— Kurt Vonnegut
— Art Buchwald
— Ross Macdonald, author
— Len Deighton, author
Recently I had the opportunity to complete two “character interviews” based on the novel Angel. The first on The Readdicts is Ian’s first opportunity to speak for himself (instead of from Paul’s perspective.) Ian talks about his recovery, what music he likes, and the one thing people don’t know about him.
Second, on my blog, is an interview with Paul as part of the Snowy Reading Blog Hop. He talks a bit about what he has been up to since the close of the novel, and shares some memories of Christmas past.
If you’ve missed the characters since you closed the book, visit these sites and check out their interviews.
— review of Angel by Laura Lee on Readdicts
— interview with Laura Lee, Book Connisseur
LS: There is an obvious lack of graphic sex scenes. Can you explain why you made that choice?
Laura Lee: To be honest, I think the sexual act is subjectively beautiful and objectively goofy. I described sexuality subjectively, in terms of how it made Paul feel, rather than objectively in terms of who touched who where because to me it is sexier. Adult readers know what goes on in bed. I have nothing against erotica, but turning readers on was not my purpose. I didn’t feel vivid sex would add much information in terms of understanding the character’s relationship. Beyond that, there is a perception among a lot of people that same-sex relationships are all about the sex. It was important to present them as fully sexual beings without focusing too much on the sex itself. I also wanted to be able to reach readers who might not be as comfortable with the idea of men being in love. I wouldn’t be too successful reaching those readers if I had pages and pages of hot man-on-minister action in the book. The focus of the story is on the spiritual and social dimensions of their relationship, not on their bedroom antics. Unfortunately, the book consistently gets labeled as “erotica” anyway. It bothers me to see it labeled that way. It is misleading and false."
— from Question and Answer with Laura Lee on Lenore Skomal’s Web Page
A: I just call it fiction. You know, this is a strange issue to me because one of the challenges of getting the novel in print was that it is a bit genre-defying, and it is still occasionally criticized by reviewers for not knowing what genre it is supposed to be. They say the novel can’t decide if it is supposed to be about the church or a love story. This is strange to me because people don’t compartmentalize their lives in that way. You don’t chose whether your life is about a crisis in your career, an existential crisis about your philosophy or your romantic relationship. Those aspects of life come all mixed together. They overlap, they affect one another and the thing that ties them together is you. So Angel is the story of a situation in Paul’s life,which is what happens, what he thinks about, what he does and what he has to confront when he falls in love with someone his community doesn’t approve of. In a way, the whole point of the novel is that you can’t compartmentalize these things. So genre labels help to sell books, and they make sense if you’re describing a book about space aliens as science fiction, but I don’t think it is that useful for character-driven story telling."
— The Book Connoisseur interview with author Laura Lee