Author Interview: Angelica Cat

Kelly played the baby grand piano in the middle of this old, abandoned mansion. The piano wasn’t in perfect tune, but it still played, and that worked well enough for Kelly. The music drifted from the keys up the rafters, through empty halls where only dusty, forgotten paintings of past owners of this mansion still hung. Kelly didn’t play anything particular—just whatever came to her fingertips, and she wore it into a mesmerizing song.

Suddenly, a portal opened beside the piano, and Kelly smiled when she locked eyes with her bewildered guest. She wrapped up the song then rose to her feet. “Angelica Cat, fantastic to meet you. I’m Kelly Blanchard. Hope you don’t mind this setting. You did tell me to choose whatever, so…” Kelly motioned to their surroundings then looked back at Angelica to see what she thought.

Angelica was beyond bewildered when she was told she had to go through a portal for an interview. Like, really? A portal? They could’ve at least said what was on the other side of it. What if it was placed in outer space?

Angelica shook her head and watched as Kelly introduced herself. “Nice to meet you too,” she said, straightening her back and fixing her hair. Her eyes fell on the piano and she watched carefully as Kelly played.

Kelly finished up the song and turned back to Angelica with a smile. “Do you play?” She motioned to the piano, having seen Angelica’s eyes on it.

Angelica shook her head. “I mean I know the keys but I never really learnt how to play. I’ve always loved piano music though.”

Kelly smiled then moved away from the piano. “It’s fun. I don’t play much, but it is fun. But anyway, we’re here to talk about you!” She motioned for Angelica to follow, and they walked through the corridors of this abandoned mansion exploring. “So, what is it you do in real life, Angelica? Does it tie into you being a writer?”

Angelica followed the author through the mansion, looking around her. The corridor that they went through had dark brown walls with paintings that seemed very old. The mansion itself smelled old as well.

Once they reached a small living room she sat down on a big burgundy armchair, and then came the million dollar question; how writing tied into her life. “You see…I don’t write every day. Well, nothing that gets saved anyway. My thoughts are always in the style of writing. I find inspiration in every day things but sometimes it’s hard to do. I haven’t written anything in a while, probably in 3 weeks now.” she said with a bit of pain in her voice. She didn’t like not being able to write.

Kelly sat across from her and frowned when she heard the pain in her voice. She scooted forward to the edge of her edge and leaned in, concerned. “Why haven’t you written anything recently? It’s okay that you don’t write all the time,” she reassured her with a kind smile. “That happens sometimes.”

Angelica sighed and wished she had a cup of chocolate and some cereal to munch on at that moment. “A lot of family troubles, including things with my mental health. My inner critic will not shut up, making me unable to construct the sentences I want. I love writing but sometimes it comes out rough and I hate it, so I delete it instead of editing it.”

Kelly nodded and sat back. She gifted Angelica with a kind, understanding nod. “Family troubles do certainly disrupt life, and the inner critic is…sooo critical!” Kelly shook her head. “But, you are a writer. Tell me, what do you write?” She encouraged her with a warm smile.

Angelica chuckled under her breath. What did she write anyway? She had no specified genre or type or style or anything. “Hard to explain.” she eventually said. “I have written poetry and simple thoughts about the school system, I have written fanfiction and have been struggling to write a book for almost 7 years now. I write whatever comes to mind, really”

“Fan fiction is good. At least I think so.” Kelly smiled and shrugged. “I used to write it all the time. You actually learn a lot about writing when you’re writing it. But anyway, this book you’ve been struggling with, tell me about it. What it’s about?”

“It’s about anything and everything, really. It has two narrators; a female and a male. The female narrator is a metaphor for myself when I was 12-13 and started writing. She goes through a tragedy in her life but instead of being brought down, she makes it her goal to satisfy some of her wishes that she’s had since she was young—including finding and meeting her father who she’s never seen in her entire life. The male narrator is the metaphor of what it’s like to have depression. He suffers from a long-term illness that affects his daily life tremendously. He’s bitter, not very sociable, even though he puts on a mask during school, just to avoid being picked on. The story follows both narrators during their stories and there is really no moral to the story—yet.” Angelica said, taking a deep breath when she was done, realizing she was blabbering all over the place

“Wow, that’s quite interesting, and you said that you’ve been writing this story for seven years?” Kelly raised her brows as she sat back in her chair. “That’s dedication. I’m going to come back to the story to focus more on it, but what inspired this story?”

