Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Angela Kay Austin: Love All Over Me

Angela Kay Austin visits The Plain today to talk about her writing process and share a little of her short story, a Contemporary Interracial Romance called Love All Over Me.

Welcome, Angela. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
Memphis, TN! Home of Graceland. And let me tell you, anyone who’s read any of my stories can tell you that I like to sprinkle a little bit of the south into my books, if possible.

Do you set your books/stories in your hometown, or do you prefer more exotic locations?
I like both. But, all of the stories I’ve had published, so far, have been set in the U.S.A. My hometown, and various places where I’ve lived. Until I’m fortunate enough to be able to travel as "research" for each story, I like working with places I’ve actually lived. It allows me to add the touch of realism that I think you get from knowing the local culture. I do think there are lots of ways to make it "feel" real without having seen it, but I like the familiar feel of the stories I get.
How much of your writing is based on people or events familiar to you?
All of my stories are based on what’s happening around me: news, friends, my own experiences, etc. So, I guess I’d have to say all of them.
How did you come up with titles?
Titles are hard for me. They usually come to me about the middle of the book. And I’ve been known to change a title or two. I don’t know why. I guess as I learn my characters, I change the title to fit their story.
What do you find is the easiest part of a story to write?
The opening. I usually end up throwing part of it away because I’m just learning my characters, but the words flow easily.
Is there a message in your stories you want readers to grasp?
I do try to tackle an issue that most would consider a "women’s issue" in each book. But, I think they affect more than women. Homelessness. Rape. Abortion. Death of a child. I like to write in a few factoids, or "did you know" kind of things into each story. Hopefully, readers don’t see the details as preachy.
When you first started writing, did anything about the writing process surprise you?
Editing. I think I thought of editing as grammar. But, now I realize it’s when the story really shapes. When I first put the words on the page, the story isn’t always the story I want to tell. But, it’s me getting to know my characters. When I go back and do edits, that’s when I actually shape the story and make it ready for my critique partners and, hopefully, publishers.
Do you celebrate when you finish a story, and if so, how?
I do. I take a little break, and let my mind rest. Although I have been known to work on more than one story at a time, I don’t do it every time. If another idea jumps to the front of my mind and becomes stronger, then I have to listen, but, normally, I work on one story at a time. So, I take the break, read a book as a reward, and when I feel ready, I start writing another story. I don’t like to rush right into another story. I guess I fear the overlap of ideas.
Do you listen to music when you write?
I listen to music as a soundtrack to what’s happening in my story. Music takes my mind where I may not be able to go sometimes: sad, happy, love. I love writing to music.
Which authors do you feel have influenced your writing most?
Authors from different genres have affected my writing. Stylistically as well as genre. Nalini Singh and Jeaneanine Frost don’t write in the same genre as me, but they have some strong story-telling, and that inspires me. Toni Morrison writes fantastic books that often deal with issues and concerns within the African-American experience. Terry McMillan writes Romance that feature African-American women. All of these authors have impacted the way I write, and the type of stories I like to tell.
If you could go back in time, what author would you most like to invite to share a chat and a bottle of wine?
Maya Angelou. I love her poetry. Any of the authors from Harlem Renaissance.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family supports me so completely with my writing, that I feel fortunate. Before I can tell people that I write, a member of my family will. It’s great to look out into an audience and see familiar faces staring back at me in support. It makes it a lot easier to share my writing and feelings with a crowd, when they’re all not strangers.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Write. Take your writing seriously, and regardless of whether or not you’re published, if it’s what you want, don’t stop.
Great advice, Angela. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. And now, let’s have a peek at Love All Over Me.

Tamara Blanden blames herself for the loss of her one true love. Hidden away from life, she lives only to see him again.

Jerome Blanden couldn’t let go of his love, even in death. Because of him…his selfishness, she’d lost so much time. Time he couldn’t give back. But, he could change everything.

Michael Armstrong didn’t believe in a lot of things anymore.  What was happening to him now couldn’t be real.  How was any of it possible?

His arms didn’t wrap around her as they had for months. He stayed stiff. Not cold, but distant. His head dropped to hers, and he placed a kiss on her forehead.

"You can’t keep doing this. You have to live your life."

"I am living my life." She held on tighter as fear choked at her. The familiar scent of him increased the fear boiling in her. There had been too many nights spent curled up with his dirty laundry trying to hold onto that scent. How is any of this possible? God, I’m losing my mind. But she didn’t care. No matter what anybody said, she’d never let go of this fantasy.
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About Angela Kay Austin:

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.
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Love All Over Me / Available from


  1. I enjoyed your interview, Pat and Angela. I agree about the titles and opening. They usually don't come together for me either until well into the book. Wow, there is power in your excerpt. Has to go on to my TBR lost.

    1. Thank you, Wendy. And a big thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit Angela on The Plain!

  2. Hi Angela, I write about places I've lived too. Something familiar and in the present era..not historical or futuristic. I'm not saying I won't ever try a different place or time, but the story flows better for me when I know where I am.!!
    Best wishes on your new release!! (I love TN too--so pretty in the spring)