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Angelina Marie
Angelina Marie Author Interview

If The Mountain Were Smooth follows a troubled young woman who finds herself in the middle of a far reaching scandal where she’s forced to make hard decisions. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

While the vast majority of the novel is pure fiction, elements of the story are very much based in reality. This, I believe, adds an element of realism and believability to “If the Mountain Were Smooth.” I thought to myself, What if things in this situation had gone a different way? and What if this person had been more of a jerk than they actually were? and What if this person had gotten caught? It was certainly a lot of extrapolations and “what ifs,” but I believe it all came together quite nicely in the end.

Gabriella is a compelling and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Gabriella’s character was inspired by a compilitation of several ideas: one’s character is an ever-evolving theme, no one is perfect, working through one’s problems is often more thrilling than physical violence and much, much more. Oftentimes, an author will place themselves too much in the main character, creating an idealized protagonist whose main flaw is that they “care too much for other people” or “are too heroic to let anyone down.” While this often makes for a very compelling and successful narrative (think Harry Potter), I wanted a more “human” main character who adults and young adults could relate to through her flaws. I also find gratuitous violence annoying, although strategic elements of violence can be quite potent. Fred Rogers, the man behind the childhood television show Mr. Rogers, said in a testimony to the Senate Committee on Communications in 1969, “I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we can do a great service for mental health. I think that it’s much more dramatic that two men could be working out their feelings of anger than showing something of gunfire.” 52 years later, the entertainment industry still hasn’t listened to Rogers’s advice. I hope my novel shows how Gabby’s fight to overcome the demons inside her are more dramatic, realistic and important than any physical violence could be.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I very much hoped to explore the topic of overcoming personal trials and tribulations. I focused part one of the novel on Gabby’s mental development, as well as overcoming the loss of her confusing, whirlwind romantic relationship. The burgeoning romance was meant not to be a replacement for her past relationship, but an addition to her already-fulfilled life in the absence of it. I also wanted to address the issues of mental health and overcoming trauma. Part two of the novel was mainly focused on the theme of civil rights and the gay rights era we are currently experiencing in this country. I hope those who read the book will have at least a small idea of how important it was to me to say that we are all equal and important, regardless of our race, sexual orientation or sex.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Great question! I have written a non-fiction book on French romantic art, which I have published as soon as possible. It was reviewed by my favorite professor from college, Dr. Susan Scott. I wrote it in order to get my degree in Art History and, now that it’s completed with citations and proper formatting and editing, I think it’s worthy of publication. I also am working on another novel, which I won’t give too many details about. Let’s just say, it may be based on a popular Disney princess!

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“If the Mountain Were Smooth” tells the story of a troubled twenty-year-old trying to find herself in New York City. In the midst of a troubling scandal, involving high-level military personnel and civil rights, Gabby must make difficult decisions that will affect not only her life, but the lives of those around her. This fast-paced, emotion-driven novel pulls at the hearts of readers.

If the Mountain Were Smooth

If the Mountain Were Smooth by [Angelina Marie]

If The Mountain Were Smooth by Angelina Marie is an emotionally charged story following the internal struggle of Gabriella. After suffering a traumatic childhood centered around drugs and sexual abuse, she must combat her inner demons in her daily life. Busying herself with her up and coming career as a model while attending college, she distracts herself from the constant struggle of her mental health issues.

Full of love and hope, this story is a wonderful exploration of personal growth. Using the aspects of improving internally and reflecting on improvements in her every day life, the reader is able to experience Gabriella’s daily journey with her. Using shorter sentences in the beginning to represent the brief, disjointed thoughts of Gabriella, is a magnificent technique used to represent the character’s mental state. These sentences gradually become longer as the story progresses, and the character grows. Similarly, towards the start of the story, she reverts back to a childlike way of narrating, using terms such as ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ when she is having a flashback. Strongly suggesting where the issues she is now in a battle with began.

There is a strong sense of character throughout, with an insight into all of their different mannerisms and back stories being integrated well into the text. This is further enhanced by the use of dialect to distinguish between each person, for example the way Jason speaks with phrases like ‘crib and ‘you know what I’m saying’ contrasts with Gabriella.

This is an emotional thriller that utilizes amazing metaphors to illuminate important issues; like mental health problems which are represented as a monster or demon. This contrast against the shy, Catholic main character really encourages you to feel sympathy for her. This is a novel that creates authentic characters that readers can empathize with, if not relate to.

If The Mountain Were Smooth is a riveting contemporary drama following a troubled young woman who finds herself in the middle of a far reaching scandal where she’s forced to make hard decisions that affect the lives of people around her. This is a sharp and observant novel that fans of emotive women’s fiction will surely enjoy.

Pages: 159 | ASIN: B08L2553SY

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