Bio: Angela Darling is a novelist who lives in the Seattle area. Dubbed “The Queen of the Macabre,” her novels are richly infused with history, romance and dark gothic horror. Her biggest writing influences include Edgar Allan Poe, V.C. Andrews and Shirley Jackson.
She has been writing for over 30 years, completing her first full-length novel, “War” when she was just 15 years old.
Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Angela Darling and I write gothic horror novels. I’ve published 9 horror novels thus far, my most recent is a more modern horror novel entitled The Dybbuk. I’m working on a screenplay adaptation of that novel as I have several producers interested in making a movie of it. While The Dybbuk is my more commercial work, the novels I’ve published are primarily historical gothic fiction: Fallen, Dreams of Elysium, Aeterno, Tenebrous- Volumes 1 and 2 and The Last of the Delacroixs are my other published works to date.
How has your creation process improved over time?
In my life, in all other aspects, I’m very organized and structured. Regimented. When it comes to writing, I thought, early on in my career, that I had to be the same way. But I found that it hampered the creative process for me. I used to think that you needed to outline absolutely every little detail, and a lot of writers do. But the magic of writing for me is being knee-deep in a story and then stumbling across little nuggets of inspiration along the way. A lot of my plot twists and surprises didn’t take shape until I was IN the story, AS the character, WRITING. I know myself well enough that if I outlined, I’d move heaven and earth to stick to that outline. Even if these amazing little surprises popped up, I’d ignore them and move forward as planned. Stubborn Viking roots. 🙂
For my process, anyway, I find my books are better, my style and craft is more my “own,” when I incorporate those little surprises and twists.
I also used to think that I had to write a book linear, from beginning to end. But then I’d get caught up in a “boring” scene and procrastinate writing. I’d mop my floors, clean my bathroom, organize my bookshelves, clean out my car. ANYTHING to avoid writing that scene. Then I realized I’d never finish my book this way. So I started jumping around. I started writing the “exciting” scenes, things I was jazzed to put onto paper. I just jumped around from scene to scene, writing what I wanted, and it flowed from me. Eventually when I was done writing the “fun” stuff, I was so stoked about being close to the finish line I’d just dive in to blend it all together. And then, I had a finished book.
It’s about finding what works best for you. I know my little quirks and idiosyncrasies well enough to know what does and doesn’t work for me, and it’s not going to work perfectly for another author. But maybe little nuggets of my process might speak to someone wanting to dive into writing and then they can craft and mold their own way of doing it.
That’s why they call writing a “craft.” Like yoga, you practice it, you don’t “do” it. As a writer, you’re continuously practicing.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
If you wait for inspiration to hit before you start to write, you’re never going to get anything done. But I do have a tip that works for me to get myself in “the mood” for writing. I’ll jump in my Jeep and throw on some music and take a long road trip. Simple as that. Music has always pulled out emotion in me, my mind starts turning over ideas for my story line and I start brainstorming. The act of writing, of putting pen to paper, is more a byproduct of that creativity. The real magic happens in the writer’s imagination. A good writer can pull that out of them, put it into a tangible product, and inspire emotion.
The lifetime role of the writer is to close the gap between the magnificence of the story in their minds and the one they put to the page.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Early in my career, negative feedback/reviews bothered me. But then I realized that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. Gothic horror is not something everyone gravitates towards. And that’s okay. As a writer, it’s important to remember that you are the creator of something tangible and real. It is far easier to tear down and destroy than it is to create. My advice to writers is to just stay true to yourself, stay true to your genre, your style, your craft: I would much rather get terrible reviews as an author writing something dear and true to me than get stellar reviews writing something monotone and carbon copy.
What are your plans for future books?
I have multiple projects in process. I’m slated for a release of 6 books this year. I’m starting a series based on a small town in Oregon, Rogue River. It’ll be like a Castle Rock-style anthology series, separate horror stories intertwined in the same town. I’m also writing three additional books to prequel my Thorne Family Saga series: Hawthorne, Dacre and Baelfire. They’re going to tell the story of the infamous murderous Thorne family and how they came to be. I’m also working on two more installments of my Tenebrous series; standalone short horror stories. And to wrap up the year, I’m finishing the last two novels in the Delacroix series: Etienne Arscenaux and Inferno. Both will wrap up the story of the Hoodoo Creole family in 18th century New Orleans. I’m also writing my first Opera, Un Coeur Gothique, based on the Poe story The Premature Burial. I’ll also be putting a few of my already-published works to audio books and branching out to the Audible marketplace.