Growing up in Memphis, TN can have good moments and bad. I think I probably had more good than bad, but when those bad moments arose, I read. Of course that wasn’t the only time I read. But I think books have always been a means of escape and exploration for me. They allowed me to visit places I thought I’d never see outside of movies, TV, or books. They allowed me to dream, and sometimes forget.
I think that’s why as an author, I try to capture some of what I experienced, then and now, when I read, on the pages of my own books.
I think of the authors I have (and still) love: Judy Blume, Maya Angelou, Zora Neal Hurston, Terry McMillan, Nalini Singh, JR Ward, Jane Green, Brenda Jackson, and so many others. I dissect how I feel when I read their stories, and try to incorporate some of that in the stories I write.
My passion to explore the issues of a woman’s search for love can’t be denied. I hope that comes through in each story I write. But, I also hope the complexity of dealing with issues that face the community of women is understood. My stories have dealt with issues such as miscarriage, abortion, loss of spouse, homelessness, interracial dating, and more. Many of these topics are issues faced everyday by women, but I try to write my stories in a way that layer the experiences of my life onto those of my characters, hopefully creating my own unique voice.
I try to create recognizable worlds, with characters that feel as real as I know how to make them. And I think a large part of that is in tribute to the fabulous female authors I’ve loved. Their work tackle everything from being an awkward child to racism to searching for love to shifter and vampire fantasy.
As I see my writing grow and stretch, I love feeling like a part of the world that gave me refuge, strength, and knowledge as a child and as a woman it sparked my inner passion and desire for love and fantasy.
Bestselling author Angela Kay Austin has expressed herself through words for as long as she can remember. Poems became songs performed with her cousin at every family gathering. Eventually short stories filled her favorite pink diary. An infatuation with music and theater led to years playing various instruments and small extra roles in TV shows before giving way to a degree and career in radio and TV production. After completing another degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked for many years in promotions and advertising. But once again, she found herself writing, which led to her first published work staying on her publisher’s bestseller list for ten weeks. Her second release hit the bestseller list at All Romance eBooks. She’s spoken on author panels, and served on boards for various author groups. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading her favorite authors, or researching her next story idea. Angela shares her downtime with her mixed-bred rescue terrier—Midnight, in the beautiful southern state of Tennessee.
Blurb from Give Me Everything: 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 Maryland 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.
Until Kendis. He gave her everything, and she gave it right back.
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.
This passage reminds me of my fear of water…..I have to admire your heroine and her companions. Great description of being tossed and bruised by the water rushing over rocks, etc. I’m certain the rest of the book is just as descriptive.
Reads beautifully, doesn’t it but so far from anything I’d choose to do. Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn.
Thanks for dropping by Marilyn! (I can’t swim…so that would definitely be me bouncing around in the water.) Charmaine thank you for hosting me 🙂
How you ever wrote that terrific excerpt is beyond me. Super job.
Wow Angela! I could FEEL the water rushing around me as I read that excerpt. Fantastic imagery.
& I adore this line of yours “As I see my writing grow and stretch, I love feeling like a part of the world that gave me refuge, strength, and knowledge as a child and as a woman it sparked my inner passion and desire for love and fantasy”
It’s great getting to know a little bit more about you.
Angela is an interesting woman only hinting at early life in Memphis. I admire her strength. Chelle, fine comment here. Thank you.