I want to thank Angie Fox for the great interview and giveaway. Make sure you check out PNN and enter to win but commenting and telling us your favorite headline!
What inspired you to write Immortally Yours, the first novel in your new Monster MASH series?
I wanted to do something different. Plus, I love writing books that are not only about the hero and heroine, but also about the community where they live. A quirky, paranormal MASH unit sounded like a blast to write. Plus, I love books about special ops soldiers. They are too sexy. So I made my hero a tough-as-nails wounded warrior and my heroine is the doctor who saves him (in more ways than one).
What key things make your stories work?
Like with any story, I think you have to make sure characters are both dynamic, and down-to-Earth. They have to be doing things, learning things, exploring issues that are exciting and new and make us want to turn the pages. Yet, we need to be able to relate on a fundamental level to their very real struggles.
One of the challenges – and the great joys – of writing Immortally Yours was balancing the humor with the stark tragedy of war.
Petra and her colleagues at the MASH 3063rd have been drafted until the end of the war, which is bad for Petra but even worse for people like her vampire roommate, Marius. They’re living in this quirky, ad-hock camp, trying to make the best of it while they work long hours in the OR, putting soldiers back together – knowing that they’re probably going to see these injured heroes again and again – if they’re lucky.
The underlying tragedy brings the oddball personalities in the camp together. They develop ways to keep their sanity and to create the kind of relationships that offer a port in the storm.
Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Immortally Yours?
Probably the scene where Petra has a heart-to-heart with her werewolf roommate, while they sit out fishing by the tar swamp. It’s such a slice of life at the MASH 3063rd. Plus, I love how each of the supporting characters has their own story to tell.
What themes in your fiction writing seem to drive you the most?
I tend to write about characters who struggle against the system, and the powers who tell them who they “should” be. In the Monster MASH series, I also tackle everything that drives me crazy about mindless government, bureaucracy and the seemingly insurmountable forces that seek to control our daily lives.
It’s about people who stand up, despite the odds, and take that control back. Plus, Immortally Yours was simply a fun book to write. It was a great challenge to construct a new world that is starker than ours, yet holds many of the same challenges.
Do you work on multiple novels at once? If so, how many?
I wish I could work on more than one project at once. Alas, I can’t even write on a novel and a book proposal at the same time. My brain has tunnel vision that way. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m always subconsciously working on story ideas, and I need to focus that energy.
What novels, books, articles, magazines or other media most useful when you are researching your novels?
It depends on the novel. For the Accidental Demon Slayer series, the best research I ever did was to ride around with Harley bikers. It made my biker witches so much more realistic.
For Immortally Yours, I spent a lot of time learning about how MASH camps operate. I also called up my nurse and doctor friends and asked them questions like: if I was going to make a banshee do X, Y and Z, by how much would I need to increase normal lung capacity? And what does that mean physically? How would they look different? Sound different?
And then I watched Patton to get a feel for my camp commander (and because I like Patton).
Research really does vary from book to book. There’s no one “right” way to do it. It’s all about what inspires you and enables you to write a better book.
What is your writing schedule like?
I write in the mornings for about four hours. The afternoon is spent on research or on emails, reader correspondence and interviews like this one.
What attracted you to Paranormal Fiction? Have you always written Paranormal?
I’ve always loved paranormals. In fact, I remember discovering them back in college. In my sophomore year, there were six of us, living in this tiny place. One night, my roommates started talking about Interview with the Vampire. They were shocked I’d never heard of it and, like the enablers they were, they managed to put together Ann Rice’s entire vampire series, which they stacked next to my bed the next day. I picked up the first book and wow. I was always a good student, but I skipped class for the next week and read the series straight through.
Ironically, when I decided to actually try and write a book of my own, I completely ignored my love of paranormals. Because, you know, that makes sense. I decided to write mystery/suspense with lots of science and research involved. I’d outline, I’d write pages and pages of character notes, I’d force myself to do those little note cards. And I hate note cards. In retrospect, I was fighting my voice. When I was about ready to go insane, I’d sneak off and read Jim Butcher, Anne Rice or Kerrelyn Sparks, just to catch a break.
It took three unpublished books for it to click and for me to realize that hmm…maybe I should write the kind of books I love to read. I had this spark of an idea about a preschool teacher who is forced to run off with a gang of geriatric biker witches and The Accidental Demon Slayer was born. Instead of a 20-page plot outline, I had a 5-page list of ideas, one of which included “but little did they know, all the Shoney’s are run by werewolves.” Instead of following the rules, I broke a few. Instead of painstakingly writing over the course of a year, I grinned my way through the book and had a complete manuscript in five months.
The opening chapters did well in contests and caught the eye of Leah Hultenschmidt, who asked to see the whole thing. Leah bought the book less than a week after I finished it. And I didn’t write one single note card.
What’s next? /this is where you share whatever bookish you’d like to share.
The next Monster MASH book, Immortally Embraced, comes out in February 2013. Then book three, Immortally Ever After, releases in August 2013. Also, in the spring, I’m going to be releasing the fifth book in the Accidental Demon Slayer series, My Big Fat Demon Slayer Wedding.
Many authors focus on social media and other creative marketing strategies. How do you promote your books?
I’m all about creative marketing. It’s fun and my brain just thinks that way. For the Accidental Demon Slayer series, I developed the What’s Your Biker Witch Name quiz? It went viral, which has been a blast. You haven’t lived until you get emails from physicists in China telling you that their biker witch names are things like Wino Wally No Brakes and Two Date Tessa Hard Rider. And now for a shameless plug: you can get your biker witch name at: www.angiefox.com.
For Immortally Yours, I’m doing a quirky little viral program that is cracking me up right now because it is getting slightly out of control (which in my world, means things are going well). I’m offering readers an interactive experience that centers around the news network that is covering the war.
In this new series, PNN is the paranormal version of CNN. So I’m basically setting up the “official” PNN website to be like The Onion, only paranormal. It allows me to have a blast, while giving readers a taste of the series and immersing them in the world of PNN. Plus, it’s an entertaining way to poke fun at the love/hate relationship I have with 24-hour cable news. Check it out at www.PNN-Network.com
In fact, I’d be glad to give away a signed copy of Immortally Yours right here. Just check out PNN-Network.com, then comment here with your favorite headline and you’re entered to win
Angie’s Website: http://www.angiefox.com/
PNN Network: http://pnn-network.com/
Other books by Angie Fox: