I am Angeline Trevena, a British indie author, writing dystopian urban fantasies, because one genre just isn’t enough for me. I write dystopias because, despite being so sweet and lovely in person, I am a deeply evil author who enjoys making characters suffer. And I write urban fantasy because I really enjoy mixing futuristic technology with ancient magic.
When did you first get into genre fiction?
When we were children, our dad always read the bedtime stories, and he mostly selected books from his own collection; which was pretty much exclusively classic sci-fi. So, I actually grew up with the likes of John Wyndham and H.G. Wells as my bedtime stories. Looking back, they were probably really inappropriate choices, but I’m so grateful to him for getting me into genre fiction!
From there, I discovered the Choose Your Own Adventure books, with teenagers transported into epic fantasy-type worlds. I’ve loved fantasy fiction ever since, along with science fiction and horror.
But, I generally read very widely, which I think is really important for authors to do. There are a lot of things that are done very well in other genres; skills that I can bring back into my dystopia and urban fantasy.
When did you start writing and publishing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to hold a pen. I have a whole pile of stories I can’t even remember writing, that my mum typed up for me.
I’ve written pretty much everything over the years, and my very first publishing credits were actually for poetry. My background is theatre; I pretty much grew up on the stage, so I’ve written several stageplays too.
My fiction career started out with short stories, and I have several published in various anthologies and magazines.
I published my first independent book, a dystopian novella titled Cutting the Bloodline, in mid-2015, which was actually a reworking of a play I’d written several years before. I’ve gone on to write and publish 10 more titles, including three series.
What world are you writing in at the moment?
I’m currently writing the third book in my Memory Trader series, which is set in a world where traders can extract people’s memories that they no longer want, that they want to sell. The trader then carries those memories in their own head until they can sell them onto someone else.
It’s a dangerous job, partly because of the risks involved in carrying someone else’s thoughts, and partly because traders are so hated and ostracized. They live on the fringes of society, excluded from the conveniences of futuristic technology.
It’s a really fun world to write in, because I really get to explore the clash between an ultra-modern world and the ancient religious traditions of the traders.
Which authors have inspired you most?
For anyone who’s read any of my books, or follows me on social media, it will come as no surprise that Margaret Atwood is a huge influence of mine. I read The Handmaid’s Tale as part of my English A-Level, so, when I was about 17 years old, and it just blew me away.
Another huge influence is Jeanette Winterson. I read Sexing the Cherry at university, and it was a huge awakening as to how the writing rules we’re conditioned by can be broken. It was the first book I read that did something really differently, and did it really successfully. So, also, hugely influential.