One of the funnest parts of hosting authors on here is getting to get a sneak peak, as it were, behind the scenes to their books, writing process, and other fun details that make up the life of an author and then sharing them with all of you. So, grab a cuppa and sit back and read this Q&A I have with Angie. Make sure to post any questions for her in the comments and earn entries into this weeks GREAT contest!
Tell us about The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers.
The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers is the story of what happens when you take a bunch of biker witches to Las Vegas. Well, it’s more than that, I suppose. Lizzie and the gang head to Las Vegas to save her uncle from marrying a succubus.
As she experiences all kinds of new (and weird) things in Vegas, Lizzie is determined, once and for all, to master her powers. In fact, she’s going to write the book on demon slaying. So she begins a journal, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, where she records what she’s learning, starting with newfound discoveries about demons, gargoyles and a particularly mischievous live spell named Beanie who likes to fill Lizzie’s boots with pumpkin spice latte.
Things get dangerous when the demons get their hooks in Dimitri. He’s much darker and sexier in this book. And we introduce a new character, Max, who is half demon and 100% yummy.
Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?
Loads, actually. First off, the biker witches ride Harleys, and I’d never been on a motorcycle before. Second, 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.
My second favorite it of research was the behind-the-scenes tour of Hoover Dam. The climax of The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers takes place down there, and I was lucky enough to be invited to see first-hand what I’d be writing about. A guide took me far down into the inspection tunnels they used in the 1930’s and 40’s, when the cement was still curing. It was amazing to see the notes these inspectors made on the walls, to hear the stories of those that didn’t quite make it out and to walk the same old metal steps that they did. All of that made it into The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, along with lots of things I had a blast making up (this is fiction after all).
What was your reaction when you learned The Accidental Demon Slayer was a New York Times bestseller?
Complete shock. The phone rang on a Friday afternoon, as I was writing the climax of The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers. 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.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
For me, it’s both. For example, when I sat down to write these books, 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. 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. Bottom line? I think the most important thing when you sit down to the keyboard is to be willing to follow your story in new directions, because if you’re enjoying the surprise, chances are your readers will too.
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
Reading…way too much. Oh wait, I do that anyway.
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 next?
Right now, I’m writing book 3 in the Accidental Demon Slayer series, tentatively titled A Tale of Two Demon Slayers. In it, Lizzie and the gang travel to Greece where they learn more about Dimitri’s past and a threat that could destroy them all. I’m having a ball with it because it’s so much fun to explore Dimitri’s home, his family and his juicy past.
I also have a story in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2, which comes out on Halloween. And then I’m working on a voodoo novella for this amazing anthology that I’m not allowed to announce yet. But when it is out, and when I do have copies, I’ll be sure to give some out right here because, let’s face it, Charity rocks.
Awe! Thanks Angie! I think YOU ROCK! I've always wondered though, on those anthologies? How do those come to be? Do you the authors get together and decide to pitch it or is it something the editors do? I've just always been curious!
Thanks so much for joining me over here again, Angie. I know you're at RT right now, and what a great time to for it in the ways of promoting, but I know it's tough trying to keep up with us over here! And speaking of RT, how's that going? Has Dimitri been on your heels all night yet?