Interview with Angelina J. Steffort, Author of Two Worlds of Provenance

03 Sep 2019

What can you tell us about your new release, Two Worlds of Provenance?

Two Worlds of Provenance is a young adult dark fantasy, set in Vienna, Austria. It is the tale of court intrigue, strive for power, and love against all odds, and follows 16-year-old Maray who is brought into a parallel world, where she must rely on a handsome stranger who despises her, or risk being enslaved for her blood by an evil queen. Two Worlds of Provenance is the first book in the Two Worlds saga, with the sequel, Two Worlds of Oblivion, planned in October 2019, and two more books following in winter 2019/20.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Never in my wildest dreams did I aim to become a writer, even when in high school I enjoyed creative writing a lot (I remember a short story written from the point of view of a snail). When my first novel, White (which was inspired by a dream I needed to get out of my head), became a wild success, I committed to finishing the Wings Trilogy, and when, after that, my readers still kept asking for more… You can imagine where this answer is headed. And here I am, writing my third series, and insanely happy and grateful for my unexpected career.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

– Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning” (don’t read this if you don’t want your life to change; it definitely did change mine)
– Shakespeare “Romeo and Juliet” (which is a play and technically not a book, but the story is timeless, heartbreaking, and beautiful)
– Walter Moers “City of Dreaming Books” (weird humor alert)
– Roald Dahl “The Witches” (childhood memories)
– Harry Potter, the entire series. Do I even need to mention the author name here?
– Franz Kafka “The Metamorphosis”

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

That’s easy: J.R.R. Tolkien. I would love to know his thoughts on the screen adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Since he is no longer around to answer my question–J.K. Rowling. I would want to know what it was like for her to be a productive writer and a mother at the same time.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Writing is like a vacation in my mind. I can go anywhere with a bunch of crazy heroes without ever needing to leave the safety of my apartment. It’s an insanely straining and at the same time a rewarding job. My readers are the ones who fuel my motivation when my eyelids are drooping over the third round of editing. The stories may come from my mind, but they come to life in theirs.

What is a typical day like for you?

There is no such thing as a typical day. With a toddler at home, I have to use every second I can get for writing. In between changing diapers, cooking, and my day job there is usually some time for a quick coffee and some plotting, which comes in handy when I return to writing–which is basically when my son is asleep.

What scene in Two Worlds of Provenance was your favorite to write?

This is probably the hardest question in this interview. The entire story was an amazing adventure to write, and I never knew what the characters were going to do next. Maybe the opening scene in the park, where Maray first meets Jemin… The scene had so much tension since I never knew what Jemin was thinking until he finally spoke or acted in that scene. (Yes… my characters truly do what they want, and hardly any of them ever properly introduce themselves to me. I normally find out who they are and why they are the way they are, as I go). Another fun scene was the first appearance of Heck. Actually, all Heck scenes were fun to write.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

My mentor and professor for conducting used to say, “People’s biggest enemy is their unappetizing tendency to be mediocre.” It is a harsh motto, but it reminds me that there is no such thing as success or making your dreams come true if you walk with the shackles of fearing to stand out (whether it is in a positive or negative way). The moment you stick your head out and let people see you and recognize you (for your work, your beliefs, your art…), you make yourself accessible to criticism. That is scary, and, I have come to realize, inevitable, if I follow my heart and write the stories I want to tell. Luckily, I have wonderful, supportive readers, who are with me every step of the way. A big ‘Thank You’ to all of you!

Angelina J. Steffort is the author of the new book Two Worlds of Provenance.

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