Woot! I have awesome luck. Not too long ago, I managed to score an interview with the awesome Becca Puglisi. I’m happy to announce that now, I have managed to score an interview with her partner, the amazing Angela Ackerman. As you all know, I’ve recieved a ton of help with improving my writing thanks to their Emotion Thesaurus. I’ll go into greater detail about it another day (I can’t believe I’ve not written about it before), but in the meantime, here’s my interview with Angela. Hope you like it.
R.w.Foster: Please introduce yourself to my readers.
Angela Ackerman: Instructions like this always make me feel like I’m attending an A.A. meeting….my name is Angela, I live in Canada, I write books, it has been three weeks since my last confession meeting interview…
The “official” stuff is that I am one of the co-authors of The Emotion Thesaurus and a few others, I run Writers Helping Writers with the fabulous Becca Puglisi, who is basically my twin (the better one) and when I do get around to writing fiction, I tend to pen the dark side of middle grade rather than the fluffy, fun side. I also like teaching writing, dreaming up tools that writers need, and then creating them. Oh, and I believe in kindness. Trite I know, but true. My attitude is if you can do some good, then do.
R.w.F: Would you tell us about your latest (or an upcoming) release?
A.A.: Not a book release in the traditional sense, but then I’m not really someone who colors in the lines. Becca, myself and the creator of Scrivener for Windows, Lee Powell are collaborating on something called One Stop For Writers, which is basically a cool online brainstorming library that takes all our work (writing books and online thesaurus content) and puts it together in one place. Beautifully searchable and cross-linked, it provides a wealth of information writers can access as they create, so they write more efficiently and describe more effectively. There are a few other things on the site as well, including new tools we’ve built and a one-of-a-kind generator. One Stop will evolve over time as Becca and I conjure up more useful tools, and Lee works his techno-voodoo to bring it all together in an innovative, intuitive way. One Stop launches on October 7th and we are pretty excited (translation: as excited as preschoolers swimming through a vat of sugar.)
R.w.F: Are you traditionally published, self-published, an independent, or a some combination?
A.A.: I guess a combo best describes me? All three of our books are self-published, but we have traditional translation deals with publishers in Korea, Romania, and we’re waiting for the paperwork for Japan.
R.w.F: What made you chose to go this route with publishing?
A.A.: A few things. First of all, we had an odd project, a book that was, more than anything else, a set of lists. The traditional market (especially in 2012) liked things, well, traditional. We knew it would take a long time to find a publisher willing to take a project like ours on. We were also seeing copycats of our work cropping up and knew if we didn’t get our book out there, someone else would take the idea and run with it. Self-publishing was a terrific option for us, and I am so happy we went this route. We’ve turned down more than a few traditional offers since, simply because publishers as of yet have anything to bring forward that makes fiscal sense. Besides, Becca and I like that we are in control of the end product. It would be hard for us to give that up.
R.w.F: Are you exclusive to one platform?
A.A.: No. We publish across all platforms, print and ebook, and offer PDFs to those who wish using a service called Gumroad.
R.w.F: Do you write by the seat of your pants, outline, or a combination?
A.A.: For fiction, I am a “plantser,” meaning I plan some, pants some. For NF, I am a strict planner.
R.w.F: What does the standard advice of “Write what you know” mean to you?
A.A.: This is “safe” advice that should only be loosely adhered to: write in genres you read voraciously, unless that genre doesn’t exist: then experiment and create your own by blending the genre elements you enjoy best. A better rendition of this advice might be: write what you are passionate about, and care enough to get the details right for your readers.
R.w.F: Now for the more unusual questions. None are X-rated.
R.w.F: What is your current desktop picture? (would you share it with us?)
R.w.F: The last song you listened to?
R.w.F: You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal. What kind do you make?
A.A.: Easy–toasted peanut butter and bacon. Try it and you’ll know why.
Thanks for these fun questions Rob. As I said, I like people who don’t always color inside the lines. J
And thank you, Angela for agreeing to do this with me.