Hi Readers and Roses!
I am so excited to welcome to the thicket Angela Quarles and her debut novelette Beer and Groping in Las Vegas. A huge thank you to Angela for answering my questions and working with me as this is my first time hosting an author on a blog tour. Plus I'm a huge fan and loved Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, so I'm even more excited to have the opportunity and honor to interview and host her today.
On to the Interview:
What was your favorite chapter, scene, and/or character to write? Why?
Hmm, I think I'd have to go with Riley! Why? Wish fulfillment!! LOL. Seriously, he was just so fun to write, especially when he started to talk to his you-know-what. He took me by surprise.
Is anything in your novelette based on real life experiences, or is it purely imagination?
The bits where I describe running into sci-fi convention goers is from real life, as I attend Dragon*Con every year. I was also at one time in the past, a web programmer and worked insane hours, so I used that experience to portray Mirjam. The rest is from my imagination, except the exchange between Mirjam and Riley where they quote the Miss Anne Elk line from Monty Python at dinner—I met a guy years ago and we hit it off and we were walking down the street and for some reason one of us started that quote and the other finished it. I kinda felt like it was a sign LOL.
Approximately how long did it take you to get from your first draft to its publication? Did you have any doubts along the way? How did you know when your story was done?
Trying to remember, I think I wrote most of it (minus the ending) in one weekend (about 8000 words), and by the end of the week had the rough draft. I think that was in April. I worked on revising it and then sent it to some Beta readers for feedback, and then polished it up. I think I started submitting it in the beginning of June and it was picked up by Secret Cravings around the 4th of July. We went through a round of editing in November and it was published on December 19th!
I knew it was done when I'd gotten some solid feedback from Betas. I can't stress enough how important it is to have good Beta readers!
How did you find your publisher? When did you start your search?
I used duotrope.com to search and find publishers to submit to, and then also relied on RWA chaptermates to advise me on which had good reputations (as far as how they treated authors).
Why did you choose to publish in eBook format?
I think for the length it was pretty much the only way to go. I'm hoping to find some other short geek romances that I could team up with to make an anthology for print…
What did you want to be when you grew up?
At any given time I wanted to be different things, but oddly they all started with A: Actor, Architect, Artist, Archaeologist, Astronaut. One of the other career paths I'd contemplated was going into the foreign service. After college, another was being a book editor for a publishing company (because a love of books has been a constant thread in my life), but being a writer wasn't on my radar. I think that's actually been beneficial now, because I didn't have this big weight of a dream of Being A Writer held since childhood that frankly would have made me afraid to even start writing. Since I didn't have this dream since I was little of writing the next Big American Novel, I was able to start on this journey without that burden.
Is there any particular author or book that has influenced your writing?
Oh yeah. Jane Austen.
Are you working on any new projects?
I am! I'm needing to revise two novels, one a steampunk romance called STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY, and the other is a meta fiction romance called NOT ANOTHER DARCY. Right now I'm in the pre-plotting phase for the sequel to MUST LOVE BREECHES, my time travel romance. This is the novel for which I landed an agent back in October.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
I think my advice would be not to get too caught up on the initial words you write down in the first draft. When I first started, it petrified me, like my brain seriously worried what someone would think of my first draft if they ever saw it. Just. Stop. Don't go there. No one has to see it. All first drafts are crap, just ask Stephen King (he said this). Just concentrate on getting your story down and then come back after you finish your first draft and get it right in revisions. First drafts are for getting the story in your head on paper, revisions are for making it awesome. Don't try to do both at the same time, you'll have a very hard time finishing.
If you could be a superhero, what would your power be?
Oh man, that's a tough one, because they always have unforeseen complications and tons of responsibility to use wisely. I'm not sure if I'm wise enough to wield a superpower, LOL! I don't even trust myself with a chain saw.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Finland. I was an exchange student there in high school more than two decades ago and have never been able to afford to go back, because flights there are so expensive. I'd love to see it again and visit the friends I made there.
Cats or dogs?
Both! I grew up with both and have owned both at the same time. I've also had a dog on its own, and now I have just two cats.
Toss up between The Princess Bride and Room With A View.
Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?
Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.
Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It's granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they're surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.
Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.
Amazon | B&N | ARe | Bookstran
More about Angela:
Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in an historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL, with her two matched gray cats, Darcy and Bingley. When she's not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She's had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum.
She's an admitted geek and is proud to be among the few but mighty Browncoats who watched Firefly the first night it aired. She was introduced to the wonderful world of science fiction by her father, by way of watching reruns of the original Star Trek in her tweens and later giving her a copy of Walter M. Miller Jr's A Canticle for Leibowitz as a teenager. She hasn't looked back since.
She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She was an exchange student to Finland in high school and studied abroad in Vienna one summer in college. She recently found representation with Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon, Assoc.
Find Angela at her website | blog | twitter | fac
Thank you for stopping by the thicket!