Hello and welcome to another author interview- today we have Angie Grigaliunas 😀 so take a seat and read on….
Tell us a bit about your book?
My first book, Sowing, follows two sisters on opposite sides of a brewing rebellion in their city. We see both perspectives in first person and experience the struggles both face as they try to navigate their dark, messed-up world.
Here is the blurb:
People are dead, slaughtered like animals in the night.
The reigning power, the Hulcondans, blame rebels. Rabreah, a rebel, knows it’s a lie. Her younger sister, Ariliah, doesn’t; like the majority of the townspeople, she believes those in authority, swallowing their words with complete trust. Besides, she’s too busy fighting her own silent war at home. While Rabreah dedicates herself to truth and freedom, Ariliah is just trying to survive their mother’s abuse.
But as unknown forces threaten to rip their world apart, the line between friend and enemy blurs. All is not as it seems.
In fact, nothing may be.
What would say is the genre for your book?
Dystopian but in a medieval setting, not futuristic, and with fantasy elements (namely just another race or two besides humans).
Where did the inspiration come from?
From the song “Under a Killing Moon” by Thrice. That song gave me the image of a group of people killing someone and another person watching, knowing it was wrong – but also knowing that if they spoke up in defense of the condemned, they’d die too.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
My editor helped with that! I had original titles that no longer fit the new direction the story had taken, so we found some other stuff that worked!
How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?
I sort of edit as I go, so I don’t know. It took about a year to write it and a year to get it ready to publish. So…several!
Are there any characters in the book based on people you know?
Nope, I never base a character on anyone. I do sometimes pull quirks/personality traits, but I never try to capture anyone as a character.
How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?
I did have a launch party! On facebook though. Mostly I just stared at my computer screen and checked my Amazon rankings five billion times.
Would you care to give us an extract?
Of course! This is from the first chapter of Sowing (Ariliah’s POV):
His gaze crossed over the group again, and he set his jaw. Rage laced his tone. “And to you, traitors: this is my city, and these are my people. I will not allow you to devour them or thrust everything we know into chaos again. Recant now, turn from your wicked ways, declare your loyalty, and we will forgive.”
He studied the drawn faces. Though no one spoke above a whisper, wide eyes shifted about, everyone scanning each other. Suspecting each other.
He waited a moment longer and gave a short nod to Lord Masrekah who smirked and gestured to someone behind him. Movement rippled through the right side of the group, heading toward the platform, but I couldn’t see anything else.
“Very well,” Lord Siserah said. “We will be generous: take a day to think on it, to consider your options and motivations, to search your own hearts. We will convene again tomorrow. I strongly suggest that, between now and then, you make the right choice.”
He addressed Lord Masrekah. “Light it up.”
The Hulcondans on the platform parted and glided toward the stairs, revealing a gagged itzalin woman tied to the bonfire pole. Clothing hung in tatters over a thin frame, her pale gray skin almost glowing amidst the retreating black-clad soldiers. Wood lay stacked against and around her legs. Cheers and clapping erupted from behind me, spreading through the crowd as the platform emptied and more people saw. Cries of “drosser” and “slag” split the air mingled with the harsher curses of “feck” and “drecker.” The itzalin’s wide, red eyes darted around the taunting faces, and she pulled in vain against the cords. One of the soldiers lit a torch and hurried over to Lord Masrekah, but he didn’t offer it.
My eyes dropped to the hammer in Lord Masrekah’s hand, and my stomach knotted. Why can’t he ever just light the fire?
He ripped the gag off, stepped back, and slammed the hammer against the doomed monster’s knees. The itzalin screamed and squeezed her eyes shut, her body heaving. As Lord Masrekah moved to shatter her shoulders, I averted my gaze. Each crack and cry cut through me.
I’d been watching bonfires as long as I could remember. Killing the enemy to protect us was one thing. Torturing them was different.
She deserves it. She probably murdered someone, maybe a child. She should suffer like this –
The itzalin roared again, the sound snapping my head up. Wild flames crackled their way along the wood, and black smoke curled into the air. The smell of burning hair and flesh bit at my nose, more a memory than fresh, and I pressed my hand over my mouth. She kept shrieking, thrashing. Her skin blackened and peeled, the smell intensifying.
It was over in minutes, her body slumped motionless in the flames. I exhaled and pushed it from my mind. Just like all the others.
Lord Siserah scanned the people, his eyebrows raised. “Choose wisely.”
How do you beat writers block? Any tips?
A timer. I set it for 30-35 mins and make myself write until it goes off. I nearly always reset it several times. Or get so caught up in writing that I forget to reset it. Other than that, sometimes just taking a break can help. Refocusing. Reading.
Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?
Writing is pretty much my life…but I take walks, sing…um…that’s about it. Ha!
When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
I’m both! I tend to go in without a huge plan, but with this story, I have the two girls telling it, and I have to plot at some point to make sure everything matches up. I have to know who is where at all times.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Be teachable! Get in a good writing group, learn to give and take constructive criticism, and keep learning. Never stop learning.
If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters?
Oh, gosh. I don’t even know how to answer that. I don’t really pay attention to actors/actresses. Haha!
I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?
I’m working on book two of this series (Quelling), which picks up right where Sowing ends.
Besides that, I have another series, more historical/fantasy in a sort of Ancient Rome type of place. Here is the working blurb:
“If they give you a chance, Aster, take it.”
Years ago, Aster’s parents smuggled her away to freedom, narrowly escaping the invading Nephele army. At seventeen, the past catches up with her. Torn between death or conversion to the Nephele faith, Aster chooses life – thereby signing that life over their military. A soldier’s path promises prestige…and the possibility of finding her parents.
Ruthless and devoted, Helios has never questioned the path before him. Though he despises the new recruits, he obeys tradition, doing his part to train them. It’s merely another step toward power and position.
An ancient chimera has other plans.
With the city in flames, Aster and Helios flee – only to end up underground, trapped and hunted. If they can find a way to trust each other, they might survive.
If they can’t, there may not be a world left to go back to.
Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet?
Thankyou so much! You can also find Angie today 7pm (est) over at Tattered Book Cover Reveal ( https://www.facebook.com/events/166081020576605/?__mref=mb ) and she maybe giving away a free ebook! 🙂 🙂