Tag Archives: Angie Stanton

And the Winner is…

I love the Oscars ceremony, and I adore the Tony Awards, making a fabulous night out of watching all the stars, their elegant gowns, and stellar performances.

In this crazy world of writing and publishing, it’s not often we get recognized, or for me, it’s pretty much never. But this month, within two days, actually, I won two very special writing awards.

Waking in Time, which is kind of a Veronica Mars meets Time Travelers Wife story, won a Midwest Book Award! A true honor. I even attended the awards ceremony where there was lots of yummy food and complimentary wine!

While waiting nervously for the ceremony to begin, I was checking my emails and received a notification that Waking in Time is also a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards! I didn’t see that one coming!

During the ceremony when they called my name, well, it was my Tony moment! I wasn’t wearing a fancy gown. Gee, maybe I should have glammed up. But I did walk proudly to the dais while in a state of disbelief that I won! It was a wonderful validation for a person who spends most of her time in solitary working quietly at home.

You see, the thing that makes all this so spectacular is because most writers will admit that self doubt is an enormous part of our industry. Other than reviews, which are few and far between, and the rare fan email, we don’t receive much positive feedback. So yeah, I’m going to celebrate this news until reality busts back in and I’m cleaning up dog vomit. (Oh, that already happened.)

Two days after I returned from the Midwest Book Awards, I received another lovely email that my book, If Ever, won FIRST PLACE in the Write Touch Readers’ Award contest!

I’ve followed this award for years and thought it impossible to win. Who knew! Aaaand, within an hour. Yes, one hour, I learned it is also a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards. Crazy, right? And then there’s the Holt Medallion Award that If Ever is also a finalist. I knew it was a great book!

Only time will tell if these other finals result in wins, but I am a very happy girl, because you know what all this means? My writing doesn’t suck!

The Clever Magic of Mean Girls On Broadway

I’m not a fan of movies being retooled for Broadway. Either they are too exacting in copying every last line, head nod, and costume, or change up the story so much they lose the magic of the original. And some movies are so iconic, they should be left to bathe in their original glory. Pleeease don’t ever make Back to the Future a musical.

So it was with great trepidation that I waited in the cancellation line and scored my ticket to Mean Girls. I loved Mean Girls the movie and saw no way the writers could meet those expectations, but then Tina Fey is the writer. To my delight, the Broadway production blew all expectations out of the water and delivered, a hilarious, brilliant retelling of the beloved story.

What I enjoyed most was the originality in taking Cady from the friendly wilds of Africa to the treacherous halls of North Shore High all within the confines of the August Wilson Theatre. The  clever choreography included students zipping around on stage in rolling desks. It was like witnessing a water ballet, or perhaps the ice capades, as metal desks glided in and out of formation with the ease of a figure skater. There’s also a creative use of lunch trays and cafeteria tables. I’ll be shocked if Mean Girls doesn’t win the Tony for best choreography.

The cast is spot on, led by Erika Henningsen. She beautifully plays all the nuances of the innocent Cady, but after witnessing Henningsen’s performance in Signature Theatre’s world premiere of Diner, I felt there was a missed opportunity in showing off her stellar vocals. Taylor Louderman’s portrayal of Regina George steals the show. She is a sharp, quick witted, powerhouse the audience loves to hate. The entire cast is incredible with high energy and commitment.

Perhaps what captured my heart the most was that the musical didn’t rely on all the old jokes and gags from the movie. While enough were there to keep the essence of the movie, many new ones were inventively incorporated to brighten and update the story. If you have the opportunity to catch this top-selling show, I highly recommend it, but get your tickets early. Otherwise you’ll be trying your luck at the in-person lottery (I didn’t win), or standing in the cancellation line with your fingers crossed (that’s how I scored my seat).


And keep your eyes open, you may spot a celebrity. Recognize this guy?


Waking in Time finalist in Midwest Book Awards

I’m thrilled to share that my time travel book, Waking in Time, is a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards. As many of you know, Waking in Time is near and dear to my heart, so it is particularly sweet for this book to garner a little attention.

If you are a fan of time travel stories with unexpected twists and turns that keep the pages flipping, I hope you give Waking in Time a read. Available in hardcover and paperback.


I Love a Love Story! An American in Paris Interview with Kirsten and Matthew Scott

I recently had the treat of chatting with a delightful husband-wife team that performs with the Broadway Tour of An American in Paris. Now I can’t wait to see them in the show!

What could be more romantic than a trip to Paris with the love of your life? Perhaps it’s transporting an audience to Paris eight times a week, while touring the country. That is what married couple Kirsten and Matthew Scott are doing in the national tour of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, which dances into Madison on February 28th.

