Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am happily married to my best friend. We live in the Midwest and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. (We’ve tried but we keep moving home!) I complain about snow in the winter but really, I love it. I know, call me crazy but there it is.
What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have a day job as well?
My full time day job is also writing and trust me, I am aware of how fortunate I am. My day job is writing SEO web content for websites like Livestrong.com and Work.com. I am a freelance editor in addition to being a freelance writer and professional author.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
The first book I finished was when I was thirteen years old. My best friend and I looked very similar and dressed identically so we were often taken for twins. One night after a typical teen fight with my mom, I wrote a book about twins who lived alone and took care of themselves. It was patterned off of a book I was reading at the time called “The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane” by Laird Koenig. I had no interest in killing my parents, only in being left alone as I was obviously smart enough to take care of myself…or so my thirteen year old brain believed…anyway, I wrote the entire thing long-hand in less than a week. It was horrible and I was so proud of it. It makes me smile to remember it.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
That’s easy. I’m a woman. Women like romance and happy endings. Oh maybe not all the time, but a good percentage of the time. Plus it’s what I read the most often. But having said that, I write in several genres including romance, YA, crime and children’s.
Where do you get your ideas?
Mostly either in my sleep or they’re triggered by a phrase. My husband, Phil and I will hear something and look at each other. Pretty soon we’re grinning and discussing story ideas. Most of my crime or detective ones are created by my need to kill someone on paper. When someone really makes me angry, I think of all the things I’d like to do if I were evil. Then I have to build a story around that crime scene. It’s awesome. Works out all my aggression and makes me money at the same time!
Do you ever experience writer’s block? Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I do not get writer’s block, or at least not often and not for long. Years ago I belonged to a writer’s group that wrote to prompts. We were given few words and 20 minutes to write. After that time we would get together and read what we’d written. I cannot express how valuable that training has been for me. When I get stuck, I take a few key words from my last sentence and write like the prompt. Even if I can’t use what I’ve written in my story, it gets the juices flowing again.
I only have an outline in the most general terms…girl meets boy, fall in love, have a conflict, resolve the conflict, live happily ever after…other than that, I follow my characters around while they lead me on a merry chase.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Books have always been a mainstay in my life. I remember being teased in grade school for bringing home Shakespeare. I grew up reading Andrew Greeley. His ability to turn words into intricate stories has amazed me for years. Now I read almost anything that strikes my interest.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
This Montana Man was published in August and I’m thrilled with it. It’s been a work in progress for some time and when I finished the edits and polishing, I was thrilled with the way the story turned out.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I had one stalkerish ex but nothing to this extent. The comfort Caroline feels when she’s with Jamie is straight out of my relationship with my husband. Phil is amazing and I am very blessed.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I love the scene where Caroline takes control of her fear and faces Brad. I love the strength she has, the courage she shows, even as she’s praying for Jamie to come rescue her.
How did you come up with the title?
Phil. He titles nearly all of my work. Odd, but I can never think of a decent title.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
This Montana Man is the first in the Walkers Ridge Romance series. I love the people we met and I want to know what happens to them in the future. There are several romances brewing below the surface and I’m excited to see how they play out.
The toughest was the very first time I read at a writer’s group. I read a children’s story and when I finished, there was stone silence. When I finally looked up, one person said, “Well…it was cute…”. I was so upset…the next week I went back and read “It Was Snowing” (which is available on Smashwords and Amazon, BTW). When I finished reading that, there was again this silence but when I looked up that time, everyone was crying. To this day, I detest someone telling me my work is cute.
The best critique I think I’ve received comes from friend and fellow author, Steven L Brayton and it came in the form of him telling me he liked my writing so much he wanted to co-write with me. I can’t think of a better compliment.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Take lessons. English lessons, grammar lessons, spelling lessons, typing lessons…these are your tools and if you don’t know how to use your tools you can’t build a decent structure.
Join a critique group. Commit to attending regularly, read your work out loud and listen to the advice you receive.
