Elisabeth Naughton - Author of sexy romantic adventures and dark hot paranormals


Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Golden Heart Finalist Angi Morgan!

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,
~~Angi

www.AngiMorgan.com

35 comments to “Golden Heart Finalist Angi Morgan!”

  1. Elisabeth Naughton
    Comment
    1
    · July 1st, 2010 at 12:29 pm · Link

    Great post, Angi. I agree with everything you said and will add one more:

    A few years ago my editor said, “If there’s one thing you tell your RWA chapter mates, it’s this: Get a website.” Even if you’re unpublished, get a website. You don’t have to make it fancy, just a page about you and your writing, but it goes a long way toward making you look professional and not as a hobby writer. Trust me, editors and agents DO and WILL check to see if you have a website before they sign you. And they pay attention when your name pops up.

    Love your cover, Angi. Congrats on your sale(s)!!



  2. Angi Morgan
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    2
    · July 1st, 2010 at 12:55 pm · Link

    I totally agree, Elisabeth.

    I’ve had a “nice” website for the past several years. This weekend it’s getting an overhaul for a more BRANDING look. A look that says I write for Harlequin Intrigue and the stories are about Texas.

    I found it very hard to BRAND myself without knowing what I needed to represent. So I hope everyone can stop by next week and take a look at the new “me”.

    And Elisabeth, your website is one that I receommended to my husband to look at. Great job.

    ~~Angi



  3. Jerrie Alexander
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    3
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:02 pm · Link

    Angi,

    Your advice is always right on target. Some of us (mostly me) need to get off our duffs and get a site set up!

    Congrats on the sales of both your books. I’m excited to read them.



  4. Gillian Layne
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    4
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:11 pm · Link

    I have made a list of every website I like, and what company designed it, and I’m going to start pricing these things. I don’t know what I’m doing, but hopefully I’ll figure it out.

    The blog is pretty easy to maintain, but I know I’ll need professional help with a website. I hope I will at least know enough to ask the right questions. 🙂



  5. Angi Morgan
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    5
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:15 pm · Link

    Jerrie — yes, sweetie, you need to prepare because you’re running out of time. You are going to sell soon.

    You have plenty of help… I really like Gillian’s idea. (see next response)

    JUSTDO IT !!

    ~~Angi



  6. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    6
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:21 pm · Link

    Gillian,

    I love what you’ve done and I’m going to add it to this article. Your habit of writing down what you like on the website and WHO designed it is an excellent idea. Just excellent.

    This isn’t a problem for me. As I mentioned, my husband is very supportive, and one of the ways he can be involved is by helping with my website and book trailers. (He even reads my final drafts–which is awesome.) He can do things so much faster than me…so I let him.

    You might get a kick out of this bit of trivia. Since we’ve been married he’s acquired a couple of things he’s totally responsible for: cleaning up vomit, squashing bugs, and changing lightbulbs. That’s his list. The rest of the chores cross back and forth depending on who has the most time.

    ~~Angi



  7. Darah Lace
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    7
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:22 pm · Link

    Great advice, Ang! I already had a website and blog when I sold last February but one of the first things my editor at EC said was get on Facebook, Twitter, start getting your name out there. It really is about getting your name out there.

    Can’t wait for HCH to hit the stands!

    Darah



  8. B. A. Binns
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    8
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:27 pm · Link

    Great advise. Luckily I had already grabbed my domain name, even though my website jsut went up this week. I’m not the only BABINNS around, and I lost out on facebook (sigh). I’ve heard people ask why spend the money early. Answer, because when opportunity knocks, you need to be ready to race for the door.



  9. Angi Morgan
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    9
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:29 pm · Link

    :mrgreen:

    And about Facebook… Have a personal page for personal pictures, messages, etc. BUT START you a Fan Page with your a more professional look, only pictures you want to share with the world, etc. Remember that you’re projecting a professional image.

    You can even begin a photo scrapbook of your journey and keep it online.



  10. Mary Lawrence
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    10
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:33 pm · Link

    Excellent advice Angi and commenters. I’ve got a long way to go to get a website going. Ugh.
    Looking forward to reading your book when it’s out. -Mary Lawrence



  11. Angi Morgan
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    11
    · July 1st, 2010 at 1:44 pm · Link

    :mrgreen:
    Another big grin, for B.A. Binns who has a great website.

