Angela, welcome to Writers on Reading! Congratulations on your release, Eleven Pipers Piping—a Christmas book with a touch of July worked in. This Christmas series looks like you just have to unwrap it first! (But I’m gonna have to pause to mention how I love one of your previous titles, Snowflake Tiara—it’s just a perfect fit for that book’s theme! Anyone curious? Click here.)
Thank you so much for inviting me to be here, Deirdre. What a great place to talk books!
I love these interviews and look forward to learning about your reading habits! So, as a historical/romance writer, can you tell us what speaks to you as you pick your next reading experience?
First, I love reading across a lot of genres. If the book has a significant spot in history, is time travel, or fascinates me with setting I'm all over it. :) I love traveling places in my mind with books.
What was the most out-of-character book you’ve recently read, and what led to your choice?
I'm actually a professional book judge. So I'm reading a lot of different self-published books right now. One that surprised me (and that I'm not usually drawn to) was a medical drama. It's great twist caught me by surprise and yet the author did it very well. (I can't tell you the title because it's still in the contest.)
Well, I hope you’ll drop by after the contest, if the author allows, and share! As a writer, you should know better, but as a reader, you know we all do it…so, when did you last “judge a book by the cover”? How did it work out?
Lol, I actually judge book covers professionally as part of contest criteria. It is so very important to market the internal content of a book with a spectacular cover. A poor cover does set a precedent in the reader's mind. I'm rarely surprised. But when I am, I definitely give specific pointers to those authors to help their marketing efforts. It's tough to change a print book. But it's not tough to change an e-book.
Well, I wouldn’t want you changing the cover on your upcoming release. Do you find time to read during the months you’re writing? If so, what did you read while working on Eleven Pipers Piping? If not, did you treat yourself to a good book, when you sent it off to your publisher?
I do take time to read while writing to give myself a break and because I get so fascinated by research. I can get lost for hours in both online and hard copy for research. I'm super driven. So the very first thing I'm doing is learning about podcasting for my debut on iTunes July 28, 2015 Grace Under Pressure Radio with Angela Breidenbach. The show is about becoming women of Courage, Confidence, and Candor. I'm listening to podcasts about podcasts and watching tutorials. Oh, and I'm starting a screenplay so I actually downloaded Final Draft software before I listened to a podcast. So I'm also listening to podcasts about writing screenplays. I did tell you I was eclectic in my "reading"… ;)
You most certainly did. So with such variety, did a book recently make you laugh/cry/sigh/shiver?
Remember I told you I read across genres? I really do. I think it helps me grow as a person, a writer, and a leader. So…a book that made me laugh out loud a self-pub I recently judged. The author did so much right, but still had a lot to learn. But the flashes of great humor were noteworthy. That author has talent! A book that made me cry was For Time And Eternity by Allison Pittman. That book still reverberates in my memory. Books that made me shiver are by Tosca Lee, Demon: A Memoir (because it really made me consider my own life choices) and Havah: The Story of Eve (because it made me consider my affect generationally for my children's children's children, and so on.) I truly want to leave a godly legacy. That's a massive goal. But God says he'll bless us up to 1,000 generations, and I want that so badly I can taste it, smell it, and I dream it. So I pray it, and I write books/screenplays and will be doing the podcast to be intentional about that goal.
A beautiful goal, a legacy it seems you’ve already started, and some really great reads all wrapped together! What was the last book you absolutely couldn't put down? Why?
I love Tracie Peterson. She inspires me as a writer because of the depth of her research (done with her hubby, Jim) and the story worlds she creates. I have a vast collection of Tracie Peterson books just to study her technique and series skills. When I grow up I want to be like her ;)
When you grow up, hah! (You're both Montana girls, too, aren't you?) Were you the kind of kid/teen who loved reading?
Um, YES! I will admit this now…I often was late to school because I stayed up reading all night. Shh, don't tell. Yes, it's true.
Laughing. I hope your secret’s safe here. Folks, what do you think? Yep, we won’t tell. So, which novel do you first remember reading?
I don't remember because I began reading at four years old. I was reading novels from the 1930s by the time I was eight. The first novel that really affected me deeply though was Island Of The Blue Dolphin. Another was Heidi. I thought it was so cool to dress up as Heidi in the fifth grade for our school Halloween party. Let's just say no one in my class had any clue who Heidi was but my teacher.
Hah, how fun. You’re the second gal who’s remember the Island Of The Blue Dolphin as you favorite childhood book. I missed out on it, think I might have to read it now. Grin. So, when did you know you wanted to write?
From my earliest memory. I wrote poems, songs, and stories starting in Kindergarten. I had full notebooks. I so wish I'd have been able to keep them. I'd probably write better child characters because I'd go back in my kid head, lol.
