Monday, September 9, 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Angela Parson Myers

Find out where Angela prefers writing and why she "loves" revisions. Also, you might be interested in knowing how she works her time around her husband. It will make you smile.

1. Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?


Angela Myers
My story really goes back to my birth. Honest. I was born the day my father was inducted into the Army Air Corps, and six weeks old when my mother took me to join him at the base where he was in training. I spent the first two years of my life on trains or in tiny living quarters near bases. The only thing that kept me quiet was reading to me. Anything. Sears catalog. Nursery rhymes. Didn’t matter. As I got older, I memorized my books and “read” them to my parents and uncles. When I finally started school and learned to really read, I read everything I could get my hands on. My parents had to be very careful what they left lying around.
 
Oddly, I still didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until my junior year in high school when I finally admitted I wasn’t cut out to be a physicist. I took journalism in college and became a newspaper feature writer for several years, then later a writer/editor specializing in employee communication for a Fortune 500 corporation. When I retired, I pulled out the first draft of a novel I’d been working on for quite some time and did a “final” edit. After another couple of final edits, I had my urban fantasy. When the Moon Is Gibbous and Waxing, was published by Etopia Press as an e-book and early this spring also as a paperback.
 

2. How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or do you prefer writing freehand?

I usually write stretched out on a chaise lounge in my living room. The first draft of my novel was written in longhand, but now I usually write on my laptop.
    
3. What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Oddly, I really love revisions—doing the polishing. My least favorite part is that first draft, when every scene seems like a tooth being pulled.

4. How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

Usually I start with a vague idea—often from a dream. The first scene of Gibbous Moon, for example, started as a nightmare.  But nothing else happens until I have the name of the main character. They eventually kind of walk up to me in my head and say things like, “Hi! You know that girl who was attacked in the parking lot? That’s me. My name is Natalie, and I want you to tell my story.” Michael did the same thing. He was supposed to be a police officer with only a walk on part. I tried to write him out after that, and he refused to leave. “I kind of like that girl. I want to get to know her better,” he said. They aren’t always that forthcoming though. When they quit talking to me, I have writer’s block. I think they’re interesting people though, and I hope readers do, too.

5. What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I’ve done contests, interviews, speeches, Facebook ads, and I have a Facebook author’s page. I’ve posted samples of my writing to my blog at http://www.angelaparsonmyers.blogspot.com and I’ve appeared as a guest on others’ blogs. I go to writers’ and readers’ conventions. I’m a Goodreads author.

6. How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I have the good fortune to be married to a man whose schedule is out of sinc with mine. He’s an early riser, then poops out mid-afternoon. When he goes down for a nap, I start writing. It’s a little like scheduling around a baby except that if I’m on a roll when he wakes up, I can tell him to be quiet while I keep writing.

7. What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I started a sequel to Gibbous Moon and got about 7,000 words into it. Then I had a dream that just had to be turned into a sweet romance novelette. I’m nearly finished with the first draft, then I’ll go back to the sequel. When I finish it, I have another sequel started and a fourth partially outlined.

8. Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have the first draft of one of a trilogy of dystopian science fiction novelettes in my files and the second novelette started. It’s about a government project that involves people with paranormal abilities. I also have another far future SF novel about galactic colonization partially outlined.

9. What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
   
What was that I saw on Facebook the other day? “More plans are ruined by lack of confidence than by lack of talent.” Something like that.

That said, you go about learning to write like you go about learning to sink baskets—you keep practicing. You take writing classes in school. You read the many good books about how to write. And maybe most importantly, you find a group of people who also want to learn to write and you critique one another. Just remember to be gentle. Even after being a professional writer for 20 or so years, I take classes at writers’ workshops and I have two critique groups.

Then you start submitting. You can submit to an agent or to a small publisher, depending on what you want out of your writing and realizing that very few authors actually make a living writing. In other words, don’t quit your day job until you’re bringing in enough money from writing to support yourself.

Notice I don’t recommend that you publish yourself. This is because you still have a lot to learn from a professional editor and because you need the validation of acceptance by an agent or publisher.

Above all, you keep writing, and you keep learning, and you keep submitting. The only true failure is failure to try.
 
Learn more about Angela:

 
blog
Facebook
Twitter
 
Find her book at:
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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