Ever wondered what a day in the life of a published author is like? Does the muse sing gracefully while fingers race on the keyboard to keep up? Or is it more like piles of coffee cups and shredded drafts? Do published authors have second jobs? What are their geeky secrets? And what do they think about e-books vs. paper?
|Free image courtesy of stock.xchng and nkzs
Well, today we’re lucky enough to find out, because I’m doing my first author interview on this blog! Local author (and my good friend) Angela Wallace has just self-published her 5th title, an urban fantasy called Earth Tones, which is the third in her Elemental Magic series. She is now sitting in my virtual living room, ready to reveal her secrets. Muahaha.
I mean, welcome, Angela.
1. Let’s talk about book love (since that’s obviously one of my favorite topics). How old were you when you fell in love with reading? Can you remember what book/ books inspired you?
I fell in love with reading the moment I learned how. I’d go to every Scholastic book fair and read enough books to get a prize every time. Some of my favorite books were Tamora Pierce’s quartets Song of the Lioness and The Immortals. They started with a young child with dreams or special powers, and the books followed their growth into young adulthood. I loved the journey. And the fantasy worlds. 😉
2. What was the first story you ever finished about?
It was a YA sci-fi about a teenage rebel group in a post-apocalyptic United States. I guess the correct term would be dystopian, but it was heavy with space pods and ray guns. I wrote it when I was ten.
3. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
A. W. Tozer. I love his book, The Pursuit of God, and I imagine it would be an extraordinary conversation.
4. Juggling jobs is one of my biggest challenges. How does a published author support herself? Is writing your only job?
I’m also a sign language interpreter. I work at a couple local colleges interpreting classroom lectures. It’s great because I get to keep learning new subjects, but don’t have to work for a grade!
5. What is the geekiest thing about you? Because we have to know 🙂
I know how to write a form of Tolkien’s elvish runes. I used to exchange letters with a friend in high school written in them. It also makes a very handy code to keep passwords in.
6. What are some of the weirdest ways you’ve gotten story ideas?
Dreams, for one. I’ve dreamed a few complete story plots from beginning to end, though they don’t often get written down. If I could just dream about the novels I’m actually working on, I could save time!
7. Now that you can look back on the completion of your latest book, Earth Tones, what was your favorite part of writing this book?
Hm, I think it was getting to know a new main character, plus getting to play with a new element. There was a lot more opportunity for Nita to communicate with animals, and the earth wielding in fight scenes was fun too.
|Angela’s latest book, Earth Tones, is the third in her Elemental Magic series.
8. You publish both paper books and e-books. As an avid reader yourself, which do you prefer, and why?
It depends. I do like paper books, seeing the cover on the front, seeing my progress as I turn the pages. But some of them are really fat and it hurts my wrist to hold them, lol. Then I like e-books better because it’s much lighter to carry around.
9. Online self-publishing gets a lot of media attention these days. So what do you like about self-publishing?
I like keeping control over my story. (Yes, I’m a control freak.) I also like working at my own pace. I can be a drill sergeant on myself, but am well aware that “life happens.” It’s easier to give myself permission to be flexible than it is to ask for it from someone else.
10. Anything you don’t like about it?
The marketing, lol. Though, traditionally published authors have to do much the same. Putting together this blog tour was a big step for me!
11. Are there are any fun scenes in Earth Tones that didn’t end up in the final draft?
There was this cute scene I wanted to use, but it just didn’t fit anywhere in the story. Nita and her boyfriend Keenan are leaving the house when they find a moose on the porch. I learned that this is a very dangerous situation and that people are actually trapped in their homes until the moose decides to leave on its own. Now, Nita could just tell the moose to get lost with her earth magic, but instead she says they’ll have to put their plans on hold, and with a suggestive smile, hints that they can figure out something else to fill their time with.
Thank you for your time and insights, Angela!
If Earth Tones captures your fancy, check it out on Amazon.
And watch the book trailer on Youtube (trailers aren’t just for movies anymore)! Authors nowadays–especially self-published–are Jacks and Jills of many trades, and Angela turned moviemaker to promote her new book. Check it out.
You can also read the book description:
Nita Young doesn’t know if she has a future with college sweetheart Keenan Donovan—two star-crossed lovers of opposing elements—but she invites him up to Alaska to see if Earth and Water can rekindle their old flame. When a series of wild animal attacks strike the inhabitants of Yakutat, Nita has to put her romantic plans on hold. Mangled bodies are turning up, and a mysterious black panther has been spotted in the woods. Fur, scales, and a venomous bite suggest the cat is supernatural in origin—and evidence indicates that someone not only summoned it, but is using it to target those Nita cares about. It’s the perfect murder weapon: no fingerprints, no evidence. And in a town this small, the killer is someone she knows. Nita’s strength will be put to the test as she faces losing her friends, her town, and the man she loves.
To connect with Angela:
Angela Wallace loves gun-toting good boys and could have been a cop in another life except for the unfortunate condition of real blood making her queasy. Good thing writing gun and sword fights isn’t a problem. In her books you’ll find the power of love, magic, and redemption.
I hope you enjoyed this interview! If you leave a comment to this post, both Angela and I will be answering them today. Open Q&A time. Hint, hint 🙂
3 thoughts on “11 Questions for a Real Live Author”
Question: Do you plan series ahead of time, or just work on one story at a time, from idea to completion??I learned a lot about modern day authors + publishing through this interview–very cool idea!
Hi Paty! Elemental Magic is a series because of the shared world and the characters. Otherwise, each book is a self-contained plot, so I work on one story at a time. Originally, this series was just going to be four books, one for each element, but then Aileen (water) went and had two stories to tell. So I’ve planned vague ideas for plots so each element can have two books now.I’m also working on another series called Dreamwalker, though that one wasn’t planned at all. It was supposed to be one story, but several readers insisted I turn it into a series, so that’s what I’m doing. 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for visiting!