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Hellion: Welcome back to the ship; and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for returning! (You’re hardier than most of our visitors—we admire that about you. Then again, you do write about demons, so probably little scares you. Certainly not a bunch of drunken pirates with the attention span of toddlers. Good!) Okay, okay, first question. How have you been and what have you been up to lately?
Angie: Other than chasing around the towel-holding hunk from Terri’s post yesterday? He’s a fast one. Darn the luck.
Hellion: With as much as the entire crew has been chasing that guy with the towel, you’d think he’d be a bit winded and easier to catch. But no dice. Nothing but prime beefcake on this vessel!
Angie: I'd expect nothing less. Right now, I’m writing book 3 in the Accidental Demon Slayer series, tentatively titled A Tale of Two Demon Slayers. In it, Lizzie and the gang travel to Greece where they learn more about Dimitri’s past and a threat that could destroy them all. I’m having a ball with it because it’s so much fun to explore Dimitri’s home, his family - and who knew he had such a juicy past?
Hellion: Greece is definitely the place to have a juicy past. And we here on the ship do adore men with juicy pasts. And juicy lips. And juicy backsides…well, not really so much juicy as…never mind. Please carry on.
Angie: I also have a story in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2, which comes out on Halloween. And then I’m working on a voodoo novella for this amazing anthology that I’m not allowed to announce yet.
Hellion: Excellent! Great authors should always have something available for us to devour! Speaking of things to devour: you have a new book out today: The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers. What’s it about? And what were your sources for constructing a handbook for Lizzie? Any ancient grimoires you’ve stumbled on in your research?
Angie: *LOL* My research led me to some pretty interesting places, but no grimoires. Guess that’s why poor Lizzie had to write a demon slaying guide of her own.
In this latest book, Lizzie is determined, once and for all, to master her powers. In fact, she’s going to write the book on demon slaying. So she begins a journal, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, where she records what she’s learning, starting with newfound discoveries about demons, gargoyles and a particularly mischievous live spell named Beanie who likes to fill Lizzie’s boots with pumpkin spice latte.
Things get dangerous when the demons get their hooks in Dimitri. He’s much darker and sexier in this book. And we introduce a new character, Max, who is half demon and 100% yummy.
Hellion: Not just one, but two? That's ambitious! Writing yummy demon heroes is hard work. (Translation: writing is hard work, but writing about yummy men doing romantic, wonderful, SEXY things: even harder.) What are your tips for creating yummy alpha heroes and also keeping your writing fresh as you continue the series?
Angie: Well, I was just down at the Romantic Times Conference, hanging out with cover models, so that certainly didn’t hurt. Seriously, though, for me it is about channeling what I think is sexy and giving that kind of guy to my heroine. I also gave Dimitri an adversary in this new book, which spices things up. Lizzie, of course, is true to her man. But she does need the help of a smoking hot demon hunter and let’s just say jealous griffins are even more sexy than the ones who have it all under control. Plus, having two glorious men in one book is never a bad thing.
Hellion: Nice. See, I knew there was a reason I loved you. You also know there is so no such thing as too much of a good thing. I see the book is set in Las Vegas. There are writers’ articles galore about not skimping on setting (definitely my weakest link)…and as you know, not skimping usually involves lots and lots of careful, thoughtful research. So how did you research for Las Vegas? Elvis movies or weekend-binge trips or a combination of both? (I insisted on this question because I want to set a book there and need to know the best way to go about this…since I’ve neither watched Elvis movies nor gone to Vegas.)
Angie: Well, it was a tough job, but somebody had to go to Las Vegas. I sacrificed for my craft and decided to take a long weekend with one of my girlfriends. I admit it. I had these images of cool hotels and shows in my head. Then reality hit. I write about biker witches and a preschool teacher turned demon slayer. These folks don’t have a lot of spare cash lying around. This wasn’t my trip – it was theirs. Good thing I like odd adventures.
Aileen and I decided see and experience the biker witch version of Sin City. We stayed in the cheesiest hotels we could find. We ate at Bob’s Big Boy. We even visited a dude ranch with armadillos, a boar and several very old chickens.
