I began writing when I was young. I loved reading fiction (I still do) and I believed in the characters so much that I wrote messages to them on the flyleaves. To Alice: I think they’re all kind, really, but I’m not sure about the Red Queen. (I still write messages to the characters, but they’re called book reviews now, sometimes in my column on my website, more often on goodreads.) And so it began.
I wrote agonised poems and short stories which were, unsurprisingly, rejected, but a wonderful array of English teachers encouraged me and years later, in 1995, I got my first real writing commission: to finish Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel, THE BUCCANEERS. (I wrote under my full name, Angela Mackworth-Young, in those days).
I take great courage from the sentence on the flyleaf of E. Annie Proulx’s THE SHIPPING NEWS: ‘E. Annie Proulx published her first novel, POSTCARDS, in 1991 at the age of 56,’ because my first novel, SPEAKING of LOVE, was published when I was 56.
You Tube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_9S2XjVDBM
Other Social Media: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/688554.Angela_Young
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact telephone: +44(0)7778 934873
SPEAKING of LOVE, Beautiful Books, ppbk 2008; electronic edition 2013
THE DANCE of LOVE Buried River Press, ppbk and electronic editions 2014
30,000-word ending to Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel, The Buccaneers, BBC Books, 1995.
Short stories for children in the American short story magazines CRICKET and SPIDER and the Australian short story magazine, THE SCHOOL MAGAZINE. One of those stories was also used by the American Institute for Research as a model for academic excellence. In 2010, another of those stories was included in the collection THE JUST WHEN? STORIES.
Synopses of books:
The Dance of Love, 2014, is about the near-impossibility of marrying for love among the British Edwardian Downton-Abbey society, where marriages were more often mergers than affairs of the heart. Its original inspiration was the life of my great-grandmother, Noël Rothes, who survived the sinking of RMS Titanic, but the blueprint of her life was much altered in the writing of the novel. More here: http://www.angela-young.co.uk/books/thedanceoflove/
Speaking of Love, 2008, is about the difficulty we have talking about the things that matter the most, and the sometimes catastrophically devastating effects of remaining silent. It tells the tale of an estranged mother, Iris, and her daughter, Vivie, and Vivie’s childhood friend, Matthew who, as an adult, realises he loves Vivie but can’t find the courage to tell her. More here: http://www.angela-young.co.uk/books/speaking-of-love/
My third novel, For the Love of Life, is a work in progress. It’s about an angel who accidentally falls in love with a human being.
The three novels are different in tone, voice, era and setting, but the thing they have in common is the difficulty we have when we try to talk about the things that really matter.
Pitch to Publishers & Festival Organisers:
I’m happy reading extracts, giving talks about the genesis of my novels, answering questions and – in The Dance of Love’s case – talking about historical fiction and the translation from fact to fiction. (I wrote a bit about that here: http://shinynewbooks.co.uk/bookbuzz01/angela-young-combining-fact-and-fiction-writing-the-dance-of-love/ .)
I’m a huge enthusiast for fiction: I believe fiction can help us become our best selves and so help us understand ourselves and empathise with others better. I believe this: http://www.thereader.org.uk/what-we-do-and-why/health-wellbeing.aspx but, obviously, it is for The Reader Organisation to run such reading groups.
I could run workshops/give talks for not-yet-published writers of fiction about beginning a first novel; about writing historical fiction; about translating from fact to fiction. My YouTube video, above, is a short talk about The Dance of Love but it’ll give you an idea of my style.
Awards & Prizes:
Masters in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in the UK (2002).
Speaking of Love shortlisted for the Spread the Word Books to Talk About promotion in the UK, in 2008: it came 5th out of 500 books.
Literary Festival Appearances:
SW11 Literary Festival (now Battersea Literary Festival) 2008