Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Guest Author and Giveaway: Angie Fox on Inspiration and Influences

Hello and welcome to another addition to our new series “Inspirations and Influences” in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their …..well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.

This time around we have the pleasure to give the floor to Angie Fox, writer of the Demon Slayer series.

Her first book The Accidental Demon Slayer (reviewed here) was released last year and soon enough made the NY Times bestselling list. Her second book, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers comes out at the end of April and has been reviewed by Ana here.

Here is what she has to say in a very touching and thoughtful piece:


How I learned to lighten up and trust my influences

by Angie Fox

A lot of writers I’ve talked with have always known who they are. I envy that. Because for many years, I tried to be somebody else. You see, I’m kind of quirky. I like going on odd adventures. I like meeting new people. I was the kid who would rather hang out at a Renaissance fair than go to the ball game.

And because I love to read, eventually I decided I wanted to be a writer. But in order to write the kinds of books people wanted to read, I decided I had to be very serious. No more playing around. And as far as listening to my inner voice? Forget it.

I’d never written a book before. This was not the time to trust my instincts. Instead, I had learn what other people had to tell me about my voice and my writing. So I signed up for these writing classes that taught me how to outline and how to write scenes on note cards and how to shuffle those note cards around and even how to put them on cork boards and make color coded note card charts.

Now don’t think I’m knocking classes. I did learn a lot. But my problem was, I had somehow convinced myself that someone else’s way was the right way to do things. As a result, my writing life was hard and it was tedious and sometimes I’d get frustrated and want to chuck the note cards at my shelf full of writing books.

Worse, I wrote three mysteries that didn’t sell. One agent even told me that I had humor creeping into a murder scene – not good when you’re oh, so serious.

When I’d get comments like that or when I couldn’t look at one more chart, I’d retreat with the books I loved to read. I can go through several books a week and some of my favorite authors include MaryJanice Davidson, Katie MacAlister, Michelle Rowen and Elizabeth Peters. Then, suitably fortified, I’d go back to ignoring my influences.

Until one day, I snapped. I’d been working hard on some new note cards – color coded according to scene – when I received a longish letter from a respected agent. He’d read my third book and thought it would probably sell. But he hoped it didn’t. He said I was compromising my voice. I was writing for someone else. How he could tell that from those words on the page, I’ll never know. He said that book wasn’t my, “breakout book” and that I should write something else.

It was painful to read, because I knew he was right. I didn’t know exactly what I should be writing, but I decided to pull that mystery from consideration. I needed to relax and have fun for a change. So I decided to write a book just for me, a book I knew wouldn’t sell. It had to be about the excitement, about the love of books and writing. I was so energized by the idea that I had trouble sleeping that night.

Then, a few nights later, I was up at three in the morning feeding my infant son and a fun idea popped into my head – what if a straight laced preschool teacher suddenly learns she’s a demon slayer? And what if she has to learn about her powers on the run from a fifth level demon? Ohhh and wouldn’t it be fun if she’s running with her long-lost Grandma’s gang of geriatric biker witches?

I could write the kind of book I liked reading – quirky, different – a book where I could build my own world and make up my own rules. I banished all note cards. I let my natural voice come out, even if it was kind of offbeat.

Instead of a 20-page plot outline, I had a 5-page list of ideas, one of which included “but little did they know, all the Shoney’s are run by werewolves.” Instead of following the rules, I broke a few. Instead of painstakingly writing over the course of a year, I giggled my way through the book and had a complete manuscript in five months.

The opening chapters did well in contests and caught the eye of an editor, who asked to see the whole thing. That same editor bought The Accidental Demon Slayer less than a week after I finished it. And then The Accidental Demon Slayer even made the New York Times bestseller list. But you know what the best part was? The relief that came with trusting myself to do what I love.

Now that I’ve learned to follow my instincts, I’m writing what I want to write and enjoying every minute of it. And the writing comes easier because I’m following that inner voice that tells me how the story needs to go.

Perfect example – in this second book, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, my protagonist is really coming into her powers. The first book was funnier because she was thrust into this magical world with no preparation. Now, the second book has a darker edge because she’s learning what that means to her.

As I was writing it, I thought, “Can I abandon some of the quirkiness? Will readers follow me on this journey?” The answers are, “yes,” and “I sure hope so.” I had to do it because in my heart I knew the story required it. The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers can be both funny and serious.

I’d like to give away a copy of The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers today. And to do that, I’ve developed a highly un-scientific Are You Part Demon Slayer? quiz. Post your score below and enter to win. Also, if you post your score on my blog at, you could win a walk-on role in the next Accidental Demon Slayer book.


How about that?

Contest is open to all and will run till Saturday midnight Pacific Time. The winner will be announced in our stash on Sunday. Good luck!

And a huge thank you to Angie for the amazing post and the cool giveaway!

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  • Gerd Duerner
    April 17, 2009 at 5:14 am

    So is this where I’m supposed to post my totally mideocre score of 53% Demonslayer?
    Am I doing this right?
    If not, colour me embarrassed… 😳

  • B Jacob
    April 17, 2009 at 5:58 am

    83% Demonslayer. Guess I need to put away the apron & buy a pair of thigh high boots. :mrgreen:

  • Susan G
    April 17, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I’m 63%, meaning the glass is more than half full! Such an optimist! Angie, I loved your book and am so looking forward to the next one, it can’t come soon enough. I love the way your write and the humor is the bes!. I like series books as well, but it’s always good to have a least a little laugh in the worst situations! Keep on writing!

