LORENA ANGELL: A DIAMOND IN MY POCKET IS BASED ON A DREAM
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
A Diamond in My Pocket by Lorena Angell was a great start of The Unaltered series. The novel is valuated with average 4.6 Amazon stars from almost 400 reviews. Our next guest is living in Pacific Nortwest, USA. She loves to explore the coast and to hike with her family the Cascade Mountain Range.
– Your book A Diamond in My Pocket is very well received by the readers. Would you tell us more about the novel?
– Thank you for this opportunity to share my writing world with your blog readers. A Diamond in My Pocket is a modern-day, young adult fantasy which delves into the unknown world of supernatural people, and the girl, Calli Courtnae, who’s been chosen to defeat a power-hungry splinter group through the use of a mystical diamond. Calli is secretly given the diamond and placed on a delivery team to transport the stone. The team leader doesn’t know he holds a decoy diamond. When Calli begins to display multiple powers, due to her hidden diamond, she’s elevated in her peers’ minds and thought to be the most powerful person alive. Maintaining the secret of where her abilities come from is critical to the success of the mission and to the safety of their lives. Calli dreads the approaching end when she must hand over the diamond, exposing herself as a fraud. The question is: will she be able to follow through with her assignment and give up her new-found greatness, or will she be lured into keeping the precious stone?
– How did you decide to write the story?
– A Diamond in My Pocket is based on a dream I had in 2009. I remember waking up and thinking, “I have to write it down!” I spent the waking hours of the next four days writing nearly non-stop till I had the main idea of the dream typed out. The characters didn’t have names, and locations in the story were unknown, but I had the plot established. I also ended up irritating my lower back in the process of sitting improperly for lengthy hours which resulted in unwanted medical bills and bed rest.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– I found writing first person point-of-view difficult at first. The scope of knowledge the main character has is limited to what they see, hear, and think. The restricted information is passed on to the reader. My main character is able to read lips, which helps in piecing the outside storyline together, and later she can read minds, revealing others thoughts. I must admit, this ended up being a convenient method of expanding the first person point-of-view.
– Tell us something more about your main character Calli Courtnae? Is she 100% fiction or it’s close to someone from your real life?
– Calli is two-thirds fiction, one-third non-fiction. Her intellectual, witty, snarky, introverted side is drawn from my own daughters’ personalities. Some readers have commented on Calli’s uber-mature personality and her use of big words. They don’t seem to feel normal teenagers act and talk like Calli. I chuckle to myself when I read reviews like these because all of my daughters act this way. It’s an everyday occurrence around my house, well, minus the superpowers. On a serious note, I think the world would be better with more female heroes, especially smart ones, who are not just seen for their body dimensions but for their confidence and ability to lead. Girls today need strong female role models to relate to, who use their brains to solve dilemmas and who are not dependent on a man for their happiness. These types of role models could help females to believe in themselves and to gain control of their own happiness. Alternatively, I believe boys need strong examples too. They need more examples of brave, intelligent, independent female protagonists to break free of the stereotypical beliefs and expectations concerning females commonly seen today.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– Like I mentioned earlier, the initial start of the story began in 2009. I worked sporadically on the manuscript for two years and self-published the e-book in May 2011. I continued to implement edits to the manuscript online as errors were brought to my attention. A retired English professor volunteered to edit the manuscript for punctuation and grammar in 2013, after which I updated the manuscript. In June, 2014, I uploaded a professionally edited version. The main focus of the edit was to fix the tense issues: my editor recommended present tense. Throughout all the edits, the main story line has not changed. I do not recommend any author taking the same course as I have. I feel self-published works should be in their best condition before uploading to the Internet, not fixed once they’re for sale.
– Is it easier to develop the next books in a series instead of writing a new plot?
– Definitely! The characters are already established. The reader knows them and is anxious to find out what will happen. However, each book comes with its own plot that has to be devised. New characters are introduced, along with new powers. I have to be careful not to write myself into a corner or violate the rules established in my characters’ universe.
– Who are you?
– This is where I list my educational degrees, previous noteworthy occupations, and major accomplishments of my life. However, I’m just a regular gal with a high school diploma. I married my husband twenty-five years ago and together we have three incredible children. This is my greatest accomplishment. I’ve worked many types of jobs over the years to help support our family income, and for most of our married life we’ve struggled to make ends meet . . . but, we’re happy. When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, cooking, gardening, and spending time with my little family. My dream is to make enough money from my books to help my children get a college education so they can start their lives with better footing.
– What are your writing habits?
– Habits? What are those? All joking aside, I find I write best in the morning. I make sure I have a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and my favorite music playing, then I ignore my email, Facebook, and Twitter. If I open the Internet, it’s like falling down a rabbit hole of which I will resurface about two hours later, having accomplished nothing.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– Obviously not yet. I think every person has their own dollar amount of what it means to be rich. The sales of my books are enough to count as a full time job at this point. I’d love to see them higher, naturally.
– Do you have plans for your next novel?
– I’m currently writing book five of The Unaltered series. The title is undetermined but will include the word “diamond”, a common theme throughout the series. The series will have ten books in total.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– Social media and word-of-mouth sharing has yielded the best results for me so far. I’ve also used promotional sites like BookBub to increase readership. The most important thing I’ve realized is no one will promote my book harder than I will. Taking the time to personally respond to every fan letter has resulted in a strong following, which in turn has brought in new readers. I love my readers!
– With three children around you how did you find time to focus on writing?
– When I began writing, I operated a home daycare with, on occasion, up to twelve children in my care. I would write during nap time, and again later in the evening. My own children were ages five, twelve, and fourteen. Now, my youngest is fifteen. I don’t have much preventing me from writing, yet I can’t seem to figure out why I accomplished so much more when I was busier.
– You hear the voices of book characters. Would you explain something more about it? When was the first time you realize about those mind dialogues?
– Wait, what? Doesn’t everybody hear voices? When I say I hear the voices of my characters, I mean I imagine what they might say or how they might react. I find myself slipping into my characters minds, which sounds weird, I know, and I imagine how they might respond to different situations or comments. I guess you could say I’m a daydreamer. I think the inner mind dialogues stem from my dreams. When I wake up and still remember what one person said to another, I hurry and write it down. I’d imagine most authors have similar experiences.
– What is the effect of free ebooks that you are offering on Amazon?
– Having A Diamond in My Pocket price-matched as free on Amazon generally results in sales of the next three books. The loss-leader approach allows the reader to get a taste and feel for my writing style, and to determine whether or not they want to invest in the next books. I’ve been able to build a following and gain a fair amount of reviews with my free book. I don’t know how much longer book one will be free, but up to this point, free has served me well.
– Ask yourself a question (And don’t forget to answer!)
– Where do you see yourself in one year? I see myself sitting at my computer typing my heart out, doing what I love to do. In one year from now, I will be working on more books in The Unaltered Series.
Take a look at her books
A Diamond in My Pocket (The Unaltered Book 1)
A Diamond in My Heart (The Unaltered Book 2)
The Diamond of Freedom (The Unaltered Book 3)
The Diamond Bearers’ Destiny (The Unaltered Book 4)