Let’s welcome author Angèle Gougeon.
Thank you… We’re so happy to have you here, too!
Tell us about your books.
My current published novel, Sticks and Stones, is a dark paranormal that follows the life of a teen – Sandra Daron – who has a terrible gift. She has visions the moment she touches someone. Usually of that person's death. I've had some incredibly lovely people compare the book to a V.C. Andrews styled novel with a Supernatural twist.
The day you decided you will be a writer?
Always. What I mean is: I don't remember a time when I didn't want to write. My mother jokes that every time she passed my room when I was a child, I'd have the floor lined with my toys. We were going off on an adventure. I still remember one of the first stories I wrote in the second grade. Once I finally figured out how to dot my I's and cross my T's … well, I never put my pencil down again.
Who helped you with your dream? Your support?
I have a wonderful family that has always pushed me towards my goals. My biggest fan, however, has always been my mother, as corny as that sounds. She's the one who gave me my love of literature. She's always been my guinea pig and primary beta reader (though I'm sure she hasn't always been overjoyed to be so. There are always those skeleton spines in our closets that should remain where they're buried. Some stories definitely won't ever be seeing the light of day again). I could always count on her unvarnished truth of my work. But I've also had countless teachers, friends, and guidance counselors that have helped feed my dreams of becoming an author. I would never have published my first short story, (never mind my first novel), without their help and support.
Do you think the process of writing (Typing/Handwriting) is tiring? How do you deal with it?
Oh, it is very tiring! I'm a slow writer and, most days, it feels like I'm chipping away at a block of stone with … well, a banana. I listen to a lot of music – and I also work as an artist. I can easily switch over to one of my other projects if my characters are giving me a bit too much hassle.
What profession you’d choose if not an author?
Is saying I'd work as an artist cheating? Especially since I already do that?
How about: ice cream taster? Okay, okay, I'll be serious. At one point, after graduating from university, I was very much interested in becoming an animator. I also looked into art restoration. It's hard to talk about 'what-if's,' however, when I already have my dream job.
Why did you choose this particular genre/s?
I grew up on Fantasy. As I grew older, I branched out into, well, almost every other genre imaginable. But my first love has always been Fantasy and Paranormal works. My pieces tend to all have some kind of supernatural or mythical element to them. I dabble in comedy, but I also love writing those darker pieces that, hopefully, will linger long after the story itself has come to a close.
Have you ever met a fan/reader?
Yes! I've met some absolutely wonderful readers and authors along my writing journey. I don't think I'll ever get used to meeting someone who has read or heard of my book. It's always a humbling experience.
Would you ever go for traditional publishing? (If you’re a self published author)
*My book was published through a publisher – so I suppose I'll skip this question? If you'd still like to have an answer from me on the subject, please let me know!*
Do you interact with other authors? Do you think it’s important?
There's a wonderful sense of community in the author world. Almost every author I've met has genuinely wanted to support and offer feedback and guidance. If you're going through an experience, or if you have a question about the writing, editing, or publishing process, chances are there is someone out there with an answer, and they will be willing to share. The author community is absolutely amazing and I see no reason not to get involved, whether you're a writer or reader.
Your favorite food/dish/cuisine?
Pasta. Lasagna in particular. And, chocolate, of course! (Not together. Though, yes, I realize that's also a thing.) I'm also quite fond of tourtière.
Your favorite place on earth? Why?
It's probably a bit boring to say the place where I am now: the prairies of Canada that I grew up in. Yes, the summers are filled with humidity and a scourge of mosquitoes. Yes, the winters are long and bitter and cold. But I also live in rural Manitoba – there are four historical buildings within walking distance of my house. We're sat flush between two cities and have a local grocery store just moments away. Sometimes an owl roosts in the trees outside my window at night and we have one tiny aspen in a sea of oaks that sounds like an ocean every time there's a wind. I love Manitoba, and wouldn't want to be anywhere else … no matter how much us Manitobans like to complain.
Your hobbies other than writing? Do you find time for it?
*I've already answered this, I feel, when talking about my art*
Your thoughts on life? What helps you to deal with ups and downs of life?
Just never stop trying. Most goals and dreams take a lot of work to reach. I've been lucky enough to have a great support system around me as I work toward mine. I know it sounds idealistic, but every time life knocks you down, pick yourself back up and keep walking. Because that just means you're one step closer than you were before. Those disappointments become so much easier to bear when you have friends and family at your side.
Your favorite quote?
*I can't answer this! I always find this question so difficult.*
If you become a billionaire overnight, what would be your reaction? What will you do with the money?
The thought fills me with fright. I've never wanted to become rich writing. I'd just like to live comfortably, and take care of my family the best I can.
Do you believe in ghosts/ Did you have a supernatural experience?
The main character in Sticks and Stones has visions. I can't say I particularly believe in this particular phenomenon, but I do believe in some aspects of the paranormal (and, yes, that does include ghosts). I've had too many little experiences over the years. For example: being terrified of the garage in the house I grew up in (long before I learned that someone had hanged themselves inside), having lights and appliances turning on by themselves right in front of me, and even hearing ghostly footsteps when I worked at the Marine Museum in Selkirk - when no other employees or customers were around. There's something very compelling in the mystery of the supernatural, probably why I enjoy writing it so much!