Posted by: nancyisanders | June 25, 2012

Author Interview: Angela Ackerman

Meet Author Angela Ackerman!
Blog: The Bookshelf Muse

Social Media Links:

Angela Ackerman is a Canadian who writes on the darker side of Middle Grade and Young Adult. A strong supporter of writers helping writers, she blogs at the award winning resource, The Bookshelf Muse and is co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression. Angela is represented by Jill Corcoran of The Herman Agency.

Featured Book:
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression
by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression is a writer’s best friend, helping to navigate the difficult terrain of showing character emotion. This brainstorming tool explores seventy-five emotions and provides a large selection of body language, internal sensations, actions and thoughts associated with each. Written in an easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them.

Q: Describe the journey you’ve taken to write and launch this book.
The Emotion Thesaurus originally started as a conversation my blog partner Becca Puglisi and I had with a few other writers at an online critique site. All of us were struggling with description because our characters were always shrugging, smiling, rolling their eyes and frowning. From there, Becca and I started to create lists of what else characters might do while experiencing a certain emotion, which we then posted on our blog, The Bookshelf Muse. We discovered other writers also needed help in this area, and the Emotion Thesaurus entries became so popular, we received a flood of emails asking us to turn them into a book. It took a few years to make it happen, but we finally did it!

Q: What inspired you the most to write this book?
For me, I wanted to share what I had learned, and ‘pay-it-forward.’ So many people have helped me develop into a stronger writer, and I wanted to pass it on. All of us who write need support at some point. This book is my opportunity to help other writers become more confident in an area of craft that they struggle with.

Q: Share tips on working with an agent such as how you acquired an agent and how the relationship works.
I have been with my agent for a few years now (Jill Corcoran) but ironically, she was not a part of this project. When I first started looking into publishing The Emotion Thesaurus, I realized that to get the guide out to those who needed it, self-publishing would be my best option. As a writer trying to break into the traditional industry with my fiction, I know how long it can take. Someone had pirated our content at one point, and so this reinforced the need to get the book out there quickly. Jill understood my concern and completely supported this self publishing venture.

Q: What one word of advice would you like to give about how maintaining a blog can benefit a writer?
The Bookshelf Muse has allowed us to form relationships with many talented, amazing people, and I’m so grateful for that. There are two things a writer needs to build a successful blog and sustain it–be passionate and be genuine. People come to our blog and read our content because they see who we are and what we’re about in every post. Both Becca and I have a passion for connecting and helping others, and we pour that passion into our blog. This ensures that we’re never struggling with what to write about, or see blogging as a chore or inconvenience. An author doesn’t need to blog about writing, either…follow your interests and passions, and readers will come.


  1. Angela, it’s so great to have you here on my blog today showcasing your FANTASTIC new book!!! I’m so excited about it I’m telling everyone to go get a copy!!!

  2. The Emotion Thesaurus is one of the greatest resources a writer could have, so thanks for coming up with it. My daughter bought the Kindle version of it, but I’m holding out for the hard copy. : )

  3. I’ve heard good things about The Emotion Thesaurus and hope to read it! Sounds like a great writer’s resource! Great interview, Nancy & Angela!

  4. Wonderful interview! Angela you are amazing. Love Blogzone!

  5. Nancy, thanks so much for interviewing me and for the kind words. And Same to you Beth and Tina! I am so thrilled that so many writers are pleased with The Emotion Thesaurus. I hope it helps a boatload of writers with showing emotion, because it really is a difficult thing to master.

    Thanks for spreading the word–if this book becomes a success, it will be because of kind people like you, so hugs all around!

    It’s such an honor to be included with all the other great authors you’ve interviewed, Nancy. Have a great week, everyone!

    • And THANK YOU, Angela for really trying to help us all as writers in this tricky area!!!!

  6. Nancy, thank you for the awesome shout-out about The Emotion Thesaurus. And thanks for hosting Angela. She’s amazing, isn’t she?

  7. I remember seeing the forum posts from near the end of where Angela and Becca originally discussed the Emotion Thesaurus.

    Nice blog and great interview. 🙂

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