About Angela Joewell Purbaugh:
Angela is a Southern California Native, who lives in San Diego with her husband, teenage son, and Toy Australian Shepherd. Her eldest son is a US Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan. She began writing in her spare time for fun. It was a hobby that scratched a creative itch in an exciting and challenging way.
Angela’s muse (a feisty little thing) pushed, prodded, and pressured her to start writing. Not wanting to anger her muse, she wrote a few children’s books, a screenplay, a young adult novel (that was way too long) and made a few false starts on a few books, which she never completed. With a full-time job, kids, and a husband, she found the early morning, 4:30 am, to be the best time to listen to her muse and write with no interruptions. Her love of Teen/YA books and her sons’ obsession with video gaming and comic book characters sparked the seed for Combat Boy, a Teen/YA sci-fi, fantasy series. (Two books so far), Combat Boy and the Monster Token and Combat Boy and the Lord of Monster. The tone of the series is playful, and humorous with strong moral undertones, as it highlights a boy who strives to do well by others and whose downfall is his self-serving brother. Think: Night at the Museum meets Comic-Con with monsters and a cosmic twist.
What inspires you to write?
Learning new and exciting things inspires me. I read a lot of nonfiction, and I watch a lot of documentaries. I am fascinated with space, time travel, wormholes, different dimensions and a slew of weird and random things. Sci-fi and fantasy allow me to play with cosmic and strange stuff and make them all my own.
As for my Combat Boy series, my inspiration grew out of my desire to help reluctant readers. Computers and smartphones bring a broad range of high-energy entertainment to children and young adults at breakneck speed. They love it; can’t get enough of it. Videos, movies, and video games are here to stay. The problem is, it’s not always easy to find books for children and young adults that keep their focus or interest as a video game can. Young and reluctant readers will put aside a book if it’s bogged down with lengthy, overly wordy, or boring descriptive paragraphs. They will keep reading if the writing is fast-paced, tight, and visual. I am a very visual thinker, so I decided to make it my mission to write for reluctant readers. If my writing pulls a reluctant reader in and holds their attention, it will do the same for all types of readers. Best of all, a reluctant reader is only reluctant until he or she finds that fun, fast-paced story that changes them into an eager reader. That’s my goal. I want to create that kind of transformative magic with my writing. And from what fans are saying about Combat Boy and the Monster Token, it’s got that fast-paced, attention holding mojo.
Tell us about your writing process.
For the most part, I am a free-flow, write-every-day writer. I set a goal at the beginning of each week to write a chapter. I hate not hitting my goal, so I push myself to finish a day early to meet my deadline. Then, the following week, my goal is to edit that chapter and polish it the best that I can.
However, when I am not sitting at the computer writing, I flood my mind with the images, dialogue, and action for the next chapter. I act like a movie director behind the camera, focusing on each character, how they speak, move, and what they see, taste, smell, feel and hear. I zoom in on what is interesting and amusing and cut the rest out. I run the chapter through my mind countless times. Once it’s like a vivid memory, full of emotion and energy, that’s when I love to sit at the computer and get to work. Only, it doesn’t seem like work because I know what I want to write and know how it should feel when I read it. For me, it’s all about how it feels, the rhythm, the tone, and the emotion. If it doesn’t feel right, I edit it until it does.
Of course, pulling out the images, and emotions I have in my mind and putting them on paper is never easy, but it’s rewarding. Every page that I complete makes me smile. Every chapter I wrap-up makes me get up and dance. Every book I finish makes me want to do it all over again.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
For the most part, I listen to my characters. I love them to pieces, even though some of them repeatedly ask to be put into chapters that they don’t belong in. That, or, they beg me to give them extra dialogue when I’m editing out unnecessary words. The characters who speak the most and the loudest are my antagonists. They’re downright demanding at times. They always want to be the main characters and steal the spotlight from my protagonists. That’s when I have to put my foot down and talk back to them. If I don’t set up strict boundaries, they’ll pester me to death and never let my protagonists say a word. Even so, my troublemaking antagonists do bring a lot of drama and conflict, not just to my brain, but to the story, and that’s why I love them so much.
As for my protagonists, I simply adore them. But I’m not sure they feel the same about me. After all, I’m always exposing their fears and weakness and putting them in terrible danger, forcing them to fight monsters and a slew of other nasties. They are kind and moral, and they never complain. Well, not too much. And that makes it difficult to be so cruel to them by putting them in such hazardous situations again and again. Okay, that’s not entirely true. It’s fun. Well, as long as I have creative ideas that’ll get them out of those situations.
What advice would you give other writers?
Learn the business side of writing. I put it off for far too long. Now I’m playing catch-up, and it’s giving me more anxiety attacks than I imagined was possible. Seriously, I’m having an anxiety attack right now, just thinking about it.
It’s a challenge to find the time to write a blog and keep up with social media. I recently got on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn and I feel like I leaped into the deep end of a pool without knowing how to swim. Panic. I’m trying to learn everything at once, and it’s confusing and frustrating. And now, I just learned that I should be making vlogs for Youtube! That’s just great! I’m not Wonder Women! I’m Overwhelmed Women. Do yourself a favor and learn the business side of writing before you finish that book. Don’t do what I did, and foolishly start after you finish your second book.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Honestly, I was too impatient to jump through all the hoops that it takes to get an agent and a publishing deal. Having my book on Amazon was on my bucket list of things to do before I die. And because I had been feeling ill for quite a while, I thought I should take the shortcut, grab the fast-pass to Amazon and self-publish.
Low and behold, the same week I launched Combat Boy and The Monster Token, I had to have abdominal surgery. My condition was much worse than my doctor thought, and three months later, I had to have even more surgery, bigtime, robotic, exploratory surgery. Because I thought I might die that year, I didn’t bother with marketing my book. It sounded like a pain in the neck and I just wanted to recover and write my second book in my Combat Boy series. However, I did do one thing in the marketing realm. I sent Combat Boy and the Monster Token to Kirkus Reviews, and it got a great review. Not only that, but my book review got featured in their magazine, the Kirkus Reviews. It was in the indie section of the December 2014, issue. It was unexpected, but of course, a fantastic way to end a pretty miserable year.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future looks bright! Self-publishing and digital publishing have changed the game. And I look forward to seeing what new and exciting tools will get added to the mix that will improve the industry even further.
What do you use?: Professional Editor
What genres do you write?: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Humor.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.