Today we get write to the point with Angela Strong. She visited us awhile back, you can read the interview here. Today she talks about her newest release. Enjoy!
Tell us about your newest book. The Water Fight Professional is a middle-grade novel about a kid who has to make more money with his water-fighting business than his best friend makes mowing lawns in order to beat the sudden superstar at something and save their friendship. It’s for ages 8-12, but it’s a great book to read together.
I often encourage my readers to read a book together so you can have conversations with your kids about what’s going on. I love doing that with my daughter (my son hasn’t picked up a love of reading yet).
What do you do when you’re not writing? I’m married with three children, so I’m always doing something. This summer I got to help my son raise money for a mission trip to San Francisco, then I got to be a counselor at church camp for all my kids now that they are all old enough for youth group, then last week we took a family vacation to the Oregon coast. These moments always inspire more stories, so there is never enough time to write.
My other passion is teaching group fitness, which is even cooler now that I get to teach at a Christian fitness club. Getting paid to work out helps me keep from gaining a bazillion pounds when sitting in front of my computer for hours with my carb-loaded coffee. Plus it gives me the energy to be able to join my husband in events like The Dirty Dash—a 10K in the mountains that involved some pretty muddy obstacles and matching Batman outfits. I’d say this is symbolic of my life in general.
Where do you get your ideas? Ideas are everywhere. The idea for The Water Fight Professional came from a church picnic when my son was a preschooler. He wanted to get involved in a water fight but didn’t know how, so I gave him a cup of water and told him to dump it on someone. That person saw him coming and offered him a dollar to dump the same cup on me. I got wet, he got paid, and he fell asleep that night holding onto the dollar bill. I thought, “He’s going to become a water fight professional.” Hence, I dedicated the book to him seven years later—the REAL water fight professional.
I love how ideas drop into our heads. I also say my head is a crazy place to be.
Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer? Endings are my favorite, so everything I write has to lead up to a fantastic ending. Thus, I have to outline. But that doesn’t mean the story doesn’t grow as I grow while writing it. Once I wrote the ending to a book first, but by the time I wrote the entire thing I had to completely change the ending. I believe this made it even more unexpected and powerful.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? Oh yeah. Romancing the Throne is about Jaqueline James, a resort activities director in the West Indies, who ends up falling for a prince, but when he hires a private investigator to look into her past and make sure she is marriage material, he finds out that her father is a fugitive from the United States. Jacqueline hires the same private eye to go back with her to the States to prove her father innocent, but in the process she realizes she’d rather spend her life with her knight in shining armor than prince charming. It’s a fun, and fast-paced story that’s been close to publication, and I still have high hopes for it. If The Water Fight Professional has taught me anything, it’s that God’s timing is perfect, and good things are worth the wait…and the work.
This definitely sounds interesting. Hope it gets published.
Are you like any of the characters in your book? Probably Joey’s mom. I make healthy food my kids hate, I always try to get them involved in activities they are not interested in, and while she’s a theatrical dancer and spends her days in “cha-cha land,” I spend time in these made-up worlds of mine. In the end, Joey’s mom teaches her kids the value of accountability and overcoming, which is something I want to do, as well. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, don’t we?
Are you working on a new project now? The Snowball Fight Professional is book two in the Fun4Hire series and releases this November. These characters are just so fun to hang out with again. Up next, I’ll be writing The Food Fight Professional and The Pillow Fight Professional.
And if that’s not enough, I’ve got revisions to make for my Killer Voices entry. I made it to the final round of the Love Inspired Suspense contest, though I haven’t gotten a contract yet. Fingers crossed.
Anything you would like to add? Writing—like life—is what you create it to be. As with any artistic career, I don’t think you can ever arrive. So do it because you enjoy it. Celebrate every little victory. And keep learning.
Great advice, thanks for sharing with us, Angela. It was great hearing from you again and what God is up to in your life. I pray God’s continued blessings over your writing.