Thursday, September 04, 2008
Hiya Dreggites. Angela Benson, author of Up Pops the Devil popped in with a few answers to the Dregs' questions. I'm still reading Devil so I'm going to be back with a full or partial review tomorrow. In the meantime, visit here to read the first chapter. And click on the book cover to check out the book and here to get to know Angela a little better. Thanks, Angela.
Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.
I don't know if it qualifies as strange but I re-read Writing the
Blockbuster Novel by Donald Maas before I begin each book. It's my way
of refreshing myself on the key points of effective storytelling.
If you could change something in any novel, what would you change about it and why?
There's a horror story surrounding my second novel, For All Time, so
that's the one I would change. What would I change? Well, I'd have
them publish the right version of the story. A book goes through
several edits before it's published. The major edits come after you
turn in the manuscript and the editor sends back her revision letter.
After you address the issues raised by your editor and re-submit the
book, the editor re-reads it and, hopefully, accepts it. A while
later you get another set of edits from a copy editor. You make those
changes and resubmit the manuscript again. A while later you get the
final galley pages where you have to make sure no errors have been
introduced into the book during the production process.
At the galley stages of For All Time, I realized that the publisher
had typeset the original manuscript I submitted which had none of the
revisions I had made. I was floored and near tears. A frantic call
to my editor didn't avail much. I was told to make all the changes
on the galley pages and they'd get them in the book. They didn't. If
I could change something, I'd have them publish the revised
manuscript. Believe me, it was much stronger than the original I
To this day, I don't read my books after they're published. Too much stress.
Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.
Easy. Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. You know the phrase.
"Frankly my dear. . ."
Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?
The compliments that mean the most are those that mention how the book has encouraged their lives or touched them in some way.
Something along the lines of a recent review of Up Pops Devil by
Armchair Interviews means a lot: "As I read this book I could feel
the characters' struggles because I had similar ones. To relive my
conversion again through Preacher's story was magnificent. I would
absolutely recommend this book to everyone."
This reader comment about Up Pops the Devil is also a good example:
"The situations are so real and on point several times I found myself
pausing and thinking of my own testimony in which God's love brought
What criticism has cut the deepest and why?
That's an easy one, too. The review of The Amen Sisters by Black
Issues Book Review contained this line:
Although The Amen Sisters is touted as a story about church culture,
some may question if it is simply a story about a dysfunctional family
in the church.
Ouch. That hurt a lot. It hurt so much because the reviewer missed
the entire meaning of the book and didn't grasp the characters at all.
I thank God that readers didn't respond the same. From the mail I
received, the Lord used that book in a mighty way. You can read some
the reader responses HERE:
What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?
Stop dreading the planning and get married already. I'll have been
engaged a year in October. The whole idea of planning a wedding just
makes me tired. Although to be honest, I'm enjoying being engaged. I
just feel the pressure building when people ask, "When's the wedding?"