Angelica laughed. “When I say I’ve been writing this for seven years, I don’t mean the same story, actually. It started with a dumb love story of boy meets girl, they fall in love and go through a bunch of weird things like finding a puppy on the street and like the protagonist’s best friend ending up in the hospital after being hit pretty badly, causing her to change personalities entirely. It was the most amateur thing I’ve seen, going back to it, but it shows me how much I’ve grown.” she said. “The story I’m working on now is with the same characters, only they now have an appearance, better characters, more backstory, etc etc. What inspired both of those? No clue. They just came to mind as an idea to play around with, and lo and behold, I ended up researching where my current characters would live, the shops and schools around the area that they would go to, etc etc.”

“Ahh, I see.” Kelly nodded with a smile and glanced up when she saw a bird fly overhead. It must have come through a broken went or broken part of the ceiling. Ignoring the bird, Kelly focused on Angelica once more. “Okay, so with that story you’re working on now, what’s your favorite thing about it?”

Angelica noticed the bird as well, watching it as it flew and landed itself on a dusty bookshelf. She shrugged her shoulders, thinking hard and long. “Probably the fact that I can put my mental health into it and have it make sense as to why I feel that way, and the way I will put the emotions and feelings in it. I can’t really explain it that much” she said in a final thought.

“Writing is very good for that.” Kelly paused, considering her next words. “You’ve mentioned your mental health, and it’s probably none of my business, but what do you mean? Are you well?”

Angelica looked away and bit the inside of her cheek. “As you said, it’s none of your business, right?” she said, trying to sound as less rude as possible. “I don’t want to go into detail because I haven’t been diagnosed with anything, but there’s been multiple hints and many years (I think it’s almost 4 years now) that I’ve been very down on many days in a row, which leads me to think I have depression. Nothing that is difficult to deal with anyway, so, I’d rather leave it at that.”

“That’s fair, and hey…” Kelly waited until Angelica glanced her way to give her an encouraging smile. “There are dark times in life. Some people have more dark moments than others and feel absolutely alone. Just know you’re not alone. And whatever you do, never let go of your writing because, as you know, it might be you only lifeline in those dark times. But, for the record, I think you’re an incredible person and gifted individual.” She smiled at her. “Now though, your story. You told me about the characters. What conflicts do they face though?”

Angelica smiled back before clearing her throat. “Peace, the female narrator, goes through the loss of her brother, which leads her to think that in order for her to find closure and honor her brother’s soul, she must find their father, see where he’s at and why he left them. She knows it’s futile, but she still wants to try and get it over with instead of entirely giving up. So she plans this road trip with her new friends at the new school she moves at and goes on to find him. Nathan, the male narrator, is kind of an anti-hero type of person. He’s negative, he’s constantly the voice of logic for Peace and sometimes tells the truth too hard to her, which makes her question her motives without finding a solid argument to retaliate to his comments about how futile it is to go after her father.” she said, calculating every word. Angelica wasn’t entirely sure if it sounded as good as she thought it was. Maybe that’s also why she was so scared of writing any of it, for what people would say of it.

Kelly remained silent for a moment to contemplate everything Angelica said. Finally, she scooted to the edge of her seat and locked eyes with her. “That’s a rather unique story. I mean, it’s not hero against villain, but it focuses on *real* struggles anyone can deal with. That’s a good thing.” Kelly smiled brightly. “I like it! And I’m sure a lot of people could relate to both characters and their struggles. Please tell me you’re going to keep writing this, right? I’d love to read it, and I know others would too.”

Angelica nodded. “I want it published. And I want it finished by the end of 2016, at least to have the writing down, and then I can edit for the first months of 2017. But I want to publish it. And yes, it’s a non-fiction setting. I also do not want to write any romance between Nathan and Peace, but if things go that way, I will not stop it. I will however stop any type of love at first sight. I hate that sort of concept so much. My story is a cliche killer. There are a lot of unexpected aspects of it.” she said.

“That’s understandable.” Kelly nodded and caught a glimpse of the old, dusty clock on the wall. It still seemed to work, and the hands pointed to the time for them to leave. She sighed and rose to her feet, looking at Angelica. “It’s about time to go, but first, what’s the title of the story? And you’ll keep me posted on how it’s progressing, right?”

Angelica nodded. “Of course I will keep you updated. The story’s title is “Journey for Peace” and it’s both a metaphorical and literal title.” she said. “I hope to have it done by December 2016. I’ll do my best.” Angelica waved goodbye at Kelly seeing that it was time to part, and went through the portal again, heading home.

Kelly watched her leave. She liked the title of the story and liked the overall concept of the story. Angelica would do well. She just had to believe in herself.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Angelica Cat’s story ‘Journey to Peace’ has no release date set yet.

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