Monday, May 20, 2013

Author Interview with Angelia Almos

Hillooooooo, everyone! Glad to see you've all stopped by! It's only been WEEKS since I last blogged, so I apologize.

Today, I'm hosting an interview with Angelia Almos, author of HORSE CHARMER.

Hello, Angelia, and welcome!
Thanks Cat! Happy to be here with you.

Can you tell us a little bit about Horse Charmer?
Horse Charmer is a young adult fantasy about a sheltered princess who discovers her remarkable gifts with horses while on a dangerous quest to find her father’s murderer.

That sounds interesting! How long did it take you to write the novel?
This one took forever. :) Seriously, I got the initial idea when I was 14 and worked on it off and on for years as I learned the craft of writing. I finally did the official first draft of Horse Charmer while enrolled in the Institute of Children’s Literature novel writing class in 2008-2009. Went through some rewrites and edits for over a year before deciding it was ready for the big bad world.

That is a really long time. I know I still have manuscripts I dreamt up when I was in my teens. Do you remember the sentence, or phrase, or character, from which Horse Charmer was born?
I remember exactly what happened. I was outside doing yard work and the image of a girl riding a horse with no tack through tall green grass came to me. I didn’t know who she was and where she was going, but I wanted to find out. 

I love it when images materialize like that. It makes the rest of the story so exciting to discover. How quickly do you come up with names for your main characters?
It really depends on the book and the character. Sometimes I just know and other times a character goes through many names before I settle on the correct one. For Horse Charmer, I took common names and twisted them slightly so they looked more exotic for the fantasy setting. It’s been so long since the story originally came to me that I can’t even remember how I chose the main characters’ names.

I know that feeling. :) Was Princess Cassia's character based on any of your friends or acquaintances?
Nope, I’m one of those writers who never base any characters off real people. The few times I tried, I got blocked. Check question 10 for a little more on this.

That's interesting. I know when I write, my characters start off as one thing, and end up accumulating characteristics of people I know. :)
Now, I know you’re a horse lover. How many horses, if any, do you currently own?

I currently have one pony. He’s an 11 year old 14h Welsh/Quarter named Prince Charming. We’ll have had him for 2 years this upcoming summer.

Aw, that is such a cute name for a horse! Hopefully he lives up to his name. :)
Now for a work-related question: What's your writing routine?
I don’t really have one. Every book has been written differently. I keep meaning to get a writing routine, but they never last.

I get that. My "writing routine" is currently write-whenever-I'm-not-working-and/or-studying. :-P
Now for a fun question: Do you like to write in utter quiet, or do you enjoy listening to music as you write?
I prefer to write with the TV or music on in the background, but sometimes I need utter silence. Just depends on the book. If I’m having a hard time focusing, ear buds with certain songs playing can get me in the heavy duty word count or editing mode. 

Are any of the characters in Horse Charmer similar to you in personality?
Not sure. No one on purpose. But I’m sure some of Cassia comes from me.

Who is your favorite character?
Kali. But she has to be since she’s based off my own horse. Unlike with people characters, I do like to put horses I know in my stories. For Horse Charmer, I put my long time riding buddy and show partner Kristy in the book. Kali acts how I guess Kristy would act if she could talk. 

What is your favorite scene in Horse Charmer?
I would have to say right after Cassia runs away from Vespera and Kali jumps in the river. I worked really hard to get that little scene just right. 

If there is one scene in Horse Charmer you’d wish to have happen to you, which would it be?
When Kali talks to Cassia for the first time. Wouldn’t every horse crazy girl like to have her horse talk to her? It would make life so much easier if you could explain exactly what you want and your horse could either understand or explain why they won’t do that.

Thanks for coming over and spending time with us, Angelia!

Horse Charmer* 
By: Angelia Almos

A gifted princess. A special horse. A quest for the truth. 

At sixteen years old, Cassia would rather spend her days in the royal stables than in the royal court. But as the eldest child of King Robet and Queen Sarahann she obediently performs her duties as the Princess of Karah.

Her safe world changes forever when her father is murdered in the neighboring kingdom of Vespera. Cassia grapples with his loss as her mother prepares her for her new role as queen. Her first task - she must travel to Vespera to marry a prince she barely knows to fulfill the treaty her father signed just before his death.

Nothing is as simple as it seems with political intrigues and unusual powers shadowing Cassia on her search to find out who killed her father and why.

*Horse Charmer is on sale for $.99 (ebook) to celebrate the two year anniversary*

Angelia Almos' love affair with horses began when she was five years old and talked her parents into her first riding lesson. Horses have always been a huge part of her life. The initial idea behind Horse Charmer came to her when she was fourteen. The image of a teenage girl riding her horse through a meadow appeared. Who was this girl? Where was she going? What was she running from? Those questions led to the creation of Horse Charmer.

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  1. Thanks for having me Cat! I had a great time doing your interview.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Angelia. Congrats on your one-year anniversary! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Yay yay! I agree, Ann. :)

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Happy anniversary, Angelia. I remember the scene where Kali spoke to Cassia as well as the tavern they put up at. Girls and horses are a magical combination.

    1. Hi Claudine! Thanks for stopping by. :)

      I agree. Horses and girls are an awesome combination. So much magic occurs among them.

    2. Thanks for dropping by Claudine! Fun to hear you talk about the book.

    3. Replied via my Nook. But don't think it came through. :-) Thanks for stopping by Claudine and for sharing with me the scenes you remember. :-) Yep, the tavern was a big turning point for Cassia.

  4. Thank you for hosting today!! So sorry I missed you this afternoon!

    1. Thanks for making everything so easy. :)

  5. Happy Anniversary Angelia!
    I've read Horse Charmer & Unicorn Keep & really enjoyed both of them. Love books which feature characters with an affinity/bond with animals.

  6. Great interview and Happy Anniversary Angelia

  7. Inspiration while doing yard work. You have to love that!

  8. Happy Aniversary! :) That was a really fun interview!

    1. Thanks for coming over, Mime! Nice to have you visit. :)

  9. Great interview! I love that you put your horses into the story--that's just too fun!

  10. Thanks for sharing the interview! I'm going to add her book to my to buy list! It sounds really good.

    I liked Jack Harkness in series one. Well, I had my ups and downs with him. I liked him, just not what he did. But after that it got worse, like they mentioned it more or something. And he sank. But, like you, he's never made it high on the favourite list.

    Out of all the companion relationships, Clara and 11/ /Ten and Donna are my favourites. Next would be 11 and the Ponds. But his friendship with Clara is just so much fun and new. He's never been like this with any of his other companions, he seems more open with her. It is just so sweet.

    I think with Jenny and Vastra it is easier to forget about their...whatever it is...because it isn't brought up every single time, unlike Jack. It is just easier to forget they are like that and enjoy their characters. Like they are just a detective team. I think they would be so much more fun though if it wasn't for the other thing. There seems to be a lot of promise between those three characters. I would love for them to have their own detective show.

    Oh man! I wish the Whispermen were more drawn out! They have so much promise of being creepy bad guys! I want to see more of them! I think I'll be sad if they vanish. I was sad the Silence wasn't around this time. Is it bad to miss a creepy Doctor Who villian? I'm REALLY excited for the 50th! I cannot wait for that!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jack. I can't wait for the 50th either!!!


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