Angelique Letizia: “Our potential as human beings is not what it seems”

Our potential as human beings is not what it seems. We are far more intuitive, powerful, and complex than meets the eye. The journey to discovering who we are and our proper place in the will of the cosmos is the most remarkable journey into the unknown we will ever take. It is exciting and […]

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Our potential as human beings is not what it seems. We are far more intuitive, powerful, and complex than meets the eye. The journey to discovering who we are and our proper place in the will of the cosmos is the most remarkable journey into the unknown we will ever take. It is exciting and terrifying but something we must all rise to face if we are ever to ascend to our true calling as humans.

As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angelique Letizia.

Angelique is an award-winning TV/Feature writer of Sci-fi and Thrillers. She is especially fond of aliens, occult mysticism, period pieces (the 1920s-1960s), love stories, and female-driven crime dramas. Angelique spends her days creating content for clients and artists alike. When not delving into the realms of the unknown, she loves to dance, sing, and meditate. She also has a healthy obsession with anything French. You can read more about Angelique, her upcoming books, and screenplays on her website

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

The first time I fell in love with the possibility of being a writer was my senior year in Ms. Slater’s English class. Never did I have a teacher so passionately encourage me to write. As the school year went on, I remember being so excited about her class. I am sure I cut every other class, but not hers. I could not wait to show her what I had written. Ms. Slater was my inspiration. It was the first time in my life I realized what I could accomplish when someone believed in me.

After high school, I did not write until I moved to New York City. At that time, I was having a love affair with the theater. I would sit in the Drama Book Shop and read plays for hours. It was my version of heaven on earth. At some point, I started to write monologues for theater friends, customizing their monologues to themes and character traits they were most comfortable playing. That was a lot of fun. I became proficient in writing short, concise pieces with a clear beginning, middle, and end. After a while, I had many actors offering to pay for a custom monologue. I never could take anyone’s money. It was a great time, but for some reason, I was still not sold on writing as a career.

In 2005 I was still heavy into avoiding the whole writing path when I went to see a psychic. The first thing the psychic said after she mentioned my deceased sister by name was that I was supposed to be a writer. I was a little thrown off. I was fully expecting her to say that acting was the destined path for me, not writing. Although she got points for channeling my sister, I left a little disappointed.

Once again, I did not immediately heed the writing prophecy (refusal of the call), which I continued to avoid until 2009 when I attended the New York Film Academy. That is when the tide started to turn. The world of screenwriting was fascinating to me, and I learned so much more than I ever expected. Having been an aspiring actress, I knew too well that many screenplays came from a predominantly male perspective. During a challenging writing assignment, I remember feeling defeated and telling myself this was not for me. My writing instructor pulled me aside and told me not to give up. He said we needed more stories from the hearts and minds of women, and while there were undoubtedly many fantastic female screenwriters out there, we had to make sure that wave kept rolling. That was the second time in my life a teacher inspired me to continue writing.

It would not be until 2013 that I would get the idea for BLACKOUT, but in the meantime, I wrote a few short films (which I also directed), commercials, web content, and short stories. With each project, I developed and honed my craft until eventually, it all led me to the BLACKOUT novels and then the pilot, which is why I’m here today.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

I would say it would have to be BLACKOUT. I was not someone who had an affinity for writing sci-fi/fantasy, yet this idea came to me early one November morning. I woke up and wrote most of the outline for it on my iPhone. Over the next few days, this strange new world continued revealing itself to me. It was intriguing, but in my usual fashion, I was not ready to heed the call.

It was not until my life fell apart in 2017 that I finally stepped up and answered the call to write BLACKOUT. Over the next few years, I went on the adventure of a lifetime with this story. I was opening doors to ancient civilizations, occult mysticism, and human origins far beyond what I had ever imagined possible. Before I knew it, I was delving deep into this world, a world quite possibly in our not-too-distant future, and I started falling in love with it. I was always a truth-seeker, but this story took me much further into my journey than I ever thought possible. Nevertheless, that is the beauty of writing. It is not just what the writer brings to the story but also what the story brings to the writer.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?

Believing in my talent as a writer has been an enormous obstacle that I did not easily overcome. I (like most people) have had to battle those self-defeating thoughts of “You are not good enough,” “No one will want to read what you write,” “No one cares what you have to say,” and every other version of such. While those thoughts plague many of us, they also open the door for other people’s opinions to bulldoze the integrity of our vision. This can forever alter the story we wish to tell. That is, unfortunately, what happened to me.

In 2010, I was getting ready to shoot my first film Sarina’s Song. I had finished the script’s final draft and sent it around to the producers for one last read-through. One, in particular, had an issue with the ending. The original story revolved around a non-verbal woman in a wheelchair who created the world of the film while staring at a famous painting. The producer felt that the ending was clichéd, and I might want to think of an alternate ending. I was heartbroken to hear this; however, this was my first film, and I was incredibly naïve and not confident in my talent. So, against my better judgment, I altered the story entirely from the fantasy of a non-verbal woman to the safer storyline of a love affair.

