The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Guest: Janella Angeles - Where Dreams Descend

August 24, 2020 Marissa Meyer Season 2020 Episode 31
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Guest: Janella Angeles - Where Dreams Descend
Show Notes Transcript

Marissa chats with Janella Angeles about her debut young adult fantasy - WHERE DREAMS DESCEND - as well as how the empowering journey of Janella's protagonist helped her during her own writing journey; the symbolism behind a great dance scene; using unexpectedly modern music on a fantasy writing playlist; and how difficult it can be for your book not to sell even after you have an agent (and some tips for how to move forward).

Books discussed in this episode can be purchased from your local independent bookstore or buy them online from the Happy Writer bookshop.org store (that benefits indie bookstores) at https://bookshop.org/shop/marissameyer

Speaker 1:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

Hello and welcome to the happy writer. This is a podcast that aims to bring readers, more books, to enjoy and to help authors find more joy in their writing. I'm your host, Marissa Meyer . Thanks so much for joining me. We are nearing the end of another Instagram contest in which we have asked listeners to share a photo of their favorite writing fuel. They can a what beverage you tend to enjoy when you were in the midst of a great writing spree. Two randomly selected winners will receive their choice of either one of my books or a book from any past podcast, guests , the contest end August 31st, and you can find the rules and details on Instagram at happy writer podcast. So I hope you'll go check it out and good luck with winning as for me and my writing fuel. I usually have a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening. And in between those two things, I drink a ton of sparkling water. So the thing that has been making me happy this week is my drink mate, soda maker , uh, because I truly, I go through so much of it and I really, really hate single use plastic bottles. So this way I can enjoy my bubbly beverage , uh , and still feel like I'm doing it. Guilt-free and of course, I am so happy to be talking to today's guest, her debut novel, where dreams descend has been compared to the night circus, Moulin Rouge and Phantom of the opera. And I'm going to go ahead and add Cara vol to that lineup, because I know we have a lot of Stephanie Gerber fans who listen to this podcast. And I think that you guys are going to love this book we're dreams to send as the first of the kingdom of cards . Duology and it was the June owl crate book selection. So some of you may have already gotten your copies, but the book officially comes out this week on August 25th. Now please welcome Janella Angeles. Hello, welcome. Thank you for having me and hi guys, how is life in your bunker? Where are you located to start with? I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Um, so finger has been pretty strange been for everyone. I know, I know. What is, what is life like in Cambridge, Massachusetts? You know, thankfully everyone's been very mindful and respectful about, you know, going out wearing masks, but it's still so strange because you know, this is the kind of city where you always see people walking out with their kids, with dogs and just enjoying life outside. And it's strange that that's not happening anymore. And hasn't been happening for like five months now. I, yeah , I know. It's when it first started, I was convinced that, you know, Oh, it'll be a few months and then we'll have a solution. I don't know. It was very naive in hindsight, we were very optimistic in the beginning and then it was like, Hmm. Yeah know , and now we're like, we're in this for the long haul to do this. How do we stay sane for the next, you know, whatever 12, 18 months, two years. I don't know. Anyway, but we're, we're powering through life, goes out the show must go on as something

Speaker 3:

Perfect on that note.

Speaker 2:

Um , why don't we start with you telling listeners what is where dreams descend about? Sure. Um, so where Jim's descent is , you said is, has these comp titles of Phantom of the opera and Moulin Rouge and the night circus. Um, but ultimately it is my answer to my like fan question. What would happen if Christine Daya who's , you know, beautiful, talented yet timid ingenue character, Christine , what if she knew she was talented and she really owned it? Um, what would that story look like? And so Regina follows an ambitious and powerful show girl named Kalia who streams of performing on stages and making a name for herself as this great performing magician. Um, but having performed and been sheltered in this club called hell-fire house all her life. She doesn't have that much opportunity to break out on a wider stage. That is until this magician's competition comes along, I'm looking for the next headline or of the conquering circus. Um, and Kalia joins this competition and against all odds becomes center stage of this spectacle, which is hosted in a very mysterious city. Um, however things start going very wrong behind the scenes of the show. And no one seems to know why or who the guilty party is , uh, except Kalia who starts to fear that perhaps it's a ghost from her past who has followed her to this city, bringing mayhem to the stage so that she may return. Um, that's it

