Let’s give a warm welcome to Angela Quarles to Limelight
1. Please tell us the name of your book. Beer and Groping in Las Vegas
2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I don’t know if it’s something I “knew” — I remember writing an historical short story in grade school for a DAR contest and winning. I remember how much fun it was to research and write a story set in the past. It took place during the American Revolution (of course, since it was for the DAR) in Boston and featured a little boy and all I really remember was the historical details I enjoyed putting in it. But it wasn’t something I consciously thought of as something I could do. I was a huge reader and enjoyed other people’s writing and I think I just assumed I couldn’t do it skill-wise.
3. How long have you been writing? I dabbled in fan fiction (Jane Austen) in 2005 & 2006, but didn’t really set out to write a novel until 2008. I completed my first novel in 2009, which is currently trunked
4. Are you self-published? No. My first release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, which came out yesterday, is published by Secret Cravings Publishing. And the first novel for which I sought representation is my time travel romance, MUST LOVE BREECHES, and I recently found an agent for it.
5. What has been the most difficult part about being a writer? Pushing past fear of failure. Can’t get anywhere without getting past that.
6. Who are the authors who inspire you? Jane Austen, Umberto Eco, Christopher Moore, Kevin Hearne, Anne Rice.
7. Do you outline your story before you write, or do you wing it? Actually neither. I’m a cross between a plotter and a pantser. I try to brainstorm a premise and then try to come up with the characters. I feel most comfortable when I know what they want, why they want it, what opposes them and what in their background is going to mess things up for them. I then try to come up with the major turning points and any scene ideas. I don’t outline, though. If it’s an historical, I’ll read some non-fiction books during the brainstorming phase.
8. Do you begin writing your scenes as dialog or plot? I don’t know that it’s one or the other. I have an idea what the scene should accomplish and sometimes it could start with dialogue, but I guess generally it starts with describing action, some kind of hook to pull the reader into the scene, in case the previous scene didn’t do it’s job of making them want to keep reading. This is something I fiddle with a lot during revisions as I want to make sure the hook is strong.
9. Tell us more about the universe in which your book is set? Most of it takes place in a fictional hotel on the Vegas strip in today’s time period. The heroine is stranded there after her convention ends, and the one now taking place around her is a sci-fi convention. She doesn’t realize it, but she accidentally makes a wish to a djinn (genie) to have hot sex with the man of her dreams that night, and is surprised later to find the wish granted.
10. Who are your favorite characters in the book? Why? Definitely the hero! I’ll admit to a little wish fulfillment with this one. Would love to meet a guy like this in real life He’s good looking, funny, considerate and a bit of a geek. And he owns a microbrewery.
11. Describe the book’s theme? Readers might find other themes in it, but for me, the theme was learning to live in the moment and be your true and honest self.
12. How did you come up with the idea for your book? I work in a bookstore and was trying to think of possible titles for a new project (but one I didn’t have a premise for yet), and was shelving some Hunter S. Thompson, and I was like hmm, what could be a twist off of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and first I was like Beer and Loathing, but I write lighthearted romances, and then ‘groping’ popped into my head. In the next instant I had the hero, as I thought he should be a microbrewer, and that the heroine would be an overworked software programmer. Once I had that, things started falling into place, including the description for him of being a geek trapped in a good ole boy’s body. I had that tagline for him before I even started writing the story. It was the first time I came up with a title first.
13. What is next on your agenda? Brainstorming and pre-plotting the sequel to my time travel romance MUST LOVE BREECHES.
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