Please join me in welcoming ~ Angela Wallace!

Happy Valentine’s Eve! Today is super amazing because I have another pre-Valentine treat for all of you, my fantabulous readers.

As many of you know, last summer I was lucky enough to meet some pretty terrific people in Kristen Lamb’s blogging class. I’ve written about them before and so you all know how awesome and amazing they are, but did you know there’s one in particular that I have a special affinity for?

Yep. Angela Wallace. She’s this totally sweet girl who, if she lived closer to me, I’d hang out with and teach her how to make healthy gluten free meals (read: gluten free cupcakes and candy). Then when she got tired of that, I’d take her to Disneyland.

But we’re not here to talk about gluten free cooking or Disneyland. Today we get to take a peek into what makes Angela so awesome.

First of all, she wrote this book, Elemental Magic, that I couldn’t put down. My poor family had to fend for themselves on cold and rainy Sunday because I was curled up on the couch and refused to do anything but find out what happened to Aileen!

Elemental Magic: 

Aileen Donovan is an oceanographer with magical control over the element of water. While her normal focus is on research and fighting poachers, she’s about to go up against the stuff of legends—and that’s saying something for a supernatural. A transport ship is missing and everyone’s eager to get their hands on the cargo. No one knows what exactly it is, but when fragments resembling coral begin to drive local residents insane, Aileen suspects a preternatural source. Whatever is at the bottom of the ocean, a power-hungry alchemist wants it, and releases a sea dragon to eat the competition—literally. Aileen sees this as an opportunity to win the professional recognition she desires, but keeping secrets is complicated when she’s working with local Coast Guard officer Colin Benson. Her sense of love and duty will be put to the test, and when the tide washes out, it might have been better if that lost ship had stayed lost.

***

If you want to know what happens to Aileen, you’ll have to read the book. I’m not giving any spoilers away here!

So now that you know about her book, let’s get to know Angela a little more…

Thank you for having me here, Tameri!  We could just drop everything and have everybody head to Disneyland, but ah, that might be a tight car ride.  Okay, let’s go ahead with the regularly scheduled programming.

Have you always wanted to be a writer, or was there another career you dreamt of doing?  I’ve been a writer since I was 7-years-old.  I just didn’t know I could make a career out of it.  It wasn’t until high school and I met some awesome peers who also shared a passion for writing that I realized this thing I did wasn’t just a “quirk.”  Aside from that, the closest alternative dream career I had was to be a veterinarian.  I was five or six, and when I learned that the job entailed more than playing with cute puppies and kittens, but sometimes blood and guts, I had a change of heart.

I’m not going to ask you where you get your inspiration, but I will ask why you chose the elements as your magical talent?  The urban fantasy genre is dominated by vampires and werewolves.  I wanted to do something different.  I’ve also always loved the idea of the elements and what each one represents.  And though the first Elemental Magic didn’t cover it, you will still be seeing some vampires and werewolves in future books.

Will there be other books that deal with fire or air elementals as main characters?  Absolutely.  I intend on having a protagonist for each element.  You’ll be seeing Aileen again in Book Two, Dry Spell, but Book Three will be about her brother Keenan and his college sweetie, Nita Young, who’s an earth elemental.  At the moment, I have six books planned, but haven’t quite decided which one will have the honor of number four—air or fire.

You had to do quite a bit of research for this book, what was your favorite part? Probably the mythology.  I love reading about myths that aren’t quite as popular or well-known.  However, learning about the life of an oceanographer was fun too.  I am as far away from science minded as can be, so having not just one, but four characters as scientists was quite the challenge on my part.  And you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to find some of the information, like how to treat a bleeding dolphin in the water!

Who are a few of your favorite authors? Cassandra Clare, Melissa Marr, Patricia Briggs, Richelle Mead.  You might notice the majority of those write YA, but I love their writing voices—strong and compelling.

What hobbies do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing? Reading.  I have a shameless library addiction.  I also love to watch my crime dramas like Castle, Flashpoint, and Criminal Minds.  Though I don’t have the time for these as much as I used to, I also love drawing and jigsaw puzzles.  I used to own 64 puzzles, all 1000 pieces or more, all of which I’d put together and taken apart at least three times.

Have all the books you’ve written been in the fantasy genre? If so, what’s another genre you’d like to write in someday? Yes, well mostly.  My other novel, Phoenix Feather, is actually more of a romance/crime story.  I love murder mysteries (see favorite television shows above), and I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a cop series, but for the moment I’ll settle with solving supernatural deaths/murders.

What’s your favorite candy? Sour gummi worms.  They’re gluten free.  😉

What’s your favorite color?  I’m more of a color combination girl than loyal to one shade.  My current fav is teal, emerald green, lime green, and midnight blue.

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, anywhere, who would it be and where? Why him or her?  My 4th grade teacher.  She really inspired me to pursue writing, even went as far as to set aside special time in class for me to work on a story while the other kids did math.  She was also very sweet and supportive.  I remember her visiting me in the hospital once.  I’d love to tell her I remember what she did and how I credit her for helping me get to where I am.

What would you order?  Gah, eating out with a gluten allergy is a nightmare, which is why I don’t do it.  However, if I’m dreaming…potato cheese soup from Marie Calendar’s.  (Yes, white soups have gluten.)

Now can you see why I love this girl so much? She’s super fabulous! If you want to get to know Angela a little more, check out her blog, follow her on Twitter, @AngelaRWallace, or Like her Facebook Author Page.

And don’t forget to buy a copy of Elemental Magic here (you can also pick up Phoenix Feather while you’re there!) By the way, Caleb Fong did the covers for both books. Just thought you’d like to know.

Because she’s so amazing, Angela is going to give away a free copy of her book to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment either for me or Angela and your name will be entered in a hat. If you RT this post, you’ll be entered twice! Angela is going to pick a winner Sunday night, so you have until Saturday to comment. **This counts for my Wednesday post and Friday post, too.

Be sure to check back here on Friday because Angela will be guest posting on what writing fantasy means to her and who were her biggest influences in her career. I can’t wait to find out!

Got a question for Angela? Ask it here! Have you read Elemental Magic or Phoenix Feather? Share your thoughts on the books. We’d love to hear from you!

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46 thoughts on “Please join me in welcoming ~ Angela Wallace!

  1. Fantastic post you two. Loved it and Angela, your book sounds ahhhmazing. Totally up my alley…
    I would love to know your writing process. How do you get from initial idea/what if to written book? Are you a plotter or a pantser? How did you map/sketch out so you knew you had 6 books? I am enthralled with learning more about people’s writing process. 🙂

    • Hey Natalie! I’m a plotter. Every time I write a book, I refine that method, so now I do a complete summary of each chapter before I start writing it. But for Elemental Magic, I only started with the beginning and the end. I knew where I wanted the story to end up, not just with the events, but I also always have a personal/emotional arc already in mind. My characters have issues, and I know what type of growth I want them to achieve by the end of the book, so I organize the plots in a way to accomplish that.

      About having ideas for six books–that comes easy when I originally wanted to have a protagonist for each element. Then as I went along, some of them started getting sequels, until I ended up at current count of six instead of four. 🙂

  2. Thank you again for having me, Tameri! This interview was tons of fun. 😀 I forgot to mention I’ll be out at work most of the day, but will make sure to pop in during lunch to answer any questions!

  3. Wonderful interview!! I thought I knew a lot about Angela, but I was very wrong!

    Sounds like you have a very organized set of character arcs (no surprise there! lol) but do you understand how the details of the changes before you write or make that up while you are writing?

    • Hey Bridgette! I don’t have the details figured out in the beginning. I know what issue my character has, and I know what kind of personal growth I want her to experience in that area. Then when I get to plotting events, I try to work them so that they give the character opportunity to struggle and grow. How she struggles and how she achieves that personal growth come out in the writing stage. Having that personal arc figured out first though, helps sew the entire book together with that theme, if that makes sense. 🙂

  4. Great interview! I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to reading your book. I loved hearing about your writing process. I’m trying very hard to be a plotter so I don’t have to agonize so much in the editing phase.

  5. Thanks for the fab interview, Tameri and Angela. I began reading Phoenix Feather last week and am hooked! This is not a genre that I normally read and now I’m wondering why. Your writing is so creatively imaginative with completely authentic characters. I had to set it aside due to a busy weekend but when I take a break from writing today, I’m heading straight back to it. How exciting to know you have a series of 6 planned. Write on, my friend!

    • Thanks Traci! I used to feel so alone with the gluten thing because I’m the only one among my friends and family in the area. But since coming into social media, I’ve met tons of people who can’t eat it. And they’re all writers too, lol.

