I wrote this years ago when my son was a preschooler. We were at a church picnic and he wanted to get involved in the water fight the older kids were having, but he didn’t know how. I gave him a cup of water and told him to dump it on someone. That person saw him coming and offered him a dollar to dump the same cup on me. I got wet, and he got paid. Then he fell asleep that night holding onto his dollar. I thought, “Look what I created. He’s going to become a water fight professional.” Now that he’s in high school, he wants me to write a book titled The REAL Water Fight Professional and make it a biography about him.
Somehow I knew it would be a good story! Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Oh, this is a tough question. So many fun characters in this book, but I’ve gotten the most positive feedback on the main character’s parents. Dad is all about economic lessons and saving money while Mom lives in her own theatrical world and is always dancing around the house and cooking healthy meals that gross out her family. But they are there for Joey when it counts.
What started you on your writing journey?
I grew up with a writer mama, so I had my picture and stories about me printed in magazines like Women’s World as a kid. When I wrote my own story in high school, I thought, “I’m supposed to send it into a magazine now.” So I did, got published, and made my first $100. I went on to study journalism in college and never had any doubt about what I wanted to do with my life.
What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Life. But I figure that it’s better to have life interrupt my writing than to have writing interrupt my life.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I really love children’s literature, but I also love women’s fiction with a little bit of suspense and quirky characters. Deeanne Gist is one of my faves even though I don’t normally read historical novels. And then there’s Tracey Bateman and Rachel Hauck and Denise Hunter. Either I have trouble finishing a book or I can’t put a book down. With these authors, I can’t put their books down.
Let's have some fun! What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve ridden on the shoulders of a unicyclist and once won a giant hamster ball race. Is that quirky enough?
I'm smiling! What is your favorite season of the year?
I’m a summer girl. I hate being cold. I hate having to wear a coat. When the sun is not out, I just want to curl up under blankets in front of the fire with a warm drink. The sun energizes me. And you’ll probably see that in my writing. Especially in this book.
What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I set The Water Fight Professional here in Boise, Idaho, so I got to put all the things I love about this area in my book. First of all, it’s very family friendly. Secondly, there are so many outdoor things to do. Joey goes to the water park, white water rafting, and even paddle boating in the lagoon downtown. I keep finding more things I would have loved to put in the book—like the annual Wet and Wild Parade we attended earlier this month where the people on the floats shot water guns at the crowd and the crowd shot right back.
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
I grew up in Kansas, so one of the things I miss the most is the fire flies on warm summer nights. My kids have never seen fire flies. I’ve got to take them for a visit one of these days.
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Anything not creative. And anything involving conflict. So basically, I’m really bad at business.
Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
My husband grew up in Maui, so he took me there for our honeymoon. I got the behind the scenes tours. You know, where he showed me the stuff he did as a kid that is now illegal—like jumping off the bridge into the Seven Sacred Pools and driving around the back of the island. It was gorgeous, and I just felt good there. Did I mention that I love sunshine? I could so retire there.
Me too! Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
I will be setting The Snowball Fight Professional in McCall, Idaho. We have a family cabin on the lake in McCall, and we like to go up there for the Winter Carnival.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I find that all my books have the theme of letting go of dreams for something bigger and better. This means my characters rarely get what they want. But it’s been a huge lesson for me in my life, and so I am passionate about pursuing The Dream Giver over the dream, and that’s what I want to share with my characters.
Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
A bubble bath. If it’s cold out, and I’m not in front of the fire, I’m in the tub.
Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
1 Peter 5:10 “May the God of all grace, after you have suffered for a little while, restore you and make you strong.”
This was the verse we used in our wedding. It was the second marriage for both of us, and we’d suffered greatly when our exes abandoned us, but the God of mercy didn’t abandon us. He restored us and made us strong. Literally made me Mrs. Strong. And I am so grateful. This would be where my whole passion for The Dream Giver comes in. I had to let go of the dream of the life I’d wanted for myself, and God gave me something bigger and better in return.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The Snowball Fight Professional releases in November. It will be a Christmas story, and a great book for curling up in front of the fireplace with.
Thanks, Angela! I hope you'll come back and share with us again!
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Angela Strong is giving away a copy of The Water Fight Professional. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.