Speaker 3:

That's eight, but there's also so much more,

Speaker 2:

There's a lot, a lot in this book, a lot to dig into a lot to love. Um, you hardly even touched on the romance. There's a fabulous, Yeah . Squeeze that into the pitch pitches are so tricky like that. It's like, you need to just like give enough meat, but then there's so much other meat to give. I don't know. It's hard, it's it is not easy to try to summarize a , you know , 400, 500 page book. No. Yeah. Um, so circuses and magic shows. I, they have my heart , uh , I know like so many readers and, and writers too. Like there's just so much richness there and they just spark our imagination in such lively ways for you. What was it about circuses and magic shows that really called to you? Ooh, great question. Um, so interestingly, when I thought of this bug , it didn't come together completely. I'd always just wanted to write a circus story and a story about magicians. And I didn't realize I could combine the two until like later in the brainstorming process, but I feel like both of these are very aesthetically driven, you know, topics and subject matter. Like, you know exactly when you are reading a circus book, you know, exactly what is it, a circus? There are tents , there are these fabulous performers. There's, you know , the food, there's all this stuff. Um, and with magicians, there's spectacle their stage. There is , you know, top hats and fabulous costumes. Um, I'm a very aesthetically driven , uh, writer. I have so many Pinterest , I cannot start a story until I have a Pinterest board. I know that feeling is like the perfect vehicle to set an atmosphere to a story. And I feel like circus settings, anything when magicians automatically have that really like delicious , um, spectacle sort of aesthetic that I am always naturally drawn to as a reader and as a writer now. Yeah, no, I'm the same way . I can't start a book without starting a Pinterest board. That's like, step one. Yeah . Step one. Pinterest. For it . It's not procrastination. It's it's research. It's research. It is exactly. I'll never, I don't want anyone to tell me otherwise, but no, but you're , you're so right that this, this book is a very aesthetically driven book. Um, and, and there's just, you can just picture red roses and the crystal chandelier's and the drapes surrounding the stage. And all of it is so rich and , and yummy to dig into. I have to imagine this book feels like a books to grammars of dream, brilliant books , to gram images coming across of this book. I have to imagine that their hat , Oh my God, seriously, people have been posting the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. And like, I I'm blown away. A lot of people have just the best book is props from like masquerade masks to like carnival food, bright color , amazing editing. I'm blown away. I'm very, very blessed with all the things that have come out so far. Yeah, no, I am so impressed with books to grammars. I tried like very briefly when I first signed up for Instagram, I was like, I can take pretty pictures of books and very quickly realized that no, no, this is not in my skillset. It is, it is a skill. It is a craft truly. Um, yeah, I, I'm going to have to dive into the, the books to grams for where dreams to send after we talk . Cause I CA I just imagine that some of them must be just fabulous. Oh yeah . One of the other things that I really loved about this book is this theme of dancing. You know, a lot of the book really revolves around dancing. And I almost felt like the, the scenes that included dancing were telling their own story over the course of the book. I'm like, it starts out where you have Kalia and she's a stage performer doing very kind of sultry, seductive showgirl type dances that felt very strong and independent, but also lonely. Um, and then as it went on, it kind of evolved into more ballroom dances. And I pictured a lot of tango flare thrown in there and, and I was like, okay, now she's, she's developing relationships and she's learning how to trust her partner. And I don't know , maybe I was reading a lot.

Speaker 3:

Oh my God . I actually did not even think of it that way. Feel free to use that if you'd like.

