Fiona: Name Gena Mantz aka Angel Edenburn- I write under both names. Angel is my spicier stuff.
Angel: older than dirt. Okay, I’m only 46.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Angel:- KANSAS! The marvellous land of the Kansa or Kaw, the WIND people, where the wind blows almost all of the time. I grew up a couple of hours west of here. I’ve lived in small-towns all of my life.
Fiona: A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc .
Angel: I am married, with one son, an amazing daughter-in-law, and two of the most wonderful grandbabies ever! I have an awesome and supportive mom too! During the week, I work as a home care aide for the elderly and disabled in their homes. Other times, I am a Gothic fusion belly dancer. (Sometimes you can catch me performing in the city.) I am a college drop-out who tries to educate myself continuously. I have a ranchette with lots of furred and feathered creatures who call it home. I also ride 4-wheelers at the lake and love to ride horses and motorcycles as well as work on classic cars. I have an old Fairlane and a vintage Camaro that are project cars for my husband and I.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Angel: I have three books coming out this year. One is a vampire romance, “Night Blind”. I have a poetry book in the works for this summer, and a book of short stories titled, “Paranormal Bites” due out before fall.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Angel: As a child and a teenager, I was always telling the younger cousins or babysitting kids stories to keep them entertained. When my son was out of the house, I began writing poetry as a way to learn something new, meet new people, and get out of the house. A group met at my local library in the evenings. Then, from there I started writing vampire romance. I joked with someone once I could write a better story than some of what is out there. So I did the NaNoWriMo challenge, and wrote my first book (under my real name Gena Mantz) “Wild Hearted” in a month. A few months later, I self-published it and I haven’t stopped since!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Angel: Um, I still have trouble thinking of myself as a writer even after I have had several stories published in anthologies and two self-published works.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Angel: A bet! I joked with someone that I could write a better vampire romance than what was being published at the time. I have teenage nieces, and I wanted a book that I could be proud of if they were caught with it at my old school by the teachers!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Angel: KANSAS writer! My stories are mostly set here in my home state. I am a seat-of-my-pants writer. I do map out a bit of what I do want to happen, but what happens in between is up to the characters. First person feels most natural to me but sometimes third person omnipotent is what I need to get the story told.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Angel: For “Paranormal Bites” I was chatting with my grammar editor and we sort of tossed ideas back and forth and it sounded right. The book is a collection of some new and some old short stories. Some of them have been published in anthologies and some are brand-new, written for this book. All of the stories are paranormal. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other creatures romp through Kansas in their adventures.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Don’t judge people based on misconceptions. Give someone a chance, they might surprise you.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Angel: I do write about what I do know and have experienced. If I don’t I RESEARCH! RESEARCH! And do some more. I try to have a world where my characters have adult problems, they just happen to be paranormals.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Angel: Sometimes. I had a rich childhood where I learned to work on cars, ride horses, keep up with the boys, and do so many wonderful things and I try to pull from that and my vivid imagination. Sometimes, one habit or quirk of a character I may pull from my life, but my characters are my characters.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Angel: Books would be Shakespeare’s plays, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Diaries of the Family Dracul series by Jeanne Kalogridis, and Dangerous Liasons by Choderlos de Laclos. Mentors? WOW! I am so lucky to have a BUNCH! Gwendolen Funston was a poet who always pushed me to be a better poet and that makes me a better writer. Jeanne Kalogridis has been so encouraging. My friends list is FULL of so many authors who continuously cheer me on and help me in so many ways. I could fill a whole page with the names- THANK YOU ALL!!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading multiple books simultaneously. I am working on my Gorey illustrated copy of Dracula, The Diaries of the Family Dracul series by Jeanne Kalogridis again.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Angel: TONS! Nia Shay, Cat and Lynx Raven, Saranna DeWylde, Deborah Dalton, Aimee Gross, Dennis Smirl, Brian Allen, Mark Bouton, Anya Breton, R. Richardsson, R.L. Naquin, Kevin Wohler, Loralynne Summers, Blaze McRob, Anthony Crowley, Jason Dyer, and so many others I could fill a page! (please forgive me if I forgot to mention you!)
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Angel: A poetry book, the short story collection, and my Isys the Kansas vampire series. Night Blind is her first book.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Angel: My local writing groups! I couldn’t do it without the support of all of my writing friends!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Angel: Yes. But I’m not as successful at it as I’d like to be. I have nowhere to go but UP from here!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Angel: Maybe. I might include more stories, but then that might make it too long.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Angel: I’ve always been a voracious reader with a vivid imagination. I wrote for school, but it wasn’t until a poet moved to my town and my local librarian encouraged me to try writing that I really started.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Angel: To not have boring heroines. NO nubile, barely 18, size 2, leather-clad ingenue. I have women. My characters tend to be older and more average body wise. I want them to either be strong or develop their toughness through the character arcs and the story.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Angel: OOOH! That is a tough one. I love so many!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Angel: I WISH! I’m not big enough to have to travel, but I do hope that I will someday.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Angel: My first two, Wild Hearted and One Too Many, I designed myself. The latest ones were designed by Lillian Rose Asterios.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Angel: Probably not criticizing my rough draft. I think I need to write a perfect first draft and I know it doesn’t work that way.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Angel: I learned with each book, how to let go a little more and let the words flow. Cleaning it up comes later with the edits. First drafts are not meant to be error-free.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Angel: WRITE! Keep writing. Even if you think it is sloppy or bad, get that first draft out. Then you can polish it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Angel: THANK YOU ALL! I wouldn’t be here without your support!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Angel: Wow. That’s a hard one. I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. Dr Seuss when I was small. In Kindergarten I checked out encyclopaedias. I read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when I was about 7 years old.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have an odd sense of humor. I am a John Cleese (Monty Python), Benny Hill, and most nights lately I stay up far past my bedtime to watch James Cordon!
I cry easily. Any time anyone, human or other, is hurt for any reason, it makes me cry. But I don’t cry for myself. I cry for all the babies who don’t have moms or dads, those who lost a loved one, injured animals, anyone or any thing who can’t cry so I cry for them.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I wanted to meet Tanith Lee or Anne Rule. But I am content making new writer friends wherever I go.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Angel: I haven’t thought about that. I just want to be remembered for my kindness and loving others.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Angel: Belly Dancing with swords. Designing my own costumes. Working on and restoring old cars. Sometimes I even fix cars myself.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Angel:Anything true crime, vampire, werewolf, paranormal. Or Monty Python or James Cordon!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I have a lot of fave foods. I love Chinese, Thai, Greek, Mediterranean- anything that is friendly to my numerous food allergies. –My favorite color is BLACK. Always has been. I had the school counselors calling my mother about how much black I wore as a child. I must have been suicidal, right? NOT!! — I have an eclectic taste in music, anything from Stevie Nicks and Melissa Etheridge to belly dance music or Native American Indian music, but mostly I’m a metalhead. My playlist for writing often looks like one a 16 year old boy would have full of angst, emo, and grunge music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Criminal justice. Something in the legal field maybe or in the medical field like be a Registered Nurse.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My blog site is http://angeledenburn.com/ where I blog about almost anything. I also have a character blog, http://isysthevampire.com/ , is one where my character writes her own blog- and sometimes it’s about me. I never know what she will say next.
Links to my books- https://www.createspace.com/3919257