No two paths to publication are the same, even for the same author! Angela Breidenbach has published fiction and nonfiction books, and she’s here today to share from her experiences in both world’s.
Thank you so much for being here! What do you write? How/why did you pick your genre?
I write historical fiction with elements of romance and genealogy. I want to preserve the stories of people and history. I also write non-fiction because I love to teach and share so others can grow, too.
What’s the most difficult part of writing your genre? How do you work through those challenges?
Research is the most challenging for me because it’s so easy to get lost in the rabbit trails. When I realize I’ve gone down a trail, I start a new document and write a story idea with citations to the research. That helps me know I can go back and dive in again for a purpose. Otherwise, I’m just fascinated with learning. I have to be disciplined about it or I’d never come up for air.
Also, when I’m writing the story, I put a comment in my writing program (Scrivener) so I can research just that point later. Then I continue writing. But those rabbit trails can be really beneficial. That’s where the entire 6-book series for Queen of the Rockies ideas came from! The fifth book, Bride of the Rockies, was a rabbit trail that led me to the women who represented Montana at the 1893 World’s Fair.
How long does it take you to: write the book? Edit it? Finalize it?
Writing a book takes 3-6 months for me. My favorite part is editing for the art. I spend more time there once I get the gist of the story on paper. Finalizing it, to me, means interior and cover design. That takes me a week or so because I play with the look until I’m happy. But I adore Vellum and the updates in that program.
If you’ve written multiple books, which was harder: the first book or the following books?
The first book in both fiction and nonfiction were the hardest because I had so much to learn about the craft and formatting. Now formatting is second nature. I know where I can play with elements. But writing in different arenas, fiction and nonfiction, creates a lot of different issues in the right and left brain. I can write both in the same day, but I have to take a break between them to switch gears. I’ll never stop learning. But adding to what I know or brushing up a skill is a lot easier than learning it all from a fire hose like the first books!
What conference do you most want to attend?
I’m looking forward to attending the London RootsTech conference one day. The amount of research I still want to do in Britain can happen, but I really love attending genealogy conferences. Hoping Covid-tide will end soon so I can go, meet more people across the pond, and sit in a lot of great research spots discovering things not on the internet.
How do you combat writer’s block?
Writer’s block makes me feel frozen. I’ve bonded with other writer friends. When I’m feeling stuck, I call or video conference or go to lunch with one of my friends. We’ll brainstorm until I’m excited to get the words on the page again. Works every time!
What advice do you have for new authors?
Go to as many different writing conferences as you can. Writing conferences have personalities too. Not every conference is suited to you. If one feels “off”, it’s not for you. Try another. You’ll meet your group of friends like I did. We all started out as newbies. Now literally all of us are multi-published, many multiple bestsellers. But none of us had sold a book when we started out. Bonding together, building our careers between friends has really made a difference. It’s especially important for those rough patches—we all have them—when we lose a family member, experience multiple rejections, or must make a hard choice financially. Those friends have made all the difference and I would not have achieved what I have without writing conferences and the friends who have run the race with me.
How do you self-edit your manuscript?
I have at least 3 steps in my editing process before I send it to anyone else. I edit as I go when something doesn’t seem quite right to me. Then I upload the document to my ProWritingAid application and go through line-by-line. Then I load it to Vellum and see what it finds. Finally, I ask someone else to edit. That saves me a lot of money, but also teaches me in the process.
I always miss something. Everyone always misses something. But the surprise is often how I have “pet” words in every book. They’re not usually the same book to book. But there are a handful that connect with the tone, story, and world of the book that tend to repeat. So those are my last search/replace action before it goes anywhere else.
Would she give up her dream for love?
For botanist, Bettina Gilbert, mining is an offense against God’s green earth. With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke travels to Chicago to manage the Montana mining exhibition hoping to also find a wife. Only that pretty botanist keeps disrupting his mining presentations … and his chances of meeting the right woman! A city girl who despises his way of life would be the worst choice for a miner’s wife, wouldn’t she?
Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books, and screenwriter. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!
Social Media: @AngBreidenbachAmazon
Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Angela-Breidenbach/e/B00460W4F4