Speaker 2:

Um , well then tell me, what were you thinking or feeling as you were writing the dance sequences? Cause there were a lot of my favorite scenes in the book. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. Uh , it's so funny. I was recently just like looking at a dance scene that that's on the book . I , so I'm not a dancer. I've always wanted to be a dancer since I was growing up, but my parents never let me take lessons. So I lived vicariously through dancers in movies and on TV shows and all that stuff. Um , so I love watching, like, so you think you can dance , um , dancing with the stars . Like literally every dancing show, every dancing movie, I probably watched it. Um, and there's just something so beautiful about being able to express yourself and emotion through movement. Um, I had always wanted to do that myself. Um, but I definitely do not have the technique or the form for it. So I was like, how about I put it inside a character who would also love that freedom of expression and independence that comes naturally with dancing. Um, and so that's so interesting the way you pointed out that she starts off kind of independent, but she has four partners. She put dancing changes that is that's mind blowing. You didn't even know, look what a genius. You are, subconscious dance brilliance right there. Yeah. But I just love a good dancing. I don't know who does it. It's like the perfect vehicle for getting to know a character. And then also starting to see a character, develop relationships in different dynamics with certain characters. Um , there's so much tension that can go into a dance scene, whether they know how to dance, whether they don't know how to dance, the music, the tone, everything. Um, there's a lot you can explore , um , with that I think. Yeah, no. And some of the romantic tension was pretty off the charts. Part of the reason why I loved them. So

Speaker 3:

No, but I , I too, I love

Speaker 2:

Movie any, you know, stage production that didn't Phillips dancing. Cause I am not, I don't have the talent for it. Um, but it's when my, when I was getting married, my husband and I briefly took ballroom dancing lessons , um, you know, to like prepare for the first dance and I loved it and reading this book kind of transported me back to those days. So.

Speaker 3:

Oh , cute . I love that. Do you listen to music when you're writing ?

Speaker 2:

Yes. Um, so weirdly a lot of people have been saying like, please release your dad's playlist . I'm like, do you really want to know what's on this playlist? Cause I don't think it's what you think. It's all . Give me an example. So like I really love , um, covers like orchestral covers for tech covers of modern music. So a lot of the dance scenes were actually like Brittany Spears cover . Interesting. I think the first dance scene with Kalia and from Jack art is like , um, oops, I did it again.

Speaker 3:

Well like the violin quartet.

Speaker 2:

I love that. You're right. That's not at all what I would have expected. Right . It is surprisingly sold tree and moody when you hear it in that way. But what is , I know that book has been compared to Moulin Rouge. Was that one of your major inspiration

Speaker 3:

By chance?

Speaker 2:

It's actually an inspiration that I think came after or as I was writing. Um, cause initially I was like, this is definitely like very Phantom , but the more I started writing these characters, the more I was like, wow, this can actually be reminiscent of Milan Reese too. Cause I think there's a lot of overlap between those two stories. They're very, you know, they're very romantic, they're very like aesthetically dramatic. Um, there's just a lot that you can play with both of those worlds and those characters also like similar dynamics too. Um, so that definitely came later in the process, but I think , um, this book is definitely more aesthetically, like one route and that like Baz Luhrmann's directorial styles , like in your face sensations and colors and brightness. So I really looked to that as , um, as inspiration for uh , when I was writing my, you know, my descriptions and everything right now I asked because I mean, that's one of the things that I loved about Moulin Rouge and I haven't seen the movie in years and years. Um, but where it's, you know, a period piece, it takes place in what I don't know, early 19 hundreds or something. Um, but they used modern music for it . And so that's why I thought, Oh, you you're writing this kind of, you know, fantasy old world book, but sending it to Britney Spears. I mean, honestly I love, I also love that aspect. The Milan verse , they call it like a jukebox needs the call where you're using different songs and weaving them together into one narrative when normally they wouldn't be together. And I never heard that term. Well , it just speaks to how music can transcend and it really like what are some of the , like your song and like medicine Elton John song. And yet somehow it fits perfectly in this Parisian love story during like the Bohemian era. It's so true. And I know at one point they're like at the dance club and there's a David Bowie song like perfect. Yeah, yeah. Well done Baz . Yes. Yeah , absolutely .

