Angel Smits in The Dungeon

I’m absolutely delighted to have Harlequin SuperRomance author Angel Smits as our guest today, because I’ve had this gal on my radar for quite a while.  Several years ago, I judged RWA’s unpublished writing competition, the Golden Hearts, & was lucky enough to get Angel’s entry.  (FYI, the contest has gone back & forth over the years on the issue of allowing entrants’ names to be seen by judges; this was clearly one of the “it’s allowed” years.)  I couldn’t give you details about her entry at this point, but I remember loving it; giving it nice, fat scores; & always having her name in the back of my mind to watch for, because I just knew she’d be published one day.  And look at this—I was right.  There’s almost nothing I like better than being able to say that. :alice:

Angel Smits is the author of seven romance novels, the five most recent for Harlequin SuperRomance. Her stories of heart-and-home have won numerous awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart and PPWC’s Paul Gillette. Her non-fiction work has appeared in numerous publications, such as Wild West and Fragments. She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter in a big yellow house with a wraparound porch, complete with its own lovely swing. :swing:

Please join me in welcoming Angel to The Dungeon, where Mistress Heidi & I couldn’t wait to get her on The Rack… :devil:

What is your favorite color?  Pink!

Favorite song?  It’s a song called, “I Thought You Knew” that is on one of Keith Urban’s early albums. It’s a beautiful ballad, and the story of how he wrote it is a very heartfelt one.

Favorite movie?  Dirty Dancing.

And of course, favorite book?  There are so many, but one of my favorite authors, Paula Detmer Riggs, wrote A Lasting Promise.  It’s a beautiful story that makes me grab for the hankie even after reading it a half dozen times.

What was the first book in your chosen genre that you remember reading, or that made you want to write the same?  I was 14 when I read my first Harlequin. An early Anne Mather, Night of the Bulls, made me fall in love with the romance genre. I’d already started writing stories, and I read that and knew I wanted to be a Harlequin author just like her!

What do you think of Heidi? She’s great, right?  She’s the best—and has such great taste in authors. :beehappy:

How did you get started writing?  I think I was born with a pen in my hand. I used to write when I was a kid. My first published piece was a poem, “What is Purple” in 4th grade, so I started young.

Tell us a little bit about The Call—i.e. your first sale. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a call, it was an email. By the time my editor bought my first book, I’d done several rounds of revisions, so it wasn’t as much a “we want to buy this” as a “you finally got it!” That was with a small publisher, Imajinn Books, and was a paranormal romance set in Cripple Creek, Colorado. The editor had actually grown up visiting there, just as I had, and she loved the setting.  But either way, it was one of the best days of my life. I kept asking my husband, “I really did sell a book, right?” :dizzy:

Fill in the blank—If you like [blank], you’ll love Angel Smits! Someone recently said that if people like Debbie Macomber, they’ll like my stuff. I don’t know for sure if that’s true, but I’ll take that compliment any day! :giraffe:

If your plane crashed in the Andes, would you convince the other survivors to eat Heidi first or last?  I’d definitely lobby to put Heidi out of her misery first. Why make her suffer through what we’re all facing? Uh, pass the salt…  (Note from Heidi:  Hmm.  I think you may be the first guest who’s answered that way.  I’ll have to take a few minutes to decide how I feel about that… :raincat: )

What book would you like to pimp to the Darlings of The Dungeon today? Tell us about it, and why we’ll love every word! I’m in the middle of my “A Chair at the Hawkins Table” series for Harlequin SuperRomance—it’s the stories of six siblings who realize they need to go out and find love after their mother passes away. They find that love, but are still anchored to their family, which is symbolized by the dining room chairs they each hold dear.

This next book, THE BALLERINA’S STAND, comes out in July. Jason Hawkins is a jaded lawyer who agrees to take care of the final wishes of a man who’s nearly destroyed his family. The beautiful, deaf ballerina, Lauren Ramsey, who benefits from the inheritance dances away with his heart. What else can he do but go after it?

