Friday, February 24, 2012

Meet Angel Lawson

I’ve known Angel Lawson in one way or another for a long time.  She can be surprisingly shy so I arranged this interview where she’d be most comfortable; her couch by herself away from all her familial distractions, hoping for her to really open up to me about her writing process.  I should’ve known better.  Kidding! She shared some insight to her writing process and the village that helps keep her Writing Village in order.  I hope you enjoy. 

TB – So first off, congratulations on your book!  This is really exciting. Now, am I correct in saying that you’re giving away the e-book version for free(!!!) of Wraith this weekend?
AL – Yes! It’s my birthday and in the Angel Lawson house you have to pick a birthday to give away stuff instead of receiving stuff. So if the kids can do it then so can I.
TB – That’s pretty generous.  How does that work?
AL – Go to Amazon and download the book to any Kindle receptive product (kindle, computer, iPhone, iPad)
TB – How long was the process of doing the book? I mean, coming up with the idea, doing a first draft, editing, finalizing,  getting it turned into an e-book, cover design, etc.  How long did that take?
AL – It took me about 6 months to fully write and edit the book. Then I shelved it for a while, wrote another book and then went back and re-edited again. The second edit took me all of spring break last year.  The formatting process took about 2 months but I was relying on awesome free labor so that may be different than other people. I made the cover so that took me a couple hours once I had the idea together.
TB – Did you have any preconceived notions going into it for the time and effort it would take?
AL – No. I had written some before but nothing on this large of a scale. I kind of tried to have a deadline. I started in the winter and knew it had to be completed (draft wise) before summer starts since I work more in the summer and the kids are home from school.
 TB – What is a usual writing day for Angel Lawson like?   Do you have a set number of pages that you try to get accomplished a day?
AL – No. I really only actively write a couple days a week due to my schedule and ADD (self-diagnosed) if I can get focused I can usually write a 2k word chapter draft in one setting (maybe 3 hours) then I will go back in the next day or so to review it and make small edits. I can write about 5-6k words per week if I’m in the middle of it all.
TB – Were your friends surprised when they found out that you were writing?
AL – Ha! Lots still do not know.  The others? I’m not sure. It was a gradual process. I suspect no one really puts much past me.
TB – Writing is such an independent thing, but you had a good number of people help you out, right?
AL – Yes, it is widely known that it takes a village to help me do anything.
TB – How do you go about picking people to help you? 
AL – Well, when you have readers the first thing you want is people to tell you, “it’s awesome”, so that you are motivated to keep going. You want them to be critical but you also pick people who are your “audience” and will typically like what you are trying to say. The second wave you hope will be more opinionated on storyline and plot. Then comes the edits aka: Grammar Nazi’s. Those are a breed of people all on their own. Scary but necessary.
TB – Stephen King, in his book On Writing, says, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Would you say you agree with that?
AL – Yes. The more you read the more you open your brain. The more you write the better you get at it.
TB – What are you currently reading?
AL –  Starring Sally J. Friedman, As Herself-Judy Blume. This was one of my favorite books as a kid. Recently, for my Retro-Bookclub, we picked Forever, by Judy Blume and I was at the used bookstore and found this book. I remembered it and had merged it in my mind with a different book from my childhood (Goodbye, Glamour Girl) that was based in the 1940s in NYC.  When I saw the book and read the back I got so excited that I had found it again. I was one of those kids who had books that were equal to my friends. It was like reuniting with my best friend from the 4th grade.
TB – All right, let’s move off of the book for a little bit.  Talk to me about your overwhelming awesomosity.  It can’t be easy to carry that burden every day.
AL – It’s hard. I do my best.
TB – You’re quite the humble one.  I’m going to pull us back into writing, because honestly, I don’t know if people can handle too much Awesome at one time.  I like the graffiti motif on the cover and the way Connor is into it in a non-destructive kind of way.  Did you consider having him be the kind of guy that goes and tags places other than the waterworks ruins?  Would it have made him a considerably different character?
AL – I think Connor is more of an artist than an actual tagger. Plus, he’s not really in the position to draw a lot of attention to himself (especially the illegal kind). The Ruins give him a safe place to create.
TB –What kind of research did you do for Wraith?
AL Research?
TB – Okay, moving on.  Your main character, Jane Watts, is a good character.  She’s strong, but not in an unbelievable way.  The way other characters in the book react to her is pretty harsh. She’s alone a lot of the time in the book, with the exception of Evan, and eventually Connor.  Did you find it challenging to have to focus so much on her internal dialogues?
AL – I prefer to write dialogue all the time. I worry that the internal stuff is boring and too telling and not showing. But Jane is alone a lot, so it has to happen.
TB – Would you sell the rights to the book to be made into a movie?
AL – Duh. *I get to pick Connor
TB – What if the person that bought it turned it into a cheesy Lifetime made for TV movie?
AL – Have we met? I love cheesy Lifetime movies. OMG, maybe Valerie Bertinelli can play Aunt Jeanie. That would be awesome. Betty White for the grandma?
TB – Would you put any stipulations that you got to be involved in the casting?
AL –  *see above
TB – Do you listen to music when you write?  Are there any certain songs that you associate with this story?
AL –  Depends on the story and what I’m into at the time. I think I listened to the score and soundtrack from Remember Me when I wrote this as that was released around that time. The one I just completed was a lot of the Vampire Diaries Soundtrack. I’m mentally working on a new book and it’s all Explosions in the Sky.
TB – Anything new your readers can look forward to in the near future from Angel Lawson?
AL – I have one book in edits. Another one, a collaboration, is 95% done. A couple milling in my brain to work on next.
TB – Do you hope to make writing your full time job ever?
AL – Nah. I like part time jobs.
TB – Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and my 6 followers.  Maybe I can mooch off your followers once this comes out.  Ha ha ha. (seriously).  Any parting words of wisdom?
AL – Don’t fight the awesome.
TB – One last question: Would consider trying to get a table at Dragon*Con to promote and sell your books?
AL – Maybe. I’m not sure it’s cost effective, but I would love to do any kind of author panel or signing.

