Friday, July 22, 2011

Angie Fox


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?




ANGIE FOX ANSWERS:




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: angie@angiefox.com
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
ISBN: 978-1463558307


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


ISBN: 978-1463601546



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



ISBN: 978-1453888957



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
ISBN: 978-1453888940



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.






24 comments:

  1. Angie, we're so excited you're joining us today on Get Lost in a Story. I'm checking in way early, and I have a confession. I haven't read what must be your incredible work. I also love how you found your way and found your voice. I hear that from so many authors that don't trust themselves -- that the fact they wrote one book has to be fluke, or they couldn't have possibly done it right. Thank you for sharing your amazing story --- and....congratulations on being the Overall Daphne Winner of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Have you seen your award yet?

    Pretzel Legged Peggy Fast Pants aka Donnell Bell

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  2. I'm Leggy Lucy No Pants. And believe me, no one wants to see that. *laugh*

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  3. Welcome to GLIAS, Angie!

    I love the way you trust your instincts now. I think that's something we all have to learn as a writer...something that comes with practice.

    Fast Frankie No Brakes
    (or ~Angi)

    Don't forget to take the quiz!
    http://quiz.angiefox.com/

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  4. Angie,

    What a great writer's journey story! A writer has to trust her instincts! Write what you love and everything falls into place, including a much stronger, fresh voice!

    Sexy, smart, funny excerpts! Congrats on the 2011 Daphne!

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  5. Hey, Pretzel Legged Peggy Fast Pants (or Donnell if you're *not* at your local biker bar),

    I don't know why it's so easy for writers not to trust themselves. I think finding the courage to write what I love was the single hardest thing to do for me as a writer.

    And yes, winning the overall 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award was amazing. They gave me the award at the ceremony and it is a gorgeous, curved bronze piece that looks like an old fashioned piece of parchment. It's inscribed and it's just gorgeous.

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  6. Thanks for the welcome, Angi! I keep wanting to type an "e" on the end of your name. I think the whole Angie/Angi thing means you or my evil twin. Or perhaps I'm your evil twin. Hmm...

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  7. Hey Abigail - great to see you here! And hey, if it says Leggy Lucy No Pants, then that's that. It's the power of the quiz. ;)

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  8. Hi Gjillian,

    Thanks! You'd think trusting your instincts would come naturally, but boy, for me it was a struggle. I think it's because I've always been a pleaser and eager to do things "right." So for me, (at least for awhile), that meant I must have to do it someone else's way.

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  9. I'm Candy Knickers Fast Pants. Wonderful!

    You were lucky to run into that agent and to take his advice. congrats on your success. I've been writing books I like to read, but so far have been told they don't know how to sell them. One of these days ...

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  10. Hi Kathy Candy Knickers,

    Yes, I was lucky to run into that agent who was nice enough to a) send me a detailed rejection and b)nail my problem.

    It's hard to break in (as my three unsold novels prove) but it just takes that one story. And for a lot of my friends, after that first sale they've even been able to sell their "we don't know what to do with those books" books. Good luck!

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  11. Welcome Angie! What a great story. Mine is very similar, except for the part where the agent gives the letter. I didn't get any agent interest at all until I trusted my instincts and followed my voice.

    So very cool to have you here!

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  12. What a wonderful ode to writing the book of your heart! I'm so glad you wrote the stories you wrote, because I enjoyed reading them :)

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  13. Hi Angie!
    I just discovered your books today and I will be keeping them on my radar. From the cover I get the feeling they are wickedly fun. I love stories with characters who have distinct and quirky personalities no matter if it is a dark or light read. What I enjoy best is a deep love story and it sounds like you have this in your books too.

    My biker name is "Mantrap Marcie Lug Nut" !! So cool :)

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  14. You are a new to me author and these books look great. Definitely right up my alley.

    My biker name is: Pretzel Legged Peggy Hard Rider. Love it!

    Danielle @Ramblings From This Chick
    iqb99@yahoo.com

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  15. Ah Simone - you did it the hard way. It's fantastic to hear you're doing so well!

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  16. Aw, thanks, Rashda. I sure enjoyed writing those stories.

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  17. Hi Mantrap Marcie, ala Na. Glad the characters amuse you. I have a blast writing them. :)

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  18. Thanks, Pretzel Leg Danielle. Curiously, who are your usual favorites? I'm always looking for new authors too!

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  19. Thanks everybody for stopping by today and getting your Biker Witch names. Check back tomorrow and we'll post who won a copy of Angie's book !!

    Always great to see our readers branching out and finding new authors.

    (Oh and Angie...I'm available for you to branch out...plugging my romantic suspense :-)

    ~~ Fast Frankie No Brakes
    aka the Angi without the "e" for evil twin
    >>very fun<<

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  20. I'm so glad I followed the post on KOD's Clues n News loop over to read your blog. This really hit home with me. Thanks for sharing your story with us. In the words of Garfield, "I resemble that remark!"

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  21. Thanks for having me, Angi! And yes, I'm a huge fan of RS. I just can't write it. ;)

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  22. Glad it hit home, Scarlet! I think it's the downside of being industrious, want-to-succeed writers. We follow other people, the "experts" instead of listening to our inner voices.

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  23. Angie, I love your books, and especially your covers. When the cover artist at Samhain was coming up with covers for the Tickle My Fantasy stories, I suggested Accidental Demon Slayer as a model for Witches Anonymous. That suggestion lead to one awesome cover!

    Best wishes for continued success.

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  24. CONGRATULATIONS CANDY KNICKERS FAST PANTS
    (or Kathy W ! )

    You are the winner of Angie's THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER.

    Just send me your info in an email to GetLostInAStory@gmail.com and I'll forward to Angie !!

    Thanks again for joining us at GLIAS.
    ~Angi

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