Interview With Angela Smith
Susana: What inspired you to start writing?
Angela: Mostly, the fact I felt I was going to go crazy if I didn’t write. Too many voices in my head wouldn’t leave me alone. I checked out a ‘how-to-write’ novel in high school and saw my mom’s name on the checkout card (when checkout cards existed and nothing was digital). That was close after her death and later I learned she’d wanted to write. Made me realize I can’t put off my dream. I had a lot of inspiration as a child: an aunt who wrote poetry who helped inspire me, a grandmother who wanted to write, and lots of people to swap books to read. Reading books made me want to write even more.
Susana: How long have you been writing?
Angela: For most of my life, although I have been writing seriously for about thirteen years.
Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Angela: Don’t ever ever give up. Don’t doubt yourself. Never stop learning. And don’t always listen to the advice, i.e. like only writing what will sell. Write what it is in your heart because if you don’t love it, you can’t expect anyone else to love it.
Susana: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Angela: Yes. Usually, I’ll start reading a lot or go back over my scenes in editing mode and determine why I got the block. I usually only get writer’s block when I’m writing something my character doesn’t want me to write and I’m not letting them tell their story the way they want to. Or when I don’t really feel like writing but force myself to write. Sometimes I recognize I do need breaks, as long as I don’t take too many and too long.
Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?
Angela: The characters usually come first, although I will occasionally have a niggling of a plot idea. It’s a tiny idea that I can plant but that won’t grow until my characters are created.
Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Angela: I’m both, but it depends on the story. I’ll usually try to plot a bit before a story, and then pant my way through it until I stop and plot a bit more. Some stories get more plotting than others, and some I am more a pantser.
Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Angela: The hero, Chayton Chambers, discovers he has a half-sister. This creates some emotional conflict for him on many levels as he works through some issues with his past.
Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?
Angela: I’m finishing up my 3rd book in this particular (stand-alone) series and have started a new story that is kind of on the backburner at the moment while I finish this one.
Susana: What are you reading now?
Angela: I’m reading some books I received for review that have to do with marketing for authors. I just finished reading Divergent, but sadly I haven’t made much time for reading with all my edits going on.
Susana: What author or authors have most influenced your writing?
Angela: Several longtime romantic suspense authors who have been writing for years and I’ve read mostly everything they’ve written, including Sandra Brown, Karen Robards, and Lisa Gardner. I admire them for sticking around and continuing to publish well-written novels, and I have tried to learn from reading their work and many others.
Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?
Angela: I work full time, so unfortunately I have to write around my day job. I get up early and write but most of my writing is done in the evenings.
Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Angela: A published author.
Susana: What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?
Angela: Favorite food, huh? That’s a hard one. Since coffee isn’t a food, I’d probably choose avocado. I love avocado. Strangely enough, about 5 years ago I hated avocado! Or salad! I could almost eat salad at every meal. My least favorite would have to be liver. Yuck.
Susana: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
Angela: I published two romantic suspense novels about seven years ago under a pseudonym, but I gave writing up for a bit and the rights were reverted back to me. I let my career get in the way for way too long, but I hope to republish them soon.
Susana: Is there a writer you idolize? If so, who?
Sandra Brown. Her stories are awesome and I love how she creates these perfect imperfect characters. She’s such a nice, charming and talented person. I love how she writes one book a year (well as I writer I love it, as I reader I always wish there was more) and I look forward to every summer when I know her new release will be out.
Susana: What would we find under your bed?
Angela: A plastic container full of cards I’ve saved, two suitcases, a shotgun, and a container full of lingerie.
Susana: If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?
Angela: I’ve always wanted to visit a true Irish pub. Most of the other places I’d want to go, I’d just take a road trip because I hate to fly. I’d rather travel 24 hours in a car than get on a plane.
Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Angela: I love Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?
Angela: I have dallied in inspirational and YA, and maybe one day I will consider pursuing those. But for now, I stick with romantic suspense.
Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Angela: I’d like to re-publish the two stories I had published years ago, and I’d like to be on a bestseller list.
