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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Author Interview: Heidi Angell

Today I am pleased to present to you all the 57th in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the assertive, and definitely-not-a-witch, Heidi Angell and our conversation went something like this:

Paul:  I like to start my interviews by asking if you have any writing rituals?
Heidi:  Um, not rituals really… but there are some different tricks I use to get me motivated. My favorite is coffee! It is the closest to a ritual. Sometimes I need to stop and imagine the next scene before I write it. I’ll either do a menial task (like cleaning house) or if it is a short scene, I’ll play a round of Solitaire.  Everything else is up in the air. I write at different times, in different places; sometimes in a notebook, sometimes on a laptop, and sometimes on my PC. Variety is the spice of life!

Paul:  If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Heidi:  Organized chaos! I’m a very eclectic writer, and I try different styles of writing and planning, etc. with each story. Also, I think I might be a multi-tasking junkie… (shhh, don’t tell anyone). I can’t work on just one project at any given time. My kids come by their ADHD honestly!

Paul:  How do you find the time to write?
Heidi:  I make it. I tried forcing myself to take an hour or two a day, but I really prefer to write in bulk sessions. One day a week is devoted to writing. I’ll jot down ideas while sitting in the car line, or while waiting for my son to finish piano. But I commit one day a week to no internet, no calls, nothing but writing (and the occasional cleaning).

Paul:  What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Heidi:  That is a loaded question! Um…. A lot of people think I am a bitch (I don’t know if I can say that here!). I am a very assertive person (bordering on aggressive… maybe) and go after what I want and what I love. I tend to be no-nonsense and when I am not paying attention to the way I present, sometimes I come across as pushy or… ahem… mean? It is something that I am painfully aware of and that I make great pains to overcompensate for. No one wants people to think you are a witch.

Paul:  Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Heidi:  Remember that organized chaos thing? It really just depends on the story. I think that every story I have ever written, I had at least a clear road map in my head before I started. Sometimes the characters and I took detours. Other stories, I have written out whole character lists, details about scenes, a whole story chart… it got a little bit obsessive! But it was good, because that one is becoming a series, so all that work was not in vain.

Paul:  What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it.
Heidi:  The Hunters follows Chris Smith, whose hometown is invaded by vampires. He and his friends fight back.

Enter Fury and Havoc. They call themselves Hunters, and want no part in this little band of heroes. Now that the vampires know the Hunters are here, and that Chris and his friends have helped them, the group is in even more danger. Lucas, Chris’s brother, is torn between protecting his family from the vampires, and protecting them from Fury and Havoc. After all, what could be so powerful as to scare a vampire? It was released on January, 10th, 2013, through Soul Star Multimedia.

Paul:  What inspired you to write this book?
Heidi:  It was sort of a backlash against the new crop of books that don’t seem to realize that vampires should be killed, not kissed. Then it grew into my own crazy Urban Fantasy universe with all sorts of exciting non-humans coming into play, and plans for all sorts of great books. I promise I won’t go completely overboard like some authors who include every mythical being known to man and then some…. Well, unless I pull it off classy like Supernatural managed to do!

Paul:  Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Heidi:  Oh sure, I am an incredibly eclectic writer! You can see some of my work on display on my website and I have other stuff on ( I’m always writing something!

Paul:  Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
Heidi:  Never say never! Though, I have quite a few that will need a lot of work before they get to come out and play. I have been writing since I was seven years old, after all!

Paul:  Do you enter competitions? Are there any you could recommend?
Heidi:  I’m always looking for a fun writing competition. I recently participated in America’s Next Author, with an excerpt from The Hunters. Figment has lots of fun competitions, and I’m always looking for new ones. I never enter anything that asks me to pay, though. I don’t care about a cash award at the end of a competition; I just want somewhere where others will read my work. Yeah, I’m one of those “I’d rather be famous, than rich” people!

Paul:  How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Heidi:  I’m constantly in marketing mode (Except when I shut the entire world off to write!). I probably average 30-40 hours a week in marketing and promoting. Most of that is making connections, sharing other people’s work, building a reputation, blogging, and doing interviews. Any time an opportunity comes up, I take it. I love Goodreads. 90% of my comments have nothing to do with my own books, but they are about building my reputation. When someone sees a post about my own book, they might be more willing to pick it up.

Paul:  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Heidi:  I love to read, though lately I have been reading a lot of stuff that hasn’t been published yet! I spend time with my family going hiking, camping, or to the park; we are a big scouting family. I love watching movies, TV shows and anime. We do a lot of remodeling and crafting projects as a family. I’m also working with another author to put together an indie publishing house, Soul Star Multimedia; that will be run by authors, for authors! The Hunters is being published there and we recently opened up submissions to find our next project!

Paul:  Many thanks for the interview, Heidi. I wish you every success for the future.

About Heidi Angell: Heidi Angell is a mom, wife and active volunteer in Cub Scouts and her community. She has been passionate about writing since she "published" her first book in her first-grade class! The Hunters is her latest publication, but she has written thousands of short stories, plays, books and poems. Her first published e-book is Creative Exercises to Inspire and she has published a children's picture book Royal Prince Vince.

Heidi's Blog: An Angells Life
Heidi on Twitter: @HeidiAngell
Heidi on Facebook: Heidi Angell
Heidi's latest book: The Hunters (Amazon)

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