Kirsten (Milo Davenport) and Matthew (Adam Hochberg) are a married couple on a real life adventure. After living in Midtown Manhattan and working on Broadway for the past ten years–most notably Kirsten in Big Fish, and Matthew in Jersey Boys, they made a life changing decision. Through hard work, talent, and a bit of serendipity, the couple was cast in their first national tour. They let go of their apartment and packed their belongings into storage so they could embark on this adventure of traveling the country while living the dream of performing.

Kirsten says, “We get to see a little slice of different parts of the country. There are times when I look at Matt and think we’re on vacation and forget this is a job.”

While they’ve marveled at the magnificent Kennedy Center Opera house, the history and food of New Orleans, and the unexpected charm of Albuquerque, most of their tour stops leave little time for sightseeing beyond exploring the local gyms, yoga studios, and coffee shops.

“Downtime is at a premium,” Matthew explains. “Most people don’t realize that we perform Tuesday through Sunday, and on Monday, which would be our day off in New York, becomes a travel day. Monday is the day we get up early and take two flights or a bus, arriving at a hotel at four or five in the afternoon and unpack. There may be a time to grab dinner, or see a little bit.”

Each night they report to one beautiful theatre after another to perform in the Tony Award winning musical. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS begins at the close of World War II in Paris. Inspired by the Academy-Award winning film, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is the romantic story about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war

The dance heavy show features three large ballet numbers, directed and choreographed by 2015 Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon. “AN AMERICAN IN PARIS harkens back to the old school musical like Oklahoma,” Kirsten explains. “That show was the first to take a departure from the theatrical singing and acting and blend in a dream ballet that supports the plot.”

While the husband-wife team only share a couple of moments on stage, they do sing a duet together, albeit separate as they are singing about other people in other worlds.

A special moment each night for Kirsten, is when the main character Lise sings “The Man I Love.” Kirsten recalls fondly how the song brought her and Matthew together in college when they would meet at his apartment and he would help her break down the lyrically beautiful, yet difficult song. “I never felt that connected to a song before.”

When asked what their plans are when the couple steps out of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS in July, they are waiting to see where the wind blows them. Matthew says, “We realize how lucky we are on this glorious vacation.”

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS won four 2015 Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Award for Best Musical, three Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, and two Theatre World Awards.

If your love of Broadway and musical theatre matches mine, please check out my latest novel, IF EVER, a Broadway love story.

Available from all online outlets.

Love of Broadway takes me back to RENT

I love musical theatre. More specifically I love Broadway. A lot.

These are the shows I saw last year. It’s a lot. Maybe I should be embarrassed by the volume, but I’m not. I write for BroadwayWorld.com, so I’m able to see the national touring shows when they roll into Madison. Tickets for Broadway, well, I’ve plenty tricks up my sleeve to find a deal, which I’ll share another time. In fact, I love Broadway so much, I wrote a book, IF EVER, where the hero is a Broadway Actor.

Last night I saw the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT. I immediately fell in love with the performers and their stellar vocals. There is nothing on this planet like a Broadway voice.

Sitting in the darkened theatre took me back to my first time seeing RENT at the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway with my daughter and some friends. The director of a local theatre group knew an actor in the ensemble and was able to snag us a backstage visit. Imagine taking two musical theatre-loving teenagers to RENT and then knocking on the stage door for a private backstage tour!

Our guide for the night was Telly Leung, a young actor with great ambitions. It turns out I’d already seen Telly in Chicago playing Boq in Wicked. He couldn’t have been kinder as he walked us onto the RENT stage and told us stories of joining the cast. We pestered him with questions about his dreams and goals. I recall him saying he hoped to stay with the show for five years and to play the role of Angel. I couldn’t imagine doing a show for that long, but his passion was inspiring.

I was happy to hear that Telly did eventually land the role of Angel. However about a year later, I learned that RENT was closing on Broadway, and I was disappointed for the young actor not quite reaching his goals. Little did I know, he was just getting started.

A few years later I was in New York on business and catching a couple of shows including GODSPELL. To my surprise, I recognized Telly Leung in the cast. He was amazing and his vocals were phenomenal. The rest of the cast wasn’t shabby either. It included Hunter Parrish from Weeds fame, Uzo Aduba before she hit it big in Orange is the New Black, and Lindsay Mendez who is quite theBroadway star in her own right. I saw the show twice!

My collection of Telly Leung playbills.

Over the years I spotted Telly on Glee and saw him in Madison doing a fundraiser for Capital City Theatre. Not long after that I heard he was back on Broadway starring in Allegiance alongside the legendary George Takai, from the original Star Trek, and Lea Salonga, who hit it big with Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. Of course, I saw Allegiance on my next visit.

I love how theatre overlaps and I’ve been introduced to so many actors whose careers intersect and I can follow as they go on to television, movies, and ideally more Broadway.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Murphy

So to Telly Leung, who currently stars on Broadway in the title role of Aladdin in Aladdin, congratulations on a fruitful career! You’ve come a long way since I met that kid with big dreams, and, yes, I’ll try to get to New York soon to see the show!

