Posted by Guest Jan 31 2009, 5:33 am in Uncategorized
Interview by Kirsten Scott
Can I just say this? I love Angie Fox. I mean, I seriously do. First of all, she’s darn cute, super friendly, and a really great writer. She did hit the NYT Bestseller list with her debut novel, The Accidental Demon Slayer, so you might be tempted to hate her, but you just can’t. She’s that kind of person.
I “met” Angie as a virtual member of my local RWA Chapter, the Rose City Romance Writers, and then got to meet her in person last year at Nationals. But you really meet Angie when you read her work – and can’t stop laughing from page one.
I’m delighted to host Angie today, and she’s got some fabulous prizes for us – so stick around and say hello. She can’t wait to meet you.
Angie, how did you come up with the idea for The Accidental Demon Slayer?
I started off with a kernel of an idea that amused me. What if a straight-laced preschool teacher suddenly learns she’s a demon slayer? And what if she has to learn about her powers on the run from a fifth level demon? Ohhh and wouldn’t it be fun if she’s running with her long-lost Grandma’s gang of geriatric biker witches?
Sounds like you started with a great hook, and the perfect mix of quirky characters and a unique plot. When you’re developing your novels, does plot trump character for you, or is it the other way around?
For me, it’s both. When I sat down to write The Accidental Demon Slayer, I had no notes about a sidekick for my heroine. But in the second chapter, when she’d learned she was a demon slayer and all hell was after her, she took comfort in her dog. As I was writing, I thought, ‘This is a sweet moment. Now how do I throw her off?’ Simple. I made the dog say something to her. Nothing big. After all, he’s only after the fettuccine from last week. And he knows exactly where my heroine can find it (back of the fridge, to the left of the lettuce crisper, behind the mustard).
It amused me, so I did it. Thanks to her unholy powers, my heroine can now understand her smart-mouthed Jack Russell Terrier. I had fun with it. In fact, I suspect Pirate the dog is my editor’s favorite character. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if Pirate helped talk my editor into buying The Accidental Demon Slayer.
So did plot influence character? Maybe there it did. But I can tell you that as the book evolves, Pirate the dog does his share of influencing the plot too.
I suspect Pirate is everyone’s favorite character – who can resist a Harley-riding dog? Which brings up an interesting question. How did you know you could put a dog on a Harley? Are you a Harley rider from way back, or did you have to do a lot of research for the book?
Loads, actually. I’d never been on a motorcycle before, and I had to figure out how to get Pirate the dog onto a bike! I went online and learned about the Biker Dogs Motorcycle Club, made up exclusively of Harley riders and their dogs. I ended up meeting some of them, along with a few other bikers along the way. These bikers were so great to me. They hoisted me onto the back of their Harleys (with dogs in tow). They took me to biker rallies (note to self: don’t wear pink). And they laughed at me when I tried to put my helmet on backwards (I still say I was distracted by the Pomeranian wearing a tiny pair of motorcycle glasses).
After a few outings with my new biker friends, I was able to make my geriatric biker witch characters a lot more realistic. And I took home some great pictures, too.
Now those are pictures we’d all love to see. ☺ Especially that Pom. But moving on, everyone in the Lair loves a Call story. Can you tell us yours?
I’d entered the beginning of the book in the Chicago RWA’s Four Seasons contest. Leah Hultenschmit from Dorchester was the finals judge and she requested the full. I quickly finished the last eight chapters and sent it off to her on a Thursday. Then I spent Friday on email queries to agents. When the 212 popped up on my caller ID the following Tuesday, I was elated and thought it could be an agent I’d queried. Nope. It was Leah wanting to buy The Accidental Demon Slayer.
It was the neatest feeling. But I could barely hear her because my two small children had picked that moment to battle over a lump of green Play Dough. Leah asked if I wanted her to call back and I said, “Nooo” and ducked into the garage. In August. I probably lost five pounds of water weight talking to her. So hey, a sold book and weight loss too! It was such a surreal moment to know an editor had read my book and liked it.
When I hung up with Leah, I immediately called my husband, who was in a meeting. So I called my mom, who was gone. I called several friends, who weren’t home. Then I looked at the clock and realized that we had houseguests due in just over an hour, so I grabbed a quick shower and hummed a happy tune while scrubbing toilets and picking green Play Dough off the kitchen floor.
The Accidental Demon Slayer is an absolutely hilarious and perfectly paced novel (something I could use some help with, by the way!). It was no surprise to me that it was an instant success. What was your reaction when you learned it was a New York Times bestseller?
Complete shock. The phone rang on a Friday afternoon, as I was writing the climax of the The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, which is the sequel to The Accidental Demon Slayer. I almost didn’t answer the phone. After all, who would call in smack dab in the middle of a demon invasion?
Luckily, I picked up because it was my agent, saying that The Accidental Demon Slayer would be #34 on the New York Times list the next day. I didn’t know what to think. Heck, I’d just wanted to sell enough books so that I could keep writing about biker witches, demon slayers and talking terriers. I had to ask my agent to please email me too, just to make sure I wasn’t phone-hallucinating.
How does your family feel about your career as a romance author?
