An 11th generation Texan, Angi Morgan utilizes her strong heritage to create passionate characters willing to risk everything. She writes Intrigues where danger and honor collide with love. When the house is quiet, she plots ways to engage her readers with complex story lines, throwing her characters into situations they’ll never overcome…until they find their one and only. Visit Angi at www.angimorgan.com
Angi’s manuscript, SEE JANE RUN, finaled in Category Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure. It also SOLD (Wahoo!!!!) to Harlequin Intrigue and is a September 2010 release as HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP:
A mother’s worst nightmare. When research chemist Jane Palmer’s son is kidnapped, she races the clock to meet every demand made to save his life–even when it means committing a crime in the process. But how can she make the FBI believe her story when all the facts point to her son having died months before? Trapped by the authorities, to save her son she must win one man’s faith–the man she left years before, the man who doesn’t know he’s her son’s father.
A man forced to choose. Despite the evidence, FBI agent Steve Woods refuses to believe his former love is guilty. He vows to help her, even if it means turning his back on his career. His leap of faith reignites a passion they both feared lost. But Steve’s trust is shattered when he learns Jane hid his son from him.
A missing child. A desperate mother. A man who will sacrifice himself to save both.
And now, a little about Angi…
1) How long have you been writing?
My mother says I began scribbling and reciting stories as soon as I could hold a crayon. I know I attempted a western romance (His Name was Kirk–not kidding) when I was in the 7th grade. I wrote poetry and short stories consistently. I majored in English (not grammar) and History at NTSU. Writing’s always been on my brain. I kept trying to type manuscripts, but soon discovered I’m one of those pantzers who writes the first draft, corrects three chapters, gets them right and pushes forward another three chapters, then corrects … Needless to say, on a TYPEWRITER, it used a lot of ink cartridges and paper.
Around the mid-‘90s, my dad asked why I wasn’t writing any longer. I explained how difficult and frustrating it was to re-type everything. He and my mom bought three desktops: my first computer (along with one for sibling). THAT’s when I began writing non-stop. THEN I joined RWA and learned how to craft my stories into marketable manuscripts.
2) Did you always want to be an author or is this something you fell into later in life?
Author or Editor — ALWAYS. I never really desired to be anything else. When marriage and kids came into the picture, I forgot about those dreams. Then I returned to school with every intention of writing historical romances. But again, I put the dream on hold. In 1998 my dad was diagnosed with cancer, on one of our drives home from visiting my husband told me not to wait. He told me life was too short so I should go for what I wanted…and I was born to be a writer. He’s been supportive the entire time I’ve been learning the craft of writing. After all the kids were out of the house in 2009, I focused on selling. It happened in late November.
3) What do you do in your “other” life? (Day job, family, etc.)
I’ve been very fortunate to raise my kids and volunteer for 21 years (yes, that’s a long time). I’ve had part-time jobs, but one developed into a weird specialty: I prepare fields for softball & baseball games. Laugh away…I do. Here in Texas we play ten months out of the year. As I mentioned before, my husband is very supportive, but so is all my family. One daughter asks me each day how much I’ve written and if I turn the TV on…yes, she makes me feel guilty for not having the file open and putting more words on the page. (I Facebook when she’s not here. LOL)
4) Who are your favorite authors?
Absolutely too many to name. But I will admit that they are all true romance authors. Back in the 90’s I had a Sydney Sheldon phase until I read one of his books where the heroine was worse at the end of the book than at the beginning–AND she was about to start the cycle all over again. Absolutely no character growth. Extremely disappointing. I write and read romance because of the complex characters and happily ever after endings. Yes, I know they’re coming…but it’s always about the journey.
5) Do you have an agent?
Yes. I have a terrific agent, Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
6) Where do you see yourself in five years?
As a Harlequin Intrigue author, hopefully celebrating twenty books with the line.
I LOVE that foresight! And now in Angi’s own words…
ARE YOU PREPARING TO SELL?
Do you remember the commercial where at a corporate lunch, a man pulls out a credit card… The guests laugh at the superhero picture. The female partner pulls her professional card and pays for everyone. Back in the 90’s when email and the Internet were new, my husband and I shared an email address: THALPER. It wasn’t easy for US to remember it, let alone our family and friends. They couldn’t identify who was sending them an email.
When we ventured into the world of individual emails for ourselves, I was a member of RWA by that time and decided it would be easier to go with my name: AngelaPlatt. Nope, not available. AngiePlatt–not that one either? So how about AngiPlatt? Okay, that works.
In my entire life there were very very (I emphasize the VERY) few people who ever called me anything other than Angela. My husband accidently introduced me to his family as Angie and it stuck, so I was halfway used to it by the 21st century. Dropping the “e” made it unique…right? And when I hit forty, it made me feel younger.
I am now realizing that one of the most important things I did was get my professional email as AngiPlatt. My first step to name recognition and people remembering me. I volunteered in RWA, my local chapters, answered questions, and ran the Great Expectations contest for NTRWA several years (and again in 2011). But I can’t think of gaining name recognition using THALPER. Everyone recognized Angi (without the ‘e’).
When I sold my Golden Heart finalist book last November, part of the conversation with my editor was about the name I wanted to write under. I had already decided on Morgan to honor my mother’s family. I’d also be in the middle of the store book racks (before selling to Intrigue), and in the middle of literary signings where I’d seen most of the people walking or standing. But then my editor asked about my first name, “Are you going with Angi?” “I think so.” “We’d like you to keep the spelling, keep your name recognition.” “Cool, I can do that.” (Wow, I have recognition? Cool.)
Many years ago, I bought the domain names for Angela Platt and Angi Morgan. The AngelaPlatt.com site is a very simple forwarding page: Looking for Angela Platt? with a link to my AngiMorgan.com site. It comes in handy when friends and others (like doctors) can’t remember your pseudonym. Last week, I was told I need knee surgery. (I actually had the surgery this morning and will be answering comments during the afternoon.) Short story: they asked about the national conference, I’m a writer, how can I find you? Since I just received my book cover and need to order cards I didn’t have any with me. (Note to self and everyone: always carry a bookmark or business card.)
So back to my original question: Are you preparing to sell?
- Start your name recognition with your email address. It’s much more professional to email agents and editors with your name, instead of PaytonsGrandma@hotmail.com. Obtain all the free email addresses with your name. You want ALL of them so no one else can use your name (hotmail, ymail, gmail, yahoo, aol). Have ONE email address for commenting on blogs and listing for drawings, contests, newsletters, etc.
- Obtain your domain names–even if you don’t set up a website until later. Don’t wait, it’s a necessary expense (and looks good on your Schedule C).
- Visit your friends’ blogs. Learn how to leave a comment. YOU leave a comment. THEY leave a comment. One of their friends gets used to seeing your name. Someone who’s not a relative leaves a comment on your blog one day.
- Write newsletter articles. Have confidence in your knowledge and experience.
- Optional: Find out if blogging is for you. Guest a couple of times for friends. See if you like it. IF you do, then establish your blog BEFORE you sell. Maintaining it will be much easier, you’re not learning a new facet of promotion, and you have an established readership.
- Get into a habit of limiting your time on email and the Internet. This habit will come in handy when you sell and NEED to spend time on promotion, but also write your next book.
- Set deadlines. With firm goals and rewards. Don’t let yourself slide on this one. Whew, it’s really important to learn how to work under pressure.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Just be prepared.
I’m certain there are several things not listed here. What other things are you doing to prepare for publication? Please share.
‘Til next time,