Speaker 3:

So back to where dreams descend.

Speaker 2:

It's also, I mean, it's very much a female empowerment story , um, in a lot of ways cause we have Kalia , like for starters, there's a lot of really fabulous male characters. Um, and I loved all of the men in the book, even the ones who are like questionably.

Speaker 3:

Yeah .

Speaker 2:

But Kalia , I mean she's , without a doubt, she is the star of the show. She's the star of the book. She's larger than life. I loved her and you've taken this really bold , uh , brilliant, talented woman. And you've put her in this world that is trying to keep her down and women are not allowed to perform magic, to be the main magician they're , you know , relegated to the sidekick role. Um, and, and I love that. Of course it's impossible not to draw real world parallels. I was thinking a lot about like, Shakespeare's time when women weren't allowed to perform on stage. Um, yeah. So what were, I mean, take me through kind of your writing. Was that something that you were thinking of consciously that you wanted to draw attention to or did it just kind of evolve through the course of writing the book? Oh, well that, that is a fabulous question. Um, so I feel like this kind of goes back to one of my initial sparks forward dreams, the son , which was actually watching a reality TV competition show featuring these stage magicians , um, on the scifi channel, it was called wizard Wars. And I don't know what drew me to watch it, but I decided to, and basically it's like three contestants per episode who try to dazzle this panel of expert magicians with their tricks . And I was watching a bunch of episodes really into it. And I noticed that, you know, there are a lot of no contestants and I didn't really question it until a female contested entered the ring. Cause it's like, when you think of magicians, you think of Harry Houdini, you think of Penn and teller or David Copperfield. Um, and when this female contestant was like introduced, she even said in her little intro, I'm like magic is a male dominated game. Um, and that really sparked something in me, but she was also super sassy . So I feel like a lot of is like she was a Colonel for color , for sure. But seeing that really interested me and made me go down a rabbit hole, like what are there , like, why can't I even think of any like evil magicians off the top of my head? Um, and I read this, I found an article , um, from the Atlantic, I think that was asking that same question and they really cited some very depressing statistics of how like, you know, performing magicians in the world right now less than 10% are women. And how, you know, there is a reason why people magicians are often mistaken for the assistant, cause that's always been their traditional role or there is a reason why emails are usually chosen as the assistant , um, which is really depressing cause we are anatomically smaller. So we are easier to hide, which I feel like is a metaphor for everything. Interesting. It's, it's it's a lot. Um, so I, I thought of that and I also come from a background where I grew up in an all girls school. So a lot of experience in my , um, my school , his brother's school was down the street and I noticed a lot of, you know, differences in treatment that did not really hit me until later on. So a lot of these things just sort of converged and I thought, you know, thinking back to the competition show, what if a female character just walked into this game and vested everyone on the merit of her own power and ability. And it instantly became, you know, a very empowering sort of story on that front, but it also was fueled more so by what I was going through in my publishing journey around the time, because so where James has said, isn't my first book, it's actually my third book. And the book before this one, while it was going on submission to editors, it was not doing so well. It was a really, really dark time in my writing life. And I was very uncertain and doubtful about being right . Or if this was even meant for me and where James, his son was, that project that I'd always escaped into for fun. And Kalia kind of became that character who refused to, you know, see me down and like demanded that I tell her story. And so a lot of her journey, her Rocky journey to her dreams feels very in tune with my own journey. Um, because it was very cathartic to go into the mindset of a character who, even though she was told no all the time, people scorned her, like she had every reason to doubt herself. She did it. And that really helped me through my own process and my own publication journey. Um , just to have a character to look to for strength like that. So I have a lot, I'm very connected to college. She's one of those characters that I feel like I owe a debt to , um, for being there that is such a cool story to know how , how deeply her, her story was, was helping you on your , your own personal journey. Um, I mean , I think we hear a lot about how readers connect with characters and, you know, form these really deep, emotional connections where a book can help them through many difficult times in life. Um, you don't hear too often about writers feeling the same way about their characters. I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Oh man. I feel like call it . I have been through a lot together for sure. I did want to ask you about that. Cause you mentioned in your acknowledgments that this was not your first book , um, and that you'd worked with your agent, like you've gotten your agent, but then your first book didn't sell. And I think that, you know, aspiring writers, they hear those stories and it can be so disheartening, you know, to think that you can cross that first big hurdle, like got my agent . And at that point it can kind of feel like, you know, cool, the path is set I'm on my way. And then for that book to not sell , uh, can be really, really hard on a writer. So you said that there was two books that didn't sell. Okay . So the first book , um, was a dystopian I'd written during the age of dystopia. So, you know, that was a very hard one to quit .