Well, I admit I had these fantasies of my husband saying things like, “Oh let me fix dinner. You look like you’re really focused on getting that dialogue right.” Or my kids saying, “Wow. Mom is a published author. We’d better not use her laptop cord as a jump rope.” Alas, my home life hasn’t changed at all. Well, other than the fact that it might be a bit strange that my four-year-old knows what an editor is. She gets calls from her “editor” on her Tinkerbell play phone.
What do we have to look forward to next from you?
I’m really excited about the release of book 2 in the Accidental Demon Slayer series, called The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers – look for it on April 28th (available for pre-order NOW on Amazon.com!). In it, the straight-laced Lizzie decides she’s going to learn everything about her powers, and at the same time, write the proverbial book on demon slaying. And, as you might have guessed – things don’t quite go according to plan.
Right now, I’m writing book 3 in the Accidental Demon Slayer series and also writing a short story for the next Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance.
Angie has generously offered to give away a signed, first edition copy of The Accidental Demon Slayer, along with a “Kiss My Asphalt” t-shirt like the one that appears in the first chapter of the book. She’s also going to be around all day to answer any questions you might have about demons, biker witches, how you get little dogs onto the back of Harleys, or how you remove green playdough from the carpet (that’s actually my questions, not Angie’s–LOL)!
Thanks so much, Angie!
Posted by Jo Robertson Jan 30 2009, 5:40 am in Guilty Pleasures, Jo Robertson
by Jo Robertson There’s a wonderful scene in the movie “Parenthood” where the wife of a very focused, rules-oriented man rebels against her husband’s structure by sneaking into the closet, opening a plastic box of goodies, and chomping down on a Hostess cream-filled cupcake. She has this wonderfully defiant look on her face. Guilty pleasures.We all have them, right? Those things we adore, but feel a teensy bit guilty about doing? Let me share some of mine with you. Guilty Pleasure Number One: When I was a young mother with seven kiddies ranging from 18 to 7, I often sneaked
Posted by Jeanne Adams Jan 30 2009, 4:59 am in Bandita Booty
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by Jeanne Adams Or, Please welcome Heidi Betts to the Lair! Jeanne: Today I’d like to introduce the fabulous Heidi Betts. Heidi and I have known each other since…well, we won’t go THAT far back in time. (Besides we’re both younger and better looking than those two ladies!) *dusts off hands* Anyway, Heidi is the author of about 20 books and three novellas – we looked it up and here’s the breakdown – 6 historicals, 9 Silhouette Desires, 3 novellas (only 2 published so far, though, 3rd comes out in July), and 2 single title contemporaries (working on the 3rd).
Posted by Trish Milburn Jan 29 2009, 2:04 am in prize winner
PJ is having quite the week. Not only did her hang-gliding granny win Day 1 of our finish-the-vignette contest over at Romance Novel TV, but I heard from Helen Scott Taylor that PJ is also the winner of Helen’s debut novel, The Magic Knot. Congrats, PJ, you lucky gal!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jan 28 2009, 6:00 am in Beatrix Potter, Clive Owen, Harrison Ford, Julie Garwood, Peter Rabbit, Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars, Suzanne Welsh, Tom Berringer
by Suzanne Welsh I have fallen in love, again. This is really not a novel thing for me, as I tend to fall in love quite frequently. When I was 12 I saw Romeo & Juliet for the first time. You know, the one that actually showed Leonard Whiting’s naked butt? Seems my English teacher was unaware of that feature in the movie. Oh, I was in complete, adolescent , heart throbbing love. My Senior year I discovered The Flame & The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Brandon….be-still-my-heart…Birmingham. And I adored this book and character so much that I went through
Posted by Trish Milburn Jan 27 2009, 5:01 am in guest blogger Helen Scott Taylor
by Trish Milburn For several months beginning in August 2007, Helen Scott Taylor and I were two of the 10 finalists in the American Title contest sponsored by Romantic Times BOOKclub magazine and Dorchester Publishing. The prize for the winner? A publishing contract with Dorchester for the winning book. American Title works a lot like American Idol. There were five rounds of online voting, and each round had us putting up some other portion of our book — first line, descriptions of the hero and heroine, first love scene, etc. Helen and I made it all the way down to
Posted by Nancy Northcott Jan 26 2009, 5:01 am in Jessica Andersen, Mayan 2012 prophecy, Nightkeepers
by Nancy Two or three times a year, I discover a new author whose work captivates me. I love finding new books to enjoy, new sequels to await, and never mind what this does to the TBR pile. Much rarer, though is the experience of reading a new author and being totally blown away by the world that author creates. I had this experience last year with author Jessica Andersen‘s The Nightkeepers, the first in her adventure-packed, hot Novels of the Final Prophecy. Fellow bandita Anna Sugden put us in touch with each other. I’m delighted to have Jessica join
Posted by Kate Carlisle Jan 25 2009, 5:05 am in Homicide in Hardcover, Kate Carlisle
By Kate Save the Date! You’re invited to a party! A launch party. Right here in the Lair, ten days from now, on February 4. It’ll be huge, wild, fantastic! You won’t want to miss it. Because we’re celebrating the publication of HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER – my first book!! After twenty years of writing, you bet I’m celebrating this one! And I don’t mean to brag but—oh okay, I’ll brag just a little. RT Magazine gave HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER their highest rating and called my bookbinder protagonist, Brooklyn Wainwright, “brilliant, feisty and funny.” I hope you’ll agree! So that’s why