Parents often give their children advice. Angela Ford decided to take that a step further and heed her own counsel.
When talking to her son about his future, she offered this advice. “I always told him to follow his dreams and never give up.”
He suggested she do the same, which has resulted in having three books published, with more on the way.
“I went on an adventure of writing query letters,” she says, explaining that after four or five months she had a folder she called the refusal folder, full of 100 or so letters from publishing companies that weren’t interested in her book. But following her advice to never give up: “I just kept sending them out.”
On April 1st, 2013, Ford received an offer from Books To Go Now in Seattle, but because of the date she thought it might have been an April Fool’s joke. “I didn’t write back for two days, after so many months and so many refusals,” she says. “But since then they’ve kept me busy.”
Closure was her first release, celebrating its one-year anniversary last month. Forbidden, the sequel to Closure, was released this June, while the third book in the series, titled Obsession, is half written, she says.
The series features Special Agent Jessica Resario, who is part of an elite FBI Internet Security Task Force that hunts down online predators.
Ford got the idea for Closure from her volunteer work with her children’s schools when they were younger. As chairperson of the school council, she organized cyber safety seminars. Because of her involvement, she was given an award of distinction for volunteer services from the Peel District School Board in Ontario, where she lives.
A third book, Unforgettable Kiss, was written about 10 years ago, but because of her publisher’s desire for more of her writing, she reworked it and it was released at Christmas time. She dedicated this book to her parents, Harvey and Rita, who live in New Glasgow and have been married for 57 years. Her mother gave the book its name.
She describes Closure and Forbidden as suspense books with a dash of romance, while Unforgettable Kiss is a “spicy” romance with a hint of suspense.
Ford has Pictou County roots – born in Antigonish, she moved to Stellarton as a teenager and graduated from Stellarton High School in 1995. From there she attended St. Mary’s University in Halifax, studying psychology. She then took business courses at the Pictou campus of the Nova Scotia Community College.
A co-op placement at the Aberdeen Hospital led to a full-time job, and she also worked for a time at the former Westray Mine before moving to Alberta, then British Columbia and finally to Mississauga, Ontario where she currently resides.
Ford works full-time for the Peel District School Board as an accounts payable clerk. “Numbers by day and words by night,” she says.
As her children – Devon, 21, and Shaylyn, 17 – move into adulthood, she is now finding more time to dedicate to her writing.
“How do I write books and work full time? I work seven days a week, 18 hours a day. It’s just organizing. I don’t consider it work (the writing). But the promotion is work – marketing, social media. I have a busy day – there’s not a minute of my day that isn’t fulfilled.”
Because Books To Go Now is a small publisher, Ford does a lot of her own promotion and marketing, spending a lot of time on social media sites and running contests. Her daughter also helps with promotion – helping her think of and create give-away items such as water bottles, book marks, cell phone cases, lip gloss, and wine glass charms. “It’s fun and exciting -- I never thought of all the work to market and promote a book,” she says.
Ford was a highland dancer from the age of four to 16, and believes this helped establish her work ethic. “That’s what structured my discipline – preparing for competitions.”
In 1979 at the age of 11 years old, she danced in the inaugural Nova Scotia International Tattoo, organized in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s visit to Nova Scotia for the International Gathering of the Clans. As the youngest performer, Ford got to meet the Queen Mother, as did the oldest performer, a member of the Men of the Deeps.
Ford started writing in her late teens, and has belonged to a writer’s group since 2000. “I think I’ve always written, but just never shared it.”
She says she enjoys telling stories and creating characters. “I daydream, thinking about plots and characters. The more I read, the more I want to write. I like the feeling it gives me. I write for escape, enjoyment, pleasure – it’s always been a passion.”
When she’s not writing, walking her dog, or spending time with her family, she finds time to watch a few crime drama TV shows, and also loves to read. This year alone she’s already finished 73 books. “There’s nothing I like better than to escape into a great book.”
She’s taken many writing workshops and courses, which helped her break into the world of publishing.
Ford belongs to the Mississauga Writers Group, and has contributed two pieces to an anthology the group is releasing in September as part of Ontario’s Literacy Council Days. She also has several other projects being released this fall for Books To Go Now, including two collaborations with other authors, and she’s working on a Valentine’s Day romance.
Ford’s books are available at the Highland Square Mall location of Coles, and also online through Amazon, Kobobooks and Books To Go Now. As well, copies can be borrowed from the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library.
Where Are They Now? is a monthly feature that seeks out former newsmakers from Pictou County. If there’s someone you would like to read about, please submit their name to Sueann Musick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Carol Dunn is a freelance writer, and former newspaper reporter and editor, who lives in New Glasgow.