I began these staying in posts for 2018 with a view to showcasing as many authors as I could because I simply can’t read all the books I have for review. What I hadn’t realised was that I would find my TBR increasing as new to me authors stayed in with me! Today I welcome Angela Panayotopulos to stay in with me.
Staying in with Angela Panayotopulos
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Angela. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
The Wake Up, my most recently released novel. The Wake Up was six years in the making, primarily based on personal experiences, and it has since emerged as a dark fantasy novel interwoven with socio-political satire and rich with fairy tale allusions. It is set in an alternate U.S. where mirrors sometimes reflect the content of people’s character, terrifying the nation’s leaders and plunging society into a dystopia of fear.The Wake Up is meant to serve as a surreal modern-day fable of loss and love, examining how our choices determine the manner in which we live before we die, reframing the question of whether monsters make war or whether war makes monsters.
(Oo. Good question! What an interesting book The Wake Up sounds.)
What can we expect from an evening in with The Wake Up?
Hopefully, a book that will — to paraphrase the words of John Updike — help unblock the traffic jams in people’s heads, whether they’re grappling with a life-altering decision regarding their relationship with themselves, their loved ones, their enemies, their communities, or society as a whole. It’s about illuminating and breaking through stages of denial and grief, and about choosing love and truth over everything else. I use writing as an avenue for expression in the hopes of connecting with others and leaving the world a tad more thoughtful and happier than as I found it. I hope this book helps accomplish just that.
(I think this sounds wonderful. My TBR pile is going to get bigger again I can see!)
What else have you brought along and why?
It’s evening, so I’m going with a mug of tea instead of my beloved cup of coffee; still a hug in a mug, so I’m happy! I’ve brought some tea packets to go around; a bit of green tea with raspberry undertones and a spoonful of honey goes a very long way. And if a background soundtrack is doable while we read, just know that these three tracks were my top loops while I was writing the majority of the scenes: Paint it Black by Ciara, Talking in Your Sleep by The Civil Wars, and Bones by MS MR.
Now you’ve intrigued me further Angela as I want to know how that music links with the writing. Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me about The Wake Up. It sounds fascinating.
The Wake Up
For years, Lexi has repressed her secret gift: a rare ability to glimpse the angelic or demonic manifestations of people’s personalities in their mirror image. With her family’s glass-blowing studio as her playground and her mirror-making grandfather as her mentor, Lexi comes of age when the nation’s president—an undisclosed Seer who demonizes his gift as fiercely as Lexi treasures hers—bans man-made reflective surfaces, plunging the nation into a dystopia where government agencies annihilate families like Lexi’s.
As her family breaks apart, Lexi falls for a man who comes to stand for everything she despises. Betrayal and deceit ignite a domino effect of dangerous consequences in a world of blurring boundaries between the worldly and otherworldly. Caught up in a battle as old as time itself, the last mirror-maker must revamp a breakup into the greatest wake up of her life, embracing her forbidden capabilities in an attempt to rouse her world out of darkness.
The Wake Up is available for purchase here.
About Angela Panayotopulos
Angela Panayotopulos first tasted the magic of wordsmithing when she penned and illustrated her debut stories The Horse and His Baby Horse and The Wolf and the Monkey as a five-year-old. These did not become international bestsellers. However, Flint Hill Publishing Center stamped her books and contaminated her with the dangerous notion that she could write. She will be forever grateful.
At 22, Angela earned her Creative Writing M.F.A. from George Mason University, emerging as a full-time freelancer and part-time novelist. Her passion for storytelling is rivaled only by her love of dancing, adventuring with her beloved partner-in-crime, and savoring steaming cups of coffee (preferably while reading something by Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, or Laini Taylor). Her prior publications include The Art of War: a Novel, inspired by her grandparents’ ordeals during WWII, and The Cardiology of Broken Things, coauthored with the wonderful Dr. Lars J. Østergaard.