If you are a fan of romantic suspense along the lines of Lynette Eason, you are going to LOVE Kate Angelo and her new book Driving Force. From the first page, you will be swept up in the action, and you won’t be able to stop turning pages until you’re finished. Kate is definitely a name to watch in romantic suspense! But don’t take my word for it — Driving Force releases on March 22. Be sure to pre-order your copy now so it will show up on release day.
Enter below for a chance to win a paperback or e-copy of Driving Force!
The Writer’s Desk with Kate Angelo
Kate Angelo is an author, minister, and public speaker from Southwest Missouri who works alongside her husband strengthening and encouraging marriages and families through their ministry. As the mother of five mostly grown children, she is fluent in both sarcasm and eye rolls—subjects she never intentionally taught while homeschooling. With her chihuahua taking up half of her desk space, she writes suspenseful stories of imperfect people who encounter hope and healing through Jesus. Kate is a tech enthusiast, coffee lover, productivity guru, accomplished knitter, avid boater, prayer warrior, and known klutz. Visit her on her website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Bookbub, Amazon, and sign up for her newsletter.
Q&A with Kate Angelo
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
KA: This seems like one of those crazy interview questions designed to see if I can adapt and manipulate the question into something that is the opposite of boring. Hmm, how about this one…I’m an insurance companies’ biggest nightmare. I’m such a klutz, I tend to meet my insurance deductible every year with injuries. There… there’s nothing more boring than insurance, now is there?
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for Driving Force?
KA: This is a really awesome story that boils down to one word: God.
I know a lot of authors say that about their books, but I’m talking literally. You see, a dear friend of mine sent me a link to Sunrise Publishing’s audition page for Season 3 with Lead Author, Lynette Eason. Not only did I feel like I wasn’t quite ready to live up to the Eason name, but my friend told me about the audition two days before the closing date! I wasn’t sure I could make it by the deadline. I prayed with my husband and decided I would do my best and let God do the rest. The only problem…I didn’t have a story idea.
The night before auditions closed, I surrendered it to God. I laid it out for Him saying, “I’ve got nothing, God.” I knew if God wanted me to audition, I had to trust Him to give me a story premise that would blow everyone away. All night long I dreamed about the story premise. I woke up the next morning around 4 am and the story premise was bubbling out. I ran to my desk and typed it all up, then asked my husband his thoughts. He helped me tighten things a bit, and with one last prayer, I submitted my audition.
Imagine my delight when Lynette Eason called to tell me I’d made the cut! There is no doubt in my mind that the story idea really came from God!
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
KA: My biggest writing habit is to start early. I get to my desk by 5:00 a.m. every morning and dive into my Bible study and prayer time. When I delve into a Bible study, it sets my day on the right course. If I skip (hey, I’m human!) then my day usually ends in a self-induced trainwreck of sorts.
After Bible time, I jump into writing sprints. This means I set a timer for a particular time, and I write until the timer goes off. Even if I’m not sure what I’m doing or where I’m going in a scene—or worse, I’m out of coffee…I keep my hands moving until the timer is up.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
KA: First, get up earlier and get to work earlier. We all have the same amount of time in the day, it’s all about what we do with that time. Though anything before 5 does seem a bit insane…
Next, I encourage writers to use a journal or planner of some kind. I prefer the bullet journal method, which is a method of writing down tasks and either completing them or migrating them to a future date. Doing this gets every task I’m juggling out of my head and clears up space for creativity. I write down every task as it pops into my head so I can stop ruminating and reminding myself about it.
My final advice is to consume media that is a nourishment to your brain, not a parasite. Instead of watching the latest sitcom, I listen to a podcast that will teach me something. For example, as a suspense author, I tend to listen to an FBI case file review podcast that explains the crime, but also the methods the FBI used to capture the criminal. If you’re a historical fiction author, try David Barton or Bill Federer. Also, keep reading and learning about your Bible. There are so many great characters in the Bible waiting to speak to you!
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
KA: Fingernails. I am a suspense author after all. Nail-biting suspense is a thing.
