Angela Duirden-Galbreth began her writing career at the tender age of six. Yes, stapled notebook paper in booklet form, she was sure her four page masterpiece would be a bestseller. Since then, she has published two novels from the “Looking for Me” trilogy.
Angela was recently awarded the first Annual Soul Sister Creative Writing Award. A sought after keynote speaker for women’s conferences, seminars, and empowerment lectures, Angela speaks with insight and electric power while holding true to her own unique style. Every time she stands before an audience, she endeavors to challenge them with Radical, Riveting, Life Changing Words seasoned with fire and spiritual flavor!
Angela Duirden-Galbreth has earned an Associate’s Degree in General Studies, a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources, and a CPA certification. Her upcoming titles include: “Looking For Me II: Bitter Sweet Lies and Soul Ties,” “Looking For Me III: The Crooked Circle,” “Inconvenient Love,” and “I Am WOMAN and I Ain’t Scared.”
If she’s not working on her latest spicy novel, you can find her reading, engaged in politics, or indulging her sweet addiction to chocolate. As Angela celebrates the beauty of every day, she looks forward to seeing what the next chapter of her life will bring!
Favorite Quote: "I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy." -Og Mandino
About “Looking for Me”
Looking for Me is the first of a plan trilogy detailing the emotional journey of a young woman whose life has been shaped by horrific circumstances.
Heroine, Remona “Mona” Bishop was forced into a world swarming with confusion, hatred, and abuse too horrid to speak of. After the death of her beloved grandmother, Big Momma, Mona is thrust into the foster care system. But all of the “old folk” teaching that Big Momma instilled in her was washed away with pain, shame, and haunted dreams. After running away from her foster care home, she lands into the arms of Lee, a free spirit, enticed by the tango with danger. It is then Mona’s soul is fed the love it has been long starving for. But when Lee gets the opportunity to follow his dream, the world he’d once desired becomes his worst enemy. Can Mona save Lee and restore the man she’d fell in love with? Or will she adjoin his spiraling decline for the sake of love?
UBAWA: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Angela: Wow! I have been writing stories almost as long as I have been reading. I began my writing career at the tender age of six. Yes, stapled notebook paper in booklet form. Back then, I was sure my 4 page masterpiece would be a bestseller. I come from a generation when children didn’t have to be entertained, we made our own fun. I would occasionally be in a certain mood, often on boring rainy days when we were forced to stay inside, or when I was feeling especially melancholy, I would write stories, songs and plays. Of which, my sisters and other neighborhood girls would perform. Thinking back, those were really great times. Those factors combined, nurtured my desire to write and became fodder for Looking for Me.
UBAWA: How did you decide on the idea for your 1st book? 2nd book? 3rd book, etc?
Angela: In a former life, I used to host a women’s group called “Sisters Helping Sisters.” This group provided a safe haven for ladies in the community to talk openly about their issues and struggles without fear of judgment. Women divulged secrets in the group they had never shared with their mothers, fathers, spouses, or friends. When listening to stories, I quickly realized that many of the women had no sense of themselves. The tragedies they had endured, acts perpetrated against them, things that had happened in their lives shaped their perception of themselves and others around them. They had no clue of who they were or the women God had intended them to be. I can’t begin to tell you what a powerful experience this was. Even after I gave birth to my daughter and moved on to other things, those stories remained with me. So, Ultimately, LOOKING FOR ME is a story of self-discovery, hope, resolve, of a woman digging deeper than she thought possible trying to find the strength not to completely crumble.
UBAWA: How long did it take you to complete your first book? What was the process like?
Angela: I always tell people, writing this novel in a sense was like giving birth and just as grueling. I’m sure female authors who are mothers can attest. First, I conceived the idea, then I fed it, nurtured it, and watched as it took on a life of its own. Two years later, on July 10, 2012 (release date), weighing in at 44 ounces and 8.5 inches long, my baby girl was born. I simply cannot express the joy my hubby and I feel welcoming this new edition to our family!
I would have to say with regard to the process, oddly enough, when I’m writing a novel the title comes first. From the various ways the title speaks to me, my characters derive, my plot thickens and my story generates. Most challenging for me is giving each character in my novel a distinct voice. Considering, I (one mind, one voice) am the spawn for breeding numerous diverse voices and complex personalities. In a real sense, developing characters is almost like getting to know real people. That’s really the way you have to see them in order to make characters believable and relatable. Breathing passion, life, and personality into each character I create is essential to fundamentally shaping the story. Fleshing out characters means you have to mold them with issues, drama, and baggage from their pasts, but also love, hope and dreams. And, whether you love or hate the character, such traits shape them into who they are.
