Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#MMBBR #Q&A w/ @CareJaneAngell All the Time in the World

An unforgettable debut about a young woman's choice between the future she's always imagined and the people she's come to love.
Charlotte, a gifted and superbly trained young musician, has been blindsided by a shocking betrayal in her promising career when she takes a babysitting job with the McLeans, a glamorous Upper East Side Manhattan family. At first, the nanny gig is just a way of tiding herself over until she has licked her wounds and figured out her next move as a composer in New York. But, as it turns out, Charlotte is naturally good with children and becomes as deeply fond of the two little boys as they are of her. When an unthinkable tragedy leaves the McLeans bereft, Charlotte is not the only one who realizes that she's the key to holding little George and Matty's world together. Suddenly, in addition to life's usual puzzles, such as sorting out which suitor is her best match, she finds herself with an impossible choice between her life-long dreams and the torn-apart family she's come to love. By turns hilarious, sexy, and wise, Caroline Angell's remarkable and generous debut is the story of a young woman's discovery of the things that matter most.

Caroline Angell

Caroline Angell grew up in Endwell, N.Y., the daughter of an electrical engineer and a public school music teacher. She has a B. A. in musical theater from American University and currently lives and works in Manhattan. As a playwright and director, she has had her work performed at regional theaters in New York City and in the Washington, D.C., area. Caroline is the co-founder of Racket, an initiative dedicated to eliminating menstrual taboos and advocating for equal access to feminine hygiene products.

Author Bio
Caroline Angell 
grew up in Endwell, N.Y., the daughter of an electrical engineer and a public school music teacher. She has a B. A. in musical theater from American University and currently lives and works in Manhattan. As a playwright and director, she has had her work performed at regional theaters in New York City and in the Washington, D.C., area. All the Time in the World is her first novel. For more information please visit and follow Caroline on Twitter and Instagram 

Q. What inspires your writing?
A. I’ve had inspiration come to me from a bunch of random places. A particular quote, or something that’s happening in the news, or a story that I hear from a friend—the kinds of things that I observe that make me say, “But what if . . . ?” Lately, I’ve found that the kids in my life give me a lot of material to work with. They tend to encounter things and work through them out loud, and they’re much less inhibited about displaying their feelings than most adults I know. Their basic human nature is so beautifully on display, and that has had a major influence on the way I think about characters. Plus, kids say truly hilarious things. I try to write them down whenever I get the chance.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. I learned most of what I know about writing from reading other writers. When I’m reading and I come across a sentence that gives voice to a feeling I’ve had and maybe not had my own words for, or understood fully, it makes me feel connected. Hearing that my words have had that effect on someone else really moves me, and I think being a part of that circle is probably my favorite thing.

Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. At times I find it a bit difficult to strike a balance between my creative brain and my business brain. And I would apply this feeling to almost every job I’ve had in the arts: playwriting and directing, as well as writing the novel. When I’m making something, my creative brain needs to be really immersed, really close to the material. And then, when the piece comes out of the rough-draft phase, I’ve got to try and regain some objectivity, because other people are starting to become involved. The process becomes collaborative. And that’s a wonderful thing; it’s heartening to have a bunch of people believe in your work enough to get invested with you. But the more voices you have commenting on the work, the more challenging the balance becomes between trusting your own instincts and listening to the people who know more than you. (And when I say challenging, I mean emotionally—it’s writing, after all, not working in a coal mine, or performing neonatal surgery.)

Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. A friend and I cofounded an initiative called Racket, an organization dedicated to eliminating the taboo surrounding menstruation, and helping people at an economic disadvantage gain access to menstrual hygiene products. Right now we operate mainly in New York City and work under the umbrella of a fiscal sponsor to organize product drives whenever we have the opportunity. I’ve always been interested in nonprofit development, so if I didn’t have all the jobs I have now, including writing, I might try to see how we could broaden the reach of that initiative.

Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. “And Then I Went Home and Broke an Entire Carton of Eggs: The Caroline Angell Story.”

Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. The Small Rain by Madeleine L’Engle. After I evolved out of my Sweet Valley Twins phase, this is the first novel that I remember reading and feeling completely sucked into, both by the
prose and by the world the author created. I’m three-quarters of the way through the entire Madeleine L’Engle canon, and to this day, no other writer has spoken to my soul the way she does. I go back to The Small Rain from time to time, and I’m never disappointed. Its sequel, A Severed Wasp, comes in a close second.

Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Most days, I feel like the pigeon from Mo Willems’s stories. Highly emotional, fired up for the things I believe in, and reluctant to share my hot dogs.

Q. What character from all of your books are you most like?
A. There are aspects of me in all of my characters. I’m not sure I have enough objectivity to say which one is the closest!

Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Twilight. (Just kidding! Or am I? Yes, I am. I’m scared of vampires. But also a little bit excited by them.) For real though, I think I’d want to pick a road-trip novel, like John Green’s Paper Towns. There’s something about being young and enthusiastic and feeling invincible that he captures in his writing—a true sense of being thrilled to be on a journey, and less concerned about the actual destination. Plus, I love road trip food. Especially corn nuts.

Q. What is your favorite season?
A. I’m from upstate New York, where the foliage is spectacular, so I think I’d have to say September, October, November. Usually, in the fall, I notice that I have a real sense of anticipation, like I have the energy to begin a bunch of new projects. I think that all those years of operating on a scholastic calendar make September feel like the start of a new year.

Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. The cover of Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld, is the first one that always comes to mind when I think about intriguing covers. I picked up that book and bought it, with no prior context, because of the cover. Aesthetically, I think my favorite cover I’ve seen recently is The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. That is a picture that I would frame and hang on my wall.

Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. My mom gave my number to a guy (it’s funny already, right?) who owns a bar in my hometown, and he wants to do a promotional book club–like event while I’m up there later this year. A book club, in his bar. Which is awesome, and also funny.

Q. Are you working on something new?
A. I’m in the middle of the workshop process for a musical I’m cowriting. The first part of the piece will be presented this September by Everyday Inferno Theatre Company as part of the Dixon Place works-in-progress series here in New York City. The musical is a modern retelling of the apocryphal story of Susanna from the Book of Daniel, entitled After I Was Free.

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