About Angela Stevens

Angela Stevens is an Amazon International Best Selling Author. Her steamy romance novel, Nolan’s Resolution, from the highly popular multi-author series, After Hurricane Nina, hit #1 New Release on Amazon in America, Canada and the UK. Her 5 book debut series, Hockey Punk, is a sports romance series set around her adopted town near DC and revolves around her favorite sport of ice hockey. Writing in both contemporary romance and contemporary fantasy genres, Angela portrays gritty characters with emotionally charged plots and is not afraid to tackle difficult social issues in her fiction. If you pick up one of her romances, you may have to order an extra supply of tissues, but Angela Stevens will always deliver you a HEA and some smoldering hot scenes to get you there.

Feed The Creative Juices

Authoring can be all consuming at times. There can be days when I don’t speak to another human for eight hours–pretty bad when you and your husband are both home all day. But it is one of those things, when the words are flowing, then the hands on the clock seem to whiz around at lightning speed.

Being an introvert, I don’t crave others company, am happy in my own skin, and love the solitude that my writing gives me. But, every now and then, I can feel drained of the creative juices and need to step back from the pages and find something to kick start my creativity.

I broke for Christmas this year, I hate taking full breaks as it always seems to take twice as long to get back into the swing of things. But Christmas was busy, with lots of guests staying over so, writing was not on the table. Going back to it in January, I thought I’d be refreshed, but it has been an up-hill slog. I’m writing, but feel that it is a case of supergluing my bum to the seat to make myself do it. While scrolling through social media–an avoidance tactic–I spotted a course being promoted by a talented cover designer that I admire.

Now, some of you may know that the other hat I wear is that of Book Designer. I create and sell covers for the Cat’s Pyjama’s. I started this out of necessity, way back in the beginning of my writing career, because I was so clueless about the whole book publishing business. Back then, I was truly terrible, as I had no idea how to use Photoshop. I may have lacked the skills, but I had big ideas and have always had an artistic bent. Many of my hobbies fall into that side of things. I also have a good eye and a nose for analyzing the market in this area. So, with the help of my daughter, an Art student at SCAD at the time, I set about learning how to use the Photoshop software.

Once I had gained enough skills, I started producing my own covers, then ones for friends, and finally moved on to selling them wider. The course I spotted the other day, sounded like just what I needed. It promised to teach the most useful 20% of the software’s features that book designers will use 80% of the time. Being self-taught, I knew my gaps and my limitations so I signed up immediately.

OH. MY. God!

Talk about game changer. I have spent so many hours watching the videos and then practicing the skills that a whole week has whizzed by. Surprisingly, I have also managed to fit in writing a couple of chapters a day too! My hubby has had to remind me when to eat, and around ten o’clock at night, he opens my study door and mumbles, “are you gonna be on there all night?”

picture of a chair burning in a room

Day 1 challenge, becoming more adventurous with layers and blends

Even when I go to bed, I have been running through the stuff I have learned in my head, and thinking up new possibilities. It’s been a long time since I have been this excited about something. But improving my design skills aside, I have also noticed a bit more pep in my step with regards to my writing–even though part of that is due to wanting to get on my computer to do the next lesson! I am now drafting out a chapter a day, and rewarding myself with doing the next element of the course.

Day 2 – refining composition and using pen tool more adeptly for cutting out

Trouble is, I am running out of classes. Still, my creativity juices are flowing, and my brain seems to have enjoyed the chance to do something different for a while. More than that, expanding my knowledge has given me a sense of fulfillment. Pushing my skills to the next level, challenging myself to understand all the tricky nuances associated with that very technical piece of software, is quite uplifting and re-energizing.

So, I am making a late New Year’s resolution, to take more meaningful breaks over this next year, and I’m going to take that time to give myself training. Other, big companies do it. They see the value in training their staff, so even though I am a one-man band, Author Angela Stevens will be closed for training until Wednesday next week, and scheduling more motivational courses for the summer.

But for now, I am upping my game, and just completed new covers for my next release, Hat Trick, in my brand new pin-off series Hockey Boyz. For those of you that loved my Hockey Punk series, then you should know, this book stars one of the Hockey Punk guy’s sons. We are going Next Gen!

picture of 3 books with hockey theme

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083PTVJN1

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083QQGNX2

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083QQGPKY

It’s Fall–let’s rock the red

Blog Post:

Whoo hoo! It’s Fall–let’s rock the red and and enjoy the season to its max! I have always loved the Fall, or as we call it in the England, Autumn. But Autumn in the UK is very different to Fall in North Carolina, where I live now.

