Q & A with Missy Wilkinson, author of the “Destroying Angel”
Release Date: 07/09/15
No of pages: 187 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
Gates McFarland’s mother has just been proclaimed brain dead by a neurologist. But fifteen-year-old Gates doesn’t believe it’s true, because she hears her mother’s voice in her head. The command is simple: Find my heart. It’s the last thing Gates hears from her mother before the neurologist pulls the plug.
After contacting the Organ Procurement Agency, Gates learns there is no record of her mother’s organ donation. She meets Dr. Ascuitto, her mother’s neurologist. A menacing figure, he threatens to institutionalize Gates if she continues her inquiries.
Determined to find the truth, Gates gets help from John Ed, a street-smart, sixteen-year-old recovering addict. Together, they navigate an underworld of body theft, interstellar drug trafficking and doctors who double as dealers. She finds herself attracted to John Ed’s musical talents and emotional strength even as she is drawn ever-deeper into an alien world accessible only by use of a hallucinogenic spore. Hostile and governed by a sinister waif named Penny, the world holds secrets about Gates’ mother’s death…and the key to Gates’ survival.
- In your book, Gates’ mother dies and donates her body to science, and Gates goes on a quest to find it. Why did you write about organ donation?
~ It’s a topic that kept finding its way into my life. My friend Zane died unexpectedly and became an organ donor. Then, my friend Lauren, who had cystic fibrosis, died waiting for a lung transplant. And last, my former boyfriend Jonah, who had muscular dystrophy, died waiting for a heart transplant. So organ donation is something I was thinking a lot about while writing DESTROYING ANGEL.
- Were you good at English in school?
~ Yes, I was a relentless reader, so I absorbed a lot of information about grammar and spelling that way. I was very good at diagramming sentences. When I was in fifth grade, I went a year without watching TV, just to prove I could, and read some books that remain favorites today: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Gone with the Wind are among them.
- What does your writing process look like?
~ Well, I am a full-time journalist, so I write at work, during my lunch breaks and random down time. It just looks like me tapping at a Word document. Some days are busy, so I don’t get much time to write fiction. On those days, I try to write something, even if it’s just a sentence. Any day that I write, I consider a success, even if I only write for a couple minutes.
- You’re also a blogger at http://www.nowlistenmissy.com. Is it hard to write books and maintain a blog?
~ No. They’re very different types of writing, and I enjoy doing both. I find that the more I write, the more I can write, if that makes sense. It’s similar to how, if you start running, you’re able to run longer and longer the more you do it. Anything that motivates me to write is a good thing. Plus, I’ve made wonderful connections through blogging.
- What is the most useful thing you’ve found for marketing books?
~ Definitely writing guest posts for blogs and articles for online publications. Most let you link to your blog, and it’s a way to get your name out to a wide audience who might not otherwise have heard of you.
- Your protagonist gets in trouble with the police. Have you ever been arrested?
~ Yes, when I was 21 I spent a weekend in jail on felony possession charges. I went to court-ordered rehab, completed a year on probation, did community service, paid a lot of fines, and haven’t had any trouble with the law since. You could say I’ve been rehabilitated.
I play keyboards and sing backup vocals in a band called Shouts and Murmurs. There are always rehearsals and recording sessions going on in my house, so the book playlist is our debut album, “New East Berlin And Other Stories.” Listen to it here: https://shoutsandmurmurs.bandcamp.com/