Speaker 3:

Yes . Verbally shelled in , but

Speaker 2:

Never to be opened again, document. And , um, I did have , uh , another book in , um, in the pipeline. It was a wild fantasy and I had written this book. It takes me a long time to write cause it was, I feel like when we write , uh , we put a lot of ourselves into our books, we put our souls, we put our tears, we put our grief, we put everything, a lot of personal stuff in there. So , um, I spent a long time writing this book , um, during , um, a pretty, another doubtful period of my life. I feel like a lot of my books come from doubt. I'm noticing a pattern now, but that was the book that got me, my agent. And I'd been working really hard just to, you know, get my foot through the door in that sense. Um, been doing your research and just writing and trying. And I got my agent , um, with this book and we revised some more because revisions never end . Um, but I, it became very clear that this book was , um, it was one of those books that felt almost too big for me. Uh , like I wasn't, I wasn't a good enough writer for it yet in a way. Um, cause there's just a lot happening. It's a much darker story than where dreams to son . Um, and at that time I think I also had this tunnel vision of like, I just need to get it through the door and everything will be great , uh , which is not the healthiest mindset for any writer because publication does not solve all your problems. It's just a lot of time on this podcast talking about, Oh my gosh, it is, it is a lesson to learn. Um, but yeah, I, when we finally went on submission , um, you know, there's interest, but not enough to put you through the door. So it's something that I feel like it was hard to go through at the time, but ultimately it was a very valuable lesson. Um, because when you are a writer, you have to get used to rejections and being disappointed in things, not always making it through and you have to build that endurance to keep going regardless. Um , I think that's the most important skill to have as a writer is to just keep looking forward. Um, I don't even know what the question was. I'm so sorry. I feel like that was exactly it. And I guess, you know , if someone were listening to this who is at that stage, you know, if there's a writer who just gotten their first agent and they're probably super excited and super optimistic, and of course we're all rooting for them and for their book to sell, but if it's not selling , uh , what would your advice to them be? Um, I guess my advice is always to look forward and to find ways that connect yourself to being a writer again, because I think the thing that's most painful is when we think something doesn't succeed, it's because we're not meant to do it. And that's just not true. Um, when books are out on submission or out to agents , um , it's a lot of it is luck and a lot of things that we can't control, you can be the most talented writer in the world and somehow still not get your foot in the door. And it sucks. It sucks that sometimes people work so hard and they don't get what they deserve or people do not work as hard and they get more than they deserve. Um, so I guess my biggest advice to people who are struggling in whatever submission stage you're in is to not place yourself worth as a writer on how your projects ended up, because if it doesn't go through, it does not mean you're not a writer at all or that you're not a good one. Um, and it's always good to look back and protect your passion and your craft and your love for it. Um, cause that's ultimately, what's going to be the light that guides you through the darkness of publication. Cause there are a lot of, there's a lot of darkness publication like ushers and deadlines and things that just make you doubt, why am I doing this in the first place? And then you can go back to that joy and be like, ah, this is why. Yeah, no, I think that's , that's excellent. I think that might be the most important of nice , uh , and part of the reason I started this podcast. So it's like, let's talk about the things that we can control and the things that make us happy. I agree. I did want to ask , um , back when you were talking about the , the , the contest show that you watched , um, and a female magician that kind of inspired Kelly's character. Do you have any idea if she's still performing? Oh gosh, I don't know. Actually I actually came across, so in that whole show, there are a lot of male contestants, but I think only two female contestants. And I know for sure, one of the female contestants, her name is Katarina , um, who is into like card magic. I know that she's still performing, I believe, but I don't know if the other one is, and she was the one who was really like very sassy. So this is a great reminder to go look her up. Cause I was just thinking that if there were a way to contact her and like get her a copy of the book, God, I would imagine that she would just think that that was the coolest thing in the world. Oh my gosh. That was a great idea. All I wanted to ask about the game , uh there's of course there's a lot of kind of card themes throughout the book. Um, some of which I won't go into cause I won't be spoilery . Um, but at one point Kalia is being taught to play a card game and it's sort of like a mishmash of poker and I dunno like crazy eights , but also sort of a fortune teller, accurate description. I just want to know like how hard was it to try to come up with your own card game and your own rules? Do you think that this is like a viable game that could actually be played? Okay. So interestingly enough, I made that card game as a means of procrastination because I was struggling with the chapter and I was like, you know, what , how would I take the easy way out and just create a brand new card game? Because that's what a great use of my time, you know, it's book related, it's you know, it just, it added layers. So I was, yeah, I worked on this as I was drafting and I was like, obviously can have cards. It needs to have a really cool card game, but hard games are very hard to create on the spot. Cause it really depends on, you know, how many cards there are, what are your suits? What, what is the objective? Um, and so when I thought of the game and uh , wear jeans , ascend is called assembly. And it sort of, I feel like when I was thinking of the rules, I was thinking of Mahjong and UNO and kind of just like no that it together. Um, but also incorporated cards that were very reminiscent of like a taro doc , um, which , um , plays a part in the dual biology all overall. But I sat down one afternoon and just started , you know, clipping up pieces of paper and drawing. And I actually , um, design the cards. They are really ugly looking. Um, and I played it to make sure I was like, does this actually work? And it did. It took forever because I made way too many cards. And like, if I'm only playing with myself, it took a while to get through the deck. But , um, yeah, I, I played it myself. It is a playable game. Um , just need a deck of cards and, and you're golden, but it was a really interesting experience. I'd never gone that deep into a book where I created something from the world, like a game. Um , I love that. I think you need to talk to your publisher about having these decks of cards made up as swag for book two . Ooh. Oh my God. I would love that. Yeah, no, that would be, that would be so cool. You could like write up the rules, like how to play the game. Oh my gosh. Really? Like if you really wanted to spend some time,

