Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Barb – Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
Angelia – There’s not much to tell about me. I have a BA in English because I washed out of a Nuclear Engineering program (helpful hint: try not to take Differential Equations finals on your wedding day). I settled down to having kids, as in four children under the age of eight at one point in 2000, worked almost every bad job in Memphis, from counting inventory to working in a casino, and finally spent five years as a library paraprofessional. I walked off that job and went to truck-driving school. I’ve been behind the wheel for seven years this spring and love it.
I started writing fanfiction back in the days when we had to resurrect Spock ourselves if we wanted him in the story. I moved into original fiction, including erotica (I still have bits of a trunk novel from the 80s in my filing cabinet). Then I got too busy to write, as toddlers will take all your time, until I discovered Buffy fanfiction around 1998. I went multifannish not long after. I’d had e-mail since 1988, but the internet was just really starting to take off in the late 90s. In 2004, someone I knew from a Star Wars mailing list posted a call on Live Journal for stories for a Monsters and Myths anthology. I dusted off a story idea and wrote up a boy-meets-incubus piece called “Prey.” They took it and the next and the next, then there were other publishers and brief forays into heterosexuality and endless endless conventions. A stint in a Live Journal roleplaying game netted me a co-author. Now, I’m finding myself at 44, with 8 published novels, one forthcoming and 2 nearly done, not to mention about sixty short stories to my credit.
Barb – Can you tell us about your release, Power in the Blood?
Angelia – Power in the Blood is a family tragedy set against a vampire apocalypse. In this alternate reality, vampires are the next-level predators, keeping human numbers under control. They have a predator too: the Undying. Undying are essentially genetic vampires, born of a man who was in the process of turning when he sired them, who then met a violent death. Until they die the first time, Undying are called Breathers.
Oren Stolt and his six kids are Breathers, and he really, really wants to keep them all that way until they can die peacefully in their sleep. But there is a new church in town, a post-millennialist vampire church that aims to convert the whole world to the gospel of their Risen Lord, in order to bring about the Second Coming. They’re having their first annual conference in Memphis and the Council of Eternity, the Undying oversight group, has ordered all the Undying into town to wipe the church out. Oren and his kids are trying to stay alive in the middle of it all.
It’s on pre-order for 20% off. And you get it early if you pre-order!
Barb – What part of the writing process do you love? What part do you hate?
Angelia – I love the initial idea, when the words are coming too fast to get on paper and all I want to do is make love to this muse as long as she’ll let me.
The part I hate is somewhere around half-way or two-thirds into the first draft, when the muse has gone to Aruba and I still have a deadline. And I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I can write at all, let alone meet the deadline, or if I’m just fooling myself and churning out tripe. This is when one of my writer friends, Elizabeth Donald or Sara Harvey or Naomi Brooks, nods sagely and says “Ah, we’re at THAT stage, are we?”, just as we learned to do from Neil Gaiman’s blog. And I remember all the times I said it to them. Then I put on my big girl handwarmers (my panties are not a subject for discussion) and write for fifteen minutes, just fifteen, and keep going.
Barb – Which scenes were the hardest to write?
Angelia – The exposition scenes. There’s a lot of backstory that has to be told and can’t be shown because a lot of it is speculation. Nobody knows the whole story and everyone is guessing at parts and trying to act like an authority, so I had to include this, but I still had to keep things moving.
Barb – Who is your favorite character in your new release?
Angelia – I’m a big fan of Blake, the unloved oldest son. He’s a dishwasher and a musician in a town full of better musicians. Oren loves his younger children unstintingly, but Blake sets his teeth on edge. They are in constant conflict throughout the book and there is some question who will kill them first, the vampires, the Council agents, or each other.
Barb – Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Angelia – Most of them to some degree or another. Anne Withrop, the former puritan, hanged for a witch and finding her new religion in the bottom of a whiskey bottle shares some of my traits. Brigitte Stolt, Oren’s oldest, the computer whiz has a few, although she’s a better tech than I am. Even Brother Micah, the vampire preacher, got some of me, both in his ordinary stresses of running a church and his belief problems.
Barb – Where do you get your inspiration?
Angelia – I subscribe to a service in North Dakota. For ten dollars a month, they send me an idea a week.
(hat tip to the late, great Lewis Grizzard for that answer)
Seriously, everywhere. Anything can spark a story idea, a line in a song, a photograph, an abandoned canoe rental place, which is where Power in the Blood got its start. I drive a line-haul route and deliver to other drivers. We were parking at this huge parking lot north of Hardy, Arkansas, shared by a derelict canoe rental, an abandoned restaurant (complete with Lego table in the flowerbed) and a motel time forgot. I’ve been delivering there for about two years and always said I was going to write about it. That’s where Power in the Blood opens, with the Lego table in the flowerbed.
Barb – What book is currently on your nightstand?
Angelia – About six, none of which I’m currently reading. They’re just there to get my sleep-apnea machine to a comfortable height. I am, however, reading Eric Wilson’s Field of Blood, the penultimate story in Wild Passions, and Dreams of Steam II: Of Brass and Bolts. I just finished Jimmy Gillantine’s Of Blood and the Moon.
Barb – What are you working on next?
Angelia – I’m finishing a hard-core kinky cyberpunk novel called Hard Reboot. It’s mostly heterosexual. Our hero’s wife was stolen two years ago and now he’s got her back, but she’s a trained sex slave instead of the extraordinary net runner she was. His job, which he cannot fail without jeopardizing both their lives as well as his brother’s, is to get her back to herself and back running the net.
I also have a short story in the works for Storm Moon’s Like It or Not anthology and the third of my Nikolai’verse books, Nick and Corban.
Barb – Where can your fans find you?
Angelia – At the bar, most likely.
My website is http://www.brooksandsparrow.com
My blog is http://angelsparrow.blogspot.com/ although I do more at Live Journal.
I’m Angelia Sparrow on facebook and goodreads, asparrow16 on Twitter, and valarltd on Live Journal.
Barb – Where is your work available?
Angelia – Power in the Blood is here: http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/Power-In-the-Blood.aspx
The easiest place is http://www.brooksandsparrow.com
That has links to all the publishers’ sites, since I write for a lot of different ones.
The Literary Underworld http://www.literaryunderworld.com has an exclusive on some of my ebooks, and a selection of my paperbacks.
Barb – Anything else you would like to add?
Angelia – Thank you for having me today. There is no secret to writing success. Just write and submit and write more while you wait to hear. No, it doesn’t get less scary when you’re submitting. A good support group helps. And always listen to your editor, that’s why you’re writing for her.