Telly Leung has a several other Broadway shows and tours on his resume as well.



Stay tuned for more of Angie’s stories of her experiences with Broadway, New York City, and the adventures that follow. Check out her latest book, IF EVER, which blends her love of reality dancing shows and Broadway.

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If Ever ~ Where DWTS meets Broadway

I’m thrilled to share  my new book with you. If Ever has been in the works for several years and is finally ready! It’s a fun and frolicky story of Dancing with the Stars meets Broadway! And if L.A. and New York were to have a love affair, it would be this book.

It’s available on all online retailers, or go to Amazon and scoop it up now!

Please add it to your Goodreads list, too!

If Ever

Fiercely independent Chelsea Barnes has caught a rare break and been cast as the first non-celebrity on the hit show Celebrity Dance Off. Chelsea is coined ‘America’s Chance to Dance,’ but her partner planned on an A-lister, not a nobody.
Clashing with her partner, she’s ready to go home; but during an emotional dance, her heart-breaking past as an abandoned, homeless teen is revealed. Not only do the viewers fall in love with her, so does the flirty British guest singer, Broadway star Thomas Evan Oliver.
Tom is struck by this feisty girl who complicates his over-structured life, and pursues her in a romantic cross-country courtship until she’s voted off and joins him. Their sexy whirlwind love affair blossoms in New York as she navigates the big city and his exhausting eight shows a week, but most important, her scarred heart begins to heal. Perhaps happily ever after might be a possibility after all. 


Peek behind the curtain of Waking in Time

The story behind the story of Waking in Time.

(Photos below)

*spoilers ahead

I’ve always been enamored with time travel stories. My favorite of all time is Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It was made into a movie starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, and is often the case, it isn’t nearly as good as the book. So for years, I’ve been trying to figure out the perfect time travel idea to write, but could never come up with the vehicle for travel or more importantly the reason. Until… one day I was at the University of Minnesota touring the campus and moved by all the majestic old buildings that have stood for more than a hundred years. I remember thinking, “Imagine the things those buildings have witnessed. If only they could talk.” And that lead me to realizing a college campus would be the perfect setting for a story.

The story itself came to me a couple years later while researching genealogy. I came across an ancestor named Ruby whose life was filled with difficulty and mystery. Her story was fascinating, heart breaking, and left many unanswered questions. But because she and everyone who ever knew her is gone, I could never know the full truth of her life and a missing year on her boarding school transcript. And then I thought, the only way to learn what really happened would be to travel back in time. Viola!

And so I created the character of Abbi Thorp and tossed her back in time to unravel secrets she never knew existed.

~   ~   ~

A Peek Back in Time

Meet the real Ruby. This was taken before her father remarried. I love the little dog. How in the world did they get the dog to stand on two legs and look at the camera?

Here she is in boarding school around the time she met Walter. Ruby is in the first row, second from the left. She’s so lovely. It’s hard to believe anyone could be cruel to her.

This is the picture of Ruby at the convent that I discovered. I never determined what convent she went to, and so was unable to locate a formal birth record of the baby she was forced to give up. If somehow Ruby’s able to look down from the heavens, I hope she feels the love this story is meant to bring her.Ruby years later.

This is the last picture of Ruby. She died at age of 44. She looks much older than that in this photo.

Walter at the boarding school where they met. He is  behind the table second from the right.

Walter went off to fight in WWI. I’d like to believe he didn’t know of Ruby’s condition until it was too late. The photo below is actually a postcard of Walter and his platoon in France. I’m not sure, but I think two of those fellas are holding large loaves of bread.

Here is the inspiration for Will as a child. These are the photos Abbi finds in the buried tin on Picnic Point, and they are actual family photos. I think they’re awesome!

It’s All About the Socks

Releasing a new book is always a highlight in a writer’s life, but the truth is not that much happens for the author on release day. Other than a handful of social media posts, books quietly slip into bookstores without much fanfare unless the author has a book launch party.

As this is my eighth book, I’ve had launch parties before, but they aren’t my favorite thing to do. Why? Because as a writer I spend most of my days home alone with little more than the radio and my dog to interact with. There’s no audience of people waiting expectantly for me to say something brilliant, but my publisher for Waking in Time encouraged me to have a launch party, so I found myself nervously adding it to my calendar.

My publisher found a great indie bookstore for the event. Mystery to Me is an adorable bookstore in a quaint part of downtown Madison. The owner is friendly and inviting and made me feel special from our very first email. What was even better, she said she’d bring in a local journalist, Doug Moe, to interview me. Whew! Huge pressure off of me.

Now I could shift my thinking to what cookies to bake, orange dreamsicle, and what to wear. I choose a long sweater in muted pastels with black leggings and ankle boots.

