Friday, July 11, 2008

Angie Fox: Going Beyond the Book

Angie FoxThe Accidental Demon Slayer
Publisher: Dorchester
Pub Date: July 2008
Agent: Jessica Faust



(Click to Buy)


Author Web site: www.angiefox.com


Confession time. My favorite kinds of books are always going to be the ones that make me want to try something new. And most of the time, that means commercial fiction: mysteries with wine-tasting tips, thrillers set in exotic locations, and basically any book that makes me want to explore a new city.

My jeans have gotten snug after reading too many mysteries with recipes in the back. Anybody try the chocolate cherry brownie recipe in the back of Karen MacInerney’s Dead and Berried? Oh my. Talk about making reading fun.

And now ChariDee at Novel Reads has been inspired by The Accidental Demon Slayer . . . in a slightly less traditional way. She’s giving away "Kiss My Asphalt" T-shirts, based on the T-shirt one of the biker witches wears on the very first page. I had to laugh. While some authors are inspiring their readers to discover out-of-the-way places, it seems I’ve inspired readers to wear slightly profane T-shirts. But you know what, I was actually quite touched, because don’t we all want to move people with our writing?

For the longest time, I tried to be one of those writers who could make a reader cry. But I never got there. I’m better at pointing out ironies, delivering a smile. And when I finally realized that, I was able to sit down and write the kind of books that will hopefully help readers crack a grin. In today’s world, it can be nice to spend 300 pages in a completely different place.

We hear about voice all of the time, and I wonder if this is part of that. What we write about and how we choose to frame it is unique to each of us. What we say and how we say it not only tells a story, but it gives readers permission to make a book their own – in the kitchen, on a new adventure, or with an obnoxious T-shirt.

So you tell me – what have you discovered about your voice? And if you could ask readers to take just one thing from your books, what would it be?

22 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

From the Harold and Jasfoup tales I'd like readers to takes a taste for tea, served dry.

Michele Dunaway said...

When I finally discovered I couldn't be Melanie Wilkes to save my life, and that I should embrace my inner Scarlett O'Hara, I finally found my voice.

Congrats Angie on the book release and I can't wait to read it!

Michele

H. L. Dyer said...

I think the funniest thing I discovered in my voice was when the pediatrician in my insisted that my characters use seatbelt safety and decline to drink and drive.

Regarding what I want readers to take from my story...

My novel is the unusual tale of a survivor of child abuse. And mystery, romance, and subtle paranormal elements aside, it is a story of hope. I want readers to see my protagonist triumphing over her demons.

I'd like to believe all the kids I've seen fall victim to traumatic childhood can find their way to happiness.

Wow. Way too sappy for this early in the morning. snort

H. L. Dyer said...

That would be "the pediatrician in me".

I told you it was too early.

Robena Grant said...

Hi Angie:
Congrats! on the book release!

I love setting and always choose different locales. I hope to appeal to the reader in that way by putting an interesting story in a great setting.

Funny, I don't do. I've tried. I tried snarky once it came out just plain old mean. I think I go for the "Aww, that's nice" reaction. A little tear perhaps, but no sobbing. Definitely no sobbing. It creates awkward moments on planes, (recalling a long sobbing flight home from Australia while reading a tear jerker).

Keri Ford said...

What I want readers to take away from my books?

A new family that they will want to revist over and over again.

Vicki said...

What do I want readers to take away from my books?

The sense of knowing the characters like cherished and not so cherished friends. To want to know what happens next and not be able to wait for the next book. To feel invested in the story and the characters lives.

Angie Fox said...

"embracing your inner Scarlett O'Hara" - What a great way to describe it, Michele.

And congrats to h.l.dyer for nailing your theme. It took me a couple of books to figure out how to do that. But I suspect your "I like to believe" line is going to be a major lynch pin in your book.

Angie Fox said...

I have a feeling I'll be buying your book, robena. A fantastic setting gets me every time.

And yes, I try to avoid tear jerkers on planes, or as purse books. I don't want to be crying while waiting for the dentist.

Chessie said...

I don't know why I have to do dark, but I do. I can't do light and funny to save my life. I know, I've tried. It makes me snort for all the very wrong reasons.

But why dark? I have a hard time answering that sometimes. I see a great deal of pain and evil in the world, and so much beauty and good. I guess I like the stories that pit good vs. evil in a way that shows us we need to sacrifice, and that it won't be easy to fix the world's ills.

But it is worth it in the end to try.