During production on Sarina’s Song, I would get the first of many writing lessons. This one happened to be from the late Margot Kidder, whom I was fortunate enough to have cast in one of the supporting roles. Unbeknownst to me, she was given the original script by another cast member who asked her to read it as he was in love with the original. That night she read it, and the next day she read me. She asked me why I changed the ending, so I told her. She explained that the original version was what we should have been filming, and I should never second guess myself. For the next half hour, she schooled me on the importance of believing in myself. She used colorful expletives to describe the world of Hollywood and what to expect if I continuously allow others with a lesser talent to alter my creations. While it was devastating when it happened, I was lucky to have had the experience. It forced me to face the darker side of the craft and work harder toward moving past those self-limiting beliefs.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was pitching SADIE & LOLA, a feature script I had written, to a development executive. Being new to the game, I was very wordy. After a few minutes, he politely asked me if I had an elevator pitch. At the mention of “elevator,” I started sighing to keep myself from having a panic attack. He asked me if I was okay, and without warning, I began telling him all about my elevator phobia. I explained how I would never pitch to anyone in an elevator because first, I rarely ride in them; second, if I did have to ride in one, I would be so focused on not dying that I would not have the brain capacity to recollect my pitch. Finally, I’d much prefer a stairwell pitch, but I might be pitching it to myself since most people take the elevators.

When I came up for air, I noticed he was smiling. Thankfully he had a good sense of humor, so he just told me to continue down that long-winded road. Nevertheless, I learned a few things from that experience. I realized that “elevator” is a trigger word for me. A stairwell pitch will never be a thing since I may be the only one walking them. And finally, I had to find a way to develop a clear, concise, short synopsis of my story to pitch to anyone looking to spend less than five minutes hearing about it, which in most cases is everyone.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am still working on BLACKOUT, which has become a massive endeavor between the books and the TV series. I will likely be working on this for the next few years.

I have also completed two feature scripts: NOUVELLE and SHIP’S PASSING. I have several others on the fire as I never know when the inspiration for another story may be suddenly thrust upon me.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

One of my favorite scenes from BLACKOUT happens right at the end of the pilot and relatively early in the book. So as not to be confusing, I’ll give a little background to the story before diving in.

BLACKOUT opens ten years after the Unveiling, when a world war followed by a global cataclysm has resulted in the annihilation of humanity. Those who survived were forced into slavery, those who evaded capture found shelter within various factions. The Sanctum Seven (the power elite of this world) have succeeded in enslaving humans, murdering genetic dissenters and free thinkers, to implement their plan for galactic domination. They’ve done this using an Atlantean technology gifted to them by a mysterious being known only as Warlock. While it seems as though nothing can stop this army of death, we quickly learn that Gaia (the goddess of Mother Earth) has also retaliated against them, dropping land into the sea, shifting landscapes, and decimating cities.

To prevent the earth from a complete cycle of self-destruction, benevolent creator gods from the Cosmic Council and Galactic Alliance rush to her side to offer help. They vow to bring her a new kind of mystic warrior, one who would not see themselves as titans separate from the universe but rather part of the angelic nature they had been created from. Although hesitant at first, our beautiful, compassionate Gaia agrees to continue with the earth experiment.

Of the thirteen light children promised to bring aid to Gaia, Spero Khan is the highly coveted “Star Child.” As told through the Aladian prophecy, the Star Child’s activation of the primal fire will initiate the ascension of the planet and all humanity, that is, if the Sanctis do not get to her first.

The story I most love from the pilot is when Spero Khan confronts a reptilian humanoid in the caves of Sumari. At ten years old, she has no formal training except for her innate healing abilities, which she has been warned not to use until she has further mastered her gifts.

After a day of unsuccessful battle training with her father, Spero has found herself completely alone, without her usual guardians tasked to protect her. As she comes upon the decimated village of the Daratha, a group of fairies that inhabit the island of Sumari, she realizes she may be in trouble, yet something compels her to keep going. Spero comes upon Drena, a friend of hers from the Daratha, who is badly injured. Against her better judgment, she attempts to heal Drena using her healing talents. When Drena regains consciousness, she is shocked to learn that young Spero healed her. Before she has a moment to question her, the two friends face off with Drago, the humanoid reptilian whom they believe is responsible for the devastation of Drena’s village. Drena does her best to hold him at bay with her magick. While Drago is undoubtedly intimidating, he doesn’t mount an attack on Spero; instead, he questions her about the prophecy of the Star Child. Frightened and confused, Spero’s anxiety begins to climb, and to the surprise of both Drena and Drago, so do the elements. The winds pick up, the ground shakes, and before Drago can do anything about it, he’s swallowed by the earth. Drena is in total shock and expresses as much to Spero. “You didn’t call in the elements, and yet they just served you,” she says. Before Spero can explain, she collapses to the ground, unconscious. This is where the pilot ends, but the story of Spero Khan and her mysterious connection to Mother Earth has only just begun.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

Our potential as human beings is not what it seems. We are far more intuitive, powerful, and complex than meets the eye. The journey to discovering who we are and our proper place in the will of the cosmos is the most remarkable journey into the unknown we will ever take. It is exciting and terrifying but something we must all rise to face if we are ever to ascend to our true calling as humans.

Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE — Not everyone likes the same thing, so if you are writing for a specific genre, it is best to research what kinds of things the audience responds to. What types of books or films do well in that genre? Which ones resonate with people? Which ones do not? Being the audience perspective for all my life, I feel it is essential to consider what kinds of stories they are enamored with. A friend of mine wrote a fantastic script that was very artistic. I loved how he saw the world, but I did not feel the piece would resonate with a larger audience. He took his chances and shot the movie, and while it was a spectacular film in so many ways, he had a hard time finding distribution for it. It is great to go outside the box in an engaging, artistic way, but it is equally if not more important to write for your audience.
  2. REWRITE, REWRITE, REWRITE — Our minds constantly channel new ideas and draw upon new inspirations. It is essential to keep tweaking your scripts, manuscripts, or teleplays to find the perfect flow for the piece. I completely rewrote the first novel for BLACKOUT. I thought I had the best version at the time, but as I continued to flesh out the storylines of each character, I realized I needed to head in a completely different direction. So, I scraped those four hundred pages and started over. I might have cried a few times at the thought of starting over, but comparatively, this version blows the other draft out of the water. Eventually, you will come upon it, but sometimes it takes many revisions to flesh everything out.
  3. GET YOUR IDEA OUT FIRST — Whenever I sit down to write a chapter or a scene, I write out everything I want to say first. Sometimes my first drafts are two hundred pages (for a screenplay) before I get in there and start axing everything that does not flow. It is okay to have a vomit draft for the first go around, especially if it is a complicated piece, so do not confine yourself to page limitations when writing the first draft. You will get to the sweet spot eventually.
  4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO WALK AWAY — Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you are just not connecting with your writing. When this happens to me, I get overwhelmed, and suddenly, writer’s block has me in its merciless clutches. When I was writing the pilot for BLACKOUT, I reached a point where I became very frustrated. As I struggled to find the words I was looking for, I found myself losing confidence in my writing abilities. A writer friend of mine shared a trick with me. He suggested I write something fun and completely different, even if it was just a few blog posts. The look on my face must have spoken volumes because he continued to explain that focusing my attention on something else would breathe new life into me. I was hesitant to take his advice at first because I had put so much energy into my novel, but seeing as I had no official deadline, I tried it. This approach worked for me. By writing new content, my confidence returned. I was no longer hanging out in the realm of “You suck, and everything you write sucks.” It helped get me back on track. When I returned to the manuscript a week later, I was suddenly reinvigorated and ready to delve back into the world of BLACKOUT. While this technique may not work for everyone, if you feel stuck, you might as well give it a try.
  5. LET THE STORY TELL ITSELF — All great stories, in my opinion, are channeled from higher dimensions and brought through us writers to manifest here in the third dimension. Therefore, we sometimes need to let the story tell itself. Many times, I’ve tried to fight a story by adding things I want to say or by adding characters I love but don’t fit the world. It is in those times I remember that each story dictates how it is going to unfold, and as the writer, I must step into that flow rather than try to control the outcome. I realized that by surrendering to the story gods, so to speak, the piece indeed does come out the better for it.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e., perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

Perseverance. I can become easily distracted by anything, and I mean anything. The wind can blow, and I’m like, “Oh, the wind! And there’s a leaf blowing.” Before I know it, I have gone entirely off course. I have had to train myself to push through my distractions and focus. It is hard at first, but I started by removing all potential suspects from my workspace, phone, TV, iPad, Kindle, and books. Books are the worst offenders as I will often start randomly reading one if it is too close in proximity. Once I could master the art of sitting and writing without distraction, I noticed I was channeling my scripts at a much faster pace. Some days were better than others, and sometimes, I could go days without writing even as much as a word, but I always made sure to get back to it.

If you forge ahead and commit to writing even one page a day, you will find the finished piece realized sooner than you think.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

For my period pieces, I love to enter the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I am utterly enamored with the Jazz age and can get lost in his work for days.

The rest of the time, I usually draw my inspiration from books on occult mysticism, mythologies (Dr. Joseph Campbell), ancient civilizations, sacred geometry, and the spiritual journey. Not quite your traditional literary inspirations, but they do it for me.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to see the Cosmic Consciousness Movement take flight! Billions of humans awakened to the truth of who they are and simultaneously connecting to Mother Earth. This movement would bring about our liberation from the lower vibrational energies of anger, greed, and ignorance, elevating all humankind and the planet to a dimension of freedom, peace, and love. It would indeed be heaven on earth.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can follow me on IG @angeliqueadelina

I’m also on FB and Twitter

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!

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