Angelika Rust writes like a girl. She even had the t-shirt to prove it. So obviously we want to know more.
Who the hell are you? A hopefully halfway decent human being with an unhealthy addiction to coffee and chocolate-coated gingerbread pretzels.
I have nothing to declare but my genius and … My Name is not Alice. Which is not a rather obvious statement, but the title of my latest book, a YA urban fantasy with a dash of romance. It has witches and werebears, unusual forms of dieting, murderous teenage hassle, canvas shoes, carving knives, and Trouble, capital T. Oh, and fluffy toy rabbits.
Alice starts out your typical high school princess – all sorts of blonde, beautiful and shallow, and too cowardly to ditch the popular crowd even as she knows she could do with some real friends. Only when she finds herself in one of the tightest possible corners, does she realize there’s more – more to the odd things happening around her, more to the people inhabiting her world, and more to herself.
Why the hell should we care? Because you don’t like princesses, unless they’re self-rescuing. And that’s what Alice is. A self-rescuing princess.
What the hell do you care about? I guess it would make a shorter list if I were to tell you what I don’t care about…that would be the weather. I still go swimming in the lake when it’s so cold, there’s no one left in it but the ducks, our neighborhood Russians, and me. But if I must pick the one thing I really, really care about, then I suppose I have to be cheesy and say, my kids, and everything that goes with them, including the world and the
madness and climate change and the rise of right-wing politicians and poverty and war and all the things I want to protect them from. All the things I don’t want them to worry about when they grow up, but know that they probably will have to, because humans.
If My Name is not Alice was a song, a person, or a place, what/who would it be? And why? It would be ‘Fear of the Dark’. The Van Canto cover version, not the Iron Maiden original. Because a) the story takes off the moment Alice finds herself strolling through the park at night, with footsteps behind her crunching on the gravel, and b) Alice sings in a choir, and the boy she’s after is a heavy metal kind of guy, so the Van Canto style a cappella heavy metal seemed bang on perfect for the two of them. Maybe I’ll let them start a band in part II.
I have seen the future of YA and its name is … Adam Oster. I’ve read every single book he’s published, The Legend of Buddy Hero, Daddy of the Dad, The Long Chron, to name a few, but the one I’m most crazy about is The Agora Files. It’s the story of a young man named Cyrus, who, in a dystopian future where anyone under 18 can’t be convicted, serves as a Runner, which is sort of an illegal postman. He gets hired to carry a mysterious parcel from one side of the USA to the other. And so he runs, all the way, with his brother’s voice in his earphones playing music to him and telling him which routes to take and which to avoid, all the time hoping he can make it in time for his own 18th birthday, with armed forces hot on his heels. The strength of this book is both the background story, which the author weaves effortlessly into the main story, as well as the characters. Plus, thanks to Cyrus’ little brother, this book comes with its own catchy soundtrack. Very infectious.
What is next for you? I’ve begun writing two sequels, one for My Name is not Alice, the other for my little apocalypse comedy You Used to Hurry Home. Writing is slow at the moment, with too much day job to do, so I’m not making any promises about anything anytime soon. And a belated birthday party for my little girl. That’s what you get when your birthday is during the summer holidays.
Tell us a secret. I have exactly three secrets, none of which I’m going to tell you, because I keep them for a reason. If I told them, people would hurt, or worry. But I can tell you an embarrassing story, that’s almost as good. When I was sixteen, I once woke up with no memories of the night before. My brother told me later that when I came home that night, he had to get up, because a cab driver was ringing our doorbell demanding to be paid for driving me home. Apparently, I had jumped out of the cab yelling that I wouldn’t pay him because he was just another weirdo who wanted to fuck me. The poor driver was rather upset. My brother found it a hoot. To this day, I don’t know what happened that prompted me into saying such a thing, but it probably wasn’t something good.
Angelika Rust was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, she lives in Germany, with her husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza delivery girl to HR consultant, she now makes a living knowing a little English.
She doesn’t know yet what she wants to be when she grows up, whenever that may be. In the meantime, she writes the occasional book.