Hey, Everybody! I got lucky enough that a favorite author of mine agreed to be interviewed for this week’s FoF post. Welcome Angie Fox, New York Times Bestselling author of The Accidental Demon Slayer series. Angie’s also got a hot new title coming out in 2013 called Immortally Embraced. If you click on the photo above, you’ll be whisked to a sneak preview of chapter one.
Thanks so much, Angie, for answering my questions. I hope you all enjoy the interview as much as I did.
Can you tell me a little bit about the books you’ve published (and have forthcoming, like Immortally Yours)? Sure. I write the Accidental Demon Slayer series, about a preschool teacher who finds out she’s a demon slayer. She has to run off with her grandma’s gang of biker witches in order to learn the ropes, so to speak. As you can guess, there is a lot of humor that series.
I’m also getting ready to launch a brand new series about a group of paranormal MASH surgeons. Think of the TV show M*A*S*H, only with a paranormal twist. The heroine is a thoracic surgeon. She has a hidden ability that she uses to save lives, but it also gets her in a lot of trouble. The first book, Immortally Yours, comes out from St. Martin’s Press this month.
What is your writing process like?I wish it were classy, but here goes: pour a Diet Coke with lots of ice. Open manuscript. Decide I need Triscuits and Laughing Cow cheese in order to be creative. Read and tweak work from the day before. Get more Diet Coke and perhaps a few more Triscuits – who needs to count calories when the fate of the world is at stake? Write like a mad woman for about two or three hours.I’m not one of those writers who can just turn it on and off. I have to ease into the story and get a feel for what needs to happen next. I know I’m on the right track when things start happening that surprise even me – like when dogs start talking, my demon slayer is attacked by Frozen Underwear spells or when her sexy griffin boyfriend decides to take things into his own hands. I really like it when that happens.
Have you ever disliked a piece of your writing?All the time. It’s a normal process of honing those early drafts. It’s funny because I always forget about that part until I’m going through it. I’ll call up my critique partner and start telling her how whatever I’m working on at that moment doesn’t compare to my other published work. She’ll gently remind me that it is a draft and that you can’t expect and early draft to look like a finished, polished book. I know that. I do. But it is so easy to forget while trying to get words onto the page. And for the record, when my critique partner calls me with the same issue, I get to say it back. We’re both multi-published and it never changes.
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?Make the story big. I had an agent tell me that if I wanted to sell, 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 The Accidental Demon Slayer was big enough 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.”
How did you know you were meant to be a writer? I don’t know if there was ever one moment when I thought I was meant to be a writer. I’ve just always loved books. As a reader, I can go through three to five books a week. Somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted to try writing one of my own. Seven years (and a lot of unpublished manuscripts) later, I made my first sale.
How do you deal with bad reviews?I keep in mind something I heard long ago at a writer’s conference, before I was even published: Books are like ice cream. Not everybody is going to like the same flavor. You may make the best Rocky Road out there, but if someone doesn’t like that flavor, you’re not going to please them. That’s okay. You don’t need to please everyone. The people who like what you do and love how you do it will appreciate your work.
And if a bad review still bugs me, I’ll go onto Amazon.com and check out reviews for some of my favorite books – books that gripped me and amazed me. Books I loved. Then I read the one-star reviews from people who hated those books. And I figure if writers I admire, writers I’d like to be, people like Anne Rice, Agatha Christie and Charlaine Harris can’t please everyone all the time, why should I expect it?
Can you give me some of your favorite book titles? And why are those your favorites? I’m one of those people who always has a book on hand. Right now, I’m addicted to the Southern Vampires series by Charlaine Harris. I like Jim Butcher’s Dresden series about a modern-day wizard. I’d also recommend the Amelia Peabody mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. It follows a family of British Egyptologists in the late 1800’s. The excavations are as interesting as the mysteries. I also enjoy single title books by authors like Philippa Gregory (loved The Virgin’s Lover especially), Barbara Michaels (a favorite is Greygallows) and Agatha Christie (my favorite is They Came to Baghdad). And I skipped class for an entire week in college to read Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire series straight through.
Can you share an exclusive sneak-peek of Immortally Yours with our readers here? Sure. You can check out the first chapter of the new book at my website: www.angiefox.com.
I hoped you enjoyed her answers as much as I did! See you next time.