Angela Carlie is a dedicated and gifted writer of young adult (YA) and middle-grade stories. Though this wife and mother enjoys creating fantasy worlds abounding with shape shifters, yellow dragons, wrestlers and zombie kids ("Land of Corn Chips" and "Loramendi's Story"), she also wrote "Dream Smashers," an unpretentious look at the difficulties youth face today, including a meth-addicted mother and the inner courage and strength each of us possesses. "Dream Smashers" is a love story, but it is also a tale of discovery and persevering and well worth reading.

Angela Carlie is a dedicated and gifted writer of young adult (YA) and middle-grade stories. Though this wife and mother enjoys creating fantasy worlds abounding with shape shifters, yellow dragons, wrestlers and zombie kids ("Land of Corn Chips" and "Loramendi's Story"), she also wrote "Dream Smashers," an unpretentious look at the difficulties youth face today, including a meth-addicted mother and the inner courage and strength each of us possesses. "Dream Smashers" is a love story, but it is also a tale of discovery and persevering and well worth reading.


I first encountered Angela over a year ago when she was working on "Land of Corn Chips." In all honesty, I'm normally not a reader of YA. But Angela's ability to tell a story pulled me right in. I took an instant liking to her characters and their witty banter. So much so that a year later I followed up on our chance meeting to find out if "Land of Corn Chips" had been completed. I was elated to learn that it had, and I immediately purchased the book and read it in one sitting.


A vegetarian and massage therapist, Angela enjoys kayaking, hiking, traveling and hanging out with her husband and son. Still, she is a believer in giving back. A portion of the proceeds from "Dream Smashers" go to Share of Vancouver, Wash., a nonprofit sheltering and feeding folks trying to get back on their feet. She is an advocate for the Indie Authors Relief Fund and contributor to the Indie Authors First Book Project, which provides books to low-income families.


Q. Independent publishing is risky. Why did you choose this route over traditional publishing?


A. Independent publishing was a scary thought for a long time. I tend to navigate toward the scary, though. To be honest, it only caused my heart to pound in my ears for about five minutes. My debut novel, “Dream Smashers,” was written to be read, and it wasn't being read while waiting to be noticed by the traditional publishing industry. It's now available for the entire world to read. That's why I decided to self-publish, and I haven't looked back. Of course I'd still totally consider traditional publishing, but for now, I'll keep on producing stories and publishing them for the world to read.


Q. Technically, you publish under DarkSide Publishing, which is a small group of united YA authors. Why did you elect to write YA?


A. Creating teen characters allows the writer to explore a little more than with adult characters. The teen years are about discovery which allows for interesting and fun opportunities to create from. I love reading and writing this genre.DarkSide Publishing offers an excellent selection of well written YA novels to choose from.


Q. Do you foresee a day when you will expand to other genres?


A. I have written a few adult paranormal/horror fiction. Perhaps I'll publish some of them in the future.


Q. In an interview you mentioned how as a vegetarian you sometimes receive "hateful comments." What on earth do people find offensive about your choice of diet?


A. Ha! I have no clue. It totally cracks me up. One guy told me once that I'm a hypocrite and a plant hater. He said that plants have feelings too and that I was prejudice for choosing to kill plants over animals. Hilarious. What really got me was this guy was overweight, had high blood pressure and was recovering from a stroke. He rarely ate vegetables. Go figure. I've decided to choose not to spend my time in arguments with such people and just walk away.


Q. A number of reviews have come from young adults who thoroughly enjoyed your work. How did it feel when you realized your stories had truly connected with your audience?


A. Great question. When reviews began to trickle in I was absolutely elated when they were positive. I'm sure most authors are. The first negative review was a bit hard, though, especially with my novel “Dream Smashers” because the negative reviews were coming from people who had never dealt with the types of people in this story. They didn't get it. So, to me, it was sad they wasted their time with this novel because I wrote it for people who have had to deal with addiction in loved ones.


After some time, positive reviews didn't give me the same feeling as in the beginning. Sure, they were great, but what I wanted to see was people understanding the story. I'm not going to complain about any positive review, but the ones that make my smile wider are from people who clearly understood Autumn's story and it showed in their review.


The best review was from a reviewer who went through a similar situation growing up as Autumn (the protagonist) did in “Dream Smashers.” She told me that she was so moved by the story that she hasn't been able to give the book justice (in her mind) with a review. Talk about making every single ounce of hard work put into publishing this novel well worth it.


http://angelacarlie.com/


DA Kentner is an author and journalist. www.kevad.net