While chatting with Mistress Heidi about THE BALLERINA’S STAND, you said, “It’s about a deaf ballerina. What kind of idiot comes up with an idea like that?!” So tell us: What kind of idiot does come up with something like that? :seymour:  (i.e. What compelled you to write this story? What was your main inspiration?)  They always say to write what you know. (Or what you can get to know.) This idea came from taking a sign language class at work, and while I was inspired by the woman teaching us, I realized real quick I was in over my head. My heroine is tough, much like that teacher. I wanted to show the strength that people who deal with something day-in-and-day-out, like deafness, have. I wanted to give her a man who accepts their differences and loves her despite it. I know I only scratched the surface on the issues, but I hope I did them justice. Wanting to make all that work, I actually intimidated myself. It took a while to get over my own fear. But I love these characters, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. :butterfly:

If you could write anything—whether in the same genre/sub-genre as you’re writing now or another—what would it be?  I love to read historical novels for the depth of description and setting. But research isn’t my greatest talent. If I could take that depth and bring it to a contemporary novel—and throw in some magic—I’d be a very happy girl. Think something like Sarah Allison Addison’s Garden Spells. Loved that book!

What are you currently working on?  I’m working on several things all at once. Yikes! Mostly the next book in the “Chair at the Hawkins Table” series for SuperRomance. This is Tara Hawkins’s story, and I’m just getting started with it. But I’m also reviewing my Imajinn Books as they are preparing to re-release those. And I’m playing around with a bunch of other things. I actually finished my first short story—for someone who writes long books like I do, that was hard! :situp:

LIGHTNING-FAST LASHES:

Leather or lace?  Lace

Devil or angel?  *snicker* Angel, of course!

Angel food or devil’s food?  Angel food…with fresh berries!

Hemlock or arsenic? Arsenic…goes with the lace, right?

Blood, sweat, or tears? Definitely tears. (I give away promotional packages of tissue since my books are tearjerkers! :tears: )

Boxers, briefs…or commando?  Oh, let’s live dangerously…commando! :cuffs:

Cowgirl or missionary? (Hey, get your mind out of the gutter. I was simply asking what you wanted to be when you were growing up. :fairie: )  Uh-huh, sure Heidi. :margarita:  I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I had delusions as a child that I’d travel the world and write articles for big, glossy magazines. Then after I’d seen the world, I intended on settling down to write about my adventures in fiction. Guess I just took a shortcut. :nap:

heart_wings

Thank you so much, Angel, that was fabulous! :spring:

But if you think an entertaining interview is all our lovely guest has to offer, my Darlings, you would be wrong.  Angel is also giving way an autographed copy of THE BALLERINA’S STAND to one lucky winner!  (Note:  Winner will have to wait until Angel’s author copies of this book arrive, but then she’ll get your signed copy in the mail to you post haste. :flowers: )

All you have to do to enter is leave a question or comment for Angel during her visit.  U.S./Canada residents only for the giveaway, please, but everyone is welcome to chat. :ducks:

Thanks again to Angel Smits for spending the day with us, & to all of you for visiting our wonderful guest! :alice:

And remember, you can always visit Angel & find out more about her books by visiting her little corner of the web, AngelSmits.com!

Comments

14 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Kathleen O says:

    Good Morning Angel.. Thanks for giving joining in today. We always love hearing about Heidi’s friends. Your book sounds like it is going to be a wonderful story. It reminds of the young man who is competing on Dancing with the Stars who is totally deaf and is on the road to winning this whole shebang.

    And for the record along with Heidi’s books, I love Debbie Macomber.. who doesn’t.

    You are a new author to me and I love it when I find a good one and I love Superromance series.

    Have a great day! :swing:

    • Angel says:

      Thanks for dropping by. The DWTS show is definitely interesting! I learned so much about how deaf people relate to music doing this book. Very fascinating.

  2. Dee says:

    Your books sound very interesting. I love when people say “write what you know”. It really is true. Although as I work in Human Resources. HIPAA does block me from writing what I know.

