I’m so excited to welcome Angela Quarles to the blog today! I’ve become well acquainted with her writing through weekly Six Sentence Sunday visits, so I can personally attest to her quick-witted and just plain fun to read talent. You guys are going to love her! (But no matter how smittin you find yourself, no groping. Save that for the book with the gorgeous cover!)
Welcome, Angela! I’m so happy to have you here. As a reader, I love to dig into an author’s backstory, but I didn’t have to dig past your tag line for my first question. Tell us why “geek girl romance writer” says it all … or does it?
LOL, I hope it does, but we’ll see as it gets road tested :) I’m into lots of things. I can get quite obsessed about different topics or activities and be all into it. In other words, I geek out. So when I was trying to come up with a tagline that could encapsulate what to expect from my writing, I came up with that. My first release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, is more literal in that it’s a romantic comedy about two geeks finding love, with loads of geek references. However, it (hopefully) covers my other projects, where it might be time travel and Ada Lovelace (the world first computer programmer) I’m geeking out on, or steampunk, or Jane Austen.
I have to say from my glimpses at your other works, GEEKING OUT PAYS! If that’s your secret, it serves your talent well. :c) Tell us a bit about BEER & GROPING IN LAS VEGAS (which has the Best Title Ever). Were there any particular trials or milestones on the path to publication?
Thanks! I had fun coming up with that title. I’d originally written it for a particular e-publisher for a series they have—it was the first time I’d ever thought of writing to spec AND the first time I tried to write a short story. I studied that series, knowing I was taking a big risk if it got rejected. Anyway, I wrote it, revised it, and sent it off to my Betas, revised and sent to that e-pub. And it got rejected. Boy was I bummed that day. But luckily I have some wonderful writer friends who made me realize that it was just a bump in the road and to retool it. That night my mind whirled with possibilities and that’s when I came up with the whole first scene of the story and the djinn. So I gutted the story the next day (taking out what was particular for that series) and rewrote it with the new frame, sent it out again for Beta feedback, and then sent it out to epubs after revising. And it got three offers! Man, I hope your readers like hearing how sausage is made, because that was probably more detailed than it needed to be.
LMAO! LOVE a happy ending to a rejection story! (Also, I was a butcher shop today and got an eyeful of natural casing. The sausage thing … totally made me cringe, lol.) Let’s have some fun with BEER & GROPING IN LAS VEGAS. What’s the first sentence?
Mirjam rubbed the tiredness from her eyes, but the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland still occupied the Rivenbark Hotel & Casino elevator with her.
That is one freaking great first line! What’s your favorite line in the book?
She glommed onto him like white plastic on a Stormtrooper, shamelessly pressing against his body, groping and kissing.
I love that one — it really captures your funny, sexy style. :c) Which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? From whose POV?
Um, any scene with Riley? From Mirjam’s POV…
If our readers had any doubt as to what happens in the pages of this one, I think you just cleared it right up, lol. I know you touched on it earlier, but can you tell us a little more about what inspired the title of BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS?
I work in a bookstore and was trying to think of possible titles for possible projects and was shelving some Hunter S. Thompson, and I was like hmm, what could be a twist off of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and first I was like Beer and Loathing, but I write lighthearted romances, and then ‘groping’ popped into my head. In the next instant I had the hero, as I thought he should be a microbrewer, and that the heroine would be an overworked software programmer. Once I had that, things started falling into place, including the description for him of being a geek trapped in a good ole boy’s body. I had that tagline for him before I even started writing the story. It was the first time I came up with a title first.
How insanely perfectly did that work out? I LOVE it! Before we dig in a little further with all that Beer and Groping, can you share with us what you’re currently working on?
I’m in the research/brainstorming phase for a sequel to MUST LOVE BREECHES, my time travel romance, and all I can say right now is that it will be another time travel set in the past. How’s that for vague? LOL. I don’t want to say more as my agent and I are still working that out and I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep. Meanwhile, I’m revising my NaNo draft from November, which is a meta fiction romance called NOT ANOTHER DARCY, which is about an indie bookstore owner who helps train literary manifestations that come to life in her store. I also need to revise my Southern steampunk STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY.
Such awesome plans! And fortunately, in the case of one title, there’s no need to wait a moment longer. Get your “buy link” fingers ready, folks. Here’s more on the featured story!
Beer and Groping in Las Vegas
Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?
Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.
Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.
Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.
Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in an historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL, with her two matched gray cats, Darcy and Bingley. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She’s had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum.
She’s an admitted geek and is proud to be among the few but mighty Browncoats who watched Firefly the first night it aired. She was introduced to the wonderful world of science fiction by her father, by way of watching reruns of the original Star Trek in her tweens and later giving her a copy of Walter M. Miller Jr’s A Canticle for Leibowitz as a teenager. She hasn’t looked back since.
She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She was an exchange student to Finland in high school and studied abroad in Vienna one summer in college. She recently found representation with Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon, Assoc.
Thanks so much for being here today, Angela! I’m thrilled to offer my readers a glimpse of this story. Readers, I hope you are thoroughly tempted by this one. Hey, it’s one way to get to Vegas this weekend, and you may lose your shirt (rawhr!), but at least your wallet will be mostly intact. (I might also mention BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS currently boasts 11 reviews on Amazon and the average a whopping **5 STARS** … so yeah, GRAB IT!)
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!