Angel Lawson, besides being a conduit of higher than average Awesomeness is an artist, mom, entrepreneur, and a surprisingly good clogger; although you shouldn’t ask her to show you because it would just be a waste of your time.  Check out her blog at

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pinterest...wait, WHAT?!?

So I've known about Pinterest for awhile because I know all these women who use it - DW being one, and so many other Thread Ladies, and yes, I've gone on it before and looked at all the things on there, because, you know what? I like to waste time on the Interwebs.  So there.  Yes.  I've looked at it.  It's fascinating really. I totally get why all these women go on it.

I never planned on asking for an invitation to get on it officially, but then one day I got an email saying I'd been issued an invitation. Ooooo!  Who's going to turn down an invitation?  Not me, brother, that's who.

So I go through the motions and click SUBMIT (I should've known better, I suppose), and then HOLY CRAP, I'm following all these women on Pinterest and it's EVERYWHERE on my emails and on Crackbook - Thomas is now following __________. Over and over and over. Dammit this thing is FAST! Apparently Pinterest is for women.

I throw on the Emergency Break, go and unclick everything I can find, and remove Pinterest from my allowed apps on Crackbook because as cool as I am with my ability to be in touch with my feminine side, I actually don't want people thinking I'm a complete Nancy Boy now, do I? [no, no I don't]

I'm still getting emails on a daily basis informing me who's following me on Pinterest now, and I can only think how disappointing it must be for them because I haven't done a thing with my Pinterest account.  My board is bare.  I also think that it's a sad state of affairs that I have more people following me on something I do absolutely nothing on than I do with this blog, my Tumblr and my Twitter account combined.

Okay, I get it.  I am experiencing a tremendous Fail with the whole social networking thing. Right.  Fine. I'm okay with that. (not completely okay with it, b/c I am a bit of an Emo Boy, but nothing that will keep me down for too long - )

So, if any of you reading this want to make me happy you could always, I don't know, follow me on this blog that I infrequently update, but when I do I think it's entertaining. Including the In Praise of REO Speedwagon post.

By the way, I recently discovered something.  Something made for the Guy that wants to be on Pinterest, but doesn't want to hand over his Guy Card - Gentlemint.

It's Pinterest for men. Men. With manly things.  Look, you can see in the picture - a badass muscle car.  Tall speakers.  A turntable. ALF. ALF for goodness sake! And that wooden comb. I don't know anything more manly than a wooden comb.  So now I have Gentlemint.  I haven't done anything on it yet. My board's still bare on this one too.  I have even issued an invitation to a friend of mine to be on it, because it's so freaking awesome you have to get an invitation. Just like Pinterest!!! By the way, I was on the Beta list for invitations. I don't know what that means, but it sounds cool.

Ah, the Internet. Bringing people together by keeping us apart from others.  Good stuff.