The night arrives and people come out in droves to help celebrate, which stuns me and warms my heart as they crowd into the bookstore. I’m seated on a stool at a high-boy table along with Mr. Moe. He does an amazing job of directing the conversation and asking me interesting questions as I gaze out over a packed room. Things are going well until about halfway through the talk. I realize my leggings have pulled out of my ankle boots and are likely revealing my socks.

You see, initially I had put on black socks, which would have gone unnoticed, but at the last minute in honor of it being my UK release date, I thought I’d give a silent nod to my readers “over the pond.”

I love the UK cover!

So I changed into a pair of red, plaid Jack Wills’ socks that I bought when visiting London two years ago. These would definitely look out of place with my pastel sweater, but I never thought anyone would see them.

I spent the rest of the talk trying to push my pant leg down and flex my foot so less red plaid would show. I even tried to hide my ankle under the tablecloth without slipping off my stool, but that didn’t work either. I kept fretting that everyone was staring at my odd choice of hosiery and realizing I truly have no fashion sense, or didn’t bother to do laundry. Both are true.

Doug Moe being intelligent.
Me thinking about my socks.

So, as I was discussing the book my heart and trying to come off as intelligent and entertaining, I was really just focused on my socks.



Special Delivery

There’s nothing like spying the Fed Ex guy lugging a package up my driveway and me wondering what it could possibly be. It’s long past the holidays and it’s no one’s birthday. Did I order something? I don’t think so. And then when I fight my dogs away from the door to retrieve it, I don’t recognize the return address or name. I carry the box to the kitchen wondering, could it be? But it’s too soon to be my new book. I slice through the packing tape with a steak knife, and sure enough, it is my new book!

Box of books!Holding a book in my hands after years of mulling it around in my brain and then dribbling it into words over many many months is a combination of euphoria, relief, and even a little disbelief. Euphoria that I can hold my little masterpiece in my greedy paws, relief that it truly is finished, and disbelief because, honestly, I’m still kind of shocked that I write books for a living. It was never in my game plan and I am most definitely a planner.

I’ve been fortunate to have published books delivered to my door a few times before, but this time is different. This book is very special. There is family history unraveled within the pages. Of course, there’s lots of magical sweeping fun as well, but at the root of it all is the true story of a girl from eons past, with an insurmountable problem. The book doesn’t release until March 1 in the U.S. and the 8th in the UK, (I’m totally stoked about the UK release!) and yet the anticipation of sharing this story has me giddy with excitement. So, I will while away the days until it’s release, gazing at the beautiful cover until the rest of the world gets to dive into Waking in Time and lose themselves in the epic tale of seasons long past.

Is it weird that I love the spine of the book?

Is it weird that I love the spine of the book?

You might be wondering what authors do with the books they get from their publisher. For me, I give them as thank you gifts to people who helped along the way. This time to two of my aunts helped with research on hairstyles, snowpants, and pantyhose of the 1950s; a woman working at Elizabeth Waters dormitory who granted me full access; and a woman who graduated in 1951 and shared stories of naughty make out sessions in the foyer. I also force a copy on each of my kids, and if there are a few copies left, I tuck them away in case my future grandchildren are literate and curious to find out what crazy thoughts their old granny had drafting through her brain.

Waking in Time is published by Capstone Publishings’ imprints Switch Press and Curious Fox Books and is available everywhere!


Magic Laptops and Traveling Suitcases

Two of my favorite things

Not long ago I was thinking about favorite things and I wondered what mine are. It took a lot of mulling it over before I realized mine are a little unusual. Set aside all the memorabilia like family photos and keepsakes, of which I have too many, and it boils down to two things.

My laptop. Seriously. I love my laptop. I grew up before it was common for every college student, let alone member of a household to have a laptop, cell phone or tablet. Buying my first laptop was like a decadent splurge that left me giddy.

I’m on my second laptop now and I love it. No one else in the family is allowed to touch it as it’s my “work”, but it’s also where I create new worlds and characters that I fall in love with. I’ve traveled to distant places on this machine, experienced euphoria and tragedy as my characters find their way in life.

My laptop is so precious that I hide it when I have to leave town. Yup. Silly, I know, but if my house were ever robbed, I’d be devastated to lose it.

My suitcase is the second super favorite thing on my list. It’s purple and becoming quite worn over the past ten years. My suitcase represents travel, new experiences, and fun! Saying I love to travel is an understatement.

This coveted suitcase has traveled to Europe as I wrote Royally Lost, it’s been to writing conferences in New Orleans, New York, and LA. It’s joined me at book signings in Minneapolis, Orlando, and Las Vegas. It’s vacationed in Whistler, Charleston, Alaska, and New York. Have I mentioned how much I love New York more than probably any other place? But that’s another story. I love to travel and my purple suitcase has been with me every step of the way.