Spotlight On...

Angi Morgan

by Gina Lee Nelson

This month we turn the spotlight on long-time member Angi Morgan.

Angi has served RWA on the national level in many capacities including two years as a National Regional Director and four years as the National Volunteer Readers for Life Literacy Chair. On the local level, she has served on the NT Board for several years in many positions including Contest Chair and President. This year she is graciously serving once again as our NT Treasurer.

Riding the swell of publishing success, her third Harlequin Intrigue is out this month. She’ll be signing books at the Barnes and Noble in the Arlington at the Parks Mall following this month’s NT meeting.

Angi, tell us about the first story you wrote.

My first romance was HIS NAME IS KIRK, a western historical about a stranger and a watering hole. LOL

Your dream to write for Harlequin has come true. What led to the publication of your first Intrigue? How long did the whole process take, writing, proposal, and sale?

Compared to the ten years of trying to obtain a sale, publication happened relatively fast. It began by signing with an agent in October, a signed Harlequin contract on December 1st, and a release date in September 2010--just nine months later. Add another contract in June and a February 2011 release--and you have a lot of smiles, thrills, and a giant roller coaster ride through an unfamiliar playground.

Now that you are publishing at least two books a year, what are your writing habits?

Music, a 2000 word per day goal, laptop, picture of the hero...I’m all set for 20 minute sprints.

Where? When? How often?

Anywhere. All the time in my head. Every day. I try to write every day. I normally meet Jen FitzGerald in our chat room and she cracks the whip across my shoulders. I’ve written my last four books in 20 to 25 minute sprints. I barely plot, but love to shoot the general ideas out with friends for a couple of hours, then write the synopsis & first 50 pages, then submit. I write the next 45,000 words after it sells.

If Tim’s at home I write in my office with the door shut. If he’s not, I set up my laptop in front of the TV, turn on the WAVES DVD and I’m there until I can’t keep my fingers moving. Sometimes the actual writing time is 4 to 5 hours, sometimes it’s 10 to 12. Just depends on how close I am to the deadline. I also have a notebook with me at all times to jot down ideas or dialogue or scenery. And I’ve been known to put my Netbook in my bicycle basket and go to the creek/park near my house.

I also reward myself along the way. For instance, I can’t have Marble Slab ice cream unless I finish the book. And if a movie is being released that I want to see...I can’t until I finish a certain number of chapters.

What challenges have you had to overcome to be a writer?

The normal ones of course: developing a thick skin, dealing with rejection, finding time to write, not letting distractions get the better part of my day, finances since I do this full-time. But I think I had my break when I believed in my own story-lines and voice. ONCE you do that...the rest is easy.

You refused to let go of your dream even after ten years of struggling for that first sale. Why?

The voices wouldn’t shut up. Seriously. I see story ideas in everything around me. They don’t go away. So I don’t really think I had any choice other than writing. Honestly, I’m not certain if the market had been what it is today, if I’d waited for Harlequin Intrigue to buy that first book, but I’m really glad they did.

Are all your stories suspenseful?

Actually, no. I have a romantic comedy that I’ll be self-publishing as soon as I meet my contracted deadlines. And I also have a historical time-travel, four book series that I intend to write when time permits. And then there’s my story in the 25th Anthology. I love those characters and want to extend their story. SHOTGUN SEDUCTION will also be a romantic comedy.

Why did you focus primarily on suspense?

Most of my stories just naturally have an element of suspense to them. I began reading suspense, my favorite genre. But I got very displeased with the lack of an emotional progression of the characters. I found that every romance has it. Add to that a Happily Ever After and I could never go back to straight suspense. I absolutely adore when I can fool readers with who the bad guy is. And then there’s the imagination...what would *I* do if I stumbled into some of these situations?

Wow, it's hard to believe you and I go back eight years. Even then, you were always ready to help and encourage me and other new writers. You have also given countless hours, years actually, volunteering for our chapter and RWA. Where does your passion to help others come from?

Wowsers, eight years? I’ve always loved to be involved. Maybe it’s because I spend time alone and wanted to contribute. Some of my school volunteering for my kids began just because no one else could or would. After seeing my son suffer with coaches who played favorites, I decided to coach for my daughters. By the time I became involved with RWA, I was very used to volunteering.

Contributing to other writers is something RWA taught me. I had the privilege of meeting the founders of RWA, Rita Clay Estrada and her mother Rita Gallagher, and having long conversations with them about why RWA was started. It was an awesome experience. And honestly, by volunteering, I not only met the writers and had additional face time with them, but I also forced my family to give me the time to attend meetings.

And, finally, if you could be any writer, past or present, which one would you be?

I have to say Nora Roberts. I’d love to have the one name recognition and that many books under my belt.

Thanks, Angi, for sharing your writing journey with us. Let’s support her by buying her books and finding her online. All the details on tomorrow’s book signing, and her books and web info are below.





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