ANGIE FOX is the New York Times bestselling author of several books about vampires, werewolves and things that go bump in the night. She claims that researching her stories can be just as much fun as writing them. In the name of fact-finding, Angie has ridden with Harley biker gangs, explored the tunnels underneath Hoover Dam and found an interesting recipe for Mamma Coalpot’s Southern Skunk Surprise (she’s still trying to get her courage up to try it).
Angie earned a Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. She worked in television news and then in advertising before beginning her career as an author.
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Angi interviewing Angie might get a bit confusing so I’ve only got one question today:
ANGIE, Where did you get the nerve and imagination to create your original stories?
I learned to shut up and trust my influences.
A lot of writers I’ve talked with have always known who they are. I envy that. Because for many years, I tried to be somebody else. You see, I’m kind of quirky. I like going on odd adventures. I like meeting new people. I was the kid who would rather hang out at a Renaissance fair than go to the ball game.
And because I love to read, eventually I decided I wanted to be a writer. But in order to write the kinds of books people wanted to read, I decided I had to be very serious. No more playing around. And as far as listening to my inner voice? Forget it. I’d never written a book before. This was not the time to trust my instincts. Instead, I had to take classes. So I signed up for these writing classes that taught me how to outline and how to write scenes on note cards and how to shuffle those note cards around and even how to put them on cork boards and make color coded note card charts.
Now don’t think I’m knocking classes. I did learn a lot. But my problem was, I had somehow convinced myself that someone else’s way was the right way to do things. As a result, my writing life was hard and it was tedious and sometimes I’d get frustrated and want to chuck the note cards at my shelf full of writing books, but I didn’t because I wanted to tell my stories and I thought that was the way to do it.
The end result? I wrote three mysteries that didn’t sell. Worse, I had an agent tell me that I had humor creeping into a murder scene – not good when you’re oh, so serious.
When I’d get comments like that or when I couldn’t look at one more chart, I’d retreat with the books I loved to read. I can go through several books a week and some of my favorite authors include MaryJanice Davidson, Katie MacAlister, Kerrelyn Sparks and Elizabeth Peters. Then, suitably fortified, I’d go back to ignoring my influences – the authors whose work I loved – in order to write what I thought I “should” be writing.
Until one day, I snapped. I’d been working hard on some new note cards – color coded – when I received a longish letter from a respected agent. He’d read my third book and thought it would probably sell. But he hoped it didn’t. He said I was compromising my voice. I was writing for someone else. How he could tell that from those words on the page, I’ll never know. He said that book wasn’t my, “breakout book” and that I should write something else.
It was painful to read, because I knew he was right. I didn’t know exactly what I should be writing, but I decided to pull that mystery from consideration. I needed to relax and have fun for a change. So I decided to write a book just for me, a book I knew wouldn’t sell. It had to be about the excitement, about the love of books and writing. I was so excited by the idea that I had trouble sleeping that night.
Then, a few nights later, I was up at three in the morning feeding my infant son and a fun idea popped into my head – 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?
I could write the kind of book I liked reading – quirky, different – a book where I could build my own world and make up my own rules. I banished all note cards. I let my natural voice come out, even if it was kind of offbeat.
Instead of a 20-page plot outline, I had a 5-page list of ideas, one of which included “but little did they know, all the Shoney’s are run by werewolves.” Instead of following the rules, I broke a few. Instead of painstakingly writing over the course of a year, I giggled my way through the book and had a complete manuscript in five months.
The opening chapters did well in contests and caught the eye of an editor, who asked to see the whole thing. That same editor bought the book less than a week after I finished it. And a year later, that book ended up on the New York Times bestseller list.
Now that I’ve learned to follow my instincts, I’m writing what I want to write and loving every minute of it. It’s just so important to trust yourself and follow your instincts – in writing and in everything else.
Perfect example – in the second book, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, my protagonist is really coming into her powers. The first book was funnier because she was thrust into this magical world with no preparation. So, the second book has a darker edge because she’s learning what that all means to her.
As I was writing it, I thought, “Can I abandon some of the quirkiness? Will readers follow me on this journey?” But I had to do it because in my heart I knew the story required it. The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers could be funny, and serious.
