Allison’s got news, folks! *barges through door bearing said news*
My good pal, Angela Watts, is releasing a new novel!! *cue celebratory roar*
And she graciously consented to an INTERVIEW – *insert squeal* right here on Allison’s Well! But first, a little about about Angela’s book, The Divided Nation!
WHEN THE NATION DIVIDES, THE INFIDELS MUST RISE.
The United States has fallen. Three years after the 2024 presidential election and the declaration of martial law, the nation is at war against itself. Gangs battle, civilians struggle for survival, and officials of the United Nations thrive. West Johnston, heir to the most powerful gang lord in the country, refuses to continue the family legacy. But, in order to defeat his father, he must become him: bloodthirsty and willing to do whatever it takes for control.
West gains control by helping fellow gangsters, Nate and Simon, when they form an alliance with one of the last remaining townships in America. After years of surviving and winter fast approaching, Springtown is in desperate need of supplies from the two teenagers. When the town leader’s daughter, Rene’, is kidnapped by an unknown rival, Nate and Simon risk their reputations to save her and the town they now love. But without help from West, their rescue mission will fail.
Told in multiple bold, abrasive narratives, THE DIVIDED NATION steps into a future where brotherhood bonds must be stronger than iron to survive a broken world, and faith without courage is dust in the wind.
Okay, did somebody say GANG LORDS? As in the MOB?? *grabby hands*
I, um, actually really like stories about the Mafia or mob characters. *looks innocent*
Let’s talk a little more about the author before this gets any more weird. Yeah, that’s probably be good.
Angela R. Watts is a Christian fiction author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does. She’s a homeschooled highschooler living at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel. She’s been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.
AND HOLD ONTO YOUR GINGER-ALE FILLED CHAMPAGNE GLASSES AND NOISE BLOWERS . . . we also have . . . a GIVEAWAY!!!
GIVEAWAY FINE PRINT
US shipping only. If an international winner is drawn, they will receive an ebook only.
1st place: hardback copy of The Divided Nation. A custom mug with a quote from the book, bookmark, and an exclusive snippet from The Infidel Books.
2nd place: paperback copy of The Divided Nation, bookmark.
3rd place: ebook copy of The Divided Nation.
And now, without further ado, THE INTERVIEW!
Welcome, Angela! Thank you so much for being available for this interview! What was your favorite part about writing The Divided Nation?
Angela: The freedom to write a dystopian future that I see as most plausible. The book of Revelation inspires me, but The Divided Nation is in no way an exact replica of my perspective of the Biblical end days. Instead, I wrote a book showing a peek at how I think the end days will be like . . . and it was both terrifying and inspiring. I’m one of those people who like the idea of end days. I like the truth that Jesus wins, no matter what darkness does. However, most dystopian does not have a Biblical approach. There is little hope, little good vs. evil, and it is simply unrealistic! So it was very freeing to write a dystopian that is realistically Christ-centered!
Very cool! How much research, if any, did you have to do for The Divided Nation?
Angela: Dystopian does, in fact, take research! Maybe not as much as a World War II novel, but I digress… As I said, I started with the Bible and some other “end days” nonfiction knowledge I had under my belt. I didn’t want to focus too much on making it agenda-filled, so all of this was really at the back of my mind. I had school courses on different types of government. I also researched other details, like first aid things, different types of poisons/chemicals, gun info, and . . . other stuff.
*is very curious about this other stuff* How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Angela: This question is kind of humorous. Seek, my debut novel, took over two years to finish for publishing. My novella took less than three months to publish. The Divided Nation took about 7 months. So . . . I can honestly say this answer differs for every book, haha!
Three months?? Wow, tell me your secrets! And while you’re at it, tell me what did you edit out of this book?
Angela: A LOT. The first draft (which I printed out, so I can laugh at it years from now) had different endings – big details that I ended up changing. I also had some subplots I removed. Originally, a certain character didn’t exist at all in the first draft and I added him in later so he could be killed.
That’s unfortunate for that character but, hey, it happens! What does literary success look like to you, Angela?
Angela: If a book inspires someone, changes their life, makes them think about it for days, or leads them a bit closer to God, I consider it a success. The battle authors face with numbers, page reads, and bestseller lists is a real one and, don’t get me wrong, watching my books hit #1 bestseller or the top 100 would be very nice but, in the end, it doesn’t matter. Money and glory are nothing compared to truly touching someone’s heart with a story and our stories will not bring joy if we don’t enjoy the writing process in itself.
