Angel Luis Colon is the author of The Fury of Blacky Jaguar, No Happy Endings, and the in-progress short story anthology; Meat City on Fire (and Other Assorted Debacles). He’s an editor for the flash fiction site Shotgun Honey, has been nominated for the Derringer Award, and is published in multiple web and print pubs such as Thuglit, Literary Orphans, All Due Respect, The Life Sentence, RT Book Reviews, and The LA Review of Books. He’s also currently repped by Foundry Literary + Media.
Keep up with him on Twitter via @GoshDarnMyLife
Angel’s new book, No Happy Endings, is due out December 5, 2016, just in time for Christmas. Angel explains why you should run to your local bookstore and preorder it now.
Practice pitching: tell us what your book is about in 30 words or less.
Ex-con. Ridiculous heist. Super Storm. Underground stud farm. Hilarity ensues.
What’s one thing that you and your protagonist have in common?
Fantine and I both have big brains but a bigger mouth. We’re not shy about expressing our opinions of things we think are ridiculous.
She’s terrified of being like her mother. She’ll never admit what a burden that is on her but it’s something that hangs over her since being like her mom was once something she aspired to. Some time in jail changed Fantine’s mind quite a bit. Unfortunately, the position she’s in in No Happy Endings finds her in a place her mother probably felt completely comfortable.
What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?
Without a doubt, Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. I cut my teeth on horror and those short story collections not only scared the hell out of me, but gave me a love for short form writing. It’s remarkable what you can accomplish in a few thousand words.
Do you listen to music when you’re writing? How does music/art influence you creatively?
Always. Depending on what kind of scene I’m writing, certain genres help. For the most part, I let the shuffle function be my guide, though. Other times, a lot of jazz to have something to fill the quiet.
What detail in your writing do you obsess over the most? Character names? Locations? Description? Dialogue?
Body movement. I’m a student of using action as characterization (shout out to Craig Clevenger) so I obsess over how people move across a room or whether they use their hands in conversation. I draw out crude storyboards for fights so I can have a visual element when I describe how bodies move during the kinetic moments. It’s easy to say someone threw punch, but what next? If they miss, does the momentum make them stumble? If they connect, does it hurt their hand? Those pieces are important to me.
Plus… If this is an event promotion, tell us about your event? Who will be there? Where is it? What’s happening?
There should be a few, but on December 9th, we’re having a release party over at The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC! It should be a great time.
Oh, and what’s something about Angel that isn’t common knowledge?
Somewhere in the ether – there is potentially multiple instances of me on the Maury Show in various reenactment and guest segments. (I was a production assistant there for a little over a year).