Surround yourself with talented and successful writers. They honed their skills and became successful for a reason. Learn from them.
Don’t stop. No matter how many people tell you that you stink, no matter how hard it gets, don’t stop. Never give someone else the power to stop you from achieving your dreams and your goals.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thanks!!!! Seriously, thank you, you have no idea how happy you make me!!
Chocolate or Vanilla?—Chocolate all the way…vanilla is boring.
The light side or the dark side?—My husband is still trying to figure this out after 20 years! Hah…dark if it’s before I’ve had coffee, light if it’s after!!
If you were a superhero (or villain!) what would your power be? Would you wear a cape? Oh Good Gravy, no I would not wear a cape, no self-respecting person would…super power…I think it would be healing. I would like the ability to ease pain. Or pull money out of thin air, that would be good too.
Do you have deep dark secret? How about a shallow grey one? Yes, I do. Several in fact, and no, I won’t tell you!
What does your main character think about you? Are you best buds or have you tortured them so much you’d run if you actually ever met? I think they’d be ticked off that I left them in limbo for so long, but I hope they forgive me because we’re going back to see them a lot!
What sort of coffee would you order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare? Oh the nightmare. I love a good Cinnamon Dulce and the local Starbucks in the hospital lobby has this yummy orange syrup. I have considered going to the hospital just to get the coffee! I am a Starbucks addict, of this there is NO doubt.
Is there any food you refuse to eat? Seafood is disgusting. It all tastes like dirty lake water, no matter where it’s from or what it is. It’s nasty. Okra is slimy, IDK why anyone would eat it and the last time I got slapped by my mother was for refusing to eat brussels sprouts. She was telling me about starving orphans who would love to have my brussel sprouts so I told her to box the crap up and mail to them because I wasn’t eating it…only I didn’t say crap so she slapped my mouth. I was 12. I still hate brussle sprouts and I’m not overly fond of the starving orphans, either…just kidding, I swear I’m just kidding.
Drink of choice? Daytime is coffee, night time is margarita’s, wine or brandy slush.
If you could live off of chocolate would you? What kind? Yes and all. A writer friend of mine named Jackie Jenson once gave me a newspaper article about a man who died in a vat of chocolate and I thought it must be the most perfect way to die…although I’m pretty sure I could have eaten my way to safety…I’m just saying…
What pets have graced your life? Which was your least favorite? What do you think the coolest pet to have would be? Lots of dogs, a few cats and multiple horses. I grew up with a dog named Jack and I miss him. We lost our miniature schnauzer Dixie a year ago. We’d had her for 12 years and she was an amazing part of our family. We currently have a corgi named Sophie and she’s an incredibly smart animal but she sheds like crazy. We’ve had a few crazy cats but they don’t last long. You scratch my kids and you don’t live here anymore.
If you could visit any world ever written about, where would you go? The off world resorts mentioned in J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas series. And I’d also love to spend time in Ireland, a place I’ve read quite a bit about through Andrew Greeley’s books. Heaven. I’d love the chance to hug my family members and tell them I love them one more time.
I am a romance novelist, a freelance writer, a freelance photographer and a freelance editor. I have many online articles published on topics as diverse as home improvement, ballroom dancing, fitness, marketing and research, computer programs and business associations. I provide SEO copy to industry-leading Web content providers.
I think in words. I am amazed at how many ways we use 26 letters to create so many unique stories and I love being a part of that process. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. When I was very little, I made up stories in my head and told them to anyone who would listen. As a teen, I voiced all my teen angst in hand-written notebooks, pouring out such horrible writing, it’s a wonder the paper itself didn’t protest. As I grew older, I joined a writers group that was instrumental in teaching me the fundamentals of crafting a story and developing it into something more than a vague idea. I am blessed to be able to earn a living writing both non-fiction and fiction and I count those blessings every day! My hope for you is that you too, can do something you love every day.
Find out more about Angela!
Buy links for books available for purchase:
Carried Away Volume 2 should be out in mid September, it’s a short story series in which three new stories are added each month.