Angel Van Atta was born to an abusive father and a mother who would soon fall victim to cancer's ugly fist. After the death of her mother, when Angel was just four years old, she was separated from her half-brother who had shared the same mom, and bounced around from family members to friends of her father. Because of her curious and sometimes terrifying childhood, Angel soon turned to horror as a way to feel safe. She found that horror on the page or on the screen was often worse than what she was going through in real life, and in these stories there was hope as well as redemption and the coming together of the oppressed and terrified. But, most importantly, she found that good could triumph over evil. These were great comforts to the scared and lonely little girl.
Angel is now a mother of two who was lucky enough to find a husband who was everything her father was not. Kind and trustworthy and good. She writes horror as a way to spread the same kind of hope that she so needed as a little girl and, outside of the world of fiction, only really ever found as an adult. Her stories are vivid and chilling as well as heartwarming and fast paced. She invites you to walk with her in her imagination. A place that can be just as dark as it is light.
The demon reached out its long, black arm, stretching it up, up and up, grabbing onto whatever stone or root it could find for purchase and then hauling itself further up the craggly tunnel. The hunger burned with so much fierceness that all he could think about was the act of feeding. Of ripping his teeth into tender flesh and devouring the meat of whatever poor creature crossed his path first. As long as he didn’t smell her on them, he would make that poor soul his meal.
Up, up, and up he pulled himself through the tunnel, his stretching body sliding over jagged rocks and hardened earth, and the closer he got to where this tunnel ended, the more he could smell the air of the world above. Intoxicating aromas of flesh and bone and summer vegetation dying in the autumn dirt.
As soon as the portal had opened and he had been able to pull himself through from that faraway place he had created with his own two hands and into this place called Earth, where his daughter was trapped, he did so. Hidden away, they had called it, but he knew the truth. She had no say over where she was, and that wasn’t fair. Not to her, or to him. She was his flesh. His blood. And he would save her from these primitive beings with their primitive needs and desires.
The light at the edge of the tunnel was as dark as his deep, black skin, and he was instantly confused. The night sky should be alive with the shining of the full October moon, and there seemed to be no stars dancing in those skies. Faster he pulled himself, a shadow in a tunnel filled with them, and as he rose, his body formed and firmed into one that more closely resembled the humans who walked the land here, and when finally he emerged into the frigid air of this Halloween night, his body was that of a man, but the shiny blackness of melanite, as if he were chiseled from the stone, itself. Even his eyes and lips and teeth and tongue were as black as every other inch of him, and as he rose, his two human-shaped feet sinking into wet earth, he understood what had blocked his heavenly view.
The lip of the tunnel in which the portal to his home was hid faced a giant maple tree. Its trunk was wide and blocked out everything from view within that tunnel’s line of sight, and the demon brought his outstretched hand and traced his palm down the rough edges of its bark. Then he turned his head and walked out into the clearing near the tree, his feet wisping through thick, dew-covered weeds which traced against his flesh.
He looked up at the sky above his head and instantly was driven to his knees. The sight of that full moon brought a dagger of pain into his heart, and the memory of her exploded in his mind and took the strength from his legs. The moonlight raining down upon him reminded him of her long and silver hair wrapping around him in their trysts.
He closed his eyes and remembered the feel of her pale skin under his touch and the feeling of her lips whispering lightly in his ears. Telling him she loved him. Telling him she needed him. Telling him his child grew within her.
Suddenly, he smelled meat and heard the beating of the heart within, and his attention was yanked away from that lovely memory and into the direction of the sweet, hot flesh. His coal-black eyes searched the woods in the direction of that scent, of that wump wump, wump wump, wump wumping sound.
Finally, he found it…
Pre-order now: Leviathan Rising (The Children And The Gods Book 4)
The Tough Questions
● Where is your favorite place to write? Read? Honestly, I don't really have any one single favorite place, more like many, depending on the day, the mood and the weather.
● What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a writer. Books and stories and make believe were always so important to me as a child. They were my escape. My comfort zones. My safe spaces. Whether I was traipsing through The Barrens along with The Loser's Club or helping Frodo and Sam get the one ring to the fires of Mount Doom, I was happy and content knowing that all was well and all would be well, as long as I had the pages of a good book to fall into, no matter how scary or chaotic or lonely my real life was.