  6. Hi Angela!

    Terrific interview! I don’t read a lot of urban fantasy, but I like the idea that you’re book takes place in a locale other than a city. Did you have to do any research on Coast Guard ops or nautical terms? My stories are spinoffs as well. How much page time do you give a previous character in a second or third book?

    • Hi Jen! I’ll be bouncing all over the country with my series. Elemental Magic takes place in Westport, WA, which is a small, commercial fishing town. Book 2 is set in Seattle, and Book 3 is set in Yakutat, AK, which is this very tiny town that you can only reach by airplane. I like variety. 😀

      I did have to research the Coast Guard: their ranking system, the types of boats they use, jurisdiction and different responsibilities. I like to get the details right, so I even downloaded schematics of a ship to know what the different parts were called.

      At the moment, I don’t really plan on giving previous characters too much face time in later books, unless they’re the protagonist again. Because I’ll be playing with different MCs in different locations, there won’t be a lot of overlap, except that secondary characters might become main later.

    • I know, right Tiff? Teleport the remote control over to the bed when the cat is on my lap… That would be useful. 😉

      Aileen’s water magic lets her heat up the kettle without the stove, cool water into a gelatinous ice pack, and her favorite exercise–Tai Chi while holding water suspended in the air.

  7. Great interview, ladies! I felt like I was hanging out at a coffee shop with fab girlfriends. 🙂 This line really struck me:
    “I was five or six, and when I learned that the job entailed more than playing with cute puppies and kittens, but sometimes blood and guts, I had a change of heart.” – Brilliant!

  8. I’ve never been one for puzzles, except the 100 piece kid’s puzzles. Not enough patience, I guess.

    Using elemental magic in urban fantasy is very different, COOL. Can’t wait to read how you work it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Awesome interview, Angela W. and Tameri! Angela’s book is on my TBRSOON list 🙂 I’m hosting her on my blog in a few weeks and now I’m wondering how can I possibly match this fabulous interview, ladies? It’s gonna be a tough one!

    I am allergic to wheat so my diet is basically gluten-free. I feel your pain, Angela. But, fortunately there are so many GF products available in the stores (at least here, in Seattle). Two of my good friends are GF too so I get some pretty awesome recipes.

    • I’m sure we’ll come up with something, Angela P. 😉

      Being gluten free is a lot easier now than it was when I was first diagnosed. Back then, we had to order GF food from Canada and Italy. Gradually, it’s become more prominent in America. First the healthy stores started carrying stuff, and now I can find good GF options in the regular grocery stores. Just not in every restaurant yet.

  10. Great interview ladies! The two of you play off each other so well. I loved finding out more about Angela. 🙂 I have her book on my TBR pile. It sounds so intriguing. My mother is completely gluten free. There are a lot more options out there today then there were 15 years ago.

  11. Fantastic interview, you two! I basically walked around in a fog for 2 days while reading the 1st Elemental Magic book, and finished it (quite appropriately) while hanging out on the beach. It’s a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. 😀

  12. I’m so looking forward to reading your books. You turned me on the Patricia Briggs and Richelle Mead, I’m looking forward to reading the other authors you have listed. May I ask who did the cover for Elemental Magic? It’s a wonderful cover.

    Keep workin’ Angela on those gluten-free cupcakes Tameri. Actually, I kind of think a blog post in order— we all want to know the recipe!

  13. Fantastic interview, Tameri! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t adore Angela! I was lucky enough to win a copy of her book Elemental Magic and loved it…despite my thinking that i didn’t like supernatural/paranormal stories. Angela changed my mind.

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who commented! That’s crazy how many gluten-free friends we have out there. Just for you, I’m researching super yummy cupcake recipes ~ of course, I’ll have to try them all to find the best one!. When I do, I’ll definitely post it and any other GF recipes I come across.

    Angela, a huge thanks to you for the interview and responding to all the comments! I wanted you to have your time in the spotlight, so I only jumped in here and there. Hope you don’t mind. 😉

  15. Pingback: Escaping into the Extraordinary ~ Guest Post by Tameri Etherton « Angela Wallace ~ Believe, Dream, Awaken

  16. Pingback: Special Guest Post ~ Angela Wallace: Finding Freedom In Fantasy | Tameri Etherton

  17. Pingback: Angela Wallace Celebrates Her New Book, Earth Tones! | Tameri Etherton

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