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Oh my goodness, where do I start with my introduction of this week's featured author? I met Angi back in the first critique group I joined eleven, twelve years ago. For a few years, I lost track of her as, well, you know, stuff happens. Then, in January I'm preparig for the release of my first book, Night Shadows (available at fine Internet book stores near you) when Echelon Press comes back with news about the acceptance of four of my short stories. A couple of days pass and one morning I realize I could be in trouble, because one story, Bar Scene, I collaborated with Angi to write. Finally, and fortunately, I managed to reestablish contact, and once again, we're involved in a weekly (well, we try for weekly, but you know, stuff happens) writers' group.
She's a romance novelist, a freelance writer, a freelance photographer and a freelance editor. She also write non-fiction and have many online articles published on topics as diverse as home improvement, ballroom dancing, fitness, marketing and research, computer programs and business associations. She provides SEO copy to industry-leading Web content providers.
So today, I hop in my transporter and pick up Angi, thinking we're going someplace warm on this cold November morning. But I forget that Angi is a take charge type of gal and, like so many in the past, she pushes me aside and assumes control and in a few seconds we're in Chicago, walking alongside Lake Michigan watching rush hour traffic while sipping Starbucks coffee. Well, she is. I opt for hot chocolate, because, hey, it's Chicago in November. Thanks, Ang.
1. Who is Angela Roe and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
My neighbors are intrigued by my being an author. They say it with such reverence that it makes me smile. They obviously have no idea what it means, the hours sitting in front of a computer, lost in a world of your own, oblivious to the real world taking place around you, much to the annoyance of your family and friends. If it didn’t result in a book, I’d be medicated for hearing voices in my head, but I call them characters so it’s okay!
2.Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think people would be surprised to find out I'm dyslexic. While it certainly has a huge impact on certain parts of my life, it doesn't impact my ability to read or write, thankfully. Mostly for me, it manifests itself with numbers, and reversing the order of things. So if you tell me to go to a specific street and turn left, I'll go to that street and turn right...nearly every time...it's annoying but you learn to live with it.
3. What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as becoming a NASCAR driver?
I don’t think I ever made the decision, I’ve been making up and telling stories my entire life, long before I could write them down, according to my parents. I made up stories to entertain myself during car trips and my mom referred to them as the movies in my head. Being a writer isn’t a career decision, at least not for me, it’s just who I am.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Oh wow, all of them! Nora Roberts comes to mind, I’d love to know how she got around the antiquated idea that you can only show one person’s thoughts or feelings in a scene…two people are there, I want to know what both are thinking and feeling…Andrew Greeley was probably one of the first authors I started to follow and I love how diverse his writing is. I think he is also responsible for my addiction…I mean my love of Chicago!
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
You’d be in terrific company with my characters. They’re fun, funny and find themselves in situations that most of us can relate to in one way or another. Their situations are exaggerated, but the feelings evoked are universal. Plus they’ve got a unique way of looking at things that will make you smile and make time fly.
6. Share the Roe process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
The Roe process…I like that…the truth is, there isn’t one!!! I typically find myself struck by a phrase or a line and the book develops from there. Once I hear it, the characters are pretty much full-blown in my head and clamoring at me to tell their story. I sit down to write with no more idea of what is going to happen than you have when you pick up the book to read it.
I make up my worlds, I set it in a general location but the specific city is fiction. It’s easier that way, otherwise I’m sure to mess up the streets and have them going the wrong direction and tick people off.
I write all day. I try to promote my books in the morning until around 9 or 10am and then I write afterward. I write until I have to stop to do something like laundry, or mow the lawn or make dinner. After dinner, I spend time on various social networks and then I read for about an hour before bed.
Editing stinks and I hate it so I tend to do it based on the reviews I get during critique group on Sunday night, and other than that, I leave it until the book is completely finished. Then I usually give it to someone I trust to read and give me feedback. If I agree with the feedback, I make the changes. Then I do two final edits, one strictly for content and one strictly for grammar and spelling. Once that’s done, I give it to my husband and he reads it and points out all the mistakes I missed.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Write it down. Forget about editing and spelling and all that stuff, just write it down. If you find yourself at a point where you need more information…say your character picks up a gun and you need to know more about guns, make a note (research guns) and go on with the story. The most important thing a writer can do is write so my advice remains to write it down.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
That’s fun, isn’t it? I can totally relate to the ones that say things like…”My doctor says I have ADHD but I think he just doesn’t get me…oh look, a squirrel!” I think my philosophy is to have fun. Yes, there are things we have to do that aren’t fun, but we can add fun to them. I listen to audio books while I clean my house, for example. I hate the housework but I love the books and it keeps me occupied while I mindlessly scrub the bathtub. So add fun to your life. You’ll enjoy it more and so will the people around you!
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
Good gravy, no. I can’t, really, the voices won’t leave me alone. I am currently working on book number two to the Walkers Ridge Romance series and the basics for books three and four are in place. I also have multiple works in process that I’m working on and I have an on-going series called “Carried Away” that I add a small volume to each month. So not writing isn’t something I’ll ever entertain!
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
Visit my website, www.angelakroe.com and you’ll see everything from my books that are available to my blog site. There are links there that’ll take visitors to sites where they can download samples and purchase my books and they’ll be able to contact me through that site as well.
Thanks for taking the time to interview me, I appreciate it. I’m a huge fan of your work, as you know, and I consider it an honor to be here.
Following are a list of Angela's books and stories. She's a prolific writer with more material to come. Keep visiting her website and she always appreciates feedback on her books. However...if you want to stay off her S-list, do NOT say her stories are cute.
This Montana Man
Caroline Edwards takes a year's lease on a run-down farmhouse in the middle of Montana. She needs the solitude to complete her newest novel. Jamie Overton isn't pleased that his mother rented out the old house and thinks it should be torn down. When he meets Caroline, he's convinced this city girl is out of her element. Will those sparks grow stronger when Caroline's ex puts in an appearance?
A touching tale of the transition from one life to another.
Each of these stories will give you the creeps, sending shivers up your spine for entirely different reasons. Keep your kids close and leave the lights on tonight.
It Was Snowing
Walk along side this couple as they find themselves the unwilling subjects of a snapshot depicting a painful and life-changing moment
Come ride the rails with me as we get to learn a little about the lives of our fellow train passengers. You may notice a few things about this train. It’s bigger and comprised of private compartments of various sizes, most which come with their own bathrooms. Consider this twist literary license. Some of my characters are quite insistent upon their right to privacy.