Friday, May 8, 2009
Angie's in the House and We've Got A Surprise
We’ve got Angie Fox in the house today. Oh Yeah!!! I’m really excited to have her with us. And there’s a surprise. Don’t you love surprises? I do. :) I’m giving away her book, but Angie is giving away one of her extremely sought after T-shirts. I love this shirt. Angie had it on at RT and trust me the demons knew she’d kick their butts.
Here's the front:
And here's the back:
So, instead of choosing the winner today, I’m going to extend it through Sunday. That’s right. Sunday a winner will be randomly chosen to win a copy of the book (OMG, you’re going to love it), and a T-shirt. Yay!!!
Now for the interview.
Needless to say I was having serious demon slayer withdrawals waiting for The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers (again, you can read the excerpt by clicking the link).
Okay, if you’re ready, here goes:
Me: How did you get started writing?
Angie: I got started writing because I love reading. I think if you read a lot of books, somewhere along the line you get this feeling like, “I could do that.” I acted on it and voila – eight years and three unpublished manuscripts later – my first book sold.
Me: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Angie: Just call me a plantser. I like to know where the story is going, but not too much because when I’m having fun, that’s when the story itself takes on a lot more energy.
With The Accidental Demon Slayer, I started with a kernel of an idea that amused me. What if a straight laced preschool teacher suddenly learns she’s a demon slayer? And what if she has to learn about her powers on the run from a fifth level demon? Ohhh and wouldn’t it be fun if she’s running with her long-lost Grandma’s gang of geriatric biker witches?
With The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, I started with an offhand joke I made at the end of The Accidental Demon Slayer. Lizzie is just about to kiss her man when she’s interrupted and told she and the gang have to head to Las Vegas to save her long lost uncle from marrying a succubus. When I went to write the next book, I thought – why not?
I find if I start with an interesting conflict and let the story evolve based on the characters, things will start to roll in the right direction. And I know the story was working when I can’t wait to get back to the keyboard every day.
Me: You’re an amazing writer, but I do have a couple of burning must know questions. Do you have pets? And do they talk to you?
Angie: Pirate the dog is based on my experiences with a poodle named Beau. He’s gone now, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to get another dog yet, but Beau had this way of talking without saying a word. I knew what he was thinking. And he was quite a smart aleck.
Me: Okay, I know in the first book Lizzie is a pre-school teacher who has no idea she’s a demon slayer until her grandmother rides up on a Harley. Did you have to do a lot of research for the biker witches?
Angie: Loads, actually. First off, the biker witches ride Harleys, and I’d never been on a motorcycle before. Second, I had to figure out how to get Pirate the dog onto a bike.
I went online and learned about the Biker Dogs Motorcycle Club, made up exclusively of Harley riders and their dogs. I ended up meeting some of them, along with a few other bikers along the way. These bikers were so great to me. They hoisted me onto the back of their Harleys (with dogs in tow). They took me to biker rallies (note to self: don’t wear pink). And they laughed at me when I tried to put my helmet on backwards (I still say I was distracted by the Pomeranian wearing a tiny pair of motorcycle glasses). After a few outings with my new biker friends, I was able to make my geriatric biker witch characters a lot more realistic. And I took home some great pictures, too.
Me: What’s your favorite part of the job?
Angie: Meeting the authors who have been on my keeper shelves for years. I’ve always been an avid reader and it’s just such a kick to sit on panels with authors I admire. I do tend to turn into a fan girl – Laurell K Hamilton probably thinks I’m a bit off – but I’m just thrilled to meet her and others like her.
Me: With the release of your second book have you found it easier or harder when you sit in front of the computer? What has changed for you now that you are under actual deadlines from an editor?
Angie: It was harder to write The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers because I had to get over the idea that people were actually going to read it. When I wrote The Accidental Demon Slayer, I wanted to have it published, but I didn’t know if anyone would buy it. Then suddenly, less than a year later, that book was a New York Times bestseller.
It was a complete shift for me to think that not only would some people read that next book, a lot of people might. I had to force myself to get over it by telling myself that I could toss any draft at the end of the day. No guilt. Just toss. Knowing that, I was able to relax, have fun and tell the story.
Me: Are you planning on more books for this series? Please say yes (picture Vicki begging here).
Angie: Yes, there will be five books total in this series. Right now, I’m writing book 3, which is tentatively titled A Tale of Two Demon Slayers. In it, Lizzie and the gang travel to Greece where they learn more about Dimitri’s past and a threat that could destroy them all. I’m having a ball with it because it’s so much fun to explore Dimitri’s home, his family - and who knew he had such a juicy past? I’m also working on a voodoo novella for an anthology with Katie MacAlister.
Me: 5 Books. I am so happy. Can you tell us a little about your latest release?
Angie: In this latest book, Lizzie is determined, once and for all, to master her powers. In fact, she’s going to write the book on demon slaying. So she begins a journal, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, where she records what she’s learning, starting with newfound discoveries about demons, gargoyles and a particularly mischievous live spell named Beanie who likes to fill Lizzie’s boots with pumpkin spice latte.
Things get dicey when the demons get their hooks in Dimitri. He’s much darker and sexier in this book. And we introduce a new character, Max, who is half demon and 100% yummy.
Me: If you weren’t an author and could be anything you wanted to be, what would it be and why?
Angie: I’d love to own a bookstore. I have this fantasy of being paid to read all day. Real bookstore owners assure me that they actually have to do inventory, clean the store, etc., but in my fantasy I have shirtless men handling all of that.
Me: Any advice for those of us who are aspiring writers and parting words for our readers?
Angie: I think you need to give yourself the permission and the freedom to make the story as big as you can. I had a lot of trouble with this one initially, because I didn’t know what it meant. I had to push my writing to a level I had never gone to before. My characters had to take bigger chances, have more to risk and lose. It’s easy to say, but a hard thing for a writer to do. It’s a vulnerable, risky place to be. I knew my story was big enough to sell when instead of ending my writing sessions thinking, “I hope that’s good enough to impress an editor.” I ended them thinking, “No. I didn’t not just write that. I did not just make my character defend herself with a toilet brush and a can of Purple Prairie Clover air freshener.”
Me: It has been fabulous having you here, but then you know I’m a huge fan. Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with us.
Okay everyone, it’s your turn. Any questions for Angie? Leave your comments and/or questions to be included in the drawing for this week’s theme.
WW's and PD's,