Author Angela Adams writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Today she joins us to play 20 (give or take) Questions. Learn more about Angela at her blog.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. English/Composition, now known in our Philadelphia schools as Language Arts, was my favorite subject. I used to write stories in a copybook and give the copybook to my grandmother to read. She bought me my first typewriter. Followers of my blog know that I often mention my grandmother, who passed away several years ago. I often note her encouragement, love of books, baseball, and dozens of wise, old sayings.
As an adult, I’ve written on and off for years. After having several short stories published, I thought I’d try writing a novel. After writing a few that remain in a desk drawer, I wrote Magic Moment.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
Longer than I had hoped. But my grandmother always said, “Things happens for a reason.” Had publication taken a different route, I may not have had the opportunity to meet the people I’ve enjoyed working with these past few years.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
My short stories and novel have all been published traditionally. Magic Moment was published by Crimson Romance, part of F&W Media which is responsible for Writer’s Digest.
Where do you write?
My laptop goes wherever I go. The basement is set up like an office with bookcase, desk, and file cabinet. My favorite accessory is a huge bulletin board that hangs on the wall. I keep all kinds of sentimental tokens pinned to it. Snoopy comics that I love, Winnie the Pooh and Dr. Seuss quotes, photos of my childhood dog and my grandmother, both who are no longer with us. I also have a photo of the 2008 World Series Champs, Philadelphia Phillies.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I need noise. During baseball season I’m listening to a Phillies’ game or a pundit talking about a Phillies’ game. I also listen to Frank Sinatra, Classic Rock and Oldies. Concentrating on the music helps ease my frustration with writer’s block.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
My stories start with a character. For example, with Magic Moment, I got the idea for a hero who was perceived as egotistical and self-absorbed, but wasn’t. The character of Chase came to mind because often people aren’t what they seem. I wanted a heroine who drew out his true qualities of compassion and sensitivity to others. Then I asked myself “well, why is he perceived that way?” and “what qualities does my heroine have that draw out his true nature?”
The idea of having Laura not interested in a high-powered career did come from a colleague of mine who mentioned that she wished she didn’t have to work but could spend more time with her children.
Real settings or fictional towns?
A combination of both. We all know Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the story begins. The names of the towns of Magic Lake Island, New Jersey and Sea Tower, Maryland are fictional. Their descriptions are a combination of the New Jersey shore and the small town in Vermont where I went to college.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
I’m a big Robyn Carr fan and love her Virgin River series. Mostly because the place, Virgin River, leaves me nostalgic for my time in Vermont. One summer, I sat down and reread each Virgin River book, back to back. There was no waiting for the next book to be released since I only had to grab it from the bookcase. It was great, like watching a mini-series on television.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
That I had joined Romance Writers of America sooner than I did. I had resisted joining because the organization’s major feature is their annual conference and I never saw it in my schedule to attend. But, several years ago, I decided to join and found the conference was the least of what RWA has to offer. Aside from my national membership, I belong to two online chapters, From the Heart Romance Writers and Elements of RWA. The elements of friendship, support and guidance that I receive from fellow members are invaluable.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
There are many. One that comes to mind immediately is a book my grandmother gave me when I was about 12 or 13, Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith. Published in the 1960s and set in pre-depression era New York, the heroine Annie McGairy Brown, comes to New York to be with her law student husband, Carl. They have little money, no friends, and are pretty much ostracized from their families for getting married so young. She also gets pregnant. Annie is a strong person who faces every challenge thrown her way with a positive disposition and confident outlook.
Although this book was written over fifty years ago, Annie is exactly the type of heroine a writer wants to write and a reader wants to read, no matter what the time period. I still have the paperback in my bookcase. It’s tattered with pages falling out and held together with a rubber band. To me, the novel is flawless with a timeless plot and characters readers pull for.
Ocean or mountains?
That’s tough…but, if I have to choose, it’s the ocean.
City girl or country girl?
What’s on the horizon for you?
Several months ago I began drafting a new project. This book’s setting is also in Philadelphia. Every day I walk through Washington Square Park, and one day an idea popped into my mind. It only seems fair to set the story not only in Philadelphia, but in Washington Square. A first draft takes me forever to write, but once I get the initial draft completed, the revising process is quick. I’m trying very hard not to make my hero and heroine a carbon copy of Chase Donovan and Laura Roberts. Although I’m finding it a challenge because I’m very fond of those two.
When the FBI brings Laura Roberts – a quiet, reserved bookkeeper– in for questioning regarding activities at the warehouse where she works, an uneasy Laura resigns her job – only to be attacked by thugs.
Chase Donovan intends to spend a few peaceful days on his boat getting his head together – and finds a woman being assaulted by two men who say his father told them to do it.
Chase doesn’t want to believe his father could hurt anyone. Laura doesn’t understand why she’s a target. Can they learn to work together to discover the truth – before someone dies?