Hillary: What is the most magical/terrifying place you’ve visited?
Angie: Fengdu Ghost City in China, an ancient site populated by stone demons, vengeful deities, black pagodas, and vivid dioramas depicting in gratuitous detail the myriad tortures that await human flesh in the underworld. In Fengdu, visitors can put themselves to the three tests the dead must pass to escape hell and enter into the next life. Fun fact: During the Cultural Revolution, when Maoist troops marched across China destroying one ancient site after another, Fengdu was left untouched. This strikes me as significant. Not even soldiers under Mao’s orders to obliterate relics of old ways and beliefs could be persuaded to violate the sacred space of the gatekeepers of the underworld.
Hillary: How does place generally fit into your writing?
Angie: Much of my writing contains some undercurrent of the importance of preserving cultural traditions, artifacts, and, most importantly, wisdom—especially those on the brink of winking out and being lost forever. This is true of my story for Shadow Atlas. “Little Travers” explores the idea that humans have a duty to protect a colony of lutins, little hobgoblins in pointy red hats who followed French settlers to eastern Canada in the seventeenth century and are now the last of their kind.
Hillary: What is one place that is top of your to-go list and why?
Angie: My husband, Warren Hammond, and I love to travel and have a long list of must-go places, so this is a hard question. After we go to the UK and Iceland next summer (pandemic gods willing), we are planning a trip to Egypt-Israel-Jordan and another to India. I am also excited to visit Norway someday soon to see the places my maternal grandmother’s parents left when they came to the United States.
Angie Hodapp is the Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary Agency. She holds a BA in English and secondary education and an MA in English and communication development, and she is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. She has worked in publishing and professional writing for the better part of the last two decades, and in addition to writing, she loves helping authors hone their craft and learn about the ever-changing business of publishing.