Cheryl Angst, Writer

Writer of strange tales – because no one ever accused me of being normal.

Cat Patrick August 23, 2011

Filed under: Writing — Cheryl Angst @ 8:09 pm
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Wow, it’s been a bit since I last posted. I’ve been busy writing – I’m 45,000 words into my latest WIPs, and enjoying every session.

However, I had planned on talking about all six authors I met in Seattle, so here’s my next lovely guest: Cat Patrick.

Cat Patrick

Debut YA Author, Cat Patrick

Cat’s debut novel, Forgotten, came out earlier this summer and sounds really interesting. What I found most engaging about her participation in the panel was her debut perspective. So many aspiring authors think eack milestone is “the one.” “If I could only sign with an agent…” “If only an editor would pick up my manuscript…”

Cat did a great job of talking about how having your first book published isn’t the final step – and it certainly doesn’t solve all your problems or make your worries melt away.

I will say, having an agent is a huge milestone though. I would never downplay that part of my journey. However, I went into the query-trenches knowing it was only one more step on the road. I love the new stresses/worries/challenges I’m facing now – and they’re more exciting simply because I was expecting them.

If you think getting a book published is “the end,” I recommend talking with a few debut (or even multi-published) authors to hear their thoughts on the matter. It’ll be highly informative.



Lisa Schroeder August 8, 2011

Filed under: Writing — Cheryl Angst @ 10:20 pm
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Lisa Schroeder

YA and MG Author, Lisa Schroeder

Okay, so I’m not going to win any awards for my photographic skills, but I wanted you to be able to put faces to names while reading my post. (We won’t go into the fact that I have these pics–as less than stellar as they are–which serve as a subtle reminder that I got to attend this truly awesome book signing…)

Tonight I’d like to talk about the third author I met at Third Place Books.

*Confession: Lisa was actually the first author I lined up for. In fact, she was the primary reason I bribed my husband with a Mariner’s game to get him to drive me to Seattle in the first place. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love the other authors any less – they were like happy bonuses!*

I had the opportunity to read Lisa’s latest book, The Day Before, when it was still an unedited galley. ZOMG, it blew me away. I made the mistake of opening it on my computer a few minutes before the bell went to start the day, and holy doodles, let me tell you, it was hard to focus on actually teaching the students and not running back to my desk for just one more verse.

Yes, I said verse. The book is written in free verse – and I was totally wary about this – but Lisa’s writing style (and total command of plot and character) sucked me in and I had to read to the end. The Day Before is absolutely gorgeous. I’m not going to spoil the plot, but let me tell you, it’s worth reading just for the tale, never mind the word flow.

I am thrilled to have an autographed copy of my very own. I started campaigning for a class set of the novel the day I finished reading the ARC. I cannot do a novel study using The Day Before as a read aloud. Half the magic of the book is the way the text is formatted on the page, and I want my students to experience the book the way it was meant to be read.

That being said, school budgets are getting smaller every year, and I know my librarian will have to wait until the book is available in paperback (or trade at least) before considering purchasing thirty copies. I will attempt to be patient.

Anyway, Lisa was charming and pleasant to talk with. She seemed genuinely happy to interact with everyone, and she remembered that I’d commented over on Facebook that I was coming down from Vancouver for the signing. Lisa is very open with the public, she has a wonderful blog (, tours, goes to schools, and even visits classrooms via Skype.

If you’ve never read a book in verse, or have always wondered what one would be like, Go. Get. Lisa’s.


I’ll wait.

Suspend your wariness. I did, and I don’t regret it for a moment.


Mandy Hubbard August 5, 2011

Filed under: Writing — Cheryl Angst @ 7:53 pm
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The second author (sitting from left to right) I had a chance to chat with was Mandy Hubbard. For those of you in the writing/publishing community, you might also know her as a literary agent for the D4EO agency.

Mandy Hubbard

Author of the YA paranormal, Ripple

However, the signing at Third Place Books wasn’t about being an agent, it was about being an author. I didn’t feel it would be appropriate to chat her up about agenty things because, really, we were all there to celebrate an awesome group of authors with some pretty kick ass summer releases.

After all, none of the other authors started pimping their day jobs. There was no discussion of, “I wrote this awesome book, and by the way, my [insert company name here] has a great deal/sale/advantage over the competition/whatever on right now and you should totally check it out.”

I wonder if it’s hard for Mandy to separate the two roles at literary events. I imagine, given the hungry nature of aspiring writers, that her “agent status” kind of overshadows her author status at conferences and whatnot. Which, given the little teaser she gave of her latest book, is a shame. I’m not a fan of paranormal, but I am TOTALLY intrigued by the idea of the main character being a siren.


A siren.


Mandy was a pleasure to chat with, and I am excited about reading her latest book, Ripple. If you’re interested in Mandy Hubbard the author, you can check her out here: If you’re interested in Mandy Hubbard the agent, try this page instead:



Eileen Cook August 3, 2011

Filed under: Writing — Cheryl Angst @ 9:06 pm
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Third Place Books in Bothell was hopping on Sunday July 31st when six amazing YA authors took over The Den and stole the show from the shelves of autographed bestsellers lining the wall. (You better believe I drooled over the Fionavar Tapestry signed by Guy Gavriel Kay, but even it paled in comparison to the event.)

