Before writing books, Angela studied English and Film at the University of Otago, taught full-time in schools, owned an art gallery, and reviewed books for trade publishers. She lives with her husband Haki in Northland, New Zealand, where she devotes her non-writing hours to home-schooling three chatty daughters who have inherited a fierce love of words from their mother.


Why do you write?
My earliest memories feature me self-publishing with a pen, paper and a long-armed stapler.  There were many rhymes involved.  I still really enjoy telling stories.

Which authors do you admire?
So many.  I gobble up Laini Taylor's wordsmithery and sigh through Gary D. Schmidt's authenticity.  I marvel at Jane Austen's timelessness and adore V. E. Schwab's creativity.  I'm really taken with Patricia Briggs' characters and Markus Zusak’s craft. I admire Erin Entrada Kelly, R.J. Palacio, Shannon Hale, and Katherine Applegate’s heart and versatility. I get lost in Roseanne A. Brown, Trudi Canavan, Maggie Stiefvater, Rachael Craw, Emily St Mandel, Megan Wolters’, Steph Matuku, and Elizabeth Knox's world-builds.
  You can explore books I've loved reading through my goodreads profile.

Did you have other jobs before you became an writer?
Yes --  and a lot of them.  In high school I worked in hospitality.  I started in a restaurant where I was dismissed at the end of my two-night trial; "helpfully" putting all of the red wine I found out on the floor into the refrigerator probably had something to do with it.  I lasted longer at two major fast food chains, and even transferred my job at a pizza franchise so I could keep speedily slicing pizza when I left for University.  From there, I had a lot of short-term work, having signed up with a student job search service and a temping agency.   I worked as an executive assistant to head honchos at the city art gallery and a gold mine.  I was the receptionist one summer at a radio station.  I started to do editing and design work at about the same time I moved into event management.  I opened an art gallery at the port showcasing Māori and Pasifika-influenced art and ran that during my first year as a full-time teacher at a private all boys school.  Then I started blogging.  Initially I wrote about my new experiences as a parent more than anything else.  It felt good to stretch my writing muscles!  Over time, the blog evolved and became a place for book reviews.  Four different publishers sent me review copy, and I chomped through this in tandem to my own gargantuan To-Read list.  A ringing doorbell at my house usually meant books.  Although I always planned to be an author (always), I was excited about gaining experience and skills wherever I could on the way.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
You can research, outline and workshop your ideas until your keyboard letters have worn away, but you'll need to do the actual trench-wading of getting the story out of you before you're really writing.  You can find a little more for writers here.

I don't have a lot of money, how can I support you in other ways?
That's okay! I've been there. There are three major things you can do that mean a lot to me (and more authors). One, requesting one of my books at your local library helps me in a big way. I love libraries and it is not being a cheapskate to borrow instead of buy -- I want libraries to remain relevant, I want more libraries to stock my book, and I can receive royalties when they do. If your library doesn't have my book, ask them to buy it using their "Suggest an Item" page -- this is a huge kindness to me. Two, once you've read a copy (borrowed is fine), post a review everywhere you can. Three, talk about the book to people. Books spread when people talk.

Are there more books coming in the Gen2K universe?
Yes.  I've started writing a sequel to Unnatural (titled Selection), but a few other projects are the priority at present.

Does The Unflinching Ash have a sequel?
I thought I wrote a standalone novel in Ash, but sometimes my characters have other ideas. Reader requests have me thinking. Watch this space.

Where are you from?
I was born in Ohio and moved to New Zealand just before I turned 8. I kept my American accent for about 3 years, at which point I tired of being asked to “say something” at school for how it sounded and not what I said (I also wasn’t too fond of our family Toyota Lite-ace being dubbed the “Yank Tank” -- although in retrospect my schoolmates were pretty clever), so I chose to sound kiwi. At home we continued to celebrate Thanksgiving, bake pumpkin pies, and drink root beer. To this day I still say “Tuesday,” “student,” “news,” and “data” in ways that belie my otherwise-kiwi accent. I can still repeat the pledge of allegiance from memory. I am a U.S. citizen and carry a passport with an eagle on the front. Buuuuut I've spent much more of my life in New Zealand, and I consider New Zealand home.  I have married a kiwi, had three children here, and have lived on the land of the long white cloud many more years than I've lived in the U.S.  I love this place.

Do you home school your kids?
Yes.  We do it for a long list of reasons, but chief among them is that we want our family to build lasting relationships with each other and we enjoy being around one another.  It isn't a religious thing.

Do you house-sit full-time?
Yes.  At the moment, we do. Women's Day did a story on it August 2021.  You can read more about it here.

Were you home-schooled?
I went to public school myself -- in Richmond Ohio (U.S.A.), Botany Downs (Auckland), Woodend (Christchurch), Waikanae (Kapiti), and Raumati South (Kapiti).  As you can tell, my family moved around.  My dad was a computer consultant-engineer back when computers took up entire rooms and his skill-set was in demand. 

When do you write?
When my daughters are exploring outside together, playing a complex imaginative game, adventuring with their dad, watching movies on movie-Fridays, or tucked up in their beds.  When a deadline is approaching, I sequester myself away from the living areas and leave my capable husband to run point.  I occasionally write in libraries or cafés when I'm stranded (like when our car is getting serviced), but mostly, I write at home in snatched windows here and there.

What's the best way to buy your books?
That's really kind of you to ask. I've written a whole post about this, here.