    We train ourselves for years to wait and be patient. But sometimes sprinting is for really good purposes.

    Best of luck with your book: PULL.

    ~~Angi



  12. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    12
    · July 1st, 2010 at 2:07 pm · Link

    Thanks for stopping by, Mary. If you have a long way to go…make an electronic list of pointers and stuff to accomplish.

    I love Excel. You can have a different worksheet to track submissions and WHEN you submitted to them (or when your agent submits). And a different worksheet for your promotion/publicity goals that includes a projected date for accomplishment.

    ~Angi



  13. Lizbeth Selvig
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    13
    · July 1st, 2010 at 2:15 pm · Link

    Hi Angi,
    Great post–wonderful advice. I bought domain names and held them for two years. I didn’t get my Website up until the finalists were announced for this year’s GH in March. I did my own with GoDaddy and I’ve been thrilled with it — that AFTER I kicked myself for taking so long to git ‘er done.

    The thing I have to work on now (and I mean HAVE to) is limited my time online. I’ve become such an online–well, there’s no nice way to say it–since the GH. A bit of selfishness wanting to know everyone? A bit of vanity–getting my confidence built? Either one, I need to concentrate more on the writing–otherwise all this fun networking will mean very little!

    So, good kick in the shorts! I’m looking forward to seeing you in Orlando!



  14. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    14
    · July 1st, 2010 at 2:44 pm · Link

    Hey Liz,
    It’s awesome that you have your site up now. As Elisabeth said, many editors and agents want to take a looksy before they committ.

    I, too have to work on limiting my time. I used to have an alarm clock in my office. I just mentioned to my daughter the other day I needed a new one. I’m trying to write for 20, then move for ten, write for 20, check online for 10. You get the picture.

    I’ve found that my brain works better in those short sprints.

    ~~Angi



  15. Kim Quinton
    Comment
    15
    · July 1st, 2010 at 7:24 pm · Link

    Hi Angi,
    Great Post!
    I recently bought my name domain.. No website yet, but that’s in the works too. Problem I have is I think I want to use a pseudonym but can’t decide on one…. What’s your advice? How much pre-selling marketing of yourself should you do under your real name VS. your intended pseudonym? What if an editor wants your first story but wants you to change your name?

    ~Kim



  16. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    16
    · July 1st, 2010 at 8:03 pm · Link

    Hey Kim,

    Those are good questions. I and some of my friends have worked those out at least THREE ways:
    1) Make a couple of choices for a psuedonym and purchase the domain names. When you sell, if you don’t use them, you can always give them up.
    2) My choice… I built name recognition using my own name, so I purchased the domain, use the free GoDaddy hosting page (basically free with ads), and I put up a home page with a forwarding screen. “Looking for Angi Platt” and you click right to my Angi Morgan site.
    3) Decide on your psuedonym now and have it put on your name badge, website, chapter rosters, EVEN change it with RWA so when you final with the Golden Heart or RITA, you’re allowed to use it.

    Thanks!!
    ~~Angi



  17. Liz Lipperman
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    17
    · July 1st, 2010 at 8:15 pm · Link

    Hey, Angi, great advice. Who would have thought Angie Platt was so common???

    I love going to authors’ websites and seeing the photos and really getting a feel for their personalities. I didn’t realize agents and editors did, too.

    😆 I love these things!!



  18. Pat McDermott
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    18
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 3:36 am · Link

    This post contains good advice for those already published too. Thanks for putting it together, Angi. I’d like to recommend joining or forming a writers’ group. I can’t tell you how helpful my Monday night writers’ group is offering support, critiques, and deadlines when I’m writing something new. Sharing the writing journey with other writers in person makes a big difference, and pooling all that brain power, experience, contacts, etc. can be critical when a book is ready to go.



  19. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    19
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 4:28 am · Link

    Hey Liz, 😉

    I really wish I had a list of things to prepare for…*I* should have made that list being in RWA for ten years. And *I* thought I was at least a little prepared. Okay, I was a little.