Okay, I’m joking. I actually do NOT bite my nails after breaking the habit. The two most common beverages on my desk are water and coffee. I don’t do a lot of snacking while I work because I’m too focused (okay, lazy) to leave my desk. If I do snack, I prefer nuts, cheese, olives, or other low-sugar snacks which I tend to consume more during Zoom meetings than while writing.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
KA: Writer’s block is really a fancy way of saying “writer’s procrastination”. So many of us will wander away from our desk (looking for a snack) only to see that the kitchen could use sweeping, or maybe the driveway needs power washing, and we use the excuse to avoid writing and eventually claim we’re blocked. (Sorry, I think I’ve given away the author’s secret!)
The simplest way to get over writer’s block or writer’s procrastination is to sit down and write. Set that timer for 25 minutes and do NOT stop. Even if you’re typing something like, “I don’t know what to type and I would really like to get the driveway power washed, but no. I’m gonna stay here and do this.” Eventually, the words will come, and you might find yourself writing a story about a woman who sees a murder while power washing her driveway. (Hmmm…)
Also… and this is a big one, learn that you don’t need to check every notification on your phone or computer. Shut that out until you meet your word count or until that timer goes off!
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
KA: I’m a little bit of both. I learned not to agonize over every word because sometimes you’ll want to rewrite the whole scene anyway, and that clever phrase you spent ten painstaking minutes getting just right will end up in the trash. That said, I do try to write a clean first draft that sets mood and tone, but probably needs a good comb-over for echo words, passive voice, and all those other crafty mistakes.
I do a lot of editing after voice dictation. I can get a whole scene written while walking the dog or driving to pick up my groceries, but I need to address the mistakes right away or I’ll forget what the jumbled up words are supposed to mean. I even made a meme about this and posted it on Instagram. (Side note: It’s not a good idea for suspense authors to voice dictate while actually shopping. The other customers do not understand.)
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
KA: Can I steal one from Jerry Jenkins? He says one of the most common mistakes new writers make is not starting with an outline. James Patterson believes the same thing. I’d say these guys know what they are talking about.
Let me reinforce that with this Bible verse: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5
If I had to come up with something different, I’d say the most common mistake new writers make is focusing on all their social media instead of their craft. Don’t pour your precious writing hours into YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or any other social media platform before you have written several novels. Instead, invest that time and energy into learning how to write and edit a novel and actually doing it.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
KA: It’s difficult to narrow it down to just one piece of writing advice, but the game-changer was when Susan May Warren helped me understand that it’s okay to protect my writing time. If I were a judge sitting on the bench day in and day out, I wouldn’t be expected to respond to every phone notification, and my kids wouldn’t barge into the courtroom and interrupt me with little things. The same especially goes for your marriage and family. It’s okay to set some boundaries as long as you also honor, treasure, and prioritize the important things.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
KA: I’ve just signed two contracts with Sunrise Publishing to write two Elite Guardian Collection stories. The first is a Christmas novella with Christina and Grey from Driving Force, and the second is a full-length novel with a NEW bodyguard!
Enter for a chance to win* a paperback or e-copy of Driving Force!
*Due to shipping costs, the giveaway for the physical copy is open to US mailing addresses only.
More about Driving Force
He’s the last client she wants to protect…
Elite Guardians bodyguard/former sniper CHRISTINA SHERMAN has protected uncooperative clients before—but this time, well her client is bossy, headstrong and occasionally eats off the floor. Yes, he’s a highly trained military working dog, but certainly her skills could be put to better use, right?
Not according to former Special Forces Air Commando GREY PARKER. He needs her help to protect his dog while he undergoes an experimental surgery that could restore his ability to walk. He just needs someone to keep his canine partner safe. Most of all, Grey wants back on his feet so he can track down a deranged scientist known as The Scavenger who unleashed a nerve agent that left Grey sidelined in a wheelchair.
When an attempt is made on Grey’s life, and dead bodies begin piling up—with evidence the same toxin is responsible—suddenly Christina is tasked with keeping both dog and soldier alive…and with them, the secrets that could stop a terrorist attack.
But this time, even Christina might be in over her head.
Dive into the exciting ignition to the Elite Guardians Collection.