WHO ARE THE KINDLE ALL-STARS?
Short conversations throughout November with the stellar talent behind the revolutionary short-story anthology THE KINDLE ALL-STARS PRESENT: RESISTANCE FRONT
FS: How did you come to hear about the Kindle All-Stars project?
Angela: I saw Bernard’s call for “a few good writers” on the Kindleboards, and I thought it was a terrific idea. The writers involved get a lot of good exposure, and readers get a lot of great stories for one low price. That profits from this anthology will go to The Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an organization whose sole purpose is finding happy endings for families, was simply icing on the cake for me. I feel very honored to be involved in this project.
FS: What’s your contribution called?
Angela: “The Shroud Maker”
FS: And without giving too much away, what’s it about?
Angela: Under the watchful eyes of her uncle, a talented young batik artist works through the night on the most important piece of her life…a death shroud.
FS: What was the main inspiration behind it?
Angela: I almost hate to admit it, but this story was the product of a writing challenge between me and a friend. We had to turn in a short story weekly to each other or pay a steep penalty fee for each day it was late.
Not wanting to cough up 10 bucks and lose bragging rights, I sat down the night before it was due and tried to muster something from thin air. At the time, I was interested in dyeing and batik design, so I soon wandered away from my word processor and started Googling about the different designs and techniques batik artists use to apply color to cloth. It is a fascinating culture, and many designs have specific uses and meanings. It didn’t take long before the designs strung themselves together into an unexpected story.
FS: Did you write it specifically for the Kindle All-Stars, or was it written prior?
FS: Obviously the primary goal behind this anthology is to make some money for disadvantaged and abused children. But secondary to that, it is to promote fresh, new writing talent – the punk rock of literature – and show that Indie writers are out there, dedicated and working hard to produce Class-A work.
If people take notice of what you’ve written for this anthology, what do you hope the outcome is of that attention?
Angela: That I get cast on Dancing With The Stars! Just kidding. Kind of. All I’m saying is I wouldn’t turn them down. 😉
Honestly, I hope folks enjoy my story enough to find out more about me and my work. The thing I look forward to most in this whole publishing process is meeting the readers, learning what was lost in translation and what was discovered, and applying that to my next project. I’ve got a lot of stories coming down the pipeline, and I want to make them as good as I possibly can. I want readers to be entertained.
FS: How do you write? Are you a plotter? Do you fly by the seat of your pants? When do you write, and where? I write at night, at the dining table, when the kids are in bed and the place is finally peaceful and quiet. And I work everything out on paper before I sit down to write. What have you found works best for you?
Angela: I have always dreamed of being that writer that got up at 4:00 in the morning to write, but I could never manage it…until I became a mother. Now I own the wee hours. It’s all that’s left. 😉
But the process is the same. I brainstorm until I’m saturated in back story and there’s nothing left to do but to write the darn thing and discover all the solutions I couldn’t see from the starting point. It’s a fun line of work, isn’t it?
FS: How did you find the editing process with Bernard? I found it to be like a smack in the mouth and a pat on the head at the same time, saying “I like this” at one point, to a specific sentence, and then “You need to stay in Active Voice!” the next. I learned a lot, and I think I have a much stronger piece of writing now than I did when I submitted it. What was your personal experience?
Angela: I have to be honest, I feel pretty lucky. Bernard had only minor edits to offer, and the whole experience was pretty painless. I enjoyed the pat on the head. 🙂 This is not to discredit El Presidente’s wild and wooly reputation. I think I just edited the heck out of this piece because I really wanted it to get in. It went through at least five or six beta readers, some of them twice, and I won’t say how many times I went over it, mostly because I lost count.
FS: Is there anyone in particular who’s contributed to the anthology that you’re excited to be included alongside?
Angela: Pretty much everyone. Yes, I’m breathless to be included with the likes of Ellison and Foster, but I’m just as excited to be surrounded by folks who are just starting out like me. It’s a great pool of talent, and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s stories.
FS: We know that there will be a KAS 2 at some point. Plans are already afoot. Is there a dream name you’d like to see involved in it the next time around? Me personally, getting published in a book that includes a story by Alan Dean Foster is one of those “Wouldn’t it be great if one day…” things that I can now tick off of the list.
Angela: Ray Bradbury. You know he’s gotta have a few extra stories laying around. And I would really love to hear him speak again. He’s a wonderful storyteller and intensely likable. And his stories are made of dreamstuff. Yup, put Ray Bradbury down on my wish list, please. 🙂
FS: So when you’re not helping to fight evil, what do you get up to in real life?
Angela: I wrangle one Toddler and countless animals (stuffed and otherwise) with a specialty in dinosaurs, I am a certified shorthand reporter and type like the devil, and I enjoy bellydancing. Seriously.
FS: Are you working on anything now? Anything you’d like everyone to know about?
Angela: Yes and yes! My first short story title, “Lookaway Dogs,” is due out any minute now. It’s a science fiction story about an offworld frontierswoman desperate for supplies, who must travel on foot through perilous terrain while carrying her baby on her back. Thankfully, she has her trusty lookaway dogs with her in case she runs into any trouble…you know, like monsters.
I have several more short stories queued up after the release of “Lookaway Dogs,” and I hope to release a few more by the end of the year. News and updates can be found at my website, www.angelamcconnell.com.
FS: And to your readers – both potential and existing – is there anything you would like to say? They might be reading this months after Resistance Front has landed, wanting to know more about you. What would you like to say to them?
Angela: Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting this project. I hope you enjoy all of the stories shared by our authors, and I hope you’ll come visit me for a chat at my blog or on Twitter (squishyang). You can add me to your “Odd Folks I Know” list. 😉
FS: Thats it! Time’s up! Hopefully we’ll the chance for a much more in-depth chat at some point in the near future when KAS is out on sale!