11 January 2013

Please welcome fellow author, Angela Quarles

Let's learn a little bit about author, Angela Quarles --
Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in an historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL, with her two matched gray cats, Darcy and Bingley. When she's not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She's had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum.
She's an admitted geek and is proud to be among the few but mighty Browncoats who watched Firefly the first night it aired. She was introduced to the wonderful world of science fiction by her father, by way of watching reruns of the original Star Trek in her tweens and later giving her a copy of Walter M. Miller Jr's A Canticle for Leibowitz as a teenager. She hasn't looked back since.
She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She was an exchange student to Finland in high school and studied abroad in Vienna one summer in college. She recently found representation with Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon, Assoc.

Angela also agreed to be interviewed ;-  Thank you Angela.
Why writing? And why your chosen genre.
I think it offered an opportunity for me to use my creativity and imagination in a way that was challenging enough to keep my interest. Plus, it allows me to use and fuse my interests in different ways and in different stories. It's a way for me to "act" out other characters and personalities and to time travel :) If there was one sub-genre under romance that would cover what I write it'd be paranormal. Mainly time travel, but also other types of romance where I can incorporate something a little out of the ordinary, whether it's a wish-granting djinn, or steampunk, or meta fiction—a 'What If' that can't actually happen in real life. Usually, though, it's a little dabble that is inserted into the normal world, but has big consequences. In my time travel romance, Must Love Breeches, it's a wish made on a calling card case that brings her back in time, but then that's it as far as paranormal events. With Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, it's an accidental wish made with a djinn, and except for little things they notice during the story, it takes place in our normal world.
Who or what has been your biggest influence in your writing, and how?
Hmm. When this question is worded differently I usually answer Jane Austen, but for some reason the way this is phrased has given me pause. I'll fudge my answer and give not the biggest, but several. Austen, because I love her writing and her ability to so effortlessly capture the small human moments and make them filled with tension and meaning. And my first efforts at fiction were Austen fan fiction. But later, it was reading Christopher Moore and how much he made me laugh and how out there he was, that really made me want to try writing for real.

What is your favourite colour, and why?
Green. Don't know why though? Perhaps because it makes me feel peaceful?

If you could be a flower what would it be?
Echinecea, though I'm also awfully fond of zinnias

Are you a plotter or a 'pantser' writer?
A mixture of both, actually—a 'plantser.' I like to come up with my major turning points and learn enough about my characters to know their goals, motivations and conflicts, but I don't outline the whole thing scene by scene before I just have to dive in and write/discover it.

Do you ever visualise actors/actress for your H/H? Who would you choose for your hero?
Not as much as I get the sense others do. In fact, when I'm writing I don't have an actor or actress in mind for any of my stories. The only time I had one visualized, it was after the first draft of Must Love Breeches, and that was Toby Stephens for the hero, so during revision I modeled him a little on that actor.
So now after the fact, who would I have play Riley McGregor in Beer and Groping in Las Vegas? Hmmm. Maybe a short-haired Joe Mangeniello, like in this picture.

Which actress would you pick to play your heroine?
Same thing with the hero, I didn't have anyone in mind for Mirjam Linna, but in answer to this question, no contest, I'd pick my cousin, Lauren Benz Phillips, who currently has a small recurring role on Matthew Perry's new sitcom Go On :) In fact, a friend of mine thought the model on the cover looked like Lauren! 

Tea or coffee?

Seaside or mountains

When on holiday do you prefer warmth or cold?
Warmth!! (Though I know that's in contradiction to the previous question, LOL) I'd rather be sweating than shivering, and shivering during a vacation would make me miserable. That's not to say I don't like the occasional ski vacation (*snort* as if I could just afford to take off for a ski vacation LOL. This is all hypothetical, right?)

What was the best piece of writing related advice you've ever received?
Not to worry about how bad my first draft was, just write it.

Do you have a promotion tip to share with other authors?
Hmm, this is my first release so I'm not exactly flush with battle-tested experience. I did write a post Wednesday on the success I'm having with the DIY ad on Goodreads though, if that helps :)

What is the best reader comment/feedback you've ever had?
I haven't been published long enough to get a lot of feedback yet, so right now I'm just tickled when a total stranger leaves a review on Goodreads or Amazon that says it was sexy and fun. And since that was my goal, I feel pretty dang good about that :)

If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?
What's your favorite part of Beer and Groping in Las Vegas? I think it would be fun to know and interesting to see what was each person's favorite… (Was I supposed to ask something really cerebral and world-conscious here? If so, pretend I did. Please?)


Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?
Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.
Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It's granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they're surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.
Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Amazon | B&N | ARe | BookStrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

Excerpt - Opening scene --
Mirjam rubbed the tiredness from her eyes, but the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland still occupied the Rivenbark Hotel & Casino elevator with her. She blinked and squinted. Yep. And life-size. Complete with hookah.
Plastic squeaked against glass as the caterpillar shifted to make more room. It made eye contact.
"Er, nice costume," Mirjam ventured.
"Thanks," came the muffled reply.
The elevator swooped to a stop on the mezzanine level. A pirate and a Ghostbuster stepped on and pushed the lobby button. Mirjam angled back to avoid being knocked over by the guy's Proton Pack.
"Convention?" Mirjam asked the caterpillar and it rewarded her with a nod.
Mirjam groaned inwardly. She'd attended her share, but now, they reminded her too much of The Turd, otherwise known as Brian. Great. She wanted to go home but apparently, that was asking too much—a blizzard in Ann Arbor nixed her flight this morning. Next chance to get out—tomorrow.
The elevator dinged at the lobby, and she headed to the hotel bar. Maybe she could salvage the day by squeezing in some work.
"What can I get you?" The bartender sported a headband with gold, sparkly antennae in her pink, cropped hair.
Mirjam pulled out her laptop. "Sprite, please." Only a few others populated the bar, too early for drinking. Though this was Vegas. Pink Hair Lady plopped down Mirjam’s drink, the stir stick topped by a wiggling green rubber alien.
"So, which convention is this?" Mirjam motioned to a couple of Spartans walking by, though they probably shouldn't have chosen that look.
"It's ConVegas—sci-fi, fantasy, pop culture, that kind of thing. Doesn't start until tomorrow, but we always get some folks early. What brings you here?"
"AppExpo that ended last night." Mirjam connected to the hotel's free WiFi. Time to figure out what caused her new app to choke while compiling.
Pink Hair Lady cocked her hip, fist resting on the bone. "Lemme guess. You're always working, aren't you?" She slid a glass bowl of pistachios over. "This is Vegas. You should be out having fun."
Fun. Pfft. No time for that. "My flight got canceled and the timing blows. Too much to do. I didn't want to come, but my partner thought it might be good for business."
"Was it?"
Mirjam shrugged and pulled up and scanned her code, hoping her fixed focus on the laptop would clue Chatty One to leave her alone.
"I'm Jenn, by the way."
Mirjam peeked up and pasted on a smile. "Nice to meet you." She tracked back to the code.
The bartender left to help another customer but returned her inquisitive butt a few minutes later. "So, Vegas at your feet and your nose is to the grindstone. This is truly what you wish to do with your unexpected free night?"
Mirjam gritted her teeth. If Jenn would stop pestering her, she might be able to figure out the rendering bug. "No. If I had my wish, I'd spend it having hot sex with the man of my dreams, but since that's not going to happen…" she snapped.
The bartender's eyes flashed for a second. Or had they literally flashed?
Mirjam shook her head. She really was tired. "Sorry. Don't mind me."
"No worries, I'll leave you to your work." Jenn smiled and strode to the other end of the bar.
No matter how long Mirjam stared at the code, the solution eluded her. Man, she could use a nap. She motioned to Jenn and settled her tab.
"Have fun in Vegas. Here," Jenn fished in her back pocket, "try the slot machine on the corner there. On me." She slid a dollar across the counter. "I hear one gets lucky with it."
Mirjam tried to shove the bill back, but Jenn kept her hand in place, pinning the bill to the counter with a bright pink fingernail. "I insist."
Oh, what would it hurt? "Okay, thanks. I will."
She packed away her laptop and swung the bag over her shoulder. At the machine, she fed in the dollar and received three credits. Yank. Nothing. Yank. Nothing. Yank. Ding, ding, ding! Mirjam jumped back, a rotating red light atop the machine joining the cacophony.
What in the—
Mirjam peered into the output tray and scooped out a heavy-stock envelope with a pink wax seal, not the expected handful of chips one hopes for in Las Vegas. She flipped it over. Embossed on the front, her name—Mirjam Linna.
Find Angela here--website | blog | twitter | facebook


SherryGLoag said...

:-) It's good to have you here, Angela. LOL. Thanks for your patience!

Anonymous said...

Great interview and excerpt. I tweeted.

Paula Martin said...

Great to find out more about you and your writing, Angela, having 'met' you via Six Sentence Sunday. Love the names of your cats too :-)

Cate Masters said...

Love the title, Angela! Sounds like a really fun read. Congrats!

Flossie Benton Rogers said...

Angela, WOW, this sounds like a wonderful book. Well done! Best of luck with it.