Interview with Angela Peña Dahle

Today we interviewed Angela Peña Dahle all about their work!

1. What inspires your work?

What inspires my work. The short answer would be: everything. Every. Little. Thing. The long answer. . . dreams, life, things people say, nature, music, etc. My experience as a deaf person inspires my work. My experience as a person of color with a colorful heritage inspires my work. My experience as a female and mother who loves the color blue inspires my work. All the elements of imagination combine with my life experience(s) to help me tell the next tale. My favorite place for discovering ideas is usually between wake and dreaming. Though when ideas come I have to jot them down quickly. sometimes the idea, it’s just a title, sometimes an image or set of images that crop up in my imagination, or it will be a characters name. Ideas often come from speculation and from humor as well. Ideas are everywhere if we are willing and open to recognizing them. Always be ready when inspiration strikes. Ideas are a unique kind of magic.

2. Advice for new writers?

The best advice for writers I can give is to believe in yourself, even when others don’t. Believe in yourself even on the tough days. It sounds simple because it is. This means believing in yourself enough to join a critique group, enough to develop your craft through workshops, writing conferences, and reading other writer’s work and learning from it. It means trusting in the creative process, every single part of it, from imagination, to revision to editing, querying (Even Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a critique group:The Inklings) and even those rejections. All of it! Writing can be lonely at times (people forget that creative work is tough and it is a complicated process creating worlds and characters by yourself with no sounding board) and it helps to have constructive feedback on your work as well as support from other writers who understand what you do and what you are going through. Keep in mind you need to grow a thick skin to be a writer, because you will get many rejections, many. Press forward, always. There is a place in the world for your unique voice. Never give up. Write for the love of it because it makes you happy. Don’t write for the market. When you are writing what you love, it shines through.

3. Goals for next year?

My goals for next year include finishing the next novel and starting a non profit for and in support of D/deaf/HOH writers and illustrators.

4. What are you currently working on?

My current work in progress is such a fluid kind of thing. I’ve been bouncing between a few things. I’m revising one novel while rewriting another as well as fleshing out several ideas for other novels. So my mind is engaged with: a realm weaver, a deaf protagonist from 1910 who time travels with a magical glass eye, a clever thief who is boggled by the disappearance of his nephew as well as the discovery of cryptic feathers, and a story about two unlikely friends, luck, the heart, and starlight.

5. Biggest success story?

Biggest success story? That’s a tough one because it depends on how I define success for myself. I’ve been writing for over ten years. Each success is unique and deserves its own special place in my heart. I’ve published in children’s magazines, I’ve published in The School Library Journal and with We Need Diverse Books. I finished and revised my first MG novel and I’ve won grants (The We Need Divers Books Walter Grant) and mentorships(Las Musas). I’m proud of all of it in the humblest of ways. I guess my biggest success story is that I’ve not given up and that I’ve continued to grow as a writer towards publication. Always keep growing.

6. Where can people support your work?

People can support my work by following me on Twitter or by subscribing to my blog/website. My Twitter handle is @angelapenadahle. My website is: Another way to support me is by supporting all deaf writers and illustrators at You can find me there, along with other deaf creatives.

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