Greetings from north-of-Orlando Mount Dora, Florida, where the soggy remnants of Tropical Storm Colin are steaming their way out of our backyards.
But I know the weather where Angela Breidenbach (the lovely subject of today’s author interview) lives looks a bit different. Angela, a former Mrs. Montana International, still lives in that northwestern state when she’s not busy participating in author events, teaching at conferences, or traveling in her role as president of the Christian Authors Network. Angie has lots to share, so let’s move on to the Q & A.
Welcome back to the CAN blog, Angela! How many books do you have published?
Nine, with several more in process. I should have about 13 out by the end of the year, or close to it.
Wow! That’s amazing. What are a few of your latest titles?
Lassoed by Marriage, Blue Ribbon Brides (releases November 1), Bitterroot Bride, Taking the Plunge. . . all have 2016 publishing dates. One I’m really excited about isn’t fiction at all. It’s a compilation of my ancestors’ autobiographical stories—my grandpa, grandma, a great-aunt, and letters that were translated from my great-grandma from Swedish to English. I’m still working on a title, but this book is for preservation of history, and quite a few of my readers expressed interest. My big hope is that many family and descendants of these amazing people, who never read or knew of these writings, will be able to access them from all over the world. Readers are welcome to help me title it. I’ll take any and all suggestions under consideration. The big job is fact-checking dates, names, spellings, and places.
Sounds fascinating! Angela, you were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?
If the story is important to me, then I have to write it regardless if it’s important to a publisher. There’s a sense of job satisfaction and spiritual fulfillment that has to happen for me to enjoy my job as a writer. When I’m only writing to contracts because they sold, I find I lose my sense of joy in the art and creation. So now I make sure to work on my pet projects, too. Comically, one of those “pet” projects is Muse and Writer. He really is my pet, but Muse is my fe-lion personal assistant. (Don’t let him hear you say he’s a cat!) He has his own following. Writing those conversations between us is pure fun, but I’ve also learned that even comedy has valuable purpose. Muse and I get notes from readers about how these comedy snippets have helped them through tough times like divorce, depression, hospital stays, etc.
When I started, I had no idea there would be passion in me to write cat, ahem, fe-lion comedy or that it would actually have an outreach ministry. I learned I write to offer hope and encouragement. I learned that when people respond to that offering of my unusually voiced humor, telling me I helped them through a rough patch somehow, that it clicks in my soul. I will write those comedy sketches until the cows come home because I feel like it matters to someone. No way would I have thought Muse & Writer mattered for more than a snicker when I started it three years ago. But those readers are avid supporters, and I’m their avid supporter. I want to offer a bright spot on a dark day. That synergy between reader and writer is the most important thing I’ve found in my writing life—and it was in the least likely place I’d expect to find it. Read More →