● What is one thing you need when you sit down to write? Just a little bit of time, or a lot, and the knowledge that I will keep going no matter what my dark passenger says about my work. My past may still haunt me, but I refuse to give into it without a fight.
● What is one tip you would like to share with an aspiring author? I spent SO many years beginning to write and stopping because I didn't think it was good enough. And then, one day, I just decided to finish and fix whatever wasn't good enough later. Now I have four novels, two children's books and a fifth novel in the works as a collab with another author and it's honestly all because of that one simple strategy. Just keep going. It's okay of it's not perfect now. That's what editing is for. :) And if I can do it, trust me, so can you!!!
● Are you a pantser or plotter? Pantser! Absolutely and without a doubt! I've tried to plot and no matter what, the story does what it wants. :)
From BOH reader Heather L.
● Chili – beans or no beans?
Either way works fine. But can I pour them over fries and sprinkle on way too much extra sharp cheddar and add some white onions, because, why not???
● Who’s your favorite superhero and why? Deadpool. Right now it's Deadpool. But I reserve the right to change that at any time because there are so many I love and it's always close. Deadpool just has the best personality and I wish I could have the same amount of f***s to give as he does.
● DC or Marvel and why is it Marvel? Marvel brings the camp! Don't get me wrong, who isn't a fan of Batman and Shazam is witty enough, but Marvel… Thor, Guardians, Deadpool, X-Men, Spiderman, Howard The Duck, Loki, Scarlet Witch, Moon Knight, I mean, the list goes on and on and on.
● You need to hide a body - who do you call to help you? Can I get Heather L. from BoH? I love her and she seems like she'd be great at hiding the bodies.
● Favorite song to belt out in the shower? That song that never ends. You know, the one that goes on and on, my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they continued singing it, forever, just because…
● What animal would you be and why? Something that is both hyper AND loves to sleep. And eat. A baby goat. I would be a baby goat.
● If you were stranded on a deserted island with all your human needs taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you? My dog, Potato aaaaaand… a solar powered device that my Google Play Books library was downloaded onto.
● Next project (what are you currently working on)? Right now, I am working on a super secret collab with someone super awesome! We're getting close to the end and we're both really excited to share it with everyone. He's definitely a heavy hitter in the indie world and I am just ecstatic to be doing this with him. Also, I'm at the end stages of finally having my fourth novel, Leviathan Rising, ready to publish! So, that should be out super soon! *squee!!!*
● Scary movies - complete darkness or all the lights on? Darkness!!!! You know, unless Potato needs a nightlight or something.
● Cats or dogs? Potatoes
● Who would you stalk? Whoever is in charge of putting the new menu items at Taco Bell. Because, mmmmmmmm.
● What inspired you to start writing? My dad. Because of his abuse and neglect, I found my way into escaping through books and film. Writing stories came easier to me than writing plays, and books are a longer form of adventure for me, though I love both and am in awe of anyone who can create any form of art.
● How old were you when you wrote your first story? I don't know, exactly, but I remember we each had to write a small book in Mr. Fisher's 3rd grade class and I can't remember much about mine, just that it seemed to be a huge hit. And I've been chasing that feeling ever since. :)
● What is your favorite book/story you wrote? The Paintings That Hung, so far. I love how much I was able to embrace fantasy in that one. Fantasy and horror have always been a huge part of my heart.
● Who is your current favorite author? I cant really pick just one. There are so many gifted and talented writers on the scene right now. Every time I pick up a book I fall in love with the author and they become my favorite, until the next. I just love them all. And, P.S., if you haven't read Dangerous Ledges by Fallon Raynes, you absolutely should!!! (This is Fallon Raynes cutting in here to say THANK YOU for this unpaid plug and love! Love your face Angel! 💕).
● What is your favorite genre? Horror, for sure, but I love most others.
● Favorite horror movie? Oh, boy, these are the hard questions. Poltergeist, maybe. The original, but so many movies have a place in my heart, it really is a close one!
● Favorite book of all time? Will it count to say that I've read The Dark Tower books and The Lord of the Rings books more times than I can reliably say?
● Cake - vanilla or chocolate? CHOCOLAAAAATE!!!
● Pizza - pineapple or definitely never on a pizza? Listen, sweet and salty definitely belong together. If you're not a fan of the pineapple on your pizza, I'll do us both a solid and happily let you put it on mine. xD
From BOH reader Derek T.
