Angel Sefer is an author of romantic suspense and mystery stories. Her debut novel, Spellbound in His Arms, became a bestseller (#1 Barnes & Noble, #2 Amazon) and was recently picked up and republished by Booktrope. (Read more about this title in the Author Spotlight I posted here.) Now, that’s the kind of success every indie author dreams about. Therefore, it is with great pleasure I host Angel in this week’s Author’s WIP interview, hoping to learn more about her and her work.
Update: Spellbound in his Arms is a finalist for the Rone Awards 2014 in the Mystery category!
Angel, thank you for coming. As a warm up, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself?
I was born in Athens, Greece. I went to school in Athens and later on in Atlanta, Georgia. I hold a degree in Economics and have worked as an executive in the corporate world on both sides of the Atlantic. However, my true passion is reading and writing fascinating romance, mystery, and suspense novels.
I live in a beautiful suburb of Athens, with the two loves of my life — my husband and my son. Our house has a great view of the sea and the mountains, which are both great sources of inspiration for me.
Could you please give us more information on your WIP and what follows Spellbound in His Arms in the “Greek Isles Series”?
Spellbound in His Arms was the first novel in The Greek Isles Series. In this series, while sharing with my readers the development of the romance between my hero and heroine and the unfolding of the mystery, I also take the opportunity to share with them the unbelievable experience of visiting some of the most enchanting Greek islands.
I’m currently working with my editor on Deadly Secrets — the second novel in this series, which blends mystery, romance, and suspense on Mykonos, one of the most beautiful Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. The picturesque setting on one hand and the unique way of life on a Greek island, which reflects the values and traditions of the Greek people, on the other, set the background for this intriguing story. Deadly Secrets will be published by Booktrope in about two months.
At the same time, I’m working on The Heiress of Santorini — the third novel in the series — which will be published this fall.
All that speaks right to my heart, as I also pen romantic stories in a Greek island setting, although mine are clean-cut contemporaries, so no competition there 🙂 Now a question that I’m sure interests all self-published writers. How does a successful indie author benefit from signing a book deal with a traditional publisher?
This is a very good question, Maria, but you see, Booktrope is not a traditional publisher. This is what I love about my publisher and made me sign a contract. I have an experienced team of professionals working by my side, and I benefit from their knowledge and expertise while, at the same time, my opinion counts, and I have the final say on what happens with my book.
At Booktrope, things move as fast as you’re willing to make them happen. With a traditional publisher, it would probably take about a year or longer to get my first book republished and then, a new book published every year or two. Spellbound in His Arms was republished less than two months, after I signed up with them, Deadly Secrets is going to be published within the next two months, and The Heiress of Santorini will be published in fall.
In a few words, I get all the benefits of a traditional publisher, but also enjoy the freedom and flexibility of an indie author. Not to mention, of course, that I don’t have to pay the upfront costs of an indie writer—editing, cover designing, etc.
Sounds fantastic! You are indeed very lucky, but as H. Jackson Brown Jr. said: “Luck marches with those who give their very best!” Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?
No, I don’t aim at a specific word count. Having worked for decades in the corporate world, I’m tired of discipline and deadlines. Writing for me is freedom, thrill, adventure… I’m not inspired every day to write, and when I don’t have inspiration, I don’t write. Some days, I spend time on social media, getting in touch with my friends and fans. Other days, I get lost in the alluring world of my writing…
The important thing for me is to do it from my heart. My writing can’t be forced. I have to feel it, experience every single scene and the feelings of my hero and heroine.
Plotter, pantser or both?
I don’t plan things ahead of time. I see a beautiful photo of a couple or a landscape, and I get inspiration for a story. I start, and the story forms by itself from then on and takes me to wonderful places. I love surprises, as well as twists and turns; so, I use them a lot in my novels.
I have to love my books first, before anyone else does.
What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?
I don’t feel I have an enemy. It’s all up to me. Of course, everyday life can be very demanding, but it’s all up to us to make the time for the things we want.
Have you experienced “writer’s block” and how do you overcome it?
I can’t say that I have. It’s just what I described above — some days are good for writing, and some aren’t.
Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring?
The backbones form in my mind by looking at beautiful photos of couples or landscapes, or by letting my gaze wander over the sea and the mountains. Sometimes, I even think of a story in a dream.
The actual writing takes place in my office at home — a very special area of my own, where I can have some peace and quiet.
Now your photo is “pinned” on my Featured Writers’ Workspace Board on Pinterest. How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?
By enjoying a beautiful day out in the countryside with my little boy and my husband.
Is romantic suspense the genre you will brand yourself with or do you see yourself branching out in the future?
I love mystery and suspense, as much as I like romance. So, my favorite books — either reading or writing — are romantic mystery & suspense novels. Of course, I’ve learned in my life to never say “never”. I’m not thinking of writing in another genre right now, but no-one knows what the future holds.
Would you like to share with us links where we can find you and your work?
Amazon Author’s page: http://author.to/AngelSefer
Goodreads Profile: http://bit.ly/15ePyoE
Links for Spellbound in His Arms:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1eFkkL1
Angel, thank you for coming and, once again, congratulations on your success!
Thanks so much for having me, Maria.
If you are a writer/author (published or not) and would like to be featured, please read the WIP: Guidelines and Perks section and complete the form provided. Only a few slots available until the beginning of June!