|Give Me Everything|
Angela Kay Austin, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book Give Me Everything.
Genre: Romantic Women's Fiction
Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Length: 180 pages
He'd sat on top of the world... the perfect woman, a daughter, and a job that made his father proud. Now, Kendis was divorced, and his daughter wasn't really his. At least, he has a good job...at Brady and Associates, the firm that sends him to
for their client, Eastover. Eastover, one of Maryland's largest commercial real estate developers,
is on a mission to take over older, outdated malls.
She'd been through the wringer in her personal life, and now LaKia thinks the only thing she can control is her career as Marketing Director for a small commercial real estate company. She'd always wanted marriage and children like her best friend has... but she's given up on ever finding her own Mr. Right.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Lakia Jackson (almost thirty) and Kendis Washington (early thirties.)
The solitary inflated tube bounced clumsily down the frenzied river with its four passengers. Cold water from the
New River sprayed LaKia Jackson over and over as she dipped
her oar into the crystalline water in unison with the others in her raft.
Urgently Terrence shouted, "Nic, LaKia rock…left!"
Terrence and Kendis removed their oars from the water. LaKia and Nichelle dragged their oars in the river and paddled repeatedly until sweat blended with the mist of river water covering their bodies.
"Rock, right!" belted Terrence.
"LaKia watch your right," repeated Kendis.
Concentrating on her left, she had ignored Terrence and Kendis' last call. Her oar collided with a rock, snapping and cracking as it ripped from her hands shattering into smaller pieces. Her fingers quivered from the prickly sensations shooting through them. Her heart leapt from her chest when she saw the rock in front of them.
The momentum from her body cast her from the raft.
Kendis caught her around the waist, but his grip slipped.
She fell sideways, rocking the raft, into the water. The vibration inside her helmet as it bounced off the rubber tube rang in her ears.
Cold spring water of the
New River gorge rushed into her mouth.
Gasping for air, she tried to pull herself back into the raft. Her hands were too wet. A sickening wave of terror welled up in her belly. "Nic-, Terrence help."
Frantic, her friends' hands and arms thrashed through the water. They couldn't catch her as they guided the raft around the rocks. Waves of salty water filled her nose and mouth; she sank beneath the water, but her vest buoyed her back to the surface.
She had been trained for this…what was it again? Point your feet downstream, keep your body limp, and protect your head. How do you keep your body limp, when you're scared out of your mind?
Her torso ping-ponged from rock to rock banging her arms and back against every stone in the gorge; slowly consciousness began to drain from her body. Choking from the water in her mouth, she gagged as she slipped beneath the water again. The ragged pieces of her vest, shredded by the gorge's rocks, floated in the water around her.
The arm that pulled her out of the river felt as solid as the rocks beating against her body. For a moment, she thought she wasn't being pulled from the water and that she had drowned. But, then she felt the warm air of summer brush across her cold wet skin; her rescuer's other arm reached down and wrapped around her body to secure his grip. Shivering as she laid on the bottom of the raft, she opened her eyes. Kendis
Washington—her enemy, was now her rescuer.
She stirred and awakened as Kendis slid his hands beneath her limp frame. Each shove of her battered body sent a painful shock through her. Fluidly, he scooped her off the rubber floor of the raft and headed toward the dressing tents.
Tell us about your story's world. What is it like in this period or place?
I set this story in
right outside of D.C. This is significant because it is an area where business and
politics collide, everyday. This is important to the story because the story revolves
around local politics and economic development.
What inspired you to write this book?
Conversation with friends over dinner and wine. I like writing stories about women who have followed the path of career. What happens when they take a look back, and think to themselves – what about marriage and children? And what happens if choosing one affects the other, and you feel you can't really trust what you're doing because of that simple fact.
Which character in your current book do you think readers will like the most? Why?
It's hard for me to judge that one. I hope I've written the characters in such a way that readers connect to both. Kendis has been lied to, and deceived in such a way that I think it will connect with women. He has the chance to do something he thinks is important and, from his point of view, it will give back a lot to the local community. But, LaKia feels the same way about what she wants. She can protect a small company in a great community, and help preserve a little bit of history. And, just like Kendis, she's experienced her own loss, and has been deceived in her own way by someone she loved.
