One of the goals of SPFBO is to give a chance to self-published authors to get more exposure. In the Finals I’m taking part in the competition as one of the judges in Fantasy Book Review‘s team. As I did with our group’s authors, I decided to offer a spot to the Finalists too to be featured on my blog. You can check out all of our content during Phase 1, and everything that’s happening during the Finals on my SPFBO 4 page!
Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nahs) is a part-time normal person and full-time author of fantasy/dystopian young adult books. And also some romance. (“She admits it! Murderer!”) She loves Jesus, the woods, and the stars, and has always wanted to be a superhero with a secret identity.
She has completed four books: one about elves that needs a massive revision before it ever sees the light of day, one that is part of her current story but also needs a massive revision to fit a new storyline, and the actual first and second books (Sowing and Quelling) in her dystopian fantasy series (The Purification Era). When she’s not writing, she’s usually Facebooking – ack! – or thinking about story stuff. Or exercising. Or eating ice cream, because life is short and ice cream is delicious. Despite several of her writing friends claiming she’s Canadian, she is not; she lives in Ohio with her dear husband, their goofy dog, and their crazy cats.
Welcome to the Asylum! Take a seat by the fire, have a glass of beverage of your choice and tell me something about yourself!
Ah, thank you, thank you – don’t mind if I do! Hot chocolate with whipped cream seems in order! So I’m Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nas), a wife of seven years and a fur-mom to five cats and a dog. I’ve been writing seriously (not full-time, but more than a hobby!) for almost… *does quick mathy things* thirteen years now! I’ve published the first two books in a series and have recently started editing for clients.
Say, you can live in the fantasy house/lair of your dreams. What would it look like?
Oh, man. Secret passageways, for one. Tunnels leading to different rooms or even another little cottage somewhere. I love stone on the outside…but also log cabin-ish…and tudor. Tudor is lovely, though I’m unsure how those three would look together. Hmm. But inside, I love that look of wood/cabin-ish-ness. It doesn’t have to be huge, just with an open floorplan, hidden compartments, and woodsy decorations.
Or a small castle. I’d take that too…
What is your favorite fantasy creature and why?
*instantly forgets all fantasy creatures* Uhhh…I think the Sphinx is pretty awesome. Or a griffin. Or a chimera. Basically anything that has a cat as part of it…
Why did you decide to become an author and how did you end up choosing self-publishing?
I don’t think I really made the decision so much as felt it was ME, like what I am made for. It just fits. I chose self-publishing because I wanted to have the control and freedom, the final say on everything.
Which author would you say is your greatest influence as a writer?
Probably a combination between Clare B. Dunkle (character development), Lois Lowry (atmosphere and haunting storyline), and Darren Shawn (writing style and twists).
If you could go back in time and offer any advice to a younger Angie prior to releasing Sowing what would it be?
To do a bit more editing/fine-tuning certain aspects of the story – and get a website up and ready before publishing.
What SPFBO means to you? What do you hope to gain (fame and wealth aside)? What are your experiences so far?
New friends and connections for sure! The experience has been mostly positive and surprising, and I’ve met some great people with amazing stories.
What inspires your writing? Do you listen to music, stare into the fire, listen to the whispering of the wind, make deals with the Devil?
Haha, definitely the first two. Not so much the others! Music has been a huge inspiration – music kind of started everything. History is inspiring too. And my characters kind of just write themselves at times, so…
How do you relax after a long writing/research session? Do you have any hobbies (writing not included :P)?
I make wax seals! And I age paper and paint them to look like the posters from my story. Exercise too – mostly walking/jogging (trying to get back into jogging…).
What was the most exotic place you’ve visited? Did it inspire any of your work? How that experience affected you personally?
I’ve pretty much been nowhere. Florida, maybe? Texas was a bit different… Nowhere that I’ve been has really inspired much, I don’t think. Haha, sorry!
Which character of your book do you identify with the most and why? Who would you like to live with in an asylum?
I’d say Ariliah and Rabreah almost equally, with a slight edge toward Rab (even though Ari is sometimes easier to write). Rab and I share an MBTI personality, and she’s passionate about a lot of the things I’m passionate about (justice, freedom, etc.). But she can be kind of…b*tchy at times, so I’d rather live with Ari. She’s a sweetheart.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the good or the bad ones?
I do, but I’m trying not to anymore. So much of it is personal taste. One person hates what another loves, and it just gets too stressful trying to juggle it all and please everyone. You can’t please everyone, and I have the personality where I naturally want to try to please everyone, and it just gets suffocating really fast. With negative reviews, I try to look at them objectively, see if there is anything I can learn from them, any aspects that the reviewer is possibly right about. But that’s a fine line, because again, personal taste.
Are there any books that have been/are being released in 2019 that you are excited to read?
I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I’ve struggled to really find books I connect with. I’m open to suggestions!
While you are locked in here for eternity, we will allow you one book – what would you choose?
Fiction: The Giver. Nonfiction: The Bible.
Well then, we hope you’ll enjoy your stay in the Asylum! Any last words? *locks door*
Can I get more hot chocolate?
If you’d like to get in contact with Angie Grigaliunas, you can find her on social media:
Sowing, book 1 of The Purification Era has made to the SPFBO Finals thanks to Sarah at Bookworm Blues. Get her book by clicking on the cover!