- GUEST AUTHOR -
I'm pleased to present an interview I conducted with a very interesting author.
Welcome, Angelica ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I have always written in journals, for school and for my own enjoyment since I was a small child. Until my late twenties though I never shared this extensive collection of materials with anyone. Over time I joined several groups and starting allowing friends to read things and had numerous encouraging voices telling me to follow my passion. One especially loud voice was an older friend of mine named Dixie, who herself had spent years wanting to publish a book of poetry. Thus, the brilliant plan to help each other finally join the published ranks of authors, we met at a local coffee shop for months and read items as we prepared to find homes to publish them. Then one day Dixie’s husband passed away very unexpectedly of an accident in the home and despite fighting hard to overcome her own health issues and this latest blow she became ill and passed herself. After her funeral, I made good on my promise though and dedicated Loving Abby to her as the first book I took the dive and published through Amazon for the world in 2014.
2. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I was born a writer. I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t doodling something in a journal, or in the corner of margins in notebooks.
3. WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
I am definitely a shoot from the hip. I am such an organized person otherwise, but the stories I allow to flow organically and as the characters develop and guide me throughout the process. I once had a character die in a book I was writing and remember glancing up surprised, to which my daughter stared back and stated, “Mom, you have the power to change that you know?” I did though, it wouldn’t have been the same story written any other way.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Bringing a story fully life that would never have been told otherwise. There is a certain level of responsibility in getting it right, and doing the absolute best you can to provide the details and level of input that the reader cares about your characters as if they were truly alive.
5. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Keeping it fresh and on tract, is the hardest thing about being a writer for me personally. Sometimes I have a long drawn out hard story to tell, and I almost become depressed mired in that and day to day. I find that I normally have a couple projects going at a time. This allows me to ensure that whatever I’m working on is my chosen work for the moment and I give it 100%. If it feels forced it’s time to set it aside and get a new perspective going. Forced writing or that which is do detailed as to just lengthen the work comes across to the reader. If you as the writer are invested in telling the best story possible, the readers will be able to tell as they turn the pages.
6. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
An Inventory Manager is what my business card said I was previously. I happen to be an interesting study in contrasts, as I am type A and both left and right brained. I excelled in Math with a nearly perfect memory for numbers and patterns. Yet, I also personify that you don’t always love that which you are good at as I tried to make a career in inventory by extension of my Math and hated every moment.
7. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
Publishing that first manuscript was the greatest so far but I am hopeful that if I’m truly lucky it won’t be the greatest by the time I finish.
8. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
A science fiction book series that is taxing my wits and has been in progress for quite some time, and I expect to be another year or two before the first book come out. It is by far the most detailed and complex story thus far, and I pepper the time writing with romance novellas and other short stories to keep me inspired.
9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Heroes in all forms. Not the fireman, military etc only but the victims of abuse, foster care and other slights in life that overcome to accomplish more than anyone could have expected.
10. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Inspirational romance, science fiction, paranormal mysteries
11. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
NEVER allow anyone to tell you, you aren’t good enough. Whatever your dream go after it and realize life is way too short to worry about what everyone else thinks.
12. DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
Not often. I have a system of having several different projects in the hopper that allows me to always be able to write, just not always on a single given project.
13. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Nope. My computer is always with me and I make a goal of 3,000 words a day that I try to fit in when inspiration hits.
14. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I moved to sunny Florida for the beaches and would have to say there is no place I would rather be with a large umbrella and my laptop writing.
15. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Giving the underdog a voice.
16. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Erma Bombeck is still my favourite author. I loved her sass and ability to tell a story you could relate to and laugh along with in a manner that was as if your best friend wrote the story.
17. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
One reader said she was so mad when she read the ending to Discord that she felt she needed to write me an email and tell me. She didn’t like the ending I had written for the main character. I was thrilled. Something I wrote had angered her (gotten such a reaction) she had taken time out of her day to chastise me in an email. I was giddy happy and wrote her a thank you email back.
18. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
Hmmmm…it’s hard when you read a bad review about books not grabbing their attention, spelling issues or the like. For me though I truly have improved on how I format, edit and write my books directly from reader comments so I would never say any of them are “bad?”
19. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes. Unfortunately, I did not have an ideal childhood or young adult situation so many of my books are based on actual events that I wrote in early journals about. Even now all my friends have a joke about situations that occur, that I’m going to put them in a book.
20. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I am a passionate child advocate. My family is a foster family and have worked with numerous children and family. Boys and Girl club volunteers, coaches for teams and involved in a host of other volunteer endeavours geared toward children. I feel like helping advocate for children helps ensure our future generations success, and if I can at the end of the day have influenced one child’s life I will be the greatest success.
21. DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes. My first few I didn’t and felt that the quality was not what I needed. I do now have them professionally edited, and then even have a second proofing done for extra assurances.
22. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Getting up to breakfast with my daughters and husband, kayaking with them in one of the Natural Parks around Florida, picnic on a shoreline somewhere and just in general soaking up family and nature.
23. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
My daughter Victoria. She is by far the smartest person I know and is likes to experiment (she is in school to be a marine biology researcher). I feel her skills would come in handy. In addition, she is able to find humour in ANY situation.
24. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Quit fighting and find solutions rather than just puffing out your chests. So many situations could be resolved if we all put the best interests of people, and not big business at the heart of all negotiations. I think there is a solution out there but the egos of those in charge of brokering those compromises appear to get in the way of truly positive outcomes.
25. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Write as much as I can and travel to all the areas on my bucket list.
26. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON BOOK TRAILERS? DO THEY SELL BOOKS?
I personally have seen authors do an exceptional job using that medium to market their books, but I personally find that they take away from the intent of a book. Making the book into a mini-movie situation for me does nothing and tends to have the feeling of blockbuster commercials rather than book marketing.
27. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
Absolutely – sometimes the character as a representation of how I would like to but maybe didn’t react to various situations.
28. DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Nope. I love the freedom of self-publishing and have not submitted any manuscripts for main stream publication thus I am in control and able to get my books into the hands of readers.
29. DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
Absolutely not. This is who I am and nothing an industry does can stop me from finding a method of publishing what I wish to put out for the world to enjoy.
30. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?
Discord. It was the biggest challenge, largest in size and scope and covered a host of controversial topics that were tough to write from afterlife, abuse, murder and a sadistic main character that I had to get inside of in order to breathe life into the pure evil of his mind.
31. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
If you are able to convey your thoughts and emotions through a character so as to cause and emotional response in even one reader.
32. WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
True heros and success stories can be as simple as a foster family helping a child, an abuse victim never letting her abuser win, a military man keeping a promise to a buddy. You don’t have to be rich or famous to be the main character in one of my books, as I love to find the inspiration in the everyday triumphs all around each of us.
33. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES? EVER WRITTEN A SCREENPLAY?
Maybe? And yes I actually have a project in the early stages for a group of my books that may down the road become a small independent style film.
34. HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
My older graphic design educated daughter does all my covers. This is one of the control items I love with indie publishing, that she does them all for me and helps personalize my writing with her vision of each of my books. As I write a book I talk through the elements with her and over time she comes up with a great visual representation for the book. None of my covers look like standard covers out there I know but I love this aspect of my books being published with her artwork.
35. WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
Happiness and success for my children.
36. WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
Persevere and market every day. There are so many options from blog tours, shows, tumblr, twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on and on. Find what works best for you and stick with you. You need to remain in front of people and this is where the real work of the publishing comes into play.
37. ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
Absolutely. I don’t see any reason to change that method and have no plans to submit to mainstream.
38. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Driven, complicated, focused, mother, crazy
39. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
People who try to force their opinion on the masses in violent or inappropriate ways.
40. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
Wow – hard to call out just one – I love reading as much as writing!
41. WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
See you on the other side! 😊
42. WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?
Being able to travel and write 100% of the time – combining those two as my full-time job would be awesome.
43. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
No – this was extremely thorough! 😊
Clancy's comment: Many thanks, Angelica. I like your style. Keep going.