We were able to talk our way into some behind-the-scenes places as well. The climax of The Accidental Demon Slayer takes place inside the Hoover Dam, and we were lucky enough to be invited to see first-hand what I’d be writing about. A guide took us far down into the inspection tunnels they used in the 1930’s and 40’s, when the cement was still curing. It was amazing to see the notes these inspectors made on the walls, to hear the stories of those that didn’t quite make it out and to walk the same old metal steps that they did. All of that made it into The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, along with lots of things I had a blast making up (this is fiction after all).
Hellion: Okay, that’s just way cool about the tour of Hoover Dam. (Spooky place too!) And good work on going authentic and eating at Bob’s Big Boy. Regarding the “biker experience”, I took your biker name quiz and ended up named: Two Date Tessa No Brakes (which incidentally is what a lot of people were calling me anyway—have you seen me drive?). What’s your biker name and do you think it fits?
Angie: I’m Looney Libby No Brakes, which I suppose means we’re related. Does that mean I can borrow your car?
Hellion: Sure, cuz, but remember it has no brakes. Corners nicely though. What is up next for Lizzie? Any exciting details to share about what will be next for our intrepid demon slayer and her protector?
Angie: Lizzie is finally coming into her own in this book. She’s chosen this life and she’s ready to take on her first big challenge as a demon slayer. This is a darker book than the first one, but it needed to be. It still has the humor (and the talking dog), but here Lizzie is really learning about her new powers and she’d dealing with the fallout of some choices she’s made.
One thing I do want to say, though, is that I’m writing each of these books as a stand-alone novel. There’s an entire story and a happily ever after in each, so it’s easy to jump into any of the books without reading the whole series.
Hellion: I’m glad each of the books can be read as a stand-alone, even though they are part of a series. I know many readers are leery of “reading out of order”, but I find that you can read them out of sequence and not feel you’re missing major backstory.
This is your sophomore published novel. Was this one harder to write than the first, easier, or about the same? And to be all Keith Anderson, did you feel more pressure with this book or the first one? (Or were you not feeling one way or the other until I brought it up as a suggestion you should be. *LOL*)
Angie: It was harder to write this book because I had to get over the idea that people were actually going to read it. When I wrote The Accidental Demon Slayer, I wanted to have it published, but I didn’t know if anyone would buy it. Then suddenly, less than a year later, that book was a New York Times bestseller.
It was a complete shift for me to think that not only would some people read that next book, a lot of people might. I had to force myself to get over it by telling myself that I could toss any draft at the end of the day. No guilt. Just toss. Knowing that, I was able to relax, have fun and tell the story.
Hellion: Okay, that’s a little humorous that your writing block (if you had any) was the knowledge someone was actually reading your books. *LOL* Is there anyone in particular you like to read? Has there been a book you’ve read lately or one on your TBR pile you’re dying to get to?
Angie: Oh my first love will always be books. Being a writer hasn’t changed that a bit. Favorites lately have included Katie MacAlister’s Ghost of a Chance, Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre, Stakes & Stilettos by Michelle Rowen (her entire Immortality Bites series is amazing), Accidentally Dead by Dakota Cassidy, No Rest for the Wiccan by Madelyn Alt, La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock, Midnight Sins by Cynthia Eden. And I can’t wait to get my hands on Dead and Gone, Charlaine Harris’s new one that’s coming out soon. And on Beyond the Rain, a debut by Jess Granger that has been getting lots of great buzz. So many books, so little time!
Hellion: Man, I’ve never heard a crew scribble so fast. Great list! Lastly, you do these blog Q & As quite a bit—and I’m sure you get asked the same sort of questions all the time. Are there any questions you wish you were asked? Like what’s your favorite cheese, or your favorite color pen to write with?
Angie: Hmm…my favorite cheese is Laughing Cow on crackers (that’s usually my snack when I write), I can never find any pens around the house (thank goodness for computers). As far as something nobody has asked – my middle name is Marie. Now aren’t you glad you know all of that?
Hellion: I am! My middle name is Marie, so now I know we’re definitely kin! *LOL*
Angie: I didn’t doubt it. Oh and to celebrate today’s release, I’m giving one lucky pirate a free copy of The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers. Just take the quiz Are You Part Demon Slayer? and post your score in the comments section. The winner will be picked at random. Oh and if you post that same score to my author blog, you’ll be entered to win a walk-on role in the next Accidental Demon Slayer book.