Speaker 3:

You could even like do

Speaker 2:

A taro type thing. Like if you draw this in your firsthand , it means this for your future. Hmm . Not that I like. I'm trying to give you ways to procrastinate on the next.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that would be cool.

Speaker 2:

It's a fine line right now. Yeah. I bet. How does book two coming ? Where are you in the process? Oh God, I feel like every time I've, I've done interviews and every time everyone asks me this question, you just see my face. It's visibly like, Whoa , because you know, book twos are notoriously hard. Everyone always says like your sophomore novel is, is really hard. And I was like, yeah, I'm ready for it. But then pandemic hit. And I was like, Oh, this is , uh , this is a , you know, two man . Um , so it's going a lot slower than, you know, normal because where James, his son was one of those books that I felt like really poured out of me. Um , it was so fun to write. I looked forward to it, listening to Kalia speak was just so easy to write down. And with this book, it's, it's a lot harder. Um, not only because it's the second book, but it's the end of the series and I've never written either. So everything is a learning curve right now, but I'm getting there. Yeah, yeah, no, you will get there. And I, you know, like you say, it's hard enough writing the second book period. Um, for every writer, the second book tends to be really hard, but trying to do it in the midst of everything going on. Like, I don't know. I don't know how you are handling this year. I mean, I don't think I've taken a breath since March, to be honest.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But we're getting there. Yeah, no, you will get there. It'll it'll happen. One of the tricks that I use when , when I'm struggling to write a book is I just figure that like it already exists in the future. So like by the laws of whatever physics exists already, I just have to get there. I just have to uncover it. Oh my God. That

