Saturday, February 21, 2015

Faculty Interview: Angie Hodapp

Compiled by Jason Henry

Are you excited? We certainly are! Why shouldn't we be? The 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference is just around the corner! It has been an absolute pleasure recruiting the incredible faculty that we have lined up for you this year and the workshops they will be teaching are proving to be just as amazing.

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is known as one of the best and friendliest conferences for many reasons. One of those reasons is that we provide as many opportunities as possible to not only learn from our faculty, but to get to know them. Keeping in the spirit of that very statement, we interviewed all of our faculty members to get inside their heads just a little. Really, we don't see the point in waiting until April. Do you?

Over the weeks to come, we will be posting those interviews along with the responses right here on the PPW Blog. Be sure to check in on Facebook and Twitter as well! We hope you enjoy reading these brief Q&As as much as we have!

Angie Hodapp (Contracts and Royalties Manager at Nelson Literary Agency)

1. What are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good read? 
Strong characters and tight prose. I’ll forgive a plot hole or two if I’m in love with the characters and the writing is exceptionally well-crafted, beautiful, or unique. Plots can be fixed, but a writer who truly understands--and can convey something poignant about--the human condition and can artfully place one word after another is rare and special.

2. What do you see as the pleasures and difficulties of being a writer/artist in today's world? Pleasures? Online access to a worldwide community of like minds. Difficulties? Online access to a worldwide community of like minds. The Internet, especially social media, helps writers feel less alone. But it also makes it way too easy for writers to fixate on comparing themselves to others, or to feel as though they’re throwing their work out into an over-saturated marketplace.

3. What is the best career/writing advice someone has given you? 
This wasn’t given to me personally, but Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” speech, which he delivered at the 2012 commencement ceremony of the University of Arts, sums up the best advice any writer/artist can receive.

4. Would you pass that same advice on or alter it? 
See #3 above. Google it. Watch it. Live it.

5. What do you love most about your career? 
Being a writer working in publishing has certainly demystified the industry for me. I have the pleasure of working with writers who are polished professionals. And writers who aren’t. I’ve read lots of slush—good, bad, and ugly. All this has helped me realize that art equals business. Aspiring writers who approach the industry with that understanding, and who enter it as professionals, starting with their query letters, are already miles ahead of the pack.

6. What is something you wish everyone knew (or didn't know) about you?
I don’t really have an answer for this. Seriously. Can't come up with anything.

7. Which fictional character do you relate to the most, and why? What character would your friends/family pick for you?
I’ve always loved Kivrin from Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. And the eponymous character in Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks. Maybe because both are thrust alone into dangerous, high-stakes situations but are allowed by their authors to feel very real, very relatable fear. They’re not “strong female characters” or “kick-ass heroines.” They’re just given a job to do and they do it. I like to think that’s how my best self would operate in similar circumstances. Oh, and I also love Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas. Because who doesn’t love a loner who still manages to have a sunny outlook on life while saving the world book after book?

Quick Qs:

Pen or Keyboard? KEYBOARD

Plotter or Pantser? PLOTTER

Book or E-Book? BOTH

Spicy or Mild? NEXT QUESTION

Sunrise or Sunset? SUNRISE

Mister Rogers or Sesame Street? MISTER ROGERS

Facebook or Twitter? FACE BOOK


Angie Hodapp holds a BA in English education and an MA in English with an emphasis in creative nonfiction. She is also a 2002 graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute. A Colorado Gold Contest winner and Writers of the Future Contest semifinalist, she has taught at and developed curricula for Writer’s Digest University. She is the contracts and royalties manager at Nelson Literary Agency in Denver, Colorado.