Monday, March 17, 2014
During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read Brer Rabbit to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before actually learning to read. She’s always enjoyed stories about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed her love of suspense. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys creating, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.
I asked Angela some questions about herself and her writing.
What made you decide to write romantic suspense?
I’ve always loved reading romantic suspense, and I’ve always known I had to write to shut up the voices in my head. I had already been writing romance (unpublished) when I started working at a prosecutor’s office and once there, I knew suspense was what had been missing. (Too bad it took me another ten years or so to pursue publication!)
Did you do research for your books? If so, what kind?
Absolutely! I do all kinds of research for my books throughout the entire writing process. I read a lot of books on topic that relate to my book as well as search the internet for anything that might help in my research. I’ll ask questions and read blogs on topics. And when I can’t go where I want to write about, Google Earth is my friend! I recently contacted a police department in another state for information I needed and they were very helpful. Learning new things through my research is one of my favorite parts of writing.
Who is your favorite character and why?
A favorite character I wrote about would be like picking a favorite child. I can’t do it. I have certain characters that won’t leave me alone, but those are usually characters I haven’t completed stories on. I could pick a favorite one for a particular subject, but not overall.
How long does it take you to write a book? How much revision do you do? Any tips for other authors working on romantic suspense?
I typically plan to write one book a year, and my revision process is grueling because my first draft is like a puzzle. The three books I have now (one still in the works, but all part of my Slopeside series) took five years from start to finish, but they were finished long before I did anything with them and that’s when I was letting other things get too much in the way. Although I’d love to write and publish three to four a year, I have to be realistic with my schedule and other demands. And I always remind myself that Sandra Brown, my favorite author, only writes one a year. And she doesn’t have another job full time! So that always makes me feel better. My biggest tip for authors of any genre is to write what you enjoy reading, and don’t be afraid to write bad on the first draft. Keep writing and don’t give up, and learn everything you can.
How did you find your publisher? What made you decide to publish this way?
A lot of research. I decided to go with a smaller press because they don’t require an agent and I love the fact my book won’t take years to get published once I sign with them. I also love that Crimson Romance is a part of Adam’s Media, a well-established publisher that has been around a long time. Going with a smaller press has a lot of huge advantages, and I’ve been very happy with them.
What sort of writing schedule do you have?
I have a full time job, so my writing schedule revolves around my work. I usually try to get up early enough to write in the morning and I write most evenings. I usually try to write a few weekends a month, but not every weekend. I do miss weekdays, though, but have learned not to beat myself up.
Anything you'd like to add about your books?
Fatal Snag is the second in a stand-alone series set on the ski slopes of Montana, featuring the brother of the hero in my first story, Burn on the Western Slope. Along with the romantic suspense, there’s a lot of adventure, even some history and learning tidbits (i.e. Chayton discovers his mother is Native American living on a reservation). Although I’ve always called my stories mindless entertainment that won’t change the world (to my non-romance reader friends), I always try to add some depth in the form of setting, character development, and many unusual ways, including topics that interest me. For instance, Winona, who you’ll meet in Fatal Snag and who has her own story coming out, volunteers at an animal shelter. And I’m a huge animal lover. And I’ve always been infatuated with Native American history. So I tend to add tidbits in my stories about things that interest me.
Blurb for Fatal Snag
Hollywood fashion consultant Naomi Fisher is happy to use her obsessive-compulsive planning to assist with her cousin's wedding, but her history with the sexy and sullen Chayton Chambers, the groom’s brother, terrifies her. When the groom is kidnapped at his own wedding, Chayton and Naomi rush to find an important relic to satisfy the ransom before her cousin becomes a widow before a bride. Naomi trades garters for guns as survival, and love becomes a deadly game impossible to resist.
Information about the book:
Title: Fatal Snag
Author: Angela Smith
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 17 March 2014
Crimson Romance: http://goo.gl/84nFbt