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Author Interview: G. C. d’Angelique Chats about Mat Mates

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Get ready to learn more about the book Mat Mates in this discussion with sapphic author G. C. d’Angelique.

Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz G. C. d’Angelique about Mat Mates, writing, reading, and more.

This book is part of the Nursed Back to Health category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.

Why did you write Mat Mates?

Well, I wanted to write a lighthearted, wholesome story in an uncommon setting. That would offer me the most chances of, first, enjoying the process of writing fiction, and second, ironing out my writing skills that had been left apart for 20 years, only used for technical stuff such as translation and article-writing.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I’d say that the protagonist couple, Trish and Serena, are my favorite since they show two different sides of approaching the sapphic dilemmas, just as I do. But if I had to choose only one, that spot would belong to Trish. She is goofy with her emotions, dabbles with narcissism and societal pressure, and of course, her sexuality, so she’s pretty relatable to me.

What inspired the idea for Mat Mates?

Way back in the day, I used to play a wrestling game on the Nintendo 64, and I made custom characters to play with my friends. Most of the characters in the book are actual characters from that time (Trish and Goldi, Dr. Osmar, Mascarito for example). Since I wanted to make a lighthearted story, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to match (pun intended) a few of those pro wrestlers together. Back when I played, Serena and Patricia were bitter rivals, so I brought some of that to the book as well.

What was the biggest challenge writing this book?

The spicy scenes. I mean, I had written a few when I was a teenager (fics, mostly), so I figured it would be easy-peasy. As it turns out, sex has gotten many more layers than just the act itself as I got older. It must mean something, otherwise it is just mutual masturbation, I think.

What part of Mat Mates was the most fun to write?

The restaurant and funfair scenes. I love every second of all that awkwardness between the two girls!

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I tried to use some words from the pro wrestling vocabulary and paired it with others that would sound nice, or to create alliteration. Its first name was Ring Connection, but then I thought I should add a hint about the spicy aspect of the story. “Mating” sounded nice to use with “Mat”, as in a wrestling mat. Mat Mating it would be, then — except I finally thought it was too cheesy and kind of made it seem there is only sex in the story when romance is the biggest part of the plot.

How much research did you need to do for Mat Mates?

I hadn’t to research anything for the plot itself; rather, I had to look up the whole self-publishing universe, as it was entirely new to me. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in just a few months, but it was tiring. Don’t let that demotivate any prospective writers, though – it is tiring but absolutely necessary. Inspiration can make a good book, yes, but pair it with technique and then you have a great book.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

The door’s certainly open, yes! The end of the book speculates on continuing the protagonists’s story and the whole scenario of the BDW wrestling promotion can lead to other romantic situations. If interest in Mat Mates keeps building up as it has, then why not?

What is your favorite line from your book?

“Then why don’t you have it?” from Serena. It is the main trigger for everything that comes from then on, and indirectly mentions the theme of facing risks for possible life-changing rewards. That’s something we all should strive to do, I believe.

What is your writing process like?

The first thing I do when I’m writing something new is to think of cool people that might inhabit a story. By then, I have no idea about the scenario or anything, just the characters. Then I put them together to see how they’d act in a common, everyday conversation. That often sparks a few ideas, so I build upon them (pantsing). I never know what the story will come to be; it is like I’m watching the story as it unfolds (as I write it). I hope that doesn’t sound too crazy. It is always fun.

However, I think that approach has a disadvantage: as I take a lot of time to create the characters, my stories end up having few people in them. To me, that could be better – after all, the more the merrier!

Where do you usually write, and what do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

I write in my home office, and I only need it to be somewhat silent. Which is most of the time, since I live next to a big chunk of tropical woods. Most sounds I hear are from birds, such as the great kiskadee, seagulls, and others.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?

Clarice Lispector. She was a post-modernist author that had a lot of existential troubles and could understand what existing in our world as women really meant. I don’t know if any of her books can be read in English, as she was Brazilian. My favorite is A Maçã no Escuro, which translates to “The Apple in the Dark”, but there is also A Hora da Estrela, or The Hour of the Star”, Perto do Coração Selvagem, “Near to the Wild Heart”.