● Is there a particular author that inspired you to write horror? Stephen King, although I read as many R.L. Stines as I could before finally stumbling on my dad's old copy of The Stand. After that, it was on!
● Are there any things required when you write?, i.e., listening to certain music? an adult beverage? complete silence? stuff like that. Nah. I'm pretty chaotic, so I honestly just write when the writin's good!
● Skittles or Starburst? Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
● Do you read or write anything that's not horror? My writing is drifting more and more into fantasy all the time and my reading is all over the place. Horror, fantasy, sci fi. Honestly, it doesn't take much to get me into a good story.
● Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island, please discuss. Is it the one shaped like a boot? Idk, my head was usually in a book in that class… and not the one the teacher wanted it to be in.
● How do you feel about pants? As long as they have pockets, we're chill. :)
● Dogs, cats or ferrets? Ferrets are wonderful! Playful and cute and mischievous, but far stinkier than their adorable slinky outer shell would have you believe. So, Potatoes.
● Mountains or beach? Beaches at sunset and mountains at sunrise.
● Does pineapple belong on pizza? Yes. Yes it does.
● What's your favorite taco? Carne Asada from a taco truck, please.
● Would you go to space? Yes. Yes, I would.
● Do you eat supper or dinner? Yes.
● Favorite ice cream? Rocky Road. Especially if it's from Rhode Island.
● Were you a good student? In English and Art.
● Who was your childhood crush? Brad Pitt and Christian Slater. XD
● Your favorite thing on French fries? Chili, with or without the beans, and completely covered in sharp cheddar!
From BOH reader Shannon E.
● What’s something you want to learn/ get better at? Editing!!! Such a talent.
● Why did you decide you wanted to be an author? I've just always wanted to be able to provide that escapism for others that I so needed growing up.
● Is there anything you don't eat? Sushi. It's probably delicious, but I can't get past the seaweed. D:
● If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
1. That my mom wouldn't have died when I was so young.
2. That my children will know all the happiness and success in the world.
3. World peace. It's getting pretty scary out there right now.
● If you could have 1 hour to sit down with anyone and talk? Who would it be and what would you talk about? My mom. I would want to know everything about her and if she were proud of me and of the woman I've become.
● What makes you unique? I'm not sure I am, really. We're all just out here trying to do our best and be our best and help out whenever we can. But, I do make a pretty mean Chocolate Mocha Rum Shake!
● What's something about you that no one else knows? I absolutely believe in the simulation theory. Like, if it were a religion, I would go to church every Sunday.
● What’s Something You Want to Learn or Wish You Were Better At? Formatting. I'm trying, but it is not easy. :)
● What do you call a lazy kangaroo? Hahaha, a POUCH potato! xD
● What’s Something That Bugs You? Inequality and mosquitos.
● What’s the Most Embarrassing Thing You Can Remember That’s Happened to You? In 6th grade my tummy suddenly felt all icky and I stood up to run outside, but ended up losing my lunch in front of the whole class and the janitor had to come and clean it up. Ugh. Poor fella.
● What’s Your Favorite Place on Earth? Disneyland
● Who Are the Special People in Your Life? My husband is absolutely my hero. He's strong and kind and the first man to ever treat me as if I had value. Also, my children, who gave me purpose.
● What’s Something You’re Proud of? My kids, for sure. They're everything wonderful that could ever be.
● If your life were a movie who would play you? A cartoon caffeinated sloth in a wig. Because they're my spirit animals.
● If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be? Someone with mad amounts of self confidence and a credit card with no spending limit and parents who love her, uh, me, unconditionally. And who are wholesome. Actually, I would trade the credit card thing for wholesome parents who love me unconditionally.
● If you could have a superpower what would it be? To know exactly what to do or say to make someone feel happy and loved and at peace. Because, I am awkward af.
● What would you do if there was zombie apocalypse right now? That guy in that movie who yearned for the Twinkies was really kind of on to something there…
● What were you like as a child? Needy, overwhelming and a huge nerd. But I had great taste in books, movies and video games, so, it evened out. :)
Thank you Angel for stopping in and sharing a special treat. 💕 Although, I thought maybe you would want sardines on your pizza. 🤔 😉 (The Child story reference). I appreciate your open honesty with your answers. YOU are AMAZING! 💕
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