Friday, May 25, 2007

In Touch with Mystery Novelist, ANGELA HENRY



DIVA'S LAST CURTAIN CALL is your third Kendra Clayton mystery - what's at the heart of Kendra's latest escapade?
This time around I'm introducing readers to Kendra's self-absorbed, actress wannabe sister, Allegra. Allegra is in town to interview fading screen star Vivianne DeArmond for the show Hollywood Vibe. But when Allegra discovers Vivianne's lifeless body in her dressing room, stabbed in the back with a letter opener the day after she was picked-up on the actress's property for trespassing, the police peg Allegra as the prime suspect in her murder. Kendra has to clear her sister's name.



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Why did you choose to go into mystery writing?
I decided to write the kind of books I enjoy reading. I love mysteries. I love following the clues and solving the puzzle.


How did you come about your series concept and Kendra as a character?
There aren't a lot of African-American mystery writers. There are even fewer featuring a single black woman living in a small town who isn't a private eye or a member of law enforcement. I wanted to create a series character, living in a non urban setting, that I'd yet to see in mystery fiction.


Do you have a standard process to your writing? Are you an outliner or a jump-right-in writer?
I wasn't an outliner with my first book and it took me four years to write it. But then again I also didn't have contract. I was just writing to see if I could actually finish a book. Now that I have deadlines to meet, I'm a big believer in the outlining process. I know some writers are opposed to it but it really works for me. It helps me with my plotting but at the same time I don't feel tied to it. I usually follow about 85% of my outlines and make changes long the way as I see fit.


What's your favorite thing about DIVA'S LAST CURTAIN CALL?
I'm a big fan of pop culture and since the book has a Hollywood theme I got to put in a lot movie and TV references. It was also fun creating the character of Vivianne DeArmond and making up a career for her including the fictional movies she starred in.


Do you have any plans to venture into other genres?
I'd love to write a young adult fantasy novel along the lines of a Harry Potter. I'd also love to write a horror novel one day.


What three adjectives best describe you?
Calm, loyal, cerebral


What inspires you to write?
My love of storytelling


What's the perfect setting for some power writing?
Me, my Mac, and some munchies ; )


What type of music did you listen to while writing DIVA'S LAST CURTAIN CALL?
I love all kinds of music, especially old school soul and eighties music from my college days. I listened to a lot of the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Chaka Khan, Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, and The System.

Word Association. What comes to mind when you see the following words:
KENDRA CLAYTON
: Cool
WRITING: Passion
MYSTERY: Puzzle
ANGELA HENRY: Me
DIVA'S LAST CURTAIN CALL: Fun


As a published author, what advice might you offer to writers hoping to get published?
Never give up. It may take a long to time get published and you have to really love writing to put up with all the rejection and criticism you get as a writer. Learn the business side of publishing because it will save you a lot of heartache and disappointment when you understand how things work in the publishing biz.


What are you currently working on?
I'm finishing up Kendra book #4 and working on a standalone mystery that my agent is currently shopping.


TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ANGELA AND HER NOVELS, CHECK OUT HER WEBSITE!

3 comments:

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Great interview, Shon and Angela!

donielle said...

Great interview, Shon! Angela's series has been on my tbr list for a while. I need to get with it, huh? Sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

Samara Leigh said...

Great interview Shon. Thank you for sharing the interview with Angela. I'll be picking up her books this weekend. It is great to see an African-American mystery writer. My husband turned me into a mystery lover over the years - mostly television and films.

I just read my first chick lit mystery the other day - Size 14 is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot. That made me want to ready other mysteries. Angela Henry's Kendra mysteries sound like a perfect fit.