What’s your favorite writing snack or drink?

Mmm. Pão de queijo is a great snack. I found this recipe in English, and it sounds about the same as I would make it. Here:

½ cup olive oil or butter
⅓ cup water
⅓ cup milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic
⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Combine olive oil, water, milk, and salt in a large saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat.
Stir in tapioca flour and garlic, stirring until smooth. Set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir cheese and eggs into tapioca mixture until combined; the dough will be chunky, like cottage cheese.

Drop dough by 1/4 cup-size balls onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

How do you celebrate when you finish your book?

I don’t. I mean, it is a nice feeling, for sure, but I am never fully satisfied with my work. It’s just like: ‘Oh, okay. Time to start the next one, and it might be better”. In a way, all my stories feel like exercises for THE ONE greatest story of all time. In reality, it is just me being insecure.

Is there a particular genre you would love to write but only under a pseudonym?

The very same pseudonym you see here! I had to choose one, because there are a few bad apples in the basket of erotica literature who love to send me nudes and other media. I need to have my privacy, as private as it can be.

Do you have any odd writing quirks?

My spine suffers a lot when I’m writing because I end up sitting like a Z, L, N, and many other letter-like, spine-breaking positions! I find it relaxing for some reason, but I pay the price of back pain the following day.

Do you have a pet who helps/hinders your typing?

Yeah! I have a small pinscher called Spark. He’s a brown pinscher that happens to be sleeping on my lap right now. He can be quite moody when it’s cold, so he’s wearing a fluffy cow outfit now.

What animal or object best represents you as an author or your writing style?

A monkey! Because I am monkeying around, trying to write interesting stuff for the readers who follow me. 🙂

What are three words that describe your personality?

Learn, Live, Leave: because I love to learn about anything, to live new experiences and to leave from social gatherings when they get too noisy or crowded!

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing, and by whom?

James Scott Bell has fantastic insights in his many books. I’ve learned a lot.

What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?

Not worrying too much about the structure or process at first.

When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?

I just concentrate and try to see it in my mind.

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

A good, long time thinking of the character helps me to live in their actions and words.

If you could be mentored by a famous author (living or not), who would it be?

Stephen King. He is a writing machine!

What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?

At the moment, I can’t say I have a favorite. So feel free to recommend me the good stuff!

Have you ever cried when writing an emotional scene?

Not really. It takes a lot to make me cry with media I am watching, reading, or writing. Then again, I haven’t really written stuff geared to make the readers cry either.

Do you feel bad putting your characters through the wringer?

No, because just like everyone else, they need to experience bad things if they want to become better versions of themselves.

Have you ever hated one of your characters?

Yes. There is this character that I created 23 years ago, and she seems to me like the perfect protagonist for a killer story. The problem is I can’t ever find her that killer story. So I hate her for popping up in my head so many years ago, living rent-free there just because she sets the bar too high for me to have her in any regular story.

Have you ever fallen in love with one of your characters?

To an extent, yes. The 23-year-old character I mentioned in the previous question. She is a mix of all characteristics I love in a woman, to perfection.

What type of books do you enjoy reading the most?

I like classical literature, because they transport me to another time. And yes, my tastes have been that way since I left school and got older, which gave me a wider sense of sight to understand what was between the lines. Then I understood why they are classics.

Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

Agatha Christie’s books inspired the heck out of me to try and make my own stories, because I read like twenty of her books when I was 10-14 years old.

What books have you read more than once in your life?

The Stranger, from Albert Camus. Every single read is different than the others. It’s almost magical how I can perceive the book in so many different ways, depending on the time.

Meet G. C. d’Angelique

Born in the 1980s in São Paulo, Brazil, d’Angelique wrote stories in old notebooks no one wanted anymore. The author had one first major story written in 1999, but life had its own plans and authoring wasn’t part of them. Twenty years passed by, and now, more mature and life-hardened, d’Angelique has joined the plethora of authors trying to be read. Nowadays, the author lives in a coastal town in São Paulo state, while dreaming of sand-dusted love stories and bringing them to digital form.

Visit G. C. d’Angelique’s Website

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Author Interview