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Novel Talk With Author Angie Fox

April 14, 2009

My biker witch name is Skullcap Sue Windy Pants. What’s yours? Take the quiz and find out. After all, we need to know what to call you when you park your Harley next to the pool table.

So, as you can see, you may now call me Skullcap Sue. I LOVE it! What’s your biker name? Just click here to find out, leave me a comment letting me know your name and you are entered to win a “Kiss My Asphalt” Tee Shirt!

Now, the original contest is over, and winners will be announced tomorrow night. Be warned, it could be very late, we have an out of town swim meet for Bear tomorrow, so I’m not sure what time I’ll get home. BUT, I will announce the winner as well as my review of THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER, so check back to see if you won and to hear my wonderfully insightful thoughts on this great book!

In the meantime, Angie was wonderful enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions. So kick back and learn more about this amazing new author, as Novel Reads proudly introduces Angie Fox!

Hi Angie, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me! I’m so super excited about The Accidental Demon Slayer, I was wondering though if you could describe it in three sentences or less?

I’ll do it in one:

Newly anointed with demon-fighting powers and suddenly able to hear the thoughts of her hilarious Jack Russell terrier, a preschool teacher finds a whole new world of dark and dangerous, including a sexy shape-shifting griffin she’s not entirely sure she can trust.

TADS is your debut novel, what was it like to get the news that you were going to be published?

It was a complete shock. I’d finished the manuscript on Thursday, sent it off and then “the call” came on Tuesday. An editor had taken it home with her over the weekend, read the whole thing and decided to buy it. So I basically went from figuring out the last chapter to having a book contract in less than a week.

Is TADS the first in a series, and can you give us any juicy tidbits of what we can expect in the future?

The second book in the series, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, is going to be released in April 2009. In it, the straight-laced Lizzie decides she’s going to learn everything about her powers, and at the same time, write the proverbial book on demon slaying. As you might have guessed – things don’t quite go according to plan.

Also, thanks to the influence of some local succubi, Dimitri (the hero) becomes darker – and sexier. We meet some unusual fairies. And (this is one of my favorite parts) one of the rough-and-tumble biker witches even manages to find love.

What type of books do you find yourself reading? Any favorite authors?

I read a lot of paranormals, both light and dark. Right now, I’m addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse series. I loved Undead and Unworthy (although Undead and Unwed will always be my favorite). I read Katie MacAlister, Tate Hallaway, Stephanie Rowe, Michelle Rowen, Lynsay Sands, Elizabeth Peters, Laurell K Hamilton, JR Ward. I just discovered Kathy Love’s “Young Brothers” books (yes, I’ve been buried under a rock). I’m blowing through those right now. That’s actually kind of fun to know I have the next three books already on my shelf. I also have Erin McCarthy’s vegas vampires, the latest Michele Bardsley and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series on my ever-growing TBR shelf. And I just read a really great cozy mystery by Rhys Bowen.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Out of my warped brain. Seriously, sometimes I’ll think of an idea or make a character do something and it seems pretty reasonable to me. Then someone will say, “How do you even think of that?” Whoops.

But I will tell you this – I’m a big believer in really thinking things through before starting a book. I can’t tell you how many decent ideas I rejected before saying, “What if you had this accidental demon slayer…” Because you have to be 100% invested and downright entertained by the book you’re writing. As a reader, I can always tell the authors that love what they’re writing. And those are the ones I buy.

Have you always wanted to be a writer and if so, did you always want to write paranormal?

I don’t know if I’ve always wanted to be a writer because I definitely went through the “veterinarian” stage as a kid, but I have always enjoyed writing. My degree is in journalism and I’ve worked as an advertising writer for more than ten years now.

I started off writing mysteries, because I love to read those too. But I was doing everything wrong. I’d outline, I’d write pages and pages of character notes, I’d force myself to do those little note cards. And I hate note cards. In retrospect, I was fighting my voice. I’d write these serious, research-heavy chapters and then sneak off to read the latest Stephanie Rowe book, or giggle through a few chapters of MaryJanice Davidson. It took a while for it to click and for me to realize that hmm…maybe I should write the kind of books I love to read.

I had this spark of an idea about a preschool teacher who is forced to run off with a gang of geriatric biker witches and The Accidental Demon Slayer was born. 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 grinned 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 I didn’t write one single note card.

Do you have writing ritual? Something you do to get ready for actually setting down to write or maybe something you do while you write that helps keep the creativity flowing?

Well, I write at a certain time every day and I think that helps keep me focused. I have two small kids and as soon as they go down for their afternoon naps, I whip out the laptop. I write in the same place – this green couch in the living room and I always have a Diet Coke on hand.

Are you a plotter or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

Both, actually. How’s that for an answer? *grins*

I’ve found that if I outline too much, my books lose the energy that is generated when a writer is discovering the book along with the reader. So, now, I figure out where the book is going in general terms, like we’re heading towards the huge scene in the werewolf cemetery, but I don’t know exactly how a scene will unfold until I write it.

What advice would you give to other writers out there wanting to be published?

The key for me is to have that certain time, every day, when I sit down and write. Sure, the laundry may be piling up and I should return my mom’s phone call, but not during writing time. Giving myself the space to create is important. My brain is trained to know when it’s writing time.

Also, 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.”

And just for fun FIVE SILLY QUESTIONS:

What’s your favorite color?

Hot pink

Is that a demon in your closet or are you just making it all up?

Yes, that is a demon in my closet and I’d really like to know why he’s trying on my shoes.

If you could have a night on the town with any three people, living or dead, who would choose and why?

Oh you know I should probably say something deep, but my first thought is that if I’m going out on the town, I want to have fun. So hop in the car: Chris Farley, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell. And Christopher Walken can drive. He can play Blue Oyster Cult and tell us when we need more cow bell.

Favorite drink? Why? (that doesn’t count as two questions, don’t ask me why, I don’t make the rules I just follow them)

During the day, it’s Diet Coke. If you’re talking alcoholic beverages, I love a nice, strong beer. There’s a local brewery, Schlafly, that has some amazing microbrews. I’m partial to their Pilsner.

Say Ed McMahon just showed up at your door with his posse, what would you do with the winnings?

Oh gosh. I have no idea. I’ve always wanted to own a really cool bookstore, so maybe I’d start there.

Take Care


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