What an excellent point! So, did any or multiple books influence this desire to write?
Heidi, Boxcar Kids series, Island Of The Blue Dolphin, and yes…Gone With The Wind. I read that book in the sixth grade and again in high school. Craft and marketing books can get me fired up too! Yeah, that's maybe a different answer but it's true.
We’re interested in these interviews for the different answers. Has any book stuck with you recently? What created the lasting impressions?
A book that made me sigh, cry, and shiver is Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers. It's an older book now that's been rereleased recently. This book has a lot of parallels in my life as a mother who had to work long hours to provide for my children. But then I actually was with both my mom and my dad when it was their time to pass. Being with them, watching them struggle in those last days brought parts of that book back. I'm so grateful I had those last hours with each of my parents. So very grateful.
Oh my…Angie, you’re not supposed to make us cry, just tell us what books made you cry! I read Leota’s Garden when it first released---before this millennium. I agree I remember it as a great book. What is on your to-read list?
Fiction—TraciePeterson's latest Brides of Seattle book, Refining Fire. Craft–ProofreadingSecrets of Best-selling Authors by Kathy Ide. Marketing/how-to—Podcasting for Dummies (for a second time because it's been too long from reading to implementation). Screenwriting craft—Story by Robert McKee (because I've already read How to Succeed in Hollywood by Dr. Ted Baehr). My list is actually a lot longer…
Is there a book you are looking forward to rereading?
(See Podcasting for Dummies). But in fiction, I'd love to reread Allison Pittman's Sister Wife series #1 to set me up to read the second one.
And with summer in full bloom, what is your ideal summer reading experience?
I have a wonderful yard swing my husband gave me last summer. I adore sitting out there and reading with the deer munching on my lawn. (Shh, don't tell hubby or he'll chase them away.) The breeze gently blows. I have my favorite energy drink on a dinner tray beside my yard swing. Muse, my fe-lion, chatters at me through the screen door (when he's not climbing it with his claws.) My miniature horses whicker at me across the fence. So sometimes I get up and give them a handful of grass and go back to reading. That's a perfect afternoon! I hope I get a few of those this summer. I did get several last year. Maybe I can do that while judging contest books? Yes, I'll try that this weekend.
Ooooh, it's a fawn! Well, that is an ideal summer reading experience! And it really lets us see you as a reader, Angie. One last question before I let you prepare your swing for tomorrow. If Maila Holmes from Bridal Whispers (The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection due out Jan. 2016 from Barbour Publishing) were to pick a book from today’s shelves, what do you think it would be?
Maila is the most recent heroine on my mind because I just turned in Bridal Whispers, a novella in the Barbour Publishing The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection, and finished the edits last week. She's also very loosely based on my grandma, a first-born Swedish-American who was raised speaking only Swedish. She became a nurse. So I think she would want to read medical romances like my friend Sandra Orchard writes. I've read a few of her books, and they're very good Love Inspired short romances. I think she'd also pour over medical journals because of the advances in medicine since 1899-1900, lol.
Oh, that’s a perfect answer! Bet she’d wanna read that medical drama you couldn’t tell us the title of. Definitely makes me want to read more about Maila—see why I love these interviews? Thank you for your reading habits with us, Angie. Folks, you can continue to connect with Angie—and find out more about her books—at the links below, but first a her bio.
Angela Breidenbach is a captivating speaker, radio personality, and an award-winning author. She serves as the Christian Author Network's president and executive assistant for the Montana-based Jadyn Fred Foundation. A professional judge of close to 1000 books, Angela has also authored:
SnowflakeTiara: The Debutante Queen, historical romance (audio version soon)
Eleven Pipers Piping, sequel to The Debutante Queen, releasing end of July 2015
A HealingHeart, contemporary romance, also on audio
Gems ofWisdom: For a treasure-filled Life, nonfiction
Grace Under Pressure, Fall 2015, nonfiction partner to the iTunes Grace Under Pressure Radio: Becoming a woman of courage, confidence, and candor—debuting July 28, 2015!
Coming Jan. 2016, Bridal Whispers historical romance novella in Barbour Publishing's The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection
Feb. 2016, Taking the Plunge, historical Montana romance in the Sporting Chance collection.
PURCHASE AND CONNECTION LINKS:
Grace Under Pressure Radio link: http://angelabreidenbach.com/category/grace-under-pressure-radio/ (watch here for the first show information!)
Eleven Pipers Piping doesn't have a sales link yet, so Angie created a preview page on her website for us. http://AngelaBreidenbach.com/Eleven-Pipers-Piping/