Fall in the UK

The temperature in England plummets in September, the fog descends around October, and the mizzle–misty drizzle–arrives in November. We don’t really celebrate Halloween, but have Guy Fawkes day–Bonfire Night–with its colorful firework displays. I love the roaring bonfires, treacle toffee, pulling on mittens, scarves, and wellies. I even love the return of short days, and playing conkers. Conkers is a traditional British played with the seeds of a horse chestnut tree (you call them buckeyes in America). Lastly, I even adore switching on the radiators–so cozy, it speaks to me in a nostalgic way.

Here in my adopted home in NC, the Fall is as different as the terms used to name the season. We have only just had a temperature drop here, but the sun is still shining, the sky is still blue, and even though the mornings are chilly enough for heat, I’ve still yet to deploy a coat.

Fall in America

Yesterday, I drove back from Virginia, my home until earlier this year. We had made a quick trip to visit my son, and revisit our life there. On the journey back, we had to drive along the outskirts of the Shenandoah valley, past Lurray, and up over the blue ridge mountains. The I-81 is such a pretty route, the fall color is just about coming to an end, but the scenery is still breathtaking. Shockingly, in one part there was a light dusting of snow which reminded me that ‘Winter is coming’.

It really was a lovely drive and it got me thinking about why, since moving to America, Fall/Autumn has become my most favorite season. Yes, the Fall color is AMAZING, and now I love Halloween in lieu of Bonfire Night. Of course, the pot mums blooming in great gaudy shows on people’s porches, are a wonderful cheery sight that I look forward to. I love that it is finally soup season again–I love making homemade soups, but that is for another blog post!

But, despite all that Fall has to offer on this side of the pond, there is one particular thing that I have looked forward to Every. Single. Year. For fifteen straight years…

The hockey season begins!

Author Angela Stevens, and her children Rocking the Red in Washington Capitals fan gear

Angela Stevens at the Winter Cassic with her kids

How I found hockey

When I moved stateside, I had barely even heard of ice hockey, and had never watched a match. I am unashamedly a sport hater. If sport came on the TV, that was my cue to do the laundry, dishes–anything–to avoid it. Cricket, soccer, rugby, athletics–you name it, my hubby had tried to force me to get into it. So, it came as a big shock when I moved to America and he suggested we went to watch a hockey game. Honestly, I would have rather had my teeth pulled, but what the heck, I was assured this was a key American experience, and at least I would be able to say, I had done it.

I walked into the Verizon Center (now the Capital One Arena) a hockey Virgin, and walked out of there a hockey slut! Oh. My. God! What had I been missing out on all these years! I was instantly hooked. One live game led me to begin following the Washington Capitals on TV, watching ever-growing numbers of matches, until I was tuning in for every game. Before I knew it, we had purchased season tickets and were making the trip into Washington two or three times a week. At the height of my hockey sluttiness, I even flew to Nashville, to watch an away game, and spent the whole weekend stalking the players. It was ridiculous, I was a complete fan girl. My usually reserved British politeness was out the window in 1.3 seconds, and the next minute, I had my arms around Michael Latta and Braydon Holtby. SWOON!

Angela Stevens with Braydon Holtby and Michael Latta

Now I’m hooked

My hockey obsession is so bad that Autumn is now synonymous with hockey! So come on everyone, it’s Fall–let’s rock the red… or blue or green or orange. As long as it’s hockey, I don’t care what color you wanna rock!

How hockey affected my writing

But of course, my love of hockey didn’t just stop at being a rabid fan of the game, it actually led to me writing my first book.

The Hockey Punk Series was written while I sat on the bleachers watching my son play the game. My hockeyitus even made me a hockey mom. Set in my local town, in VA, around that local ice rink where I wrote it, the Hockey Punk series is still the way most of my readers discover me. Apart from the hockey element, they love its gritty, heartbreaking storylines, and the fact that the books tackle social issues without pulling punches. There are five, full-length novels to wring every tear out of you, but I promise a HEA every, single time. All but the last two books in the series are standalone–these are a two-part story that ties up the series in a very dramatic way.

Fall should be renamed the Hockey Season

So, yeah, Autumn is unashamedly my favorite season because–say it with me! It’s Fall–let’s rock the red.

Coincidently, I like Winter too, because… more hockey games, and the Winter Classic. Spring is also a-maze-ing, because it is the Stanley Cup play offs.

Sadly, summer is rather lacking in hockey, but at least that gives me time for my other passions, reading and traveling. But that is, also, for another blog post.

The Hockey Punk Series can be downloaded for FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078MKH9XJ
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078MKH9XJ

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WHDMLNH
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07WHDMLNH