Interview with Angela Correll, author of Grounded

grounded

Angela Correll is a debut author- her first book is GROUNDED. One of the best things about blogging is finding debut authors (or having people assist you in the finding of new authors!) Angela graciously allowed me to interview her at Traveling With T- so here is the interview. Check back later this week- because even the debut authors have to answer the #literarycrush and #literaryconfessions questions at Traveling With T!

 

Interview with Angela Correll, author of Grounded

What was the inspiration for the book Grounded?

Fifteen years ago, I left Lexington to marry and move to a farm outside of a small town. This was like coming home for me since I grew up in a neighboring town and most of my family members farmed. However, I hadn’t lived on a farm since I was five years old, so this was a new experience for me as an adult. My recent city mindset made me see the differences in rural and urban environments, city vs. small town, and the value of both. That experience was the original inspiration for Grounded.

 

Angela– Grounded is your first book. As a debut author, is social media playing a role in promoting your book?

Facebook has been huge for getting the word out to friends from different seasons of my life. I can’t imagine doing this without it. I am blogging and tweeting, so yes, it is important. Part of me wants to retreat to a time when there is no technology and I am pecking away on an aged typewriter, but in order to be relevant in today’s age, it’s important to do.

 

What is the best advice you have received in regards to writing?

It’s a little talent, but mostly perseverance. Stay with it day after day, learn, grow, improve, and always be willing to revise.  In the beginning writers want to know if they have enough talent to invest a huge chunk of time writing.  That’s not the question as much as do you want to put the time and effort that it will take to do this? Can you persevere?

 

Do you have a writing space? Or a writing routine?

The early morning is my favorite writing time. I sit in my den with my feet propped up on an ottoman, a laptop in front of me, a lapdog beside me, and a steady stream of coffee.

 

Will you be going on a book signing tours for Grounded?

Yes! I have lots of dates lined up in Kentucky and friends in Texas, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina are working on dates there.  You can check out the events page on the website for updates (www.angelacorrell.com).

 

The characters in Grounded– are any based on people you know or are they created from your imagination?

They are all based on parts of people I know or have known in my lifetime. Each character is like stained glass, a melding of this piece and that piece, to make something unique.

 

Do you have a favorite character in Grounded?

I have always been partial to Beulah. She was the easiest to write.

 

If Grounded was made into a movie- do you, Angela, have a dream cast in mind?

I don’t watch enough of TV or movies to know the possibilities, but I hope whoever is picked will come to Kentucky and soak up the culture and the accents before taking on the job.

 

Can you give any hints about what you are working on next, Angela?

My hope is to continue to write about different characters from Somerville so that when readers invest in the place, they will get to visit it over and over through the eyes of different characters.  Next up is a sequel for Grounded.

 

*Special thanks to Angela Correll for agreeing to be interviewed!

 

 

angela correll

Angela Correll is working on her second novel- which is a sequel to Grounded. When not writing or reading- Angela can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her website.

 

 

Grounded by Angela Correll

grounded

Photo Credit: Amazon

Annie is a flight attendant- flying the skies to far-flung places around the world. When she is home, New York City- with it’s wonderful ambience and never-ending options of things to do, places to eat, and buzzing activity. Annie is happy- jet-setting off to great places, coming home to her sweet boyfriend. The only teeny concern- there is talk of a merger- which could lead to losing her job. But, Annie is sure the airline will work out the necessary details and keep her flying the good life. Annie has a boyfriend who she adores- and he asks her to move in with him- which she takes a step on the way to the rest of their lives.

One day, on a flight, Annie begins chatting with someone who sheds a light on her relationship- and Annie is concerned. When she gets home, she finds that she had reason to be concerned. So, she doesn’t have a place to live, no boyfriend, and then she gets the final bad news- she’s been grounded. Her boss hopes to get her back in the air in a few months- but the 2 airlines need time to see who they are keeping and who will not be re-hired. Annie decides to head to her family farm- back to Kentucky.

When Annie arrives in Kentucky, life on the farm has changed. Her grandmother’s getting older and can’t keep up with farm life like she once was able. Annie suggests selling the farm and downsizing to a smaller home- but her grandmother balks at the idea. At first, Annie does not understand. Soon, though, farm life begins to feel right to Annie. Annie reconnects with her buddy Jake, who is wanting to leave the corporate rat race behind and start sustainable farming. That’s not the only thing he’s looking to change, though. He’s got a girlfriend who he’s hoping to make a fiance. His fiance, though, after visiting Kentucky- is hoping he’ll stay in the corporate world.

When Annie gets a call telling her she’s going to be able to fly the skies again- she thought she would be excited. But life in Kentucky has grounded her in more ways than one. Will Annie go back to New York City or will farm life (and maybe the boy next door) be reason to stay in Kentucky?

