February 14th, 2020 ❤
I asked Angelique where she would like to talk:
We are in Ybor City, the historic Cuban and Italian neighborhood of Tampa Bay, Florida. We are sitting outside at a little wrought-iron table with matching chairs in front of El Centro, the center of town at one point in history. The painted table is chipped on the sloping top, revealing years of layers in pastel colors. The sun is setting as the warm breeze tickles the hems of our cotton gauze skirts. The smell of cigars and mojo pork with plantains hangs heavy in the air, irreverent of the tropical breath from the bay. A server with a big smile and light sheen of sweat brings us two mojitos and tells us to enjoy. He makes his way back into the cafe via stepping to live mamba music that fills the streets. I politely remove my sunglasses and invite you to begin the interview.
Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
Angelique Migliore: When I discovered the impossibilities of using my MA in Religious Studies as a career, I decided to write instead.
L: How long have you been writing for?
A: I attended my first writer’s conference in 2013, and that’s when I new I wanted to write for the rest of my life.
L: What are you currently working on?
A: I am currently writing my third contribution to Tirgearr Publishing’s City Nights Series. They are Romance novellas (with a very high heat level) that let you stamp your passport around the world as they feature the city as much as the relationship.
“One Night in Portland” published on August 21st of this year. “One Night in Tampa” should publish in February (contract is signed). “One Night in XXX” well, you’ll have to follow me for the announcement of that title when I sign that contract. Subscribers on my website will be the first to know! Stay tuned!
L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
A: I think this is true for any creative out there: no one will ever take your work as seriously as you do. If you intend to make your work public, you have to accept a certain “business” aspect of your product, because that’s what it is. And when it comes from the heart, that can be a necessary difficulty.
L: What is your favorite writing trope? Least favorite?
A: I don’t have a favorite trope. I appreciate them most when they’re subverted or blended. I appreciate them the least when they are written to the point of being cliché.
L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
A: When I need to think things through in my writing, I will do something else that is creative to help. Sometimes I bake or cook; sometimes I craft. I will make magic wands or bird houses out of wine corks, etc.
L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
A: I would have attended an established writers’ conference sooner. About three years sooner.
L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
A: I am published with a small press. If you could blend the worlds of traditional and independent publishing, that’s what it feels like.
It has been an amazing learning experience. I’m that person who will ask a million questions until I feel comfortable with my understanding of a situation. (My poor publisher!)
L: What are you currently reading?
A: I’m late to the party, but I’m plowing my way through the Rita Award winners and finalists for 2018 (published) right now. I’m sprinkling this massive list with books by writer friends.
L: What genre do you read?
A: I will read anything from literary to most genres. My favorites are Romance, Horror, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, and anything Steampunk.
L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?
A: I begin every day with my cup of caffeine and writing a haiku or tanka with the #vss365 prompt. It jump starts my brain into creative mode.
L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
A: While I’m plotting, I put together a playlist for every novel or novella that I write (and I publish them to Spotify for my readers when the book goes under contract). I will listen to the playlist before I begin to write, but then while writing I move to music without lyrics. Sometimes it’s meditative music; sometimes it’s karaoke versions of songs that embody the mood of the scene.
L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
A: Jo from “Little Women” was my first favorite literary character. I’ve had many since her. Funny story, I was actually named after “Angelique” the heroine protagonist from a series of Historical Romances written by Sergeanne Golon, a husband and wife team. My mother was pregnant with me when she was reading them, hence the namesake.
L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
A: Readers are by far the biggest inspiration for me. I have great reviews, and I love every one of them. But I’ve gotten several personal messages about my book(s) and characters, and those private messages are gold. When readers fall so deeply into the wonderland that I give them, and they want to know more about the characters, etc., it’s the best whip-crack I could ever get. Maybe that’s not the best analogy…
L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
A: There is not only one path to publishing. Don’t get stuck on the hamster wheel of that narrative. Find the path that works for you. Or create it.
Ever the optimist, Angelique believes the best is yet to come, sharing a meal is the quickest route to peace, and love conquers all. We are all far more alike than we are different. Although she was born and raised in the paradise that is the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle, not traveling has never been an option for Angelique. It’s a small world, after all, and we have but a limited amount of time on this beautiful planet of ours to experience it firsthand. Religion and Linguistics are her first true loves. She also adores rugby and board games. And champagne. With fresh raspberries, if you please. Kissing is her favorite pastime.
One Night in Portland: City Nights Series: #37 – Bridges traverse worlds.
Army Captain and surgeon, Finn O’Grady, returns from a field training exercise exhausted and defeated; two soldiers were injured in an accident and one didn’t make it home.
Quilt artist, Lee-Lee Song, storms out of a date with yet another good Asian boy her parents have set up with only to run smack into Finn.
Their worlds—which could not be further apart—collide on a street corner in downtown Portland, and neither is in a hurry to return to their own realities. Finn craves the distraction of Lee-Lee’s creative and colorful world. Lee-Lee wants a man who is one hundred eighty degrees away from her parents’ choices.
As Lee-lee and Finn venture together across the many bridges of Portland and share their favorite places around the city, they grow more attracted and closer.
Will this special day together force Lee-Lee and Finn back into their own worlds, or will they build one more bridge in Portland—one to each other?