I was lucky enough to be able to interview Angela Roquet author of the international bestselling series Graveyard Shift Reapers Inc.
Are you traditionally published or self published? Why did you choose that path?
I have a few short stories published with a small press, but I’m mostly self-pub. I chose this path because my first agent retired and I didn’t want to embark on that massive quest a second time. It’s been a huge learning experience and a lot of work, but well worth it.
When did you first become interested in storytelling?
I’ve always been interested in storytelling. Even as a child, I had a very active imagination, and I often had illustrations to go with those early stories.
What was your first book/story published?
Graveyard Shift, the first book in my Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, was published in October of 2009.
What was the hardest part to write?
“The End.” That’s still the most nerve-wracking part of any story for me.
What would your ideal career be if you couldn’t be an author?
I’d say an animator for Walt Disney, since that was my childhood dream job, but since my artistic skills are so rusty, now I’d rather direct movies. It’s like writing a book, but on a larger scale. It requires a massive team effort to bring those stories to life, but I think the challenge would be exciting.
Do you read reviews of you books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Not as frequently as I used to. I sometimes find them inspiring and motivating, but at other times, they can be downright heart-breaking. It’s very much a rollercoaster experience. One reader will say how my books renewed their desire to read or to write, or that they helped them through a rough time in their life—and then the next reader will write an essay about how awful or offensive they found my books. I’ve been lucky in that the vast majority of my reviews have been favorable. Graveyard Shift has a 4.2 star rating on Amazon, with over a thousand reviews. That makes the ugly ones more bearable.
What well-known writers do you admire most?
Oh wow. This question kills me every time. There are so many. MaryJanice Davidson, Patricia Briggs, Kevin Hearne, Kim Harrison, Christopher Moore, Jasper Fforde, Charlaine Harris, Terry Pratchett…
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Do your homework. The internet is a magical place. There are countless FB groups and blogs on writing and publishing and marketing. If you want to be a part of this community and this industry, get familiar with it now. You don’t have to wait until you publish your first book—in fact, you shouldn’t. Learn how to network early on and it will save you so much doubt and confusion in the long run.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
There are a few inside jokes and sayings that only my husband would find funny. And there are a few deep research jokes in the Lana series that only mythology buffs are likely to catch. Other than that, I try to keep everyone in the loop.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Not finishing what you start, not outlining (sorry, pantsers), and thinking you don’t need an editor or even a proofreader before sending your book to an agent—or even worse, before clicking publish, if you’re going the self-pub route.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
*without missing a beat* BookBub. Hands down.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Erm… I read a lot as a child, so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I want to say The Boxcar Children. It was pretty heartbreaking, as a child with younger siblings and a close-knit family, to read about orphaned kids struggling to keep what was left of their family together, even if it meant being homeless.
If your book was a food, what would it be?
Devil’s food cake. LOL
What is your current binge watch?
Firefly. I could watch the series over and over and over. ♥
Who is your favorite fictional villain?
Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which counts even though it’s a TV show, since there are also comics and novels). He’s not fully considered a “good” guy until the very end. Most of the good deeds he does before that are selfishly motivated to win Buffy’s approval. His character seemed to grow and change more than any other throughout the series, and I enjoy that about a villain, when they’re humanized and given the chance to redeem themselves on occasion.
What is your most interesting fan experience?
I’d have to say when a reader emailed pictures of their front lawn that they had decorated for Halloween with a reaper theme inspired by my Lana series. That was awesome! ♥
You can find Angela on social media
Her book Graveyard Shift is free on amazon! You can find it here. Its one of my favorite series!
International bestselling author Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, random craft supplies, and all things Joss Whedon. She’s a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone, she’s a fan of you, too.
Angela lives in Missouri with her husband and son. She’s a member of SFWA and HWA, as well as the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse, her epic book critique group, where she’s known as Death. When she’s not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys boating with her family at Lake of the Ozarks and reading books that raise eyebrows.