Traveling With T’s Thoughts

Angela Correll wears her big ole Kentucky loving heart on her sleeve as she writes Grounded! A debut novel that is sweet and funny- with life lessons amongst the story. Angela takes a story of a woman displaced from a fast paced life and sends her back home, back to where she learns to appreciate the simple life- the life of hard work and being able to hold your own. The plot, while it is a tad bit predictable at times, is still well-written enough to hold a reader’s attention. Enjoyable. Interesting. Nice pace and characters.

*This book was sent to Traveling With T by a publicist in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

Interview with Beth Hoffman, author of Looking for Me

looking for meBeth Hoffman, author of Looking for Me, stopped by the blog to talk about antiques, how she creates characters, and the setting for Looking for Me.

She will be back on Wednesday to reveal her #literarycrush, #literaryconfessions, and the books that are on her TBR list (plus where she gets many of her book recommendations!)

*Need more Beth in your life? Twitter chat with Beth Hoffman Friday, July 26th from 2-3pmEST- thanks to Deep South Magazine! Use hashtag #southernlit to join in!

 

Interview with Beth Hoffman

Beth- thank you for agreeing to be interviewed!

I’m happy to be here, Tamara. Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog.

Beth, what was the inspiration for Looking for Me?

After I returned home from touring with CeeCee, I didn’t know what I’d write next, and quite honestly, I was too exhausted to think about it. One day I was cleaning my writing library and began to organize old photographs. I came across an envelope containing photos of my grandparents’ farm—some dating as far back as 1883.

There were probably close to a hundred photos in all, and I spent a good while reliving my childhood and yearning for those simple days on the farm. I missed the smell of freshly tilled earth and the taste of sweet corn grown on the land that had been in my family for generations. Just as I picked up a photo of my younger brother, something flashed in my periphery. I looked up as a red-tailed hawk landed in the tree outside my window. He settled on a branch and then turned his head and looked in the window. For a long moment we considered each other, and then—wham—I knew I had the soul of my story.

 

Teddi is a complex character, a very real character. How did you create Teddi?

Like all of my characters, Teddi came to me fully realized. Though I gave her my love of antiques, animals, and nature, she took off with her own persona and quirks. One of the things I’ve learned while crafting a novel is to get out of the way and give my characters freedom to live and speak and think without too much interference from me. Many times they’ve brought me major storyline revelations that I hadn’t even considered. It’s a fascinating process.

Part of the book is set in Charleston and part in Kentucky. What about those two settings made it right for Looking for Me?

The atmosphere of the story I want to create will determine the setting. I need to feel connected to a location’s history and culture. One of my favorite things to do while crafting a novel is to explore opposites. The juxtaposition of Charleston’s refinement to Slade, Kentucky’s rugged wilderness intrigued me. Red River Gorge is wonderfully wild and mysterious while Charleston is known for its gorgeous architecture and gentility. The downtown area of Charleston was the perfect place for Teddi to reach for her dream while Kentucky was ideal to hold her family’s roots.

 

Antiques are a huge part of Looking for Me. Were you using antiques as a metaphor- even when things look bleak, some tender loving care can make things better?

To be honest, I never thought of antiques as a metaphor while crafting the story, but you have an interesting point. I’ve always had a tender spot for people, animals, and objects that have suffered neglect and need care. Many years ago I drove by a trashcan that had an old teddy bear sticking out. It made me sad to think that he’d once been loved and yet soon would be left to disintegrate in a dump. So I stopped and went back to get him. He was so old that he was stuffed with excelsior. I cleaned him up, stitched one his paws, and made sure he was sanitized. He’s now happily sitting on one of my bookshelves.

 

Beth- how do you create characters? Are the characters based on people you know?

I don’t mean to sound evasive, but my characters just seem to show up. Long before I begin a manuscript they begin to chatter in my head. I don’t so much create them as acknowledge them. More often than not they’ll appear out of nowhere and surprise me. Certainly some characters will have traits of people I’ve known, heard about, or interacted with, but they always end up being unique unto themselves.

 

When writing Looking for Me– did you know how it would end? Or did the ending reveal itself as you were writing?

I was well into writing the manuscript before I knew how it would end. The ending came to me late one night, and when I saw it play out in my head, I knew it was absolutely right.

 

Any ideas as to what the next book will be about, Beth?  

I have no clue! Some characters have started to “talk” to me, but I really don’t know what, if anything, will come of what they’re saying. I’m the kind of writer who needs to put some time and distance between novels so I can fully immerse myself in a new story and keep it fresh and separate from those that came before it.

 

*Special thanks to Beth Hoffman for agreeing to be interviewed!

 

beth hoffman

Beth Hoffman, author of Looking for Me and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, has the honor of being chosen for Deep South Magazine’s 2013 Summer Reading List! When she is not writing, you can find Beth on Twitter– sending encouraging tweets to her writer friends (and fans!) Beth also has a website and a Facebook page.