: Ha, ha, no. My stalker was never as cool, or even as scary, as a vampire. I would never give him that power. Though, reading Twilight did give me twinges. No one should aspire to such unhealthy relationships.
Ilana: Do you think you could ever love a monster, and if so, which monster would it be?
Heidi: I struggle with the idea of “loving monsters” to be honest. I mean, even with Beauty and the Beast, the concept that a monster can be cured of their monstrous behavior simply because of love and understanding, that really bothers me. We are setting women up for abusive relationships with these kinds of stories. Women should never be taught that they can “fix” a man. The reality is that if a person has a problem that makes them a “monster,” whether its anger management issues, drug addiction, unhealthy relationship issues, stalking, etc., that person cannot be “fixed”. They can choose to change, but they must want that change for themselves, not because of someone else. And even then, it is very difficult for them to achieve that change.
But the light and fun answer would be Werewolf.
Ilana: What makes your tale of vampires and werewolves different from others?
Heidi: I use fantasy as a way to layer lessons into the stories. My goal is to shine some light on issues in society and address them from the safety of fiction. There are a lot of layers to my stories. Lots of different lessons for readers to get what they most need. One of which is obviously the idea that you can’t change monsters, they have to want that change for themselves. Another is the concept of gender roles. There are lots of other layers in there, and I leave them for readers to explore for themselves. I don’t want to be that author telling people what they should get out of a story 😉
Ilana: In this series, who is your favorite character and why?
Heidi: Agh, I can’t pick just one, so I’m going to say both Fury and Havoc, because they are the two who are the only common thread throughout most of the stories. (A couple of the future books will just have one or the other.) To me, they really aren’t two separate people. They are who they are because of each other.
Ilana: What have been some of the highlights of this book tour? What have been some of the low points?
Heidi: Oh goodness, it’s still too early to tell. Some of the highs were definitely the awesome fun of the launch party on Facebook, and I had some really fun tour stops. A few of the lows: My cover artist wasn’t coming through, and I was completely freaking out. Fortunately, (another awesome high) Karina Kantas, a fellow author, saved my bacon, and very probably saved me from having an aneurysm. Another low was that this was the first book launch I started before everything was finished and ready to go. From the beginning, everything felt really rushed. I was always behind getting reviewer copies, interviews, and spotlight materials out. For a type A personality like mine, it was really stressful, and a couple of my planned stops baled as a consequence. But, the plus to all of that was I realized even if things aren’t perfect, they can still turn out alright. I was panicking about not having my pre-order up in time, and not getting enough reviews on release day, and a host of other type A nonsense. In the end, this was actually the best week of sales I’ve ever had, and the highest number of sales for a new book during launch.
I still think that I will wait on the next launch until I have key pieces in place so I’m not constantly stressing myself out. But it was a good test!
On the whole, this has been a great launch and I have worked with some really wonderful and understanding people. I love them all!
Okay, readers, that is it for the interview, but for those of you intrigued by The Hunter’s Saga, there is still a promotion running that will continue until March 1st. The Hunters, Heidi’s first book in this saga, is currently available for free. All you need to do is subscribe to Heidi’s weekly e-newsletter, which you can find here: http://heidiangell.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ccaeddb69b8097d3b977d8ebf&id=cdc6ef35ed