Angel Gelique is a mother, wife and recovering attorney from Long Island, New York. Author of the disturbing Hillary series, Angel enjoys exploring the dark regions of her imagination and incorporating the horrors therein within her books. As gruesome as her horror novels are, Angel does not limit her writing to horror. Her debut novel, Mother, is an emotionally-charged young adult story about a tumultuous mother/daughter relationship and she has even written a romantic comedy, Yesterday vs. Tomorrow.
Called “The Queen of Gore” (with good reason), Angel’s horror stories tend to be extreme and depraved so please read and heed the warnings.
Angel welcomes feedback and constructive criticism and is always happy to hear from readers. Feel free to send comments via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or connect with her on Goodreads:
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
AG: When I was very young—maybe seven or eight—I would write stories and turn them into little books, complete with masking tape spines and corners (very professional!) You would think that would give me a clue as to my passion for writing, but nope…! I never seriously considered the idea until after going to college and then wasting my life becoming an attorney pursuing a degree in law. Sadly, it wasn’t until 2012 when I finally decided to give writing a try that I realized what I’d been missing. Now I have no doubts whatsoever; I want to spend the rest of my life writing stories.
2. How long does it take to write your book(s)?
AG: I can generally write a short story (fully edited) in about a week or two. A novella takes anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months, depending on my other obligations at the time. I have written full-length novels in as little as four months but they typically take about six to twelve months to complete.
3. What is your work schedule like when writing a book?
AG: When I’m writing, everything else becomes secondary (much to my husband’s chagrin!). I spend the vast majority of the day writing and during the editing phase, I go into overdrive spending what seems like countless hours preparing my book for release.
4. Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?
AG: Ideas just come to me, often at the strangest times and in the strangest places (like the shower, for instance, where a lot of stories come to me for some reason). Just the other day I was in the kitchen working on dinner and an idea just popped into my mind. If I’m able at the time, I jot down brief descriptions of my ideas for later use.
5. When did you write your first book?
AG: I wrote my first novel, Mother, back in 2012. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since then.
6. What do you do when you’re not writing?
AG: When I’m not writing, I spend my time with my family. My kids are all grown up now, with my youngest (my daughter) heading off to college in the fall. My eldest son is currently in South Korea and my youngest son is in the Navy. It gets increasingly difficult for us to all get together. Thank God for Skype and FaceTime!
And then there’s my addiction to Words with Friends! Sometimes I curse the day I discovered that game!
7. What does your family think of your writing?
AG: My family is very supportive of my writing despite the nature of most of my books (disturbing extreme horror). I know that my family members are proud of me for pursuing my dreams and for treading down the riskier ‘road less traveled’ with respect to the nature of most of my books and the subject matters therein. They might require therapy at some point as a result but as for now, they cheer me on.
8. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
AG: The most surprising thing I have discovered during the writing process is that I have a truly sick mind! Seriously, I am shocked by some of the things I come up with, especially during a gory scene of torture. I know that I have a bad habit of crossing the line—going way over that line, in fact—but the way I see it, books should place readers into the story and enable them to feel what the characters are experiencing. I think true (and hardened) lovers of horror can appreciate the ride into unchartered territories. For a while, I struggled with determining appropriate levels of gore and whether or not I should continue including controversial and tabu material. I have decided to just continue with what I do best—writing extreme, depraved and disturbing horror stories.
9. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
AG: I have written seven novels, five novellas and four short stories. My stories have appeared in anthologies and some have been published in other languages, as well. My Hillary trilogy has been published in German by Festa Verlag and I was recently contacted by an Asian publisher interested in my work.
Of all the stories I’ve written, I think my favorite is Man Cave because although it is extremely vile and gory, it is (sadly) realistic—not supernatural or far-fetched. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon to read/hear about horribly heinous crimes, many involving victimized women and children. Man Cave explores the savagery against two young abducted women. Amidst the horror lies a psychological component—a struggle for survival in the face of dying hope. It is twisted and explicit but terribly engaging.
10. Any tips/suggestions on getting started?
AG: I am always encouraging people to write. All you need is an idea, and not even a fully formed one at that. Part of the thrill of writing is seeing how the story develops as it’s being written. You don’t need an outline complete with an ending. Just write and see what unfolds.
Don’t ever let fear stop you from starting that first book. Write just for the sheer enjoyment, not for financial gain. Enjoy the writing process. It will be full of moments of joy, triumph and great frustration but it will be well worth it.
Don’t let people discourage you with negativity. Heed constructive criticism but don’t pay any attention to people who are just downright nasty with their feedback. Readers will see their reviews for what they are.
Have fun writing and enjoy the journey. You never know where it will lead you, so what are you waiting for?
11. What do you think makes a good story?
AG: I think a good story is one that pulls the reader in and keeps them fully engrossed in what’s happening. Good stories have well-developed characters that readers can relate to. I think figurative language is vital to providing the necessary details that enable readers to visualize the scenes and comprehend the characters’ varied perspectives. A good story takes readers on an unforgettable adventure; the especially good ones are thought-provoking, too, allowing certain aspects of the story to linger and provoke reflective contemplation.
12. As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up?
AG: I wanted to live on a ranch (specifically in Texas!) and ride horses! I don’t recall ever having any career goals. I know my mother wanted me to become a doctor and I did consider it at one point (hence, my undergraduate degree in biology). I really don’t think I had any true aspirations to become anything in particular. If I could return to my much younger self, ready to begin college, I think I would study psychology. But as a child, all I wanted to do was ride horses!
13. What’s in store for your writing career?
AG: 2019 was a woefully unproductive year for me, as far as writing. I plan to make up for it in 2020. First up, I am planning to release the conclusion to my Merry Murder series, Merry Mayhem. Afterwards, I hope to release a novel I started a couple years back, entitled Mother Mayhem. Yes, there’s plenty of mayhem in store.
If I can be very disciplined, I am planning a companion novel to my first book, Mother.
I am hoping to take my writing more seriously and possibly submit work to other publishers.
Love this interview! I too only knew I wanted to ride horses some day when I was a child growing up in apartments with no horses in sight! I knew I wanted to be a writer by age 12, but am only just now in the right place mentally at the age of 54. I am currently writing horse ranch stories, but also want to write sci-fi fantasy and possibly horror as well. Do you think it’s okay to write such a wide range of genres in one name? I’ve been toying with using a penname for the latter categories.
Thank you Carla!!
And of course you can write a wide range of genres, that’s the point! 😉 Go for it!!! I’ll be here waiting to read it. 🙂
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Thank you Cristina! I have a hard time getting anyone but a few friends to read my stuff, so it gets pretty discouraging to keep moving forward. I guess a lot of writers experience that though…