Speaker 3:

I don't know . I'm sure some people, yeah .

Speaker 2:

And they're like that doesn't make any sense at all, Marissa , but that's , that's one of the things I tell myself. No, no, no, no. I get that. I'm I'm watching. Um , have you watched the umbrella Academy? No, it's a TV show on Netflix and it deals with time travel. So I'm like I humorous time . Yes. It's already there. You just get a time machine. Exactly. Um , I have a theory about book two . Um , and we can, we can edit this out if this is too spoiler-y I'll try to keep it super vague. Sure . I have a theory that the title where dreams descend is a hint as to what happened to some of the characters and where book two is going to be sick .

Speaker 3:

Ooh, yes, no, maybe.

Speaker 2:

So that is an interesting theory. I'm kind , I'm trying to be like super, super well what's interesting is that the title itself , um , actually came from a lyric? Um, Oh yeah. It came from a song in Phantom of the opera. My favorite song in the show is the point of no return. And it is like this really sultry, sexy, like classic song and the lyric is abandoned thought and let the dream descend. And so I inverted that a little bit to where dreams ascend , um, sat as the , the origins of that title. But that is a very, very cool theory. Really . You're not giving me much, but that's okay. I'll wait until the two comes out. I mean, you're getting, you're getting warm I guess. Okay . I'll take it. Okay . My last question, my last official question is in your acknowledgements , you mentioned fan fiction and I come from a fan fiction background. So I always get really excited to talk to other writers who do as well. Uh , did you write it or were you just a reader, just a reader where you are right now? Well, originally I was a reader. I discovered it when I was like 12 or 13 and , um, I, I was obsessed. Um, it was just like, I'd always been a reader, but there's something about fanfiction that just feels like you are, it's like a gateway drug to somewhere else feel the pure joy that Selma is writing into these characters that know so well and like this world and reinventing it. Um, I was so addicted. Like it was one of those things where I would pretend I was sick on the weekends while my family went out to go eat so that I could stay home.

Speaker 3:

What was one of those kids? My parents were like , wow ,

Speaker 2:

