Angelina, Thank you for being on Author Interview Friday on Wiring Under Fire. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?
I knew since I was a kid. I was always writing short stories or poems. By the time I went to college, I decided to major in business. I didn’t start being serious about writing until a couple of years ago. I was tired of people telling me I should write a book. I started thinking maybe they were right!
Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?
When I was in high school, my mom sent me to the University of Massachusetts for a summer writing camp. That didn’t help me focus on writing. Maybe if there was a cute teacher?
How long did it take you to publish your fist manuscript?
It was about a year. I had the idea for a long time but I didn’t know how to put it all together. I gave it to some friends and family members and then my editor. It takes a village to write a book!
Do you always write in the same genre?
No. I have a very short attention span. I get bored very easily. I like all different types of genres. In fact, my follow-up book to this one is not as humorous or romantic, it is more fiction than anything else. My main character is in rehab – I mean, really, how funny can that be?
Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on if it were in a bricks and mortar bookstore?
I really wanted it marketed as humor but it was ultimately decided it would be put in romance. I thought that would limit the audience but men are buying it, too!
Are you published through a traditional publishing house? If yes, how did you find your agent and publisher?
I was published through a small publishing company. I am related to the publisher. And, I just want to go on the record that I think nepotism is wrong – unless it helps me get my book published, then I’m okay with it. Let me just add that someone isn’t going to stake their reputation on a crappy novel. It’s good and getting good reviews! Nepotism only gets you so far!
I obviously would recommend my publisher. But, you would have to follow in my footsteps – that is use the same editor, etc. You have to trust someone who knows what they’re doing – especially for the first-time writer.
Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories?
My first novel was in the first person, but the follow-up (Mark Taylor’s Checkered Past) is in the third person because I am writing from his perspective and I obviously don’t exactly know how a guy thinks!
Authors and publishers are always talking about finding your “Voice”. Exactly what does that mean to you and how did you find yours?
The voice in my first novel is opinonated and sarcastic. She eerily resembles my real personality. I think you’re supposed to write what you know – I know sarcasm. It’s a gift!
Do you follow a structure pattern such as staying in chronological order, or alternating points in time or different POV’s
My opening scene starts in current time and then I go back seven years to show you how she wound up in the situation she was in…I think it’s okay to bounce around, as long as it’s not confusing for the reader.
What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?
For me, it was the chronology. I had written the beginning, middle and end. I just had to figure out how to advance my story forward and have it make sense to the reader. Again, that was why an editor was so critical for me. She let me know, very bluntly in fact, when the story needed to be more concise.
It is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?
Social media is a good way to get your message out. I also like the fact that newspapers will advertise book signings for free. I still think “word of mouth” is the best way to advertise.
What advice would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?
Have other people read it and make sure that you hire an editor. And, don’t get insulted when people critique your work. Be open to some constructive criticism.
When will your next book be out?
I am finishing “Mark Taylor’s Checkered Past” now. I hope to have it in editing in February. The last novel in the series will be out shortly after that. I am about halfway done with that one. And, that one will be funnier than Mark Taylor’s novel because now my characters have moved to Miami to reign chaos on the city.
What is the premise of your novel we are promoting today?
The Lottery Heiress is a story about Megan Pagano, and woman who just graduated from college. She gets the perfect job and perfect man but when a tragic accident takes everything away and leaves her with millions, her life spirals out of control. Just when she gets her act together, a handsome movie star, named Mark Taylor comes to town to shoot a movie. The question is: Will she be able to resist his charm or will she fall back into the same reckless lifestyle? I know it doesn’t sound funny, but it is!
Where can readers buy your book?
It’s also available on the web at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and even eBay but I tell everyone to buy it through amazon for the best price.
Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to wet out appetite?
The Lottery Heiress
I was already having a bad day. Instead of drinking like usual, I decided to go shopping. I went to Bloomingdale’s and Saks, because that’s where my peeps go. Did I need to be driving a $200,000 car to an outlet mall? Probably not, but that car makes me feel pretty. After I had dropped a few grand on more stuff I didn’t need, I felt like it was time to go.
As I walked to my car, I did what I always do when I drive myself anywhere – I scanned the parking lot for potential threats and saw none. I unlocked the seat then threw my small packages on the passenger seat. I sat down and looked around the parking lot one more time and checked myself out in the rear-view mirror.
It was the end of the day with the sun setting in the pink sky. I decided to go topless – not like college, I meant my convertible. My body stuck to the leather seats as I put my key in the ignition and started the car. Before I knew it, a man came up to the driver’s side window and stuck a gun in my face.
*If you like this, you can go to amazon.com and read the whole first chapter for free!