I want to give readers hope and courage.

beth said...

I'd like my readers to take away a memory or impression. I have two floor to ceiling bookshelves in my office, filled with the books I love. There are some that all I have to do is look at the title on the spine, and I remember a brilliant scene as if I had just read it. I'd like to write something that creates an indelible memory in a reader like that.

Chumplet said...

I've been told by my readers that I have a strong voice for description. I have the ability to transport the reader to another place and time. Whether it moves the plot forward is still under debate.

I guess I want my readers to feel as if they've experienced the tastes, smells, hopes and fears that my characters experience.

Angie Fox said...

Chessie does write dark, brilliantly dark. We worked very closely together on The Accidental Demon Slayer and on Chessie's book, Chains of Honor. In fact, my editor has just recently requested Chessie's full ms.

I don't want to jump the track too much, but since we're talking about voice and tone, one of the things I learned from working with Chessie is that critique partners don't have to have the same voice, tone or style in order to work well together. In fact, I suspect our differnt tones help us look at each other's work more objectively.

I'd worked with more humor-oriented writers in the past who would get so caught up in my characters and worlds that they'd miss a major motivational flaw. And I'd miss it too because I had the same weaknesses as a writer. Having someone to balance that has been a real gift.

Anonymous said...

This is a good post because we do have to find where our voice works best. In my case it seems to be erotica. I didn't plan on that, and I'm still not sure if I like it because I always wanted to write mainstream fiction, but other people respond well to my books.

Suzanne said...

One of my most important objectives is to get readers to smile and be amused, so my favorite is always when someone tells me which parts made them laugh.

Stacey Kayne said...

Hey Angie! Great post. Your book sounds fab--love that cover--it's on my TBB list!

As a reader I love long and lyrical writing styles, but as a writer I know that will never be MY voice. (dang it!) It's just not in me--my voice is too direct, to the point and dialogue oriented.

The biggest thing I learned about voice in my own work is to give it to my characters. If I get to a passage where can hear "myself" I try to reevaluate it to see if I can deliver it through my character's perception. Character development and bringing their voice, their humor, their outlook onto the page is a large part of what establishes my voice. It took me a while to figure that out, and to write myself out of my books *LOL*

JES said...

Wonderful, thought-provoking questions...

(1) What have you discovered about your voice? "He" (the voice) is smarter and funnier than I am -- about different things. And he's also very dry, to the extent that sometimes it's hard to know if he's kidding. (Sometimes in the same sentence he seems to be kidding in one part, serious in the other.) Twisted, eh?

(2) What do you want readers to take away from your books? A sense that although the world is sometimes a very bad place, it's also not a bad place at all -- and that it's the people in it (both real and fictional) who make it so, both ways.

Natalie Hatch said...

I've tried writing dark and dangerous, and also sexy it's not me, it feels like wearing someone elses shoes, you know, it's just not kosher, but when I do sit down to write, once the twins are safely watching Dora and the rest of the family is busy I find I can fit bits of it it, with a light hearted banter thrown in. We'll see how that sits with a publisher soon.

Kathleen Dante said...

What have you discovered about your voice?

I write sexy. I can't write funny funny or tearjerkers. Something inside me pulls back from those extremes.

And if you could ask readers to take just one thing from your books, what would it be?

Enjoyment. If I can take them away from their cares for the span of my books, I'd be happy.

Creative A said...

Hey :)

I hope readers take away a sort of resonance from my books. I want to get them so deeply involved in the world of my characters that, even though things ended the way they should, readers just want to stay in that world and continue to be a part of things. Sobered, and thrilled.

Something like that.

My voice is a bit harder to pin down. At first I used to think it was dark, almost depressing, but after reading some finished pieces of mine I realized they are actually hopeful. I really like that, because I used to try and write inspirational pieces (but couldn't.) So now maybe my writing will inspire people, just not the way I'd hoped to before.

-A

Just_Me said...

It took me a while to find my voice.... I'm off-beat most of the time, I write sci-fi and some fantasy. And I like to make my readers snigger. If I can hear my beta-reader giggling over something I've done my job.

I want to make people smile.

I want to provide an escape.

And I want my readers to be thinking about the characters I've created when they walk away. I want those characters to be real people to my readers.

Chris Redding said...

I recently wrote and sold a romantic comedy. Who knew.
The publisher dissolved, but I really think I have something here.
I am funny and sarcastic and irreverent.
I have to be that way.
No choice. It was freeing to find my voice.
cmr