I'm sure I am . I read for a long time. And I was pretty nervous about even trying my hand. I was like, it's so much fun to read. Like it must be even more fun to write. So , um, I predominantly wrote , um , marauders fanfic , um, from the Harry Potter fandom. Cause I loved the marauders so much. It was such a , an unexplored territory in that fandom. Um, and the characters were just so interesting to explore as like teenagers. So I initially wrote very, very gloriously, bad fan fiction cause that's how we all start out. We get our feet wet and then we start, you know, getting more confident and I wrote a lot of fan fiction and I really credit fan fiction as what helped me the most in writing. Cause it helped me, you know, develop a voice, develop a competence with my writing, you know, kind of deal with criticism early on. Cause you know , you know, commenters , they will say the weirdest things. Um, but I, it was such a good springboard , um, for me into original stories. But for a while I'd been so comfortable just writing fanfiction. I was like, can I even write my own book? What can I even write my own characters? Like have other ideas. Um, and that all really came when I started reading a lot of why fiction when I was in , um, high school, junior high, I really was blessed in that. I grew up in like the golden age of Y . So , um , I knew early on, I was like, this is the stuff I want to write. Um, and so I transitioned from fanfic to, [inaudible] made some really derivative attempts of Y before I finally understood how to actually write a novel. Um, but yeah, that is the majority. Yeah, no, I did not grow up in the golden age of a , but everything you said about fan fiction , I mean, same, you know, just the joy and the community, but also like learning to take criticism and learning to like post on something of a schedule. Cause you know, that readers are waiting for it. Like I feel like I credit so much toward to writing fan fiction for so long. Oh yeah . I miss it a lot. I feel like running were dreams to send. I hadn't felt that much to our writing since fanfiction. Um, I wish I could say the same for book two , but it really felt like I was going back to my roots. Cause you know, you do have the comms , like the opera meets Milan Rouge and you're asking those same questions. What if these familiar characters are in these very different situations? So it felt like coming back, riding home in a way. Yeah. Yeah. I get that. And I know in my experience that comes and goes like there's some books are just more fun than others and I'm learning to deal with that. Not everything is going to be one of those, but, but, but there will be, there will be books that are just feel like nothing but fun. [inaudible] okay. We are going to wrap this up now with our happy writer, lightning round. Okay. Yay. What book makes you happy? Um, romance novels, like any romance novels? I, I love them so much. Um, they always make me smile. What do you do to celebrate an accomplishment? I call my sister , uh, she's my best friend and she usually is the first person to know any good news. So we'll celebrate together on the phone and then I'll probably like, or to take out afterwards. Nice . How do you feel the creative? Well, I , um, I just taken other forms of storytelling, which is, you know, ranges from TV shows or movies or listening to new songs, new musicals , um, any kind of form of seller storytelling. I'll try to ingest that when I'm feeling creatively drained, if you were a circus performer, what would your role be? Oh my gosh.

Speaker 3:

Um , spectator, I do not have the skills to write .

Speaker 2:

I have a lot of stage fright, so I would like to be in the audience of that show.

Speaker 3:

I guess that's fair.

Speaker 2:

Um , I've mentioned at the start of this episode that we're having a contest on Instagram for people to post their writing fuel or their favorite beverage while they're writing, what is your favorite writing fuel? I start off with coffee and then drink heavy amounts of water. And then I try to do tea at night. That's probably better than wine, which is what know I do wine too.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. Thanks for making me feel better.

Speaker 2:

Lastly, where can people find you? Uh , you can find me on Twitter and Instagram at my handle, which is at Janella underscore Angeles, or you can check me out on my website, www dot Janelia , angeles.com. Awesome. Jenna , thank you so much for joining me today. Oh my God. Thank you so much for inviting me. I feel like I need to tell you this right now. I'm so when I got the email that you wanted to invite me onto this podcast, I screamed because having grown up in the golden age of wine and everything, winter Chronicles is definitely one of those books that I was obsessed with. Well, I, when I was looking up how to be a published author, the biggest things that inspired me were author blogs. And your blog was one of the things that actually got me very inspired to really write and start my journey. So I have to thank you so, so much for chronicling your publishing journey so that I could feel like I could step into mine. Honestly. I love that. I'm so happy to hear that. I'm so happy that the blog was inspiring for you. Oh, so inspiring. You were very, I remember just being like, wow, she's so dedicated and disciplined. I got to get, I got to be like that dedicated and disciplined in a little obsessive. No , that's just the writer life. When you truly just love, love writing, then you know, it's my favorite thing to do so really lucky. Well, thank you. Thanks for telling me that. I appreciate it. And thanks again for being on the show and good luck with your book launch. Oh , thank you so much. Thank you for having me. Uh , it was an honor to talk readers. Be sure to check out where dreams descend coming out this week on August 25th. Of course we always encourage you to support your local indie bookstore if you can. And if you don't have a favorite bookstore, you can also help support Indies all across America by visiting our bookshop.org affiliate store, which is bookshop.org/shop/marissa Meyer. Please subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review. If you're enjoying these conversations, you can find us on Instagram at Marissa Meyer author and at happy writer podcast until next time stay healthy and cozy and your bunkers and whatever life throws at you today. I do hope that now you're feeling

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] .