But, also keeping characters consistent in having them think, speak and behave in a way that’s true to their nature. I have found that as I muster the courage to finally loose the author’s reigns and let the story unfold and tell itself, my characters sometimes surprise me and reveal new aspects of themselves as we become more acquainted.
UBAWA: What’s so rewarding about writing books and being an author?
Angela: The most rewarding thing for me is knowing that I did the dang thang! I set out to do something and I did it. When dreams and reality became one, when I actually held my book in my hands, a feeling washed over me that I can't explain. Equally rewarding is that my children have something tangible that they can point to and say, "My mother did that!"
I believe the most profitable investment a person can make is an investment in his or herself. Because I’ve done that, the high dividends of personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I’ve reaped, far surpasses monetary value. It is truly wonderful!
UBAWA: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?
Angela: The journey at times is tedious, consuming, and demanding. Give up? How could I? When I was a young girl, I dreamt of becoming a famous author. I wrote countless stories, plays and songs. I also endured insistent teasing from my older brother about their poor content or ridiculous titles. I didn’t let that bother me, though, because I knew in my heart they were all big hits and I was destined for greatness. As with most people, through the course of time I let my dreams slip away, little by little, eventually abandoning them. But God, in His infinite wisdom, used my own daughter to lead me. In the midst of her guidance, my hopes were renewed, my passions rekindled; a fresh anointing washed over my soul. I was so inspired, I made a demand on my unfulfilled dreams. I sat down that same day and, through abundance of spirit, I began to write. Now that I have been reunited with my first love, I'm holding on tight. I push through any discouragement and I move forward. Besides, with my Heavenly Father as my guide, failure is not an option.
UBAWA: There’s more to being an author than writing a book. How do you manage to handle the business side of things?
Angela: Being an author and promoting yourself is just that...a business. Because I have a business background, I know how vital it is to conduct myself in a professional manner at all times. I stay abreast to the latest “happenings” as to be informed. In addition, I keep office hours in which I return phone calls promptly, answer emails and meet deadlines in a timely manner. Regardless with whom my dealings are with, proper etiquette is always in order (though sometimes tailored).
UBAWA: Do you have an editor or do you edit your own books?
Angela: I do edit my work for mistakes, but of course One Karma Publishing has an on staff editor who is very thorough. If I happen to miss it, she will catch it.
UBAWA: Who does the cover art for your book(s)?
Angela: Of course I have a vision in my head. The graphic designs department of One Karma Publishing does the design.
UBAWA: Do you ever encounter writer’s block? How do you get past it?
Angela: If I have writer’s block, which I rarely do. I try not to force it. Whatever, I'm working on, I put it down and walk away for however long it takes. Writing is my gift, God's expression of love to me. I trust it. Though the gift might try to slumber at times, it’s loyal, and always returns.
UBAWA: How often do you write?
Angela: Typically, I write every day except on special occasions and holidays. If I’m not working on a novel, I’m doing research, making notes, or writing articles. Writing--it's what I do!
UBAWA: Tell us about your last book signing.
Angela: WOW! My last book signing was also my first book signing. I felt like a celebrity! Along with the venue manager, I took the time to "seriously" promote the event. It was fabulous! My book signing was held at Hastings Store which offers more than just books so I was able to draw a bigger crowd. Friends and family brought flowers, balloons and tons of well wishes. I signed books, shook hands, answered questions, and posed for photos with customers and fans. While I conducted an interview with the local newspaper, I kept those waiting entertained by playing my book trailor and a slideshow in the background. When I arrived at Hastings, I had a case of books for purchase. Within 45 minutes I was completely sold out! So I continued to sign books brought in by fans as I smiled for the camera. I had a BLAST!
UBAWA: Beside social media, what other methods are you using to get the word out about your book(s)?
Angela: I market my novels with book signings, book fairs and special events, book club appearances, and promos, but mainly through social media such as Facebook (Angela Duirden-Galbreth, (My fan page) Marinating with Novelist Angela-Duirden-Galbreth, and Twitter handle: Angela Galbreth). My books can be found and purchased via onekarmapublishing.com, amazon.com (paper back & kindle), barnesandnoble.com (nook), smashwords.com, and in Hastings Book Stores.
UBAWA: As a Woman of Color, what inspires you the most?