Susana: When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer
Angela: When I was 18 years old, I sat down and wrote a novel, submitted it to Harlequin and a few other people (it wasn’t near as easy to submit back then as it is now), but I gave up after a while. It was years later, between 2001-2002 when my husband and I were catching up on episodes of Smallville and I loved the romantic entanglements between those characters that I realized it was time for me to stop fighting and ignoring these voices in my head. It took another five years to complete and get published, and then like a fool I gave it up again. Needless to say, I have learned and grown so much and will never give it up again. Even working full time (at the same job!) I know now I will not let that stop me.
Susana: Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?
Angela: My call came via email, so I was sitting down at my computer to check email when I got the offer. My husband was the first to hear the good news.
Susana: Who gave you the writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
Angela: My aunt Billie, who isn’t a writer, told me to write and not give up on my dream and do not let what others might say or do stop me. I used to have a really hard time with that in my younger days. Not because I was afraid of what someone thought of me, but because of my career.
Susana: Describe the “perfect hero.” What about the “perfect hero” for you?
Angela: My husband is the perfect hero for me, of course, for many reasons. That being said, I’ll never forget the movie with Jason Statham (although I have forgotten the title) where he is running after a bad guy and this bad guy is being violent, pushing people down, etc, and Jason Statham grabs a woman before she falls, gently sets her on her feet, and continues his pursuit. I always thought that was so cool and it made me think of the characters I write. A man who will help someone, even if it does prevent him from getting to his goal. There are a lot of traits to heroes that isn’t just like what the world has made us believe. A hero doesn’t have to save the world. Small, everyday occurrences can make a hero out of someone.
Susana: What are favorite pastimes?
Angela: I have a lot of hobbies, including playing drums, gardening, hen-keeping, crafts, and just being outside. We love to travel and see new things, do wine tours, and Jeeping in the mountains. I’m not what you’d call an adventurer, (i.e. I wouldn’t sky-dive) but I do love do new things and visit new places.
Susana: What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Angela: My big adventures are on a smaller scale than most big adventures, especially my character’s adventures. I’d say climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica or Jeeping in Moab were my biggest adventures to date.
Susana: What is the one modern convenience you can’t do without?
Angela: Keurig Coffee. Although I do love the taste of campfire coffee, it takes too long to brew, and I love the taste and convenience of my Keurig!
Susana: Describe the ideal romantic evening.
Angela: The ideal romantic evening usually consists of my husband and me staying in at home. He would do all the cooking! A nice dinner and glass of wine, followed by conversation and even some game playing (no, not that kind, although I wouldn’t count that out, LOL). I don’t need a lot of fancy romance. I’m more of a simple girl. Although ideally, a surprise with thousands of candles and the perfect atmosphere and my husband going out of his way to plan something crazy isn’t a bad thought. Or a cozy cabin in the mountains with a fireplace and hot chocolate!
About 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.
Surprise flashed through his brain, but he narrowed his eyes before it had a chance to erupt on his face. He edged closer. In her heels, her nose usually touched his chin, but now the top of her head came under his chin. Her breath curled around his cheek, exerting an agitated pull on his hormones that left him shaky and hesitant. He camouflaged that hesitation with cockiness and confidence.
She inched her nose higher. He leaned down to look at her, his face a fingerbreadth from hers. “Maybe that’s your problem,” he grumbled. “Maybe you can’t get over the fact that I never tried to kiss you.”
He closed in on her, pinning her against the wall as he settled his hands on the wall near her head. She couldn’t move with him so near and he made a point to trap her.
He remained that way for several seconds, staring into blue eyes of defiance as they breathed in each other’s breath. His pulse hinged precariously close to plunging overboard and disrupting his steady poise, but for now he held on.
Then he kissed her. Hard. Briefly. Fervidly. Heat traversed from his toes, agitating his shaky thighs and roosting in his loins only to explode behind his eyes.
She deepened the kiss, a slight brush of her tongue against his. He held on another brief moment then dropped his hands and backed away before his point became futile. Swiping a hand across his mouth, he pinned her with a hard gaze. “Is that better?”
“I’m not here to ask your forgiveness.”
About the Author
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.
Angela Smith LOVES talking to readers. Here’s how you can contact her: