Monday, October 19, 2015

An Interview with Angela J. Ford

An Interview 

with Angela J. Ford

Where are you from?
I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan but right before I turned 3, my family relocated to Alabama one the first birthday of one of my sisters. I grew up just outside of Birmingham in a small town called Alabaster. When I was 17, I moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and haven’t moved away yet!
What inspired you to write your first book?
My family is largely responsive for my love affair with words. My parents love reading and naturally passed that passion along to myself and my four sisters. We’re read aloud and make up stories with our toys and as I grew older I began to journal daily. Eventually those journals turned into tales and stories out of my imagination, and from there those tales birthed a book. I was 12 when I finished the first draft of “The Five Warriors” and since then writing become intoxicating.
Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?
I should have a t-shirt that says “I’d rather be writing” – I quit my full-time job in April of 2015 to focus on living a life I love and doing the things I enjoy most. Writing and helping others turn their dreams into reality. Now I do work full-time as a marketing strategist, but since I’m not self-employed my schedule has morphed into a “get things done” mindset instead of an “8-5pm” mindset. It allows plenty of time in my schedule to work on projects for clients and write for myself and others. Generally, I reserve weekends for myself and spend time at one of the local libraries, writing and drinking coffee.
How did you come up with the title?
Honestly, it just happened. Most of the time people say “Oh, you have 4 sister, there are 5 of you, that’s where the title came from, right?” Yes, and no. The Five Warriors in no way resemble myself or my sisters, but 5 is such a perfect number. When I first thought up the book I knew I wanted there to be warriors, they are the heroes of old in their own world.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Any thing is possible if you set you mind to it.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, I purposefully did not want the book to reflect my life events.

What books have most influenced your life most?
The Bible 

What book are you reading now?
I have about 10 or so books on my “am reading” list on Goodreads, a good combination of fiction and non-fiction. (And yes, I am reading them all). The most recent is “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine. So far, I’m curious!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m currently reading “1929” by M. L. Gardner

What are your current projects?
“The Five Warriors” is only Book 1 of The Four Worlds Series, I’m well into Book 2 and Book 4 is mostly written already. I must admit, the original drafts of all the books are completely written, but they are from my high school days and I’m undertaking a massive re-writing. I also have some adventure tales, some that are finished, some that aren’t and more ideas keep floating around in my head. I’m pretty excited about Book 2!

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Shayla Lee of Curiouser Editing was a huge support during my book launch. I met her in a Facebook Group and will certainly be working with her in the future.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m always thinking of things to change, there comes a time when I just had to put down my book and call it a day.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m working on the first draft, so no promises this paragraph will be in the final
Cuthan the Cron stood in front of the Dezzi Queen, arrogantly holding his blond head high. Heavy iron shackles bound his wrists in front of him, while the linked chains reached down to connect to the iron circlets around his bare feet. The sharp features of his tanned face were marred under streaks of mud and dirt, but his green eyes gazed out almost lazily, as if he were board with his sentencing. His tunic was ripped from the scuffle and his pants were too short, cropped off mid-calf. Generally, he liked his appearance to be impeccable but this time it couldn’t be helped. He made a mental note to acquire new clothes as soon as the ordeal was over. The butt of a whip punched into his shoulder blades, forcing him to move forward. He shrugged and moved two steps forward. He was slim and fast, standing at just over five and a half feet tall, but his movements weren’t his strength. As the Queen gave him a chilling glance he cocked his head, and smiled at her.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I like to distract myself from writing, I can think of a million things to do before starting to write. My main challenge is to stop distracting myself and start writing.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors, she has the ability to combine reality and magic in a thrilling way that makes you believe anything is possible.

Who designed the covers?
Rashina Bhula of One of One Design Co. She’s exactly the kind of person I enjoy working with, she’s passionate, creative, and full of ideas. We’ve already talked through the next few books and our ideas for them!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The rounds of editing were the hardest part, when I finished the book it was about 90,000 words. By the time I got done with my rounds of editing it ended up being closer to 120,000 words. Funny, how it got longer, even when I deleted chapters!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
You really can achieve anything you put your mind to – but it does take hard work and determination. I also realized the importance of small steps, like writing every single day. If you write 100 words every day for 365 days, well then, you’ll have your book and then some.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up! The reason most people fail is because they gave up, and it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect. The more you write the better you become.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Don’t ever stop reading and expanding your perspective by reading.

What do you think about e-publishing versus technical publishing?
At the end of the day, the readers voice speaks louder and its very telling what readers enjoy. Traditional publishing does have the exposure advantage.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I have a strong hankering to cross the oceans and dwell in the mountains of New Zealand for a time. From there travel to the beaches of Australia before crossing into Asia. I’d like to walk the Great Wall of China and enjoy Japanese cuisine. I’d like to wonder the streets of London and once again enjoy the rich green goodness of Ireland. I want to see the ice palaces of Canada and enjoy the beauty of the desert. Basically, I want the world to be my home.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Time travel. In a blue box. 

Angela J. Ford is an imaginative and entertaining writer who creates stories of fanciful worlds that enable young adults to confidently believe in possibilities and overcome differences to be stronger together. Born in Ann Arbor, MI, and raised in Alabaster, AL, she moved to Nashville, TN, where she currently resides, to pursue a degree in Music Business at Belmont University. Although her career has not been largely focused on creative writing, it has been an integral part of her lifestyle. Brought up as a bookworm and musician, she began writing The Four Worlds, a fantasy action, adventure series at the age of 12. The storyline of those books was largely based off of creative games she played with her sisters. Originally finished when she was 16, after college, Angela began to re-write the Four Worlds Series, bringing it from a child’s daydream to an adventure young and old alike can enjoy. Inspired by fairy tales, high magic and epic fantasy, you ll enjoy your adventures within the Four Worlds. If you happen to be in Nashville, you ll mostly likely find her at a local coffee shop, enjoying a white chocolate mocha and furiously working on her next book. Make sure you say hello!
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