During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read Brer Rabbit to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before actually learning to read. She’s always enjoyed stories about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed her love of suspense. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys off-roading, crafting, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.
What inspires you to write?
The fact I’ll go crazy if I don’t. I truly feel it’s a calling I can’t ignore because why else would I choose to give up my other goals and interests to pursue something that isn’t always fulfilling? The fans who loved my book and want more continually inspire me to keep going. And I can’t ignore my love for it all.
Tell us about your writing process.
The first thing I do is sit down and create my characters, even if I do have a plot idea in my mind. I have a list of interview questions I’ll ask them and I’ll write a bio about them. I then do a character collage on my computer, with pictures of them, what they enjoy doing, goals, personalities, and other such stuff. I print this out and put in a special book I have where all my character collages end up. This will sometimes change, of course, Sometimes I have a plot idea in my head but I rarely sketch it out until I have my characters and about three chapters started. I am starting to use outlining software (Scrivener) now that helps me with my plotting, but I try not to let it all overwhelm me and just go with the flow.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Absolutely! Sometimes, my characters freely come to me. Sometimes, I have to call them out by just writing and hope they’ll speak to me. I’ll write and make a note that something more is needed in that particular spot. If necessary, I go back to my character collages and look over their interests and goals and what makes them unique. If I ignore them, that’s when the trouble happens.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never, ever give up. The world is changing and writing is changing, but if it’s something you truly want, learn everything you can about it and don’t stop. Writing isn’t something you are born with, but you’ll know it’s something you were meant to do if the calling doesn’t go away. Don’t let fear or uncertainty or real life stop you. And never stop learning, even when you’re published and sell lots of books.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I researched my publishers before deciding on one who had a history in the publishing world but didn’t require an agent and long years of waiting before making my book available! I’m just glad they wanted me, too. There have been so many changes with publishing, and I urge new authors to explore their options and learn everything they can. And listen to your heart! I wanted a publisher because I was afraid no one would take me seriously, but it doesn’t mean next time I won’t try self-publishing at least once.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is both an exciting and scary time. With so many different avenues to consider, it’s easy to get lost and harder to get noticed and make it big as an author. Then again, authors have more and more control of their work and many books are available for readers. I hope we’ll never see print books go away, but I’m excited about the conveniences and possibilities that digital offers. And let’s face it, the easier the book is to get (i.e. digital is available right now to read) the more people are going to buy. I love all the opportunities available but am scared about the possibilities (please don’t take away print!)
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
romance, romantic suspense, contemporary, young adult, mainstream
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print