Today I welcome a chapter mate from the group of great writers in San Antonio Romance Authors, Angela Smith.
Tell us a bit about you and your background.
I am published in romantic suspense but also write other subgenres of romance, including young adult and historical. A few years ago, I quit writing to pursue the career that pays the bills until I decided to once again pursue my passion. By day, I’m a certified paralegal and manage a District Attorney’s office.
What’s the logline that describes your writing?
“Solving the mystery of love with romance novels.”
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
I love to read, go Jeeping with my husband, and different sorts of crafts. I live on some acreage, manage a small chicken farm, and love to be outside. My husband and I constantly have house type projects going on, and I’ll help him with car restorations occasionally.
Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?
It depends on the story, and each one is different. I’ve had ideas for characters first, and the one I’m writing now was plot first.
What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?
Both! I usually start at the story concept to make sure I understand my subject, but I go back to research while writing if I get stuck or for a refresher.
Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Yes, via Google Earth! Regrettably, I haven’t been to Montana yet, but my other books are set in my home state of Texas.
Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?
I usually read a lot of fiction when I get stuck, and I’ll reread books on writing, plotting, etc. The best way I’ve found to get back that stuck phase is to just keep writing. And figure out what it is that made me stuck, because it’s usually something that needs changed.
Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pintrest, collages) when plotting or writing?
Yes! I always do a character collage before beginning my story, and it’s usually on a computer but I’m starting to do more freehand with paper. I use Pinterest a lot and have taken to using the storyboarding in Scrivener. Anything and everything I can get my hands on to increase my creativity.
What resources do you use for picking character names?
Sometimes I just know what I want a name to be, but my favorite resource is Babynames.com
Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?
Oh yes! I live on a small ranch and have cats, both indoor and out. I also have chickens (yes they are my pets). In the past, I have had ferrets and a dog, but never replaced my dog when she died.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
To be thoroughly entertained by my stories
He has a shaded past…
Wesley Webb is at the pinnacle of his auto racing career when his main rival is murdered hours after their confrontation. That, along with evidence found at the scene, shades him as prime suspect. Now he’s under intense press scrutiny, particularly from Caitlyn Daniels, an ex-girlfriend who knows all about his secret past.
And she’s the one woman who could expose him…
Caitlyn thought to never see Wesley again. Now, his life could be in her hands. Ten years ago, a tragedy tore apart everything she held dear, including their relationship. When she’s assigned to do an exclusive story with the reluctant race car driver she once loved, she believes this could be her purging. But chemistry tears apart her resolve to stay strong. Can they work out their differences and fall in love again, or will tragedy keep them apart?
Wesley Webb turned his wheel to face the front straight, beginning the last lap of the race.
“You’re looking good,” his spotter, Derrick, affirmed through earplugs that had long-since burned a hole in his head. “Don’t push it. You need a good finish.”
Derrick knew him well enough to know he’d punish himself on the last lap and take chances he shouldn’t take. But a good finish wasn’t what it was about for him. It was about winning, and heading into turn two, Wesley was confident the win was his.
“Watch Armstrong to your left.”
Wesley’s palms sweat as he gripped the wheel. He imagined his car racing through the finish line—first. A few more seconds and that would become reality. His heart pounded and every beat seemed to pull Chad Armstrong closer. He held his breath, his pulse thrummed low as his mind reeled with all the consequences of all possible moves. He quickly exhaled, every exertion an effort to slow his rival’s advance.
“Focus, focus,” Wesley said as he let out a breath and took another one in, this time through his nose. Every nerve ending tingled in adrenaline and anticipation.
He was so ready to get out of this cage.
He bit his lip, concentrating in order to out maneuver Chad’s tricks as Chad nudged him closer to the wall. This game was getting old.
“You’re almost there,” Derrick cued. “Watch the wall.”
“Stay with me,” Wesley said to his car, to his spotter, to God, and to whoever the hell else wanted to listen.
He only needed to maintain the lead a few more seconds.
Derrick’s warning shrill was too late. Chad clipped the left quarter, spinning Wesley’s car out of control. He frantically tried to steer out of the skid. For a moment, control was within reach, until the tire’s sidewalls dug into the soft earth of the infield.
The car flipped.
Over and over.
He skidded to a stop upside down and watched Chad cross the finish line. Something he wouldn’t have a chance to do tonight.
“You okay?” That damned voice in his earplugs again, reminding him people were freaking out because he hadn’t come out of the car.
“Yeah.” No. Fury was a molten hole in his gut, eating its way into his throat.
He crawled out of the cage and pitched his helmet and earplugs to the ground. Firefighters rushed to douse the blaze, and troops surrounded him to assist him and his car out of the infield.
Fisting his gloved hands, he pushed through the men and focused on his main goal: get past that finish line.
Even though he’d be footing it tonight.
Adam, his crew chief, advanced on him. “Do you need an ambulance?”
“No.” He didn’t need an ambulance, he didn’t need sympathy, and he damn sure didn’t need anyone trying to comfort him with words.
Right now, vengeance was his only fuel.
During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been my dream ever since her mother read ‘Brer Rabbit’ to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it before being able to read. Before venturing into writing, she fell into the perfect job in criminal justice and later became a certified paralegal. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she loves to craft, read, go off-roading, and dream of all the places she’ll visit one day.