Please help me welcome Angela Archer, as she rings her debut novel!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in a po-dunk town in Oklahoma and I love it. I have weird food habits. I love bacon, it’s perhaps my most favorite food. But with that said, I can’t have it on anything – love bacon, love hamburgers, but will NOT eat a bacon burger. I won’t eat onions on anything, and even strain my Ragu spaghetti sauce to get the little chopped onions out. But I like and will eat onion rings and Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion. I eat jalapeno peppers on anything and everything I can get them on. I am a condiment queen and will smoother my food with condiments. I eat peanut butter on pancakes and waffles instead of butter, and I believe that cream cheese is a gift from the heavens. Brownies are my biggest weakness and I will pile cream cheese frosting on them without a second thought.
I was unemployed when I started my manuscript in September of 2009, six months after I lost my job, I got another one, but left to be an author and a stay-at-home mom after my second daughter was born. My grandparents came to America from Germany. With my German blood, I’m also a Taurus and the combination makes me extra stubborn. I drive like a grandma. I have no patience when it comes to electronics. If it doesn’t work at the drop of a hat, I get annoyed. I can recite pretty much every scene in Dumb and Dumber. I’ve seen every episode of I Love Lucy—BEST SHOW EVER!
Do you ever write in your PJs?
Uh…daily…. With two small kids in the house, the only time I really get to write is very early in the morning. I get up at 4:30am and write until they get up at 7:00am.
If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be, and why?
Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, because I want Toothless (I would want to still be a girl, though.).
White wine or red? Tequila. Can’t drink wine. Grapes are too acidic for me.
Funny you should say that. I don’t drink much wine, either. I’m a whisky/scotch girl myself.
Coffee or tea? Coffee. I’m ridiculously addicted.
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream? Vanilla
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Mornings. As I said, it’s the only time I really get, and I’m usually on the couch. I did write most of The Woman on the Painted Horse in a corner on the floor. I can’t really remember how and why that habit started or why it ended… Hmm….
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
See list below. <wink wink>
An actor you have a crush on?
Do I only get to list one? I have several. Russell Crow, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Kit Harington, and Joe Manganiello.
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Braveheart. Although, I’ve seen it several times since it came out, sometimes you just need to see Braveheart.
Now comes the ones about your writing, but first, everyone check out this cover. Pretty cool, huh?
What made you decide to be an author?
Honestly, I had always wanted to write a novel. I just never thought I could, never thought I would be good enough. I started thinking about a children’s line in 2009 while I was working about my daughter and a pony we bought her—like they go on these grand adventures when she saddles him up. When I was laid off, I just woke up one morning and I told myself I was just going to do it. But, it wasn’t going to be a children’s book. It was going to be a novel. I threw off the covers, marched to my computer, and just started. It wasn’t pretty, and my writing was horrible—like seriously horrible. I cringe when I read those early drafts and I’m actually embarrassed for myself they are so bad.
I think everyone’s is bad. My first draft of my first novel was some serious awful. I loved the characters enough that I worked them into my actual debut novel, The Marker, but I haven’t been able to make myself go back and rewrite the story. One day I might, but the book needs some serious rewrites.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I love history and I love learning about history. Since a lot of research goes into a historical novel, it was just the perfect choice.
Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?
I didn’t outline The Woman on the Painted Horse, but I’ve plotted and outlined my second and third. I don’t like outlining, but I do have to admit for me, it makes the process easier and faster.
Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?
Not influenced my writing, but influenced my determination. When I was going through my first round of rejections, I came across a article by Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help. In the article, she talked about her sixty rejections and the six years it took for her to write the novel. I used to get so frustrated with how long the novel was taking for me to finish, but after reading her words, I didn’t care how long it would take me. I just wanted to finish it. In the end, it took me 4 years, I received 19 rejections and 5 contract offers.
That’s awesome. What is your all time favorite book?
Dog Handling by Claire Naylor. It’s Chick-Lit Romance book and I just loved it.
What is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
The mind thinks. It schemes, plots ideas for rebellion, winning a war, or committing crimes. It organizes, planning for crops, arranging parties, or entertaining guests. It speculates, questioning the reasons of why, where, who, what, and how. It comprehends answers, understands ramifications, and finds solutions. It develops through experience, and becomes intrigued with finding the answers it seeks—soaking up information like dry soil soaks up water.
The mind thinks.
But, the heart feels. It feels love, happiness, sadness, and loss. The heart does not think. It does not question or reason. It senses emotion, experiences pleasure, suffers pain, and bears heartache. It fights with the mind in a constant agonizing war endured every day between emotion and logic, a battle over what lies at one’s own feet, the unknown or the known, the chance or the risk. The heart dwells only in emotion, an emotion with unbridled motivation, and it stirs within people a vastness the mind could never grasp.
Wow. That’s lovely.
How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release?
All my characters were easy when I finally allowed them to come into their own instead of forcing them into a box I thought I wanted them in. Like with Alexandra’s brother, John. In my first few drafts, I made them hate each other and made him like her parents. It just didn’t fit, though, and it was because they were meant to be close. Once I changed him, he bloomed and is my favorite character of the book. I absolutely LOVED writing him.
What’s funny is that I absolutely fell in love with some of the brother characters in my WIPs, too. Where do you get your ideas from?
Mostly movies of a certain period that interests me.
How did you choose your title?
The first several drafts the title was actually Power of the Moon. But, after going to a seminar with William Bernhardt, I realized my plot had to desperately change. In changing my plot, the title didn’t fit—at all. Because of the love story, I changed it to The Man on the Painted Horse, because William was her chance for a new life. I got the idea of “painted horse” from my daughter. She was watching some cartoon and I heard her talking to the TV and she said something about ‘paint the horse’ or something to that effect. Anyways, it just clicked. Of course, ‘The Man’ didn’t fit either because it was Alexandra’s story. So, I changed it to The Woman on the Painted Horse and I’ve never looked back. I’ve been told it’s an amazing title. I tend to believe this, but I’m biased.
How do you cure writer’s block?
I listen to instrumental music…more specifically, I listen to the song Forbidden Friendship on the How to Train your dragon CD. I don’t know what it is about that song, but by the third time I hear it, I’ve broken through any and every wall I’ve ever banged my head against. And, there have been many of walls. I think I actually have a permanent imprint on my forehead.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
Join local writer groups and critique groups, and attend seminars and conferences. They will help you learn. Write every day and never worry about how long it takes you. Most first novels take 3-5 years. Never give up.
What sacred advice have you been given by another writer?
It’s not finished, stop submitting it. During the four years that it took me to write the novel, I proclaimed it done three different times. And, after a bunch of rejections the first two times, I had a NY Best Seller read it. It was rejected because it wasn’t done. As much as I hated to admit he was right and go through another set of revisions, I’m so glad I did. The last set was the turning point for it.
Where can reader’s stalk you?
Tell us about your new release:
I can sum it up in just a few sentences: A young woman defying the laws of her country, a young man hungry with greed and power, a brave soul who falls in love with one he shouldn’t; all three caught in a country divided by war and a forbidden love torn apart by blackmail and disparity.
Awesome! It was great to have you here, Angela!
–As a small aside, Angela hails from my hometown. I’ll say, I’m pretty excited for her that she got out!