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Danielle Trussoni

Author of:

Author Interview with Danielle Trussoni, Author of "Angelology"
Created By: BookBundlz

About You:

1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
Gore Vidal, Colette and Edgar Allen Poe

2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be? 
Water, oranges, The Collected P.G. Wodehouse 

3. What are your secret indulgences?
Very dark chocolate, beautiful shoes, long hot baths, lots of wine.

4. What about you would surprise your readers?
How little I read when I'm writing. It is extremely hard for me to read other novels while I work and so feel starved for books by the time I'm done writing my own.

5. What is your perfect day as an author?
Wake at 8:30, Breakfast, Write until 1 PM, lunch, Nap, Walk, Coffee, Write for another hour or two, glass of wine at 6 PM, Dinner

6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
Bertie Wooster. A comedic character and definitely not a tragic one.

7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
A French novel called, "Rien de Grave" by Justine Levy and "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" by Wells Tower.

8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
I loved Edgar Allen Poe, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, anything dark and intense and alive. In high school I would have chosen to be a tragic character.

9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
"Tethered" by Amy MacKinnon

About Your Book:

10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
I went to a convent called Saint Rose Convent to speak with the nuns who lived there. My great-aunt Drusilla was a Franciscan Sister of Adoration living at the convent, and I had decided to visit her home to interview the Sisters living there. I knew I wanted to write a book that involved the Sisters, but at that time I had no clear vision of what I would write. I spent many days at the convent, following the Sisters through their dayly activities. There was a beautiful chapel in the convent where the nuns went to pray. One night, when I was walking back from the chapel, I found myself in the convent reading room, a small space filled with religious books. One shelf of the library was filled with books about angels. I took a stack of books down, sat in a comfortable chair and began reading. Within hours I was aware that angels would be at the very center of my book and that I would use the convent I had visited as one of my primary settings.

11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
I've never thought of my work as a personal philosophy, although it's true that my vision of the world is very much in each of my books. With Angelology, I would say that I am trying to convey the transient, slippery nature of what is material and what is spiritual, how one might live in a normal seeming world and find odd and surprising phenomena, about the experience of finding an adventure in one's seemingly normal life.

12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into 10 pages. What surprised you about your book?
The ending. Evangeline's story completely surprised me.

About Your Writing Process:

13. What is your writing process like? 
So far my process has been extremely intuitive and unstructured. I'm the kind of writer who writes a lot and throws a lot away. But I'm trying to become a bit more disciplined. I'd like to be able to know where the story is headed before I begin to write.

14. What gets you in the mood to write?
I write whether I'm in the mood or not. I write every day except Sunday, and if I'm editing or on a deadline, I write on Sunday too. I'm pretty disciplined.

15. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
If you love what you do, find a way to do it. Let yourself be overwhelmed. Be impractical. Don't marry another writer.

Follow up Interview:

1. This story is bound to be controversial with some people. Have you seen or heard anything about that? Did that possibility make you alter the story in any way?

Actually, I'm surprised that my novel hasn't been more controversial. So far, I've had no complaints from religious groups. There have been a few readers who want me to clarify my position about angels, but nobody has been upset or offended.

2. What was the significance of the Lyre pendant? Is it more than just a pretty necklace?  

The Lyre pendant is an amulet that the angelologists wear for protection. Gabriella had two fashioned from valkine, which is the material that the actual lure is constructed from, and gave one to Evangeline.

3. How much of the book is based on historical facts and how much is just pure fiction? How much research did you have to do to write this book? 

The historical information in the novel is all taken from actual historical events. For example, the chapters set in 1939 are meant to create the ambiance of the period, and so I have added actual political events, objects from the period, etc. The groups of angels in the book are culled from biblical and pseudoepigraphical texts, and I tried very hard not to let fantasy distort the creatures, although I did need to use my own imagination in order to describe their physical attributes. For this, I spent quite a lot of time looking at pictures of angels, mostly paintings from the Renaissance. Obviously, there is a lot that is fantastical in angelology, but I tried very hard to strike a balance so that the world of the book feels real.

4. The end of the book left things pretty open for a sequel. Are you working on a follow up?

Yes, I am writing the sequel now. As you can probably guess, Evangeline and Verlaine will return.

5. If you were crafting a discussion question for book clubs to discuss about your book, what question do you think would generate the most discussion? 

Angelology uses myths - the myth of Orpheus, the myth of Prometheus and biblical stories - to create a story. What is the value of myth in the modern world? What is the value of myth in everyday life? What myths do you hold as sacred?

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