    :butterfly:

    Ooh a very accurate work emoji

    :headdesk:

  3. MSusan Mayers says:

    Hi Angel,
    Enjoyed your interview.That Heidi.She sure knows how to interrogate,…..what? Wait, it’s just that we ARE in the dungeon. I love the color of your hair.several relatives have the distinction of the same with blue eyes.( aunts,grandmother,father,brother,cousins) nope not me, mine has same color strands age 15 but not arranged without “susie the skunk” effect ,stillnot filled in.sigh.

    My 1st year in phil i took up (ugh) jogging to learn my neighborhood in nw fairmont park. The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf was located around the corner inside a beautifully designed historical building on acres spectacular gardens. It was private property campus but the stone wall was low enough to view the grounds and became one of my favorite routes.During the last week i lived there i rushed around the corner and for the very first time saw the playground filled with children.I stopped in my tracks. I was completely mesmerized!!!! My run soon forgotten. It probably took more than 5 minutes for my brain to register what was so different?There wasn’t a single sound. At least 4 classrooms for recess. No squeals. No laughter. No shouting. Just dozens of active children faces FILLED with Joy. I’ll never forget,decades ago. I still drive past there just to remember.
    I’ve never met someone deaf or mute or blind. I still entertain learning the skill of sign language. Last year met a man who has a career of traveling nationwide for” signing” interpreting at banking conferences.How interesting that you ?created a character,is that the correct phrase? and a ballerina to boot. Tough enough to commit to years of “toe” but without a sense of hearing? Hmmmm.looking forward to it.

    My biggest question! You too,heidi and the other authors i’ve discovered thru you: it is a given. All of us vorascious readers(losing sleep, looking up to find you missed your stop .you are at the end of the line ,yikes, whole different side of the city). You heidi, on the blog, 2 diff books same time while you are writing your current novel. I get how you may have seen a technique that(?lori wilde?) Helped you skirt an obstacle,?turn around…….how can you be confident that your story line doesn’t resemble?(horror,speck of plaguerizing unintentionally) someone elses that you’ve read?????seriously, so many romances, so many chance meetings, so many steamy scenes. How do you guys stop from copying each other???? Part II have you ever and had someone, ye gads, point it out?
    Always a pleasure MSM

  4. Angel says:

    What an awesome image you shared of all those children. It’s a whole different world, isn’t it? Thanks.

    It’s always a challenge, I think for anyone who is creative not to have other people’s work infuence them. But we all see the world so differently. I’ve been in writing groups where we all start with the same premise, and none of us even come close! Even the same idea will turn out drastically different if I write it vs someone else. It’s actually quite fun to see how that happens. And while the ideas may be similar, we are all so creative, that it comes out unique.

    Great questions. Make me think. :) Waking me up on Monday!

  5. Heidi Betts says:

    Hi, all! Thank you so much for joining Angel today! :alice: We’re delighted to have her visit, plus Mistress Heidi & I never like our guests to be left alone in The Dungeon for too long…they tend to get into trouble that way. :devil:

    And I would have popped in sooner, but a short thunderstorm knocked out my internet for a while. :headdesk:

  6. Emma says:

    I am looking forward to reading THE BALLERINA’S STAND. Thank you for the opportunity to win. Have a wonderful week.

  7. Hollie says:

    Welcome to the Dungeon!! It was wonderful to “meet” you!! And very nice to see that you WOULD put Heidi out of her misery early! Very kind and considerate of you! :giraffe:

  8. Sarah Lehman says:

    Hi Angel!

    The book sounds very interesting. At first I couldn’t even comprehend a deaf dancer but after watching Nyle on Dancing with the Stars it eye opening that deaf people can dance & dance well.

    The angel food cake with berries reminds me of my sister-that’s what she always asked for for her birthday (and still does). Fun memories of making it. :)

    And of course arsenic goes with old lace!

    • Angel says:

      Sounds like we think a lot alike. ? I hope the book can open a few eyes and doors the way he has on DWTS. Thanks!!!

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