Author Interview: Angi Black



Hello sweet readers!

Today I am BEYOND EXCITED to have with me the lovely, brilliant, amazing Angi Black, (Twitter, Blog) who is not only a great friend, but an awesome CP. And to be completely honest, I can't even remember how we met, but I know it was on Twitter. Thank goodness for Twitter.

Angi writes NA and Adult romance, which a lot of my blog followers may or may not read... so I'm not sure how beneficial this is for Angi in the end, but hey... it should be fun anyway ;-)

Any excuse to talk to my Darci is a win in my book. :) 

Did I mention she's great for my ego? But, I digress. Let me also introduce you to two amazing guests who have agreed to sit in and give their thoughts on the interview, Ian Somerhalder:

IS: Hi :)
And Jared Padaleki:

JP: WAAAAHHH! Bring it on.

Oookaaaay... Angi, tell us: how long have you been writing, and what made you start?

I've been writing as long as I can remember. I've always had a notebook and pen. Actually, I prefer a pencil. I like the way the lead feels on the paper. I also like to type better with painted nails. I just enjoy the way it looks on the keys. You're probably really regretting this interview now. 

Haha! Not at all. Please go on :)

I started because I love words and from a young age I've imagined characters and how they talk and interact with each other. Sometimes there wasn't a story, just talking. But they all had something to say. So I wrote it down. 

IS: Now *that* is the way to do it.

JP: That's a rather... obvious statement, Ian...
Boys... Angi, tell us a little bit about your amazing soon-to-be-self-published-by-your-alias NA Contemporary Romance?

It's called CHARCOAL AND HOT CHOCOLATE. it's about two college students who have very pretty outsides but awkward, shy insides. And in each other they find not only a kindred spirit, but also the courage to be okay with just being themselves. Plus kisses. And stuff. :) Oh, it also takes place at my Alma Mater MSU in Springfield, Missouri, which used to SMSU but the dropped the Southwest because... reasons. 

JP: REASONS. I totally get reasons.

I: I wish I could believe you.
Okay, if you two can't behave, I'm going to separate you. This is about ANGI, not your testosterone-riddled-competition. NOW, Angi, what's been the biggest help to you so far in getting your book into readers' hands? The biggest struggle?

The biggest help is my amazing writer family on Twitter and going to RT Convention. Without the wonderful people, like yourself, I've met on Twitter I would still be kicking around my first novel sending really bad queries to agents I really admire. And going to RT really opened my eyes to lots of things I hadn't even thought of before, like what kind of swag do I buy? Or like oh crap, I need swag! Or - does my name badge really need to say author??? You know, brain busters like these. 

The biggest struggle for me is saying - hey, read my book and please love it. I'll be in the corner crying and not being creepy in any way while you finish. It is so hard to put yourself out there. Which is crazy, because that's what we're all working for, right? But I mean - scary! I'm so terrified of bad reviews that I know will be coming I practically talk myself out of it everyday. But no. I can do this. I have the most amazing group of people in my corner. It's going to be hard to fail. 
Which is also scary. 

JP: No matter what it takes.
We're all in your corner, Ang.
You can do this.
IS: Hmm. Something we agree on. * smooths Angi's hair*
*swoons*

IAN. No touching during the interview. Stop it.

IS: Sorry.

JP: *glares*

Angi, are you working on anything else while your book gets ready?

Hahahahahaa. Me? Write a new shiny? I might be. I've been kicking around a few ideas and plan to write three first drafts this summer. A baseball book, one about a teacher and I'll be expanding my short I wrote for J. Hewitt's brainchild World's End. 

Boys: *fidgeting*

I happen to know you have a husband and three kids as well as a job and a ton of volunteer goings on, so how do you balance writing with all that?

Two words - ice cream. No seriously, one word - discipline. I have a planner and I write everything in it. And not only because I'm mildly OCD. I even write my meals in there just so I make sure I cross something off each day. I write at least 1000 words a day. I may have to throw them all out, but at least I did it. For everything else, my life is managed down to the minute most days, and I rarely ever get everything done. And honestly, it's usually the shower or the workout that go by the wayside. But volunteering is important to me. I want to make a difference, and I don't mean by being famous or someone remembering my name. I want to make a difference in the kids' lives I work with. If I can teach twenty kids the importance of recycling and they each share that knowledge with four friends and then with their future families, in a couple decades, that is impact. That's the kind of mark I want to leave. If they can reach their dreams because of my belief in them, that's the perfect immortality I'm looking for. 

