C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Author Profile: India Drummond’s Ordinary Angels

India Drummond knew from age nine that writing would be her passion. Since thenordinary_angels she’s discovered many more, but none quite so fulfilling as creating a world, a character, or a moment and watching them evolve into something complex and compelling. She has lived in three countries and four American states, is a dual British and American citizen, and currently lives at the base of the Scottish Highlands in a village so small its main attraction is a red phone box. In other words: paradise.

india_drummondOrdinary Angels (Lyrical Press) is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel in which Zoë Pendergraft falls in love with an angel, frees a soul from necromancers, releases a ghost trapped in the Void and saves his living grandson from demons. Most of Zoë’s friends are dead, but she doesn’t mind because they died long before she met them. Then one Tuesday night an angel takes her salsa dancing and turns her world upside down. Grim reality closes in when she discovers a body in her company’s boiler room and Higher Angels accuse her best ghost friend of murder.

CW: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

ID: I’ve always written stories. I started my first book at 21 but didn’t seriously consider trying to make it a profession until the past couple of years. The coming of eReaders, in particular, has changed publishing so much. It’s a fantastic time to be an author.

CW: How did you get the idea for your book?

ID: My husband said to me one day, “I’m a perfect angel.” Of course, I laughed, because he only says things like that when he’s doing something troublesome. I proceeded to tell him what sort of hideous, fallen angel he would make. It got me thinking about what angels would be like if they were real and the storyline spun from that.

CW: What research was involved in your book’s development?

ID: The novel is set in San Francisco, a city I love to visit. I wanted the place to feel real in the book, so I had a couple of San Francisco natives on hand and shot them emails incessantly during the polish process, making sure I got details right about trains, the library, streets, parking, etc. Even suggestions on where my protagonist lived and the setting for my ghost town came from helpful locals.

CW: What is your writing process? Do you have any formal training in writing?

ID: I studied creative writing at university, but honestly, 95% of what I learned there wasn’t much help in the real world of publishing. I was taught how to write literary fiction, but not told that literary fiction is a teeny-tiny fraction of the market. (I wasn’t very good at it anyway… it isn’t what I like to read, so it showed in my writing.) My professors looked down on genre fiction, and I came out of it with a very clouded idea of publishing reality. What I did learn was how to take criticism: what to listen to, what to discard and how to use that feedback best to improve my stories. That was worth gold.

CW: How long did it take you to write the book and find an agent and publisher?

ID: The book I had accepted by a publisher, Ordinary Angels, was actually my second attempt. The first one took me years to write and was rejected countless times. Ordinary Angels, however, only took me six weeks to write (and a few months after that to polish and rework the rough bits). I looked for an agent for a few months, but after a while realized that getting a publisher amongst the small, indie publishers might not only be easier, but might be better for me as a new novelist. Once I decided that, I sent it to three publishers at once. One of them accepted it.

CW: What was the hardest part of the publishing process? What did you most enjoy?

ID: I think the waiting and not knowing during submissions is horribly hard. I felt I was going a bit mental, hitting send/receive over and over, hoping they would reply, but being afraid the reply would be negative. Even after acceptance, there is a lot of sitting around and waiting during the editing and even post-editing process. What I enjoyed most is crafting the story—I love the beginning when anything is possible and the characters surprise me at every turn.

CW: What advice would you give unpublished writers?

ID: Don’t give up and realize there is more than one good way to do publishing these days. Don’t just set your sights on the big six publishers in New York City. There are many small, indie publishers out there that might love your book and give you a much more personal, helpful experience. Remember, the biggest publishers are like Hollywood. They’re really only interested in blockbusters, so it’s a huge mountain to climb for an unpublished author to get noticed in that shark tank. So don’t dismiss those small publishers. Also, I am a big believer in indie publishing. I’ve read some fabulous indie books and am going to release my next book, Blood Faerie, as an indie book. Just remember that you have to do it like a pro if you’re going the indie route. Do your homework, and for the love of all that is holy, hire an editor. I do freelance editing and even I hire an editor because no one can see their own mistakes. Do it. Really.

CW: Have changes in the book industry forced you to change how you published or marketed your work?

ID: These days, authors have to take responsibility for marketing themselves but I don’t mind that. I love social networking so I’d be on Facebook and Twitter even if I weren’t an author. I think e-publishing and indie publishing have forced all of us to change, but in my mind, it all benefits authors. We have more choice and choice means power.

CW: What’s your next book project and what can you tell us about it?

ID: Blood Faerie is set here where I live, in Perth Scotland. It’s a modern-day urban fantasy about an exiled faerie. It’s due to be released in July 2011.

Here’s a short blurb: Eilidh was cast out of the kingdom lands in the forests and forced to live on Perth’s city streets. She survived alone for years, but when a human is killed below the abandoned church where she lived, she recognized it as the work of one of her own kind. To stop the murders, she must tap into the forbidden magic that cost her everything.

Click here for more on India Drummond.

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Filed under: Author profiles, author Q&A, Books, , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. […] Writes Skip to content HomeAbout Chazz ← Author Profile: India Drummond’s Ordinary Angels 04/15/2011 · 05:41 ↓ Jump to […]

  2. Girl Fren' says:

    I really liked that question about where the idea came from; loved the answer. (Whose mate doesn’t believe him/herself to be the Angelic half of the duo, I ask you?) *Ordinary Angels* is a thought-provoking story, while entertaining and fast-paced.

    Enjoyed the interview. Good job, you two.

  3. […] Author Profile: India Drummond’s Ordinary Angels (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

  4. […] Author Profile: India Drummond’s Ordinary Angels (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

  5. […] Author Profile: India Drummond’s Ordinary Angels (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

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