Angela: My family hands down! My inspiration to write again came from my daughter Sydney. She was six at the time when we were sharing a conversation about what we want to be when we grow up. Sydney has big plans of one day becoming a ‘superstar.’ She talked in great detail about singing on stage, and blowing kisses at her adoring fans. Watching her prance around and act out the whole scene gave my heart great joy; my cup positively runneth over. As Sydney finished her routine, she took her bow and turned to me, giving me a message that changed my life: “Mommy you can be a superstar, too, if you want to.” Simple in word and delivery, but it spoke to a part of me that for many years had lain desolate. I knew Sydney’s high-pitched, squeaky voice resembled the voice of God. It’s truly amazing what can happen when God uses someone to speak directly to your issues. Sydney’s message impacted the very core of my heart, bypassing all self-doubts, insecurities, and feelings of insignificance. Her childlike words inspired me; they validated me. I was so inspired; I made a demand on my unfulfilled dreams. I sat down that same day and, through abundance of spirit, I began to write. I knew then that Sydney’s words had connected with the power of my authentic purpose. Like Sydney, I don’t know if I will ever achieve the status of a ‘superstar,’ but I, too, believe I can. It’s never too late to learn to fly!
UBAWA: Who is your biggest influence?
Angela: Other than God who obviously is the source of my talent, I inherited my gift of story from my mother. She’s also a lover of the written word. As far back as I can remember she’s written poems, and stories or either had her head buried in a book. In addition, I’ve also gained tremendous value from simply observing everyday people. Actually, I glean plots and characters largely from my own life experiences. I use traits from people I’ve met, nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from my grandmother, my mother and father, drama from my friends and turn them into a story. This serves as a “flashing light” warning for family, friends, and casual acquaintances: BEWARE! Anyone can end up in one of my novels, so people really need to be careful of what they say and do around me.
When it comes to literature, I love the old-school feel from timeless authors like Zora Neale Hurston and Maya Angelo. I would love to sit at the feet of Maya Angelou and drink from her well of wisdom. I try to incorporate that style with my new millennium perspective. In addition, I blend cup urban "real talk" and a dash of sass mixed with my feminist personality. Readers should strap in tight and hang on for the ride of a lifetime!
UBAWA: Have you ever done something in the past you regret? How did you get through it?
Angela: Haven't we all? Regardless of past failures and regrets, Lord knows I have made more than a few. I do my best to learn from them and keep it moving. Personally, I have made a conscious decision to accept the things I cannot change, and to release people from my life who are toxic and do not have my best interest at heart. I forgive those who have hurt and misused me and that includes forgiving myself for hurting "me." And, most importantly, I let it go!
UBAWA: How do you get through the tough times in life when life throws what it throws at you?
Angela: My faith in God, and knowing that He won't put more on me than I am able to bear. I pray and seek God's guidance and wisdom for my life. My motto is simple: “If you don’t like the hand that life has dealt you, tell the dealer to hit you again!” Life is truly what you make of it. And, it just so happens that you are not a card player and life delivers you a bucket of bitter lemons, gather those lemons and make some (oh so sugary) pink lemonade!
Also, I am fortunate to share my life with such an awesome man of God. I have the most incredibly patient, supportive, loving, and understanding husband a girl could ask for. He continues to believe in me, and encourages me without fail. We have a space in where we sit and talk for hours sometimes until his or my soul is at ease. Needless to say, I lean on him often and he never buckles. He's my wing man—literally the wind beneath my wings.
UBAWA: What is one goal you want to accomplish for yourself in 2013?
Angela: I'm a die–hard romantic, always will be. But I’m also a political junkie so I might want to venture into something political. Perhaps a Straight talk self-help motivational book for women: I Am Woman and I Ain’t Scared. But also, I want to get into writing theatrical stage plays and screenplays. Just to see what doors that can possibly open. Now that I have found my groove, I'm focused and I'm ready. I have a few other projects in the works, so hopefully you will be hearing a lot from me.
UBAWA: What do you have planned next?
Angela: Completing the "Looking For Me" trilogy. I’ve recently completed the sequel: “Looking for Me II: Bitter Sweet Lies and Soul Ties.” My readers are chomping at the bits to get it. I can’t tell you the number of emails I’ve received. I love it! “Looking for Me II” is set to release February 2013.
UBAWA: How can readers and others in the literary community reach you?
Angela: Hit me up on twitter: Angela Galbreth, Facebook: Angela Duirden-Galbreth, (My fan page) Marinating with Novelist Angela-Duirden-Galbreth. Or email me: email@example.com. You'll be sure to catch me that way.