All six authors were great during their presentation and Q&A session, but the best part for me came at the end when the lovely ladies stayed around and signed copies of their books. (Did I mention books accounted for half my declared goods when we crossed the border?)

I wanted to talk with Eileen Cook because she was very witty during the presentation, and mentioned she lives in Vancouver. She also mentioned Ivan Coyote when she recounted her story about being afraid to submit her ms to editors/agents. (I met Ivan and had dinner with her last year, and anyone else who likes her is rockin’ in my books.)

She said Ivan, after hearing her lamentations, told her something to the effect of, “Eileen, I have some bad news for you. You’re already unpublished.”

(I can totally picture Ivan saying this. She’s a huge advocate for writers, and for getting out and just doing whatever it is you feel you need to do.)

Eileen said she realized Ivan was right. There wasn’t anything worse that could happen to her.

Eileen Cook

Eileen Cook, YA author

(Eileen now has eight published–or soon to be released–books listed on her website, btw.)

I introduced myself and we chatted politely about the waits at the border and I asked her if she attended SiWC ( last year. She said she had in the past, but not 2010, but is attending this fall – and is even speaking. We talked about the industry for a bit – she asked me to email her to let her know how [something I cannot reveal here, yet] goes, which was very courteous, and I’m totally going to do it when the time comes.

Eileen was engaging and fun to talk to. I look forward to reading her latest, The Education of Hailey Kendrick, and maybe catching up with her at SiWC in October. You can check her out at:


(And yes, I will be posting about my conversations with the other five fabulous authors too!)


Book Signing in Washington State August 2, 2011

I had the extreme pleasure of attending a fabulous book signing at Third Place Books in Bothell, just outside Seattle on Sunday. I could have driven down and back all in one day, but my husband and I decided to make the weekend our birthday gifts to each other.

Six Awesome YA Authors

YA Authors Take Over Third Place Books

What? You’re wondering how I came to be so fortunate as to have found a husband who loves YA novels and salivates at the prospect of meeting six of them in one room?

Ha ha ha.

No. The book signing was his gift to me. He hid in the history section of the book store during the whole ‘sordid affair.’ My gift to him was tickets to a Mariner’s Game (and, yes, he was aware they’re not having the best season) for the Friday night.

We did some lovely touristy things on the Saturday, then booted it home after the book signing – coming across the border with just under $500 in purchases (over half of which were books). (Don’t get me started on the dangers of finding book stores adjacent to restaurants where we stopped for lunch…)

Anyway, we ended our getaway with the book signing at Third Place Books. I’m going to spend the next few blog posts talking about the authors who attended, but for those of you who are interested, the authors in the picture are (from L to R): Eileen Cook, Mandy Hubbard, Lisa Schroeder, Cat Patrick, Suzanne Young, and Kimberly Derting.

I’m glad to be home, but a little afraid of my To Be Read pile now…



Donald Maass December 9, 2009

When I attended the book signing at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in October, I heard wonderfully rave reviews of a workshop delivered by New York agent, Donald Maass. His latest book, The Fire in Fiction, sold out within minutes of his presenting his workshop. While there were lots of whispers and comments about other exciting and inspiring presenters and books, his name was the most commonly cited, and most universally acclaimed.

I never got to hear him speak. You don’t know how many times I have kicked myself around the block for that. Missing out on the conference has become one of my most sincere regrets since throwing out my old hockey and baseball (and, truth be told, Star Wars) cards. In an effort to ameliorate my loss, I recently ordered several new books on writing fiction. Three of them are by Donald Maass.

Despite having to prepare supper and look after two small children, I am finding it almost impossible to put Writing the Breakout Novel down. I am almost resenting the time I am spending writing this post because it is taking away from time I could be using to read. The book is thoroughly engaging, thought-provoking, and incredibly easy to read.

Regardless of what the future holds for me, or my writing, I know my novels and short stories will be dramatically improved from having read Donald Maass’ work. I never envisioned using my blog as an unpaid advertisement for another author, but as it is about my journey as a writer, I feel compelled to share my latest “Aha!” moment along the way.

From beyond the book covers,



Book Signing October 26, 2009

I had the pleasure of attending a book signing at a local Writers’ Conference on the weekend. I was unable to attend the conference itself, for which I am eternally bitter as from all accounts it was fabulous, but I was able to make time to meet a few authors on Saturday evening.

It was a fabulous experience! I clutched my books, waited in line, and tried very hard not to go all ‘rabid fan-girl’ on some of my favourite writers. The longest line was for Diana Gabaldon, but there were several other very popular authors. I felt privileged to meet Ms. Gabaldon, Jack Whyte, Terry Brooks, Anne Perry, and C.C. Humphreys, and they were only a small percentage of authors at the conference!

I am kicking myself for not learning about the conference early enough to be able to attend, but now that I know it happens every year, you can be guaranteed I will be there next year! Look out Surrey International Writers’ Conference – I’m attending in 2010, even if I have to camp outside to register!

If you’re reading this and you have attended a previous conference, please post a comment sharing your experiences and recommendations. I want to make the most of the experience, and feedback from others will go a long way in helping me prepare. Only 363 days to go until next year!

From beyond the keyboard,




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