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Monday, June 1, 2015

The Angel at the Devil's Gate by Mocha Pennington Kickstarter Project

The Angel at the Devil's Gate Blurb
Troubled teen Eli Nunn is moved back to Kansas City following the aftermath of a violent drug deal. Returning to a school where his ruthless reputation still thrives, Eli encounters and instantly connects with Angel, a beautiful and mysterious black-clad orphan. Their flourishing romance begins to grow darker when Eli learns details of Angel’s chilling past. Conflicted with alarm and intrigue, Eli accepts a proposal from Angel that puts both their relationship and lives in danger.

What is a Kickstarter Project and who is Mocha Pennington?

Mocha, tell us about you.

I studied at the University of Central Missouri for journalism with a minor in creative writing. I’m an avid reader of horror and thrillers novels, and I also adore movies that fall in those two genres. I have a love for books, makeup, and Jack Reacher.

What is The Angel at the Devil’s Gate about?

The Angel at the Devil’s Gate is a about Eli and Angel, two teenage outcasts whose flourishing romance begins to grow darker when secrets and murder puts both their relationship and lives in danger. 

I’m curious, and I’m sure others are too, what is a Kickstarter project? How does it work?

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding site that helps creative projects, such as films, music, literature, become a reality rather than a dream. Since its launch in 2009, it has helped fund over 200,000 projects. Let’s say you’re a musician with a solid album written, but you don’t have the money to invest into recording sessions, producers and technicians. You can create a Kickstarter project, where you present your ideas to potential backers with hopes of raising enough money to fund that album. You set a goal that you want to reach within a certain amount of time. If you don’t reach that goal, then all the money donated to you will go back to the people who supported you.
People who back your project will receive rewards from you based on how much they donate. My rewards rage from a PDF file of my novel to a signed copy of my next novel upon its release. I think Kickstarter is a brilliant solution for creators with an intriguing project but lack the means to bring it to life.     

What genre does the novel fall into?

When I first finished my novel, I was unsure what genre it fell into. It has a very gothic tone with the chills that a horror novel brings and the plot devices of a thriller. In the end I felt comfortable calling it a psychological suspense. 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Angel is unlike any character I have read in books or seen in films. Angel has all the characteristics to be either a loveable hero or an evil mastermind, and I think that’s what makes Angel so special. The reader can see the evil within the character but they also see the good. Angel has a lot of depth; one minute you’re completely horrified by Angel’s actions and then the next you’re nodding your head, understanding. 

What draws you to this genre?

I have always been a big fan of books, movies and television shows that can take different genres and weave them together. The second season of FX’s American Horror Story would be a good example. They put elements of science fiction, horror, erotica, and suspense into the storyline. They did that wonderfully. Of course that wasn’t really my intention when I sat down to begin writing the novel. I was more focused on the writing than I was the genre. I’m very pleased with the outcome, nonetheless, and I’m happy calling it a psychological suspense rather than a horror/thriller/crime/gothic fiction.

Where do your ideas come from?

I draw inspiration from almost anywhere, really. I can catch a conversation from two strangers and build a story in my head around it. The concept from The Angel at the Devil’s Gate came from watching a marathon of true crime investigations on the ID channel. After watching a few episodes, I wanted to write a book
about murder, but I did not want it to be from a detective’s viewpoint. I wanted the novel’s main characters to be the murders. I wanted to write a book where the readers found themselves in the minds of killers and to question their own sanity as they found themselves rooting for two characters that would be considered the villain in any other book.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Writing a believable character who is the complete opposite of who I am is one of the hardest things about writing. Eli speaks improper grammar and has a thick, southern accent that I wanted to be seen in his dialogue. He has a “street tough” mindset that I found to be difficult to illustrate without making him come off as a one-dimensional, superficial character. Like Angel, Eli has a lot of depth, and his first impression doesn’t sum him up at all. I really had to get inside his head and make him vulnerable to me to be able to showcase all of his layers to the reader. 

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Writing a character’s mannerisms comes very natural to me. I always observed the way people communicate with their bodies. I have fun writing about a character’s expression or the way they move or the tone of their voice. 

If your latest release is part of a series, tell us a little about the series?

My novel isn’t part of a series, but I have given thought to writing a follow-up to it. Doing so, however, can be very tricky. I could make readers very angry or very pleased. I really have to plot it out before I commit myself to it. 

Besides writing what are your favorite things to do?

I love to read when not writing. Reading is a huge part of my life,
as it should be with all authors. More times than I care to count, I declined going out because I was emerged in a book. I don’t watch much TV, but when I do, it’s a reality show on VH1. They’re a guilt pleasure of mine. I love Mob Wives, Love & Hip-Hop, and Basketball Wives: LA.

Do you have a favorite movie and/or book?

Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice is one of my favorite books; I can go on and on praising it. Sharpe Objects by Gillian Flynn is a novel that I still think about a year after reading it. American Mary, Insidious, and Afflicted are among my favorite movies. 

Help Mocha here!

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