And again, in A Tale of Two Demon Slayers and The Last of the Demon Slayers, I made the love story deeper, hotter. It was what had to happen in the book. And boy, was it fun to writer. But what would readers think? Luckily, I learned my readers don’t mind a little heat.
In order to write the books I needed to write, I had to trust my instincts. Thank goodness, I’ve learned how.
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You can find Angie at her Website: http://www.angiefox.com/
Contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook friend her: http://www.facebook.com/angie.fox?ref=profile
Or follow her on Twitter: @AngieFoxAuthor
Angie’s books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at your favorite independent bookseller.
THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER
It’s never a good day when an ancient demon shows up on your toilet bowl…
For Lizzie Brown, that’s just the beginning. Soon her hyperactive terrier starts talking, and her long-lost biker witch Grandma is hurling Smuckers jars filled with magic. Just when she thinks she’s seen it all, Lizzie learns she’s a demon slayer – and all hell is after her.
Of course, that’s not the only thing after her. Dimitri Kallinikos, a devastatingly handsome shape-shifting griffin needs Lizzie to slay a demon of his own. But how do you talk a girl you’ve never met into going straight to the underworld? Lie. And if that doesn’t work, how dangerous could a little seduction be…?
WANT TO READ AN EXCERPT ?
THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR DEMON SLAYERS
Demon slaying powers should come with an instruction book …
Seriously. Why does a new hair dryer have a twelve-page how-to manual, but when it comes to ancient demon-fighting hocus-pocus, my biker witch granny gives me just half a dozen switch stars and a rah-rah speech? Oh, and a talking terrier, but that’s another story. It’s not like my job as a preschool teacher prepared me for this kind of thing.
So I’ve decided to write my own manual, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, because no one tells me anything. Dimitri, my “protector,” may be one stud of a shape-shifting griffin, but he always thinks he can handle everything by himself. Only he’s no match for the soul-stealing succubi taking over Las Vegas. If I can’t figure out how to save him – and Sin City – there’ll be hell to pay.
A TALE OF TWO DEMON SLAYERS
In the ultimate showdown for survival, may the best demon slayer win.
Last month, I was a single preschool teacher whose greatest thrill consisted of color-coding my lesson plans. That was before I learned I was a slayer. Now, it’s up to me to face curse-hurling imps, vengeful demons, and any other supernatural uglies that crop up. And, to top it off, a hunk of a shape-shifting griffin has invited me to Greece to meet his family.
But it’s not all sun, sand, and ouzo. Someone has created a dark-magic version of me with my powers and my knowledge—and it wants to kill me and everyone I know. Of course, this evil twin doesn’t have Grandma’s gang of biker witches, a talking Jack Russell terrier, or an eccentric necromancer on its side. In the ultimate showdown for survival, may the best demon slayer win.
THE LAST OF THE DEMON SLAYERS
Lizzie Brown would just like to have one normal date. Instead she gets a towering inferno with a message: her long-lost dad is a fallen angel in danger of becoming a demon. Not good. Especially since she’s a demon slayer.
Her grandma advises her to stay out of it. Her sexy-as-sin shapeshifter boyfriend would much rather she devote her attention to more carnal pursuits. And her dog’s one demand is for more bacon. After all, he can’t train his pet dragon on an empty stomach.
But Lizzie knows there’s no other choice but to hop on her Harley and help her father – even if the search for the truth brings a bad-boy slayer back into her life and leads her into the middle of a war to end all wars.
Angie would like to give away a copy of The Accidental Demon Slayer today. Just take the What’s Your Biker Witch Name? quiz, tell us your biker witch name and you’re entered to win! Don't forget to share your name here on GLIAS.
AND DON’T FORGET to LIKE Get Lost In A Story on FACEBOOK and FOLLOW us on TWITTER or just catch all our guests and their new releases each day. Next week we have a terrific line-up authors with July releases: Elaine Golden, Oliva Gates, Vicky Dreiling, April Dawn & Jennifer Haymore.
Have a great weekend! ~ Angi
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.