Friday, May 8, 2009

Interview with Angie Fox

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Angie Fox. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.


I understand you have a new release out called The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?


Sure. Accidental demon slayer Lizzie Brown and her grandma’s coven of biker witches have rolled into Sin City to take out a super-sexy succubus who has her eye on world domination – and worse, Lizzie’s man.

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.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

When I was writing the end of my first book, The Accidental Demon Slayer, this joke about Las Vegas popped into my head and I thought, “why not?” Lizzie is just about to kiss her man when she’s interrupted and told she and the gang have to head to Las Vegas to save her long lost uncle from marrying a succubus. Kind of fun. At least it made me smile. I was an unpublished writer at the time.

But then the book sold. Better still, The Accidental Demon Slayer hit the New York Times bestseller list. The sequel was on and I decided to pick up right where The Accidental Demon Slayer left off. Of course I should mention that each of the books is a stand-alone book. Each has its own complete story and happy ever after ending, so you don’t need to read the first book to enjoy the second.

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. 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.

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 bit 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).

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

For me, personally, it works better when I let the characters develop on the page. For example, when I sat down to write the first book, 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 don’t know if Pirate would be here today if I’d depended on character sheets or traditional methods of plotting. 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.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

LOL I actually got into writing so that I could avoid charts, graphs and any kind of math. I have a plot outline, so I know where the story needs to go, but when it comes to world building, I write what amuses me. I follow my instincts and let the story evolve on the page.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Hmm…how do I say this? Okay. I’ll just say it. My readers are a bunch of crazy loud women and I love them for it. My best advertising has been word-of-mouth – girlfriends telling girlfriends, daughters getting their moms hooked, readers who tell me they’ve seen someone pick up my book at the store and told the person, “you have to read that.” It’s really neat and I’m just so grateful.

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 can’t officially announce yet.

Thanks, Angie!

To celebrate her book release, Angie Fox is offering a free copy of The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers to one lucky commenter on today's blog. Just take the quiz Are You Part Demon Slayer? and tell us your score in the comments section. We’ll pick one winner at random. Oh and if you post that same score to Angie’s website, you’ll be entered to win a walk-on role in the next Accidental Demon Slayer book.

Here’s the quiz link:
http://angiefox.wordpress.com/books/the-dangerous-book-for-demon-slayers/

Angie will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Good luck!

Bio:
Angie Fox is the New York Times bestselling author of the Accidental Demon Slayer series. She claims that researching her books can be just as much fun as writing them. In the name of fact-finding, Angie has ridden with Harley biker gangs, explored the tunnels underneath Hoover Dam and found an interesting recipe for Mamma Coalpot’s Southern Skunk Surprise (she’s still trying to get her courage up to try it).

Angie earned a Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. She worked in television news and then in advertising before beginning her career as an author.

Visit Angie at www.angiefox.com. You’ll find freebies galore and answers to burning questions, like What is Your Biker Witch name?

Check out author’s website at www.angiefox.com
Buy at your favorite bookseller.

8 comments:

Angie Fox said...

Hi! Thanks for having me here. I'm looking forward to chatting today.

RachieG said...

Good morning Angie!! :) Just wanted to agree with you about the best promotional tool. I usually go straight out and buy the books my friends recommend to me..b/c they know what I enjoy!

I am really looking forward to this book. I just read Larissa Ione's books about the demon hospital and Amazon.com as well as people on Goodreads pointed me toward your books. Said they were fabulous!

I'll be checking them out. Glad to kind of cyber-meet you here! :)

Angie Fox said...

Thanks, RachieG. I'm the same way. My reader friends know what I like and they're good at directing me that way.

Isn't Larissa Ione great? If you like her books, you should also try Karen Marie Moning's Fever series.

Good to meet you too!

kerribookwriter said...

First of all...love the blog! Much Cheaper Than Therapy, eh? Well, what do I do to treat my addiction to blogging then? :-)

Hey Angie! Love your work...I'm a big fan. So glad to see you blogging today. I'd love to be a demon slayer but your quiz indicated I was only 65% slayer. I'm not sure I qualify.

Could you share with us a little bit about your writing schedule? Do you write every day? Do you aim for a certain word count or number of pages each day? What about rituals (like certain music, etc.)?

Take Care,
Kerri

Estella said...

I love your books!
I am 70% demon slayer.

Angie Fox said...

Hi Kerri, I'm not sure that you'd want to be a demon slayer anyway - lots of scary things to do. The biker witches have more fun. :)

I do write almost every day. I don't aim for a certain word count or number of pages. Those kind of expectations tend to lock me up. Instead, I just go for quality time with the story. Sometimes, that means a nice chunk of dialogue or a fun scene. Other times, it means brainstorming a new character and not getting too much "new" writing done at all. Still, each is valuable.

I can't have music or any distractions when I write. Diet Coke is a must and I swear Laughing Cow cheese and crakers makes me more creative. At least that's my excuse.

Kim Watters said...

Hi Angie,
Darn. I'm only 49% Demon Slayer. But since I don't really like ghosts, even though they seem to like me, I think I'd have a hard time with a demon. :) Thanks for blogging with us today. I can't stand any distractions either, but will have to try teh cheese:)

Kerri the only way to cure your addiction isto post to MCTT every day:)

Thanks Rachie G and Estella for stopping by again!

Kim Watters said...

Congratulations Estella. You're the winner of Angie's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces).