Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Q&A with author Angela Henry

I’m pleased to present today’s Q&A feature. Angela Henry is the author of Diva’s Last Curtain Call, Tangled Roots, and The Company You Keep. She has a great website (with a gorgeous design!) at so be sure to check that out after you read what Angela has to say about her work. Without further ado…

Hi Angela. Can you tell us about Diva’s Last Curtain Call?
Hi Lori! Diva's Last Curtain Call is the 3rd book in my Kendra Clayton mystery series. In this outing, Kendra's self-absorbed, spoiled, actress wannabe, younger sister, Allegra, is in town to try interview aging, reclusive, legendary actress Vivianne DeArmond for the TV show Hollywood Vibe. When Vivianne ends up dead, with a letter opener in her back, Allegra is the prime suspect and Kendra has to find the real killer to clear her sister's name.

Okay, but what’s it really about?
It's really about how family can drive you completely crazy but they're still your family and you have to be there for them in times of crisis. Or something like that. ; )

What inspired you to write the Kendra Clayton mystery series?
I've been a lifelong lover of mysteries, especially small town Agatha Christie like murder mysteries where secrets lurk behind every closed door. But there aren't many that feature African-American sleuths in a small town setting. So I decided to write one myself.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on a proposal for a supernatural YA novel, getting ready to publish Schooled in Murder, the 4th book in my Kendra series, and trying not to drive myself and my agent crazy while waiting to hear about a new project of mine that has been on submission for the past few months.

Tell us a bit about your journey as an author.
My journey has been a series of ups and downs. I've written short stories since I was in high school. But I didn't attempt a novel until I was in my late twenties. It took me four years to write it. But I did manage to get an agent within a few months of finishing it. Unfortunately, she was unable to sell it and we eventually parted ways. I was unable to get a new agent and started submitting directly to publishers, which worked. BET Books, a division of Black Entertainment Television, picked up the book in 2004 and I also signed with a new agent. A year later, BET Books was acquired by Harlequin and renamed Kimani Press. I wrote three books for them before they changed direction and stopped doing mysteries. So, I'm in a regrouping/reinvention phase right now.

What advice do you have for emerging authors?
Don't give up! Keep writing and honing your skills. Educate yourself about the publishing business because it is indeed a business and you really need to know how things work.

How does social media and technology play a role in how you connect with readers?
It plays a big part in connecting with readers. When MySpace was still all the rage, I was able to connect with a lot of readers, reviewers, and fellow writers and not just in the states but all over the globe. There's nothing cooler than finding new authors to read or getting an email from a reader or a bookseller who found out about my books on MySpace. I haven't signed up for Twitter but I'm going to. I also think social media is a great way for writers to see what's going on the publishing world. Many publishers, editors, and agents blog or are on Twitter and it's fun to see what titles they are working on and acquiring. Writers who are just starting out really need to check out all the agents and editors who are blogging. There is wealth of info on those blogs.

How can readers learn more about you and your books?
My website

Thanks, Angela. I appreciate you taking the time to talk about your latest news!
Thanks for having me, Lori!

Stay tuned for more later this week regarding my trip to Kentucky, The Ambassador Poetry Project launch party news, and info about the book release party for stains: early poems. Remember to click to follow the blog to make sure you’re entered into this month’s random drawing for a signed copy of one of my titles!

Happy reading….

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