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Good to see you, Gerd. And congrats on being more than half demon slayer. 😉

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Dang, B Jacob – you aced it. Go get your boots. The biker witches will be at your door in, oh about five minutes.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Thanks, Susan G! I’m having a blast with this series. And you’re right – it’s important to be able to see the light in even the most serious times. It’s good to see you here.

  • CrystalGB
    April 17, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I am 70% demon slayer. 🙂

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Go, CrystalGB! I’ll bet you talk to your pets, don’t you?

  • Jessica Kennedy
    April 17, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I’m 65% Demon Slayer….not too shabby!

  • Teresa W.
    April 17, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Loved the first book and can’t wait to read the new release! Took the quiz and came up with 49%.

  • Christine Moore
    April 17, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I’m 65% demon slayer. I loved the first book and can’t wait to read this one.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I’d say that’s quite impressive, Jessica. Who knew, right?

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Thanks, Teresa. Glad you enjoyed the first book! It’s a lot of fun to watch this series evolve.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Thanks, Christine. And nice score – you must have been studying up as you read the first book. 😉

  • Donna S
    April 17, 2009 at 10:25 am

    You are 53% demon slayer. Guess that is not my true calling.

  • Jacqueline
    April 17, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Great guest post! That’s a really huge lesson to learn. Been there, done that. I still have to remind myself of it periodically, though.

    Uh, if I remember correctly from having posted it elsewhere, I’m 82% demon slayer. 🙂

  • katayoun
    April 17, 2009 at 11:01 am

    65%, not bad!! 🙂

  • I heart book gossip
    April 17, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I am 61% demon slayer. Thats pretty good right. Count me in for the contest.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    At least you’re more than half slayer, Donna. It should entitle you to wear the kicking demon slayer boots.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Jacqueline – I’m glad somebody else has been there/done that. It sure took me awhile.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Not bad at all, katayoun!

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Will do, I heart book gossip. Your sign in name is brilliant, by the way.

  • Ana
    April 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Hey everybody! :mrgreen:

    I am devastated to report that I am ONLY 53% Demon Slayer. I don’t know what went wrong. I think it was the mate answer. I wanted sense of humour – SO not the most important thing about a mate for a demon slayer. Obviously. 😆

  • Marg
    April 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    You are more demon slayer than I am Ana! I am only 45%. Good job I prefer to read about such creatures and not be one! 😆

  • B.G. Sanford
    April 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I would like to let everyone know that my new book,”Beth:Love Along The Way….By B.G.Sanford,” and published by Eloquent Books has been released. It’s a romance with a bit of a twist, not at all light weight. Hope everyone get the opportunity to read it. I enjoy reading the comments on your blog along wdith the articles.
    My best to you………

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Too true, Ana. But at least you’ll be laughing as the demons approach.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    LOL Marg – it is much easier to read about demon slayers than to take the job yourself.

  • Stacie V
    April 17, 2009 at 5:34 pm


    You are 70% demon slayer.

  • Anita Yancey
    April 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I’m afraid I didn’t score that well, I’m just 65% demon slayer. Oh well I tried. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  • janicu
    April 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Hah, one of the lowest scores – 49%! Booya!

  • Virginia Hendricks
    April 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Surprisingly, 57%. Cool. 🙂

    What a great post! Thank you!

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Nice, Stacie. 🙂

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Actually, that’s a great score, Anita. Nobody is 100% demon slayer except Lizzie Brown and look at all the trouble it brings her. Me? I want to hang out with the biker witches.

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    LOL janicu – thanks for playing!

  • Angie Fox
    April 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Aw, thanks, Virginia. It’s fun to be here.

  • Amy T
    April 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I am 78% Demon Slayer! So far only one person has posted a higher score. I always knew being a witch was a career choice, LOL!

  • Marie
    April 17, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Fun quiz! I’m 61% demon slayer.

  • bridget3420
    April 17, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    73% demon slayer:)

  • Allykatt
    April 17, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    well, I am 57% demon slayer. So almost 60% so more of a kick butt gsl than I thought! Thanks for the chance to win the book.!

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I’m 65%, not to bad! I could probably take out at least one demon!!

    Great post! “The relief that came with trusting myself to do what I love.” I really love this. I have the first book on my TBR list and I am really looking forward to reading it. Especially after reading your post here! Oh and how cute is that dog on the book covers!?!?!

  • Tiah
    April 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Oops! I forgot to sign in. I am the Anonymous one above! 😳

  • Peta
    April 18, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Really interesting guest post and I enjoyed reading it – thanks. I am a rather pathetic “53% demon slayer” which is a little upsetting as I’d hopped I was more kick-ass than that. Clearly not 😀

  • Angie Fox
    April 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks, you know that dog is one of my editors favorite characters – in case you couldn’t tell by the way he makes every single cover. We were just talking about the cover for the third book, (tenatively titled A Tale of Two Demon Slayers) and we were batting around ideas for what kind of visual to go with the legs, my editor said, “well, we could just have Pirate.” LOL The dog is the answer to everything.

  • Ruth
    April 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Well I just topped 60%…must be because my cat Saxon does not talk to me. She just always gives me attitude. I enjoyed your first book so would love a chance for your second.

  • Lisa F.
    April 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I’m 59% Demon Slayer. 🙂

  • blackroze37
    April 19, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    hmm thought i was tougher LOL

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