I make time for my kids and their interests and yes, I teach dance and theater. Plus - as you said, wife - and he's pretty high-maintenance. So yeah, my house is usually a wreck and I always feel behind, but what's a little dust when I have words to write? 

But no matter what, I never skip the writing. It's a priority. It's not a hobby. It's important and therefore it comes before other things. It has to, or it won't happen. 

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How has your life affected your writing? (Vague question, take it however you want.)

A piece of me is in every character I write. Even if I don't mean for it to be. And maybe it's a part of me that I only wish existed or maybe that character says the things I wish I could say, but it's there, nonetheless. The thing I've been most surprised by are the recurring themes in my work. Things that I felt I had locked away or had no impact or maybe weren't so important always seem to rise to the top of my work and smack me on the head like Gibbs to DiNozzo. 

It's been a learning curve for me to really show me who I am. I've learned more about myself through writing my books than I have in anything else I've ever done. And I love it. I can't wait to see what I'll learn next. 

Favorite Harry Potter Character?

That's the hardest question yet! But I have to say Luna. I love that she knows people don't get her or always accept her and she just shrugs and has pudding. I adore that kind of strength. Plus, she's the best friend anyone could ask for and she's so pleasantly quirky. So, not so hard after all, Luna. 

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IS: Um... who's Harry Potter?

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JP: Are you... wait, are you serious?
Music while writing?

Music is my life force. I. love. Music. I have a different playlist for each book I write. I create it at the time I get the idea. Sometimes a song gives me the idea. So my music is always tailored to the story. But I do have a handful of go-to albums as well. I love Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, The Complete Works of Glenn Miller and the Spring Awakening Soundtrack. If I get stuck I listen to Zeppelin or Coltrane. They always seem to pull me out of a funk. Currently I'm stuck on The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Delicious. 

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JP: Ah, Gatsby. All the feels.

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IS: Don't pretend like you know what you're talking about, Padaleki.
It doesn't suit you.

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JP: I'm sorry, what?
ANGI!!! Snacks? Drinks? And how do you eat an Oreo?

*looks around nervously*
Snacks - I love almonds and mixed nuts. Also, chips and hot sauce. I mean HOT sauce. he kind that makes me sweat. As far as sweet snacks, I like miniature candies and candy bars because I never eat a whole one - except Reese's peanut butter cups. OMG. I love them so. And now my mouth is watering. So thanks for that. 

Drinks - Daytime drinks include COFFEE. It's my sustaining force besides music. And I love water and tea. But at night, I'm a huge fan of the vino and of course, the bourbon. Southern writer - did you expect something else?? 

I eat an Oreo by pulling it apart and licking the creme out. Occasionally I eat the cookie. Not always. When I was little my grandpa used to let me lick the creme out then he would take the cookie - the one I had licked - dunk it in coffee and eat it. That my friends is true love. It skeeves me to this day. I don't even let my kids touch my food and I've never been that mom that finished their leftovers or shares a spoon, because ewww. But my Gramps would let me have the good part and eat the cookie with no complaints. Man, I miss him. 

All: *Awwww*

That's such a sweet memory, Ang. I know how you feel. *hugs*

JP: Um... *reaches for hug*

NO TOUCHING.

JP: Sorry.

IS: *smirks*

Okay, last question. What advice would you give to our fellow writers out there, whether beginning, querying or otherwise?

My advice is don't give up and remember - you're in for a long ride. Get comfortable shoes because the journey is long. Write and revise and edit and then do that again. When you get a deal - keep writing. Write, write, write. Ninety percent of what you write will go and be replaced by something greater. But it has to be written to fix in the first place. 

Also - get yourself amazing CP's who understand your work and don't try to make it into theirs. You need people to believe in you and push you along when you're stuck. Without them, you'll just float along in space.

Thank you SO MUCH Angi for being here, and thank you boys... kind of... for behaving well enough, I suppose.

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Oh dear.

*swoons more*

This is getting out of hand... wait, what the --

Jensen Ackles: PIE!

*rolls eyes* We're done here.

Readers, Angi is awesome and you should all go follow her and her secret identity
*Just look up CHARCOAL AND HOT CHOCOLATE on Goodreads ;-) *
Thanks again Angi!

-DC

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