Why do you write?
Honestly, I think if I didn't my head would explode. I've always enjoyed playing out different scenarios in my head. I'll rewrite scenes to movies. Often, I visualize whole scenes to music. It's always been a part of me; it just took me a while to figure out what to do with it.
Who has helped you the most in your career as an author?
One of my friends, another author, LaVerne Thompson. I met LaVerne through the
of RWA, and through her I discovered Red Rose Publishing. That introduced me to
digital first print publishers, and online conferences and workshops. That changed
my life because until that time I only thought about one path to publishing – traditional
mainstream publishers. I discovered a world of camaraderie, developed my craft,
and gained confidence in myself as a writer. Washington
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
Depends on what I'm writing and when. Sometimes, I like to do what my characters are doing. Sometimes, I need to remove myself from the picture because I'm thinking too hard, and forcing the story verses letting it flow naturally. Sometimes, I need to push the story so that it's not too predictable. Chocolate, especially if it's chocolate covered something paired with a glass of wine, can help me slip into a more sensual frame of mind. Eating ice cream can make me think of more fun things: childhood, time with my young nephews or niece. Pictures, well, hey, pictures are pictures!
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
People watching. I love to sit and drink a cup of coffee in local shops or on an outdoor patio somewhere and watch people do what they do. I keep a notebook with me, and I scribble, relentlessly. Conversations. What they are wearing. How lovers interact. Whatever I can see or hear. Or, you might just find me doing something that one of my characters will be doing. I went white water rafting, and in this book – "Give Me Everything" – it opens with the characters doing just that.
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
I like to know what the story is about, but other than that, I let it flow. I like discovering the story in the same way the readers do. If I let the characters speak loudly enough I feel like the story will be better, more true.
Looking back at your first book, what do you wish you had done differently?
Dug deeper into my emotions. I set the story in
Pennsylvania. I experienced a lot of what the character
experiences with regards to isolation. There was also a lot of racial tension that
I didn't delve into as deeply as I should've. I think it would have allowed readers
to have a better connection with the story. If I have the chance to rewrite it,
I will definitely peel back the layers.
What aspect of your life do you write into your books?
Career. I write about women who are career minded, and how that affects their lives. Regrets. Successes. Having it all. Can women have it all? According to so many, we can't. I guess I like to fantasize about the possibilities of it being obtainable. We can at least try.
When an idea hits you, what do you do to capture it?
I write it down. I keep a notebook with me at all times, and I jot down everything for the idea. I don't want to forget it. It's the little nuances that I want to capture. I don't always see both my hero and my heroine. Sometimes, just one of them. So, I like to capture as much as I can when it comes to me. It helps me see the other characters more clearly.
Which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
I don't know. Because my books cover issues important to women: abortion, miscarriage, date rape, homelessness, etc. There are parts of many of them that have been difficult. I tackle each piece of each story through deliberate research, and sometimes that means reading blogs or watching videos that can be heartbreaking. It can be hard to shake the memories.
Do you believe in luck?
Not sure. I believe in fate. There are things, I believe, that are just meant to be, and regardless of anything, they'll just be.
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question when writing?
It depends. My music, whether driving or writing, has to fit my mood (or the scene I'm writing.) If the sun is shining, and I'm driving with no purpose, I listen to one thing. If I'm on my way to meet with a client for work, I might listen to something upbeat. If I'm writing a love scene, of course, I want to listen to something appropriate.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Clarinet and saxophone. I even played in the band in high school and college.
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, spinach and onion. And don't forget a glass of red wine.
I'm always ready for travel.
When I'm alone, I veg out on the SyFy channel.
You'd never be able to tell, but I was born and raised in TN.
If I had a halo it would be shiny sparkly. (fingers crossed)
If I could live in another country I'd move to
. Rome, Italy
I can never stop writing because the voices in my head would find another way out.
Love All Over Me
Books Coming Soon
I'm subbing away. When the ink has dried, I'll let you know.
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