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Friday, February 28, 2014

Taking Tea with... Angela Verdenius

It’s a great pleasure to welcome an ‘old’ friend, Angela Verdenius to my tea table this week. 

Angela and I first met way back when my first books were published through a small epress in the US. This was in the days when epublishing was viewed askance by the mainstream publishers and as for self-publishing... well that was "vanity" publishing and no self respecting author would do that! There was no such thing as an "e-reader" and I remember reading ebooks on my Palm Pilot (remember them?). So when was this "dark age" - 2007...not even 10 years ago!

Angela is offering a GIVEAWAY of her latest book, Adam's Thorn (more about that later)

So Angela, before we start, George is wheeling in the tea trolley, what is your preference?

Hmmmm…would you cringe if I said white tea with four sugars?!  (AS chokes and clutches her throat... strong sweet tea, good for shock!)  LOL  Can I add how honored I am to be sitting with you?  We go back a long way, we’ve seen a lot of changes, and I always feel a sense of meeting an old friend when I see you at conferences.  My Mum has never met you, but she knows your name! (AS: That's lovely! Thank you)

Angela, as I said above,  we first met many years ago as “epublished authors” with a small epress.  Back in the days before ereaders, epublication was definitely considered a lower form of publishing life.  What changes have you seen over the last few years?

Oh, so much has changed.  Ebook authors are now accepted along with the traditional authors, ebooks are being published by mass market publishers, ebooks are seen as an alternative to hard copies, and really, ebooks have paved the way for writing in genres that may not have once been accepted, and allowed us to push the boundaries.  Big-name authors have their works available in both ebook and hard copy formats.  I think it’s made us all equal and respected as authors.

It wasn’t that long ago that ebook readers were only known to a few people I met, now just about everyone knows what they are and owns one.  People love having so many books on one device without having to worry about space to put paperbacks/hardbacks.  

Can I mention how I used to have to cull my book collection every year because I ran out of room?  Heartbreaking! (AS: I pretty much only read fiction as ebooks these days... apart from anything else, my eyes can't take print particularly late at night and with an ereader I can adjust font size)

Am I right in thinking you started with writing science fiction romance (your Love, Heart and Soul series)?  What was the attraction of science fiction and are you still writing in this genre?

Correct, Alison.  I used to write science fiction romance, and wrote 18 full length novels in the Love, Heart & Soul series, as well as two novellas (not related to the LHS series).  I loved the freedom of science fiction, being able to make my own laws and cultures, not being forced to write according to what we all know and accept as normal.  Basically, my only limits were my imagination. 

Currently, I am not writing science fiction romance, but that’s not to say I won’t ever write more books for the Love, Heart & Soul series, I confess there are still a few characters I’d like to revisit and give their own story. 

In more recent years you have been writing contemporary romance with plus sized heroines – what led you on to this path?

I felt that my voice was getting stale and I wanted to try a different genre to ‘freshen’ my voice.  I started writing a contemporary romance featuring a plus-size heroine, and so Doctor’s Delight was born.  From there I had other characters coming forward and wrote their stories, and it went from there.

I really enjoy the plus-size heroines.  They are real - hey, we BBWs are out there!  Love knows no boundaries, and that includes size.  I know there are men out there who love a woman for who they are, not what they look like, and these are the heroes I value and want to write and read about.  And there are women out there who want to read about ‘real’ heroines finding love, women with whom they can identify.  Not every woman is a perfect size 12 (Aus size).  The heroines come in many sizes, with varying degrees of issues and confidence.  One thing I don’t do is mention exactly what size the heroine is, because I believe every reader will see her according to their POV.  As for the hero - well, who doesn’t love a strong, handsome hunk with eyes only for you?!  Everyone deserves a HEA!

I am in awe of your productivity level! Are you writing full time?  How do you organize your writing into your day?

Oh gosh, I wish I did write full time.  That’s the dream!  I work mostly shift work, with only two days per week of ‘normal hours’, so I always write before work or after work (depending if I’m on a late or early shift) and all day on my days off and holidays.  TV is only watched if there’s a program I really, really want to watch.  I only read in bed (or at the kitchen table for a stolen few minutes). Basically, I love writing, but it is my second job and I treat it as such, which keeps me disciplined.  I’m hoping to one day work part-time and write part time to make one living LOL.  Even better if I can just write full time! I’m still working on that million-dollar bestseller!

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Read!  I read in bed every night, never fail.  And when I’m having a break between writing books (usually a week off before starting a new one), then I read as much as I can, and I also tend to get horror DVDs and do a one-day marathon run .  Oh yeah, and I have this habit of browsing the internet, seeing what new books my favorite authors are bringing out, checking out other author websites to see what they’re up to, browsing Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks and other book places, checking out what new horror movies are coming out…basically playing guilt-free catch-up!

About every 4 - 6 weeks, I spend an afternoon with my friends and we hire a DVD, go to a movie, or have an early tea (evening meal) at the Dome and chat until the place closes .  It’s catch-up time for us all.

And finally, your cats.  So many authors are owned by cats (including me). Tell me about your two furry feline “mewses” and their importance in your life?

"Evie" short for "Eve of Destruction"
I actually have 9 furry feline “mewses”, but the one who keeps me company the most when writing is Evie (aka Eve of Destruction), mainly because she likes to try and pick a fight with me by lying all over the keyboard and doing weird things to my screen (AS: I have one of those... I am sure he thinks his name is 'B$##%^' Nuisance!).  I discovered a new program I didn’t know I had thanks to Evie and her habit of touching things!  She snoozes behind the computer, rolls beside it, lies on the hutch and looks down at me, accepts kisses and pats, and fights with me - that’s when we start shoving each other.  Okay, I push her away when she decides to start messing around with the keyboard, and she slaps back.  It really degenerates into a shoving match between us, but I love it when she’s there!  My other little writing buddy is Abby, who often flops on her back behind my chair and snoozes.  Now and again Lily will wander in and nap on the chair which I pull up beside me for her.


My cats mean so much to me.  They’re my furkids and I love them heaps.  They make me smile, laugh, and even shed a tear when something happens.  They relax me.  I just can’t imagine life without them.

Angela's latest book is ADAM'S THORN, a contemporary romance with a plus size heroine and, my favourite, a spook old house!

The arrival of Barbie Declan in his town brought up a lot of bad memories for Adam.  A lot.

The calm, controlled cop had Barbie acting like a shrew whenever he was near her.  Talk about guilt.

Now she had not only sparks of dislike between them, but something growing a little hotter.  As if that wasn’t disconcerting enough…

…there’s something very wrong with the spooky old house she’s inherited…

ADAM'S THORN is available from Amazon, Smashwords (all formats), ARE and Barnes and Noble. It will be coming out in print shortly.

ABOUT ANGELA

I live in Australia where I am happily ruled by my cats. When not working as a nurse, I can be found at my second job - pounding on the computer keyboard bringing to life the characters lurking in my imagination.  Oh yeah, and drinking Diet Coke, playing with the cats and pretending I’m not procrastinating!

Reading has always been my escape, writing my dream. Horror, myths, legends, fantasy and history, there are no limits to the wonders to be found. And romance? Well, that adds the spice, hope and happiness ever after…

Join Angela and I in a discussion on the topic of the kind of qualities we look for in a hero....

Angela is offering a free Ebook Giveaway of Adam’s Thorn to a lucky commenter.

We like our heroes laid back and comfortable in their own fur....









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