Angela Breidenbach is a captivating speaker and author. Angela volunteers as the Christian Author Network's president. As Mrs. Montana International 2009, Angela loved promoting her state. She adores writing about it in both historical and contemporary settings. Books by Angela set in Montana include Snowflake Tiara, Eleven Pipers Piping (Sep. 30, 2014), and A Healing Heart. Don't miss A-Muse-ings feline comedy, by popular demand, this fall.
Angela will be sharing an ebook version of Snowflake Tiara (.mobi or .epub format) with one of our visitors this week! Just answer this question in the comment section to be entered in the drawing:
What intrigues you about Montana?
Good luck with the drawing! And now, on to the interview.
Congratulations on the release of Snowflake Tiara and your novella in it, The Debutante Queen! Let’s start by learning a bit about the main characters in The Debutante Queen.
Thank you so much! This has been quite a major project with many changes along the way.
Calista Blythe is a debutante who is terrified of humiliating herself in public. She manages to steal a little girl, Lea Murphy, right off the streets of Helena, MT. Though her intentions are good, Albert doesn't think dishonesty, even well intentioned, is a character trait he can abide.
Snowflake Tiara also includes a novella by Valerie Comer, The Model Queen. How did the project – and the ideas for each of your novellas – come about?
Valerie and I went to a writing conference and sat together in a publisher's spotlight. That line discontinued, but the idea stuck to have two characters in the same setting connected by relationship several generations apart. As the idea developed, we realized it was Helena's 150th city anniversary and Montana's 125th! To us, it was an incredible blessing to be able to write it into our book and celebrate the event in our stories: Christmas, romance, and statehood. Wow!
I’m sure that was really fun to see come together. And as if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy this fall, you also have another book releasing at the end of September – Eleven Pipers Piping. Congratulations again! What can you tell us about this story and the series it’s part of?
As I wrote The Debutante Queen, the first novella in Snowflake Tiara, I received a special invitation to be part of another novella collection. I couldn't get the newsies out of my mind. I just loved those little guys. I wanted to carry through to the resolution for them. The invitation to the Christmas Traditions collection gave me that opportunity—and I could rely on research I'd already done so I could make the very tight deadline. The Christmas Traditions novella collection are also Christmas stories, all historicals,
You’ve also written a good bit of non-fiction, which is something people don’t always think of novelists doing. How do you transition from one to the other, and what do you enjoy about writing both?
I love writing fiction, both historical and contemporary. I love writing non-fiction, from articles to prayers to books. It doesn't take transition at all. For me it's whatever the message is determines the format—or vehicle. So I think of journalism, fiction, and non-fiction more as a vehicle to deliver the message.
Think about it like travel. You take a car to the grocery store, a plane across the country, and a horse into the backcountry. Each type of transportation is still just transportation, but they're uniquely suited to the destination. So I choose the writing format as the appropriate vehicle to deliver the message. Flip that to communication, I can use a phone or email or handwritten letter but it's all still communication. So if you'd like to write, simply choose the delivery method appropriate to the message.
On the flip side, have you found any disadvantages to writing both fiction and non-fiction, especially if they don’t have an obvious connection with each other?
I think the most difficult hurdle to leap is the myth of "branding". Yes, people like to read an author they like. But I've met very few people who read only one thing though for a long time I kept hearing that fable. I read eclectically and love many genres. Some day I'm going to write a time travel!
But most people I know read several genres as well, and a lot of people read like I do... four or five books at a time depending on mood. There's times when you need to know how to do something and times you need something fun and fluffy to relax and unwind. Some topics are fascinating while others are crucial to gain education. Very few people really read only one thing. In my daily life, I read recipe books to relationship guides to devotionals to the Bible to romance to fantasy to research… And don't forget newspapers, magazines, and Facebook! When you get right down to it, I think it's quite two-dimensional to think other people lack varied interests. People are complex and so are their tastes, needs, and interests. So I just explore mine and it's fun to see whom else likes exploring them too. Think about it. What do you like to read?
I know exactly what you mean – I might be reading anything from a middle grade adventure to an adult non-fiction at any given time. And my husband always has several books that he reads simultaneously. With all these interests, what’s the most interesting (or unusual) thing you’ve done in the name of research for one of your books?
Visitors, come back tomorrow for Angela’s answer to this question and more! Plus, don’t forget to answer this question for your chance to win an ebook version of Snowflake Tiara:
What intrigues you about Montana?
Be sure to include your email address with your comment and please spell out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam. We’ll see you again tomorrow!