A wonderful reminder and so true! Speaking of that writing process, what would you say is one your interesting writing quirks?
Angela: I listen to music all the time? Haha! I also write with two fingers. But those two quirks are actually things I see other people admit to. I don’t think I have weird quirks, though. Besides the fact that my family says I will relate random things/situations from daily life to my characters, blurting out: “THAT IS SO *insert character name* at those random times…
Haha! Hey, everyone knows that characters are real to their creators. Sudden appearances are to be expected? Now that we’ve discussed quirks, let’s get technical. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Angela: I enjoy the challenge of writing “alone.” You know, the brainstorming, plotting, outlining, writing, etc, that I get to do with me and God and occasional brainstorming sessions with family. But the hardest part of the artistic process is sharing the story with others – with critics, and, sometimes, with people who do not understand the story. I’m not one to condemn anyone for reading a story and not “getting” it. I firmly believe that everyone has the right to experience a story in their own personal way. I never want to pretend that once my story is published, it is mine any longer.
It is a struggle to be brave and share my stories, but it is worth it. It is worth it to me because someone tells me the story helped them because they, too, were abused. It is worth it to me because someone related so strongly to my character that they were inspired. It is worth it to me because someone tells me a character made them laugh.
I think writers stage fright is even worse with a second or third release and it can be very paralyzing, but it’s definitely worth fighting past the jitters. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Angela: It didn’t, really. I mean, I learn from every draft and every publication process, but most of it stays the same. I brainstorm/plot, write the first draft, write a second/third draft, get betas, self edit, hire an editor, and then ready for publishing. This hasn’t changed a whole lot since my first publication besides learning things from experience and having a stronger sense of marketing, but the writing process remains a roller coaster.
“Roller coaster” is definitely the right word for it! What inspires you to write or recharges your creative spark?
Angela: A lot of things inspire me to write! A cup of coffee, someone saying they loved my book, early mornings, late nights and sad songs, seeing a printed copy of my own book, a creepy building… I find inspiration everywhere. My creative spark can be recharged from any of these things, or sometimes, a break for my brain and lots of praise in my heart for God before I get back to the grindstone.
That’s fantastic! So what are your top tips for fighting your way through writer’s block?
Angela: Get over it. “Yeah, yeah,” you say, “what a stupid idea. I’m struggling!” Well, get over it. I’m not saying you must write. I’m saying figure out why you can’t. Are you burned out? Ill? Exhausted? Then take care of yourself. Are you lazy? Without inspiration? Is the story not listening to you? This is where discipline can be key! Being lazy or uninspired is different than being too tired to write and needing to allow yourself rest. I have a post about fighting writer’s block on my blog, The Peculiar Messenger, if anyone wants to find it there.
Don’t forget to check out Angela’s blog post before you leave, guys! We’ve nearly wrapped this up. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer, Angela?
Angela: I can write a whole novel for this question, haha! I’ll try to keep it short. Angela’s Messengers (my street team). The Chatter Box gang. Allison Tebo, Kellyn Roth, Michaela Bush, Faith Potts, SG Willoughby, Faith Thompson, Brian McBride, Jane Maree and SO, SO many more. I’ve let some relationships that helped me grow as a writer go, and some relationships are just budding… ALL of them matter. ALL of them have helped me become a better writer, whether by offering wisdom, insight, brainstorming with me, giving publishing tips, or just being supportive and encouraging. I am blessed with many author friends!
Awww, I am so flattered to be included in that list, Angela! Knowing you and being your friend has been nothing but a delight. Final question, my dear. What are your future writing plans?
Angela: Covenant, Whispers of Heaven #2, will release 2020 (hopefully spring!). The Infidel Books, #2, will also prayerfully come out 2020! Besides these two big novels, I intend to publish a short story or two… We shall see! The two sequels mentioned are my main goals and I pray God’s will over both!
WOW – I am boggled by your goals but, if anybody can do it, Angela Watts can! God bless you, Angela and may the Lord bless you and guide you in your future! Thank you so much for stopping over at Allison’s Well for this fun interview!
Do you follow Angela’s blog? Is The Divided Nation on your TBR pile? Speak to me!
And remember –
Sorry, guys – when someone says gang lords, I just have to use these gifs.