Today we have the pleasure of getting to know author Angela Kay Austin just a bit better. Welcome Angela!
Bestselling author Angela Kay Austin has expressed herself through words for as long as she can remember. Poems became songs performed with her cousin at every family gathering. But, eventually, short stories filled her favorite pink diary. An infatuation with music and theater led to years playing various instruments and small extra roles in TV shows before giving way to a degree and career in radio and TV production. After completing another degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked for many many years in promotions and advertising. But once again, she found herself writing, which led to her first published work which stayed on her publisher’s bestseller list for ten weeks. Her second release hit the bestseller list at All Romance eBooks. She’s spoken on author panels, and served on boards for various author groups. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading her favorite authors, or researching her next story idea. Angela shares her downtime with her mixed-bred rescue terrier—Midnight, in the beautiful southern state of Tennessee.
As an author, what makes a book great in your eyes? The emotion of what’s happening in the story. The connection between the hero and the heroine. I read across genres and, I think, because of that I get the opportunity to read about everything from dragons to vampires to regular every day people. But, no matter what, if the connection between the lead characters doesn’t feel real, I get bored with the story pretty fast. I also don’t want what I call “unnecessary stuff.” Which is just everything an author can think of to add to a story to make it “different.”
Tell us a little about what you are working on. I’m working on a historical piece. It will cross genres, and that makes it a little intimidating, for me. Even more so because I don’t write in either. I’m pushing myself to try something a little different.
What is the hardest scene you had to write in this piece? I’m still researching it. Because there’s a historical element to the story, I’ve been digging deep into the past searching for good locations, knowledge of clothing and dialect, etc. It’s been fun to research.
Let’s talk about the book you’d like to promote today. How did you come up with the title and where can we find it? “Sweet Victory” is an interracial novel set in Tennessee. The story is about a woman who thought she knew exactly what she wanted and had it, but when she loses it, she has to reassess herself and her future. This leads her to change directions and when she does a connection with her grandfather helps her on her path of self-rediscovery. That’s where the title – “Sweet Victory” – comes from. It speaks directly to the bond she has with her grandfather and her deceased grandmother.
“Sweet Victory” is available in local book stores, online, and it’s available as an audio book!
What was your first reaction when you got a glimpse of your cover art? The cover art for a few of my books blew me away. What I loved about this one was that my publisher – Vanilla Heart Publishing – was able to find elements used in cooking for the cover, and she used beautiful heart-shaped cookies that couldn’t have been more perfect.
Name two things readers would be surprised to know about you. Everything might be super obvious…I love to eavesdrop! It’s great for dialogue. I enjoy people watching, too. Great for building unique character traits. But, my real guilty pleasure…SyFy! Sharknado was fabulous campy fun!
What is your favorite place in the whole world? I still have too many places to visit. But, if I chose from the places I’ve seen so far, Rome.
If you didn’t have to worry about counting calories or fat, what’s the first food you’d reach for?Black Walnut ice cream!
If someone hasn’t read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why? “Scarlet’s Tears”
What has been your most unexpected joy as a writer? The community of writers. Writing is such a solitary thing. You’re inside of your own head talking to yourself for hours upon hours. When you finally turn the computer off, it’s really awesome to find yourself surrounded by friends who enjoy doing the exact same thing.
Tell us about your summer vacation – this year, 2013. This summer has been filled with long, muggy days. But, it’s also been filled with cookouts, spending time with family, and reconnecting with old friends.
Where do you go for inspiration? I watch bad TV (and good,) read newspapers, magazines. Anything to let my mind relax.
Do you belong to a writer’s group? Why or why not? The writers groups that keep my membership are online chapters of RWA. I’ve been a member of a few local chapters, but they never seem to be quite the same.
Name three things that move you to tears. Hallmark commercials, Civil War/Civil Rights movies, and social issues with children.
Where can readers find you on the Web?
Please share a Blurb and Excerpt from Sweet Victory.
For her employees, Victoria James quits her job to save theirs. That decision loses her the man she thought she loved. And sends her back to Memphis, TN with everything she owns to face a neglected and forgotten relationship with her grandfather.
Everything she has is stolen. Chad Kirkpatrick, her childhood love, the first man to break her heart, now a police officer, comes to her aide.
Can she move forward, and put her past behind her? Will Chad forgive her?
A cool wet hand trailed across her forehead, and through her hair. A bowl of water appeared on the table beside her, and Chad’s long, strong fingers dipped into the water, cupping a small amount in his palms. “Victory, dip your head.” She couldn’t move. The water poured from his hands back into the bowl. His damp palms patted her cheeks and forehead. The feel of his fingers on her skin calmed and soothed. The sweat on the back of her hands disappeared, but the fire inside of her moved from her chest, and took over her whole body.
She leaned her body in to his feeling his solid chest pressing against her back. His hands smoothed up and down her arms, then wrapped around her waist. The stubble along his jaw-line rubbed along her cheek. His soft curls trailed over her temple and cheek. Gently, his hand tilted her face so her eyes met his. Soft and tender, his lips caressed hers. Not overpowering. Not overwhelming. Tender.
He stared into her eyes. Searching for something. She wanted to ask, but again his mouth covered hers. This time, his kiss was not as gentle. She angled her neck to give him better access. He tasted her, and she him. With her eyes closed, she felt all of him. His chest. His hands. His thighs pressed against hers. His mouth was sinful. It awakened things in her she’d pushed away even before she left Corey. She and Corey hadn’t been intimate for months before she left. Work was always more important.
Her body pressed into Chad’s, and his responded. The bulge in his pants pushed against her bottom. Reality set in. Her eyes sprang open, and she pulled away crushing her body against the cold kitchen wall.
Whew, Angela. Great scene. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on London Blog today. Continued success in your writing!