Zaidi Features: An Interview with Angela Kay Austin with "Beale Street"

Meet Angela Kay Austin

1.   What 3 things would you like readers to know about you?
I always like to add in a little historical fact into the books that I write.  It makes them interesting for me. The fact could be about anything, even a bit of my own like the name of a grandparent or something. I love to write about food. I’m not a chef and I cook so that I won’t starve J but I love to go out to eat, and of course in the south food is a part of family and life, so I like to add a little touch of that family and love to each book. Many of my ideas come from bumping into people while enjoying one of my favorite things—traveling.

2.   What role does your family play in your writing, if any? Any pets? If so, how many and what kind?
I’m not married, and I don’t have children. And believe it or not, that plays big time into my writing. When I write stories about children and families, I have talk to members of my family about their lives. What does it take for them to balance family and careers? How to they decide what takes priority? I people watch a lot, too in order to take what they tell me and craft the relationships in my books.  I have had fish, cats, and now I have a dog. I wasn’t a very good fish owner. I loved my cat, Jasper, but he became ill. And my dog Midnight, well she’s fifteen J

3.   What are you doing when you’re not writing? Day job? Health concerns or caring for family?
When I’m not writing, I work full-time. Which basically means that I write late at night and on weekends. So, my weeks are pretty full.

4.   Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases?
I write in a few genres: Romance and Women’s Fiction. Within Romance, I’m expanding and exploring Paranormal. It’s been a fun journey. My latest release, Beale Street Blues is set in my hometown of Memphis, TN. If you’ve ever been to Memphis, then you’ve been to Beale Street. Beale Street has clubs, restaurants, bars, and shopping. It’s a place for tourists and locals. And it’s also a place where anything could happen on any night. And that’s what I do with my book, Beale Street Blues. I take a look at just one possibility of what could happen.

5.   Is there a common thread in your books? How do your values show up in your writing? Jungian philosophy? What do you want readers to take from your writing?
Personal quest for wholeness. Yeah I guess that would be a great way to describe my characters (and me.) I’m not a big fan of someone else “completing” anyone. When my characters are introduced to readers, they’re broken. The reader goes on a journey with my characters as they become whole, and that’s when the characters know themselves well enough to know what (or whom) they want to welcome into their lives. I guess that’s how my values show up in my writing and what I’d like readers to take away. Know yourself.

6.   What do you look for in a good book? In what ways would you say your books exhibit these qualities?
I look for an emotional connection. That makes me want to tell others about the story and then I want to know what they thought of the story to see if they felt as I did. That’s what I try to infuse into my stories. I want readers to connect to the characters. I want them to say, “Oh my God, I know somebody like that” or “That sounds like…” Then I would feel like I’ve told a good story.

7.   What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning?
You have to really let go and write. The more you do, the richer and more unique your stories will become.

8.   Along that same line, what are some of your favorite resources?
I love to read and listen to authors talk about their writing. For some reason reading and listening helps me to stay motivated and learn.

9.   What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged? Discouraged about writing?
Writing. I guess I just feel like if I keep writing that eventually readers will find me and connect with one or maybe more of the stories that I’ve told, and maybe they’ll hang around for one of the ones I have yet to tell.

 About the Author
Angela Kay Austin has always loved expressing herself creatively.  An infatuation with music led to years playing several instruments, some better than others.   A love for acting put her in front of a camera or two for her thirty seconds of fame before giving way to a degree and career in communications.  After completing a second degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked in promotions and events for many years. 

Today, Angela lives in her hometown in Tennessee with her really really really old dog, Midnight.
To learn more about Angela, visit her website:


Dariel Raye said…
Welcome back, Angela! I suppose I'm the same way when it comes to writing to life my spirits. So far, that and music are the best forms of therapy I've found :-)
Hello Angela and Dariel, I enjoyed reading the interview. It is a pleasure to meet you, Angela. My drive to continue writing is similar to yours. I love to tell stories and hope that readers connect emotionally with my characters and can't wait to read the stories I'm yet to write.

Congrats! I haven't been to Memphis, but I look forward to going on the journey with your characters.

Best wishes,
Dariel Raye said…
Hey, Stella! Thank you for stopping by. It's always a pleasure to see you :-)