    But having a list, and perhaps checking it twice would have been cool.

    ~~Angi



  20. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    20
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 4:30 am · Link

    Hello Pat,

    You have great advice too. I love meeting face-to-face with other writers. Even if it’s just my monthly chapter meeting. They refill my brain energy. And they’ve always been so helpful and encouraging after rejections.

    ~~Angi



  21. Gillian Layne
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    21
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 5:54 am · Link

    Ok, Angi, this post was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I don’t know if I’m seeing posts and conversations everywhere on the web about this topic because it’s on my mind, or it’s just a very hot topic of conversation, but I decided to get myself in gear. So–because I don’t know how to make a website overnight–I joined Twitter last night (with the help of my daughter).

    You are a positive influence! 😉



  22. Clarissa Southwick
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    22
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 5:55 am · Link

    Thank you so much for posting this, Angi. I’ve been needing a list like this. And yes, I do enjoy seeing your comments on my blogs.



  23. Jamie Michele
    Comment
    23
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 6:18 am · Link

    Angi and Elisabeth, I’m late to the party, but wanted to stop by and say how fun it is to watch Angi develop her following and promote her first book. I’m learning a great deal about professionalism, humility, and kindness. Oh, and perseverance, too! Elisabeth, thanks for hosting such interesting guests, and best of luck to both of you with your careers.



  24. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    24
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 6:59 am · Link

    Gillian — Thank you, I needed to hear that.

    And good luck with joining the cyber overload. I don’t Twitter much. We set up my Facebook Fan page to automatically “tweet.” So whatever I post on the FB page, is automatically forwarded.

    Best of luck!
    ~~Angi



  25. Angi Morgan
    Comment
    25
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 7:15 am · Link

    Clarissa,

    You are very welcome. Thanks for leaving a comment and feel free to contact me any time.

    ~~Angi



  26. Angi Morgan
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    26
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 7:17 am · Link

    Best of luck to you, Jamie. I know you’re working hard and just keep submitting!

    Now sing this like Dory in FINDING NEMO:
    Just keep submitting, Just keep submitting !

    Angi



  27. Misa
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    27
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 7:45 am · Link

    Blog for The Naked Hero, of course!

    And schedule a featured week at Books on the House for wide reach!!



  28. Jen McAndrews
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    28
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 8:25 am · Link

    wonderful post, Angi! It’s so important to prepare now for future success 💡 I’ve got to go snag me some gmail addresses now…



  29. Keli Gwyn
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    29
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 9:46 am · Link

    Great tips, Angi! Thanks for sharing.

    I love the spelling of you name.



  30. Marsha R. West
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    30
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 2:32 pm · Link

    Boy, Angi, you do know how to nail it. The time thing is such a crunch for me. I know you’re thinking: What’s she talking about? She’s retired for crying out loud. Yeah, but there is still grandson babysitting, and Pilates, so I can live to 100 and my brain and bones are okay. Then all the loops with all those messages. Sorry. I’m just overwhelmed with all the stuff coming through about Conference. Good stuff, but still, it takes time to wade thrugh. That being said, I know you are correct and I saw my CP even realizes it’s time, so we’ll hold hands together and take the leap. Can’t wait for your book.



  31. Angi Morgan
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    31
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 6:20 pm · Link

    Absolutely, Misa. Thaqnks for stopping by.

    ~~Angi



  32. Angi Morgan
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    32
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 6:26 pm · Link

    :mrgreen: Thanks Keli. I like the spelling of your name too. Are you planning on keeping your real name when you sell?



  33. Angi Morgan
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    33
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 6:27 pm · Link

    Good for you, Jen !!
    I’m glad this post has inspired you.

    ~~Angi



  34. Angi Morgan
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    34
    · July 2nd, 2010 at 6:29 pm · Link

    Make yourself a list, Marsha.
    Take baby steps and don’t let it overwhelm you.

    You can do it !
    You’re a smart lady!

    ~~Angi



  35. Elisa Beatty
    Comment
    35
    · July 3rd, 2010 at 10:32 am · Link

    Ah, good advice, indeed, Angi, about claiming all the email addresses with your pen name. Off to Google!!!!