Angela England is on a mission to empower and educate others in a variety of ways. The Founder of Untrained Housewife, a quickly growing back-to basics website for active parents, she also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Blissfully Domestic online women’s magazine, is a feature writer at Suite 101, and assists companies in spreading the word about their brand.
As a homeschooling mother of five, Angela has developed more than a few tips on time management and organization, and she enjoys helping others through her growing knowledge of blogging, freelance writing, and social media as well as through her numerous articles and ebooks.
Angela’s new book, Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) releases today!
Have you ever experienced an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
I absolutely have! One of the first that comes to mind is my car wreck when I was seventeen. Even though I struggled through the pain and began my freshman year of college, I was not able to finish the semester. I was so stubborn and devastated when I had to wait a year before starting college again.
But then, my sophmore year at the junior college, I met the man who would be my husband. Now looking back at the blessing he’s been in my life, and the five amazing children we have, I know God had a plan for our lives. His detour for my life gave me an extra year to spend with my younger siblings, learning to work with children and serve at home. And it delayed me just long enough to meet my best friend and amazing husband.
So I am a firm believer that when God places us in what appears to be a holding pattern, there is often a larger purpose at work.
What sparked your writing journey?
I’ve always been interested in writing. I remember keeping a journal back in grade school in first and second grade. My writing took an online twist when I transferred to the four-year university and wanted to stay in touch with my friends who were still a year behind me at the junior college. From those first online livejournal posts I began writing for other websites, and several years later published my first ebooks. Last year a book agent contacted me about a potential writing opportunity and the rest fell into place from there.
I’m so excited about this book! Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is over 400 pages of tips for becoming more self-sufficient, even in a very small space. The book covers the importance of self-sufficiency, intensive gardening, animals suitable for small-spaces, storing and preserving food, and one of my favorite sections is about recapturing the lost arts of homesteading.
What was the catalyst for the book? How did you become interested in backyard farming?
I married a country boy! He grew up in the middle-of-nowhere with trips to the grocery store coming only once a month or so. I, on the other hand, grew up in Southern California and walked half a block away to buy donuts with my spending money. The closest thing to a functional garden I had as a child was a rogue pumpkin seed that took over our backyard after escaping a Jack O’Lantern slaughter one year.
That’s what I love about how we were able to put together Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less). The publisher let me share that I’m not perfect. That I didn’t grow up doing this from birth. I’ve had to learn as I go, and I’ve made many mistakes. And I still have so many more things I want to take on!
But if I can do it, I feel like anyone can. Backyard Farming on an Acre is designed to give people a taste of all the things available to them. Whether it’s expanding their garden to include some herbs, or trying their hand at a backyard flock of chickens, there is always something new to try.
You’re a self-described “Renaissance” woman with a knack for blogging and social networking. What’s the best tip you can give to someone who wants to increase their online presence?
I think there are a couple things that are important for increasing your online presence. The first is to take advantage of the networking opportunities that come your way. Take our meeting, for example: We met on a totally different group and when I took the time to check out your blog, I was able to contact you about my upcoming book. If people will just take the time to support what others are doing online, comment on their blogs, and not be afraid to reach out, they will be able to grow their audience exponentially.
Secondly, I believe it’s important not to ignore the real-life component. Some of my most amazing connections have been made at blog conferences or networking events where I’ve been a speaker. Plus, of course, taking the time to step away from the computer and play with the kids, enjoy the sunlight, and watch the chickens scratching around the yard is an important part of that as well. If I’m not fresh mentally and emotionally, I am not doing my best work. Staying connected to my family and friends offline means I am better able to connect with my friends and readers online.
A few fun questions…
What’s your favorite comfort food, from the garden or otherwise?
So it’s definitely not available from the garden, but a must-have food when I’m stressed out and on a deadline is a Dr. Pepper. It’s my one addiction—I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. But I cannot kick that Dr. Pepper habit!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Actually that was my major in college! I studied music education and theatre arts. I sing and play piano primarily. In fact, for me, singing is the way I connect with God. I do my best praying through music because I can bypass my head and get to my heart.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A tango I would say. One of my favorite songs is an instrumental piece by Piazolla, an Argentine composer, called Libertango.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Where is “loud mouth Italian” on this list? I am both friendly and able to give my friends the benefit of the doubt, while also rather strong-willed and fiery. I hug people too soon, talk too loud, and wave my hands in the air when I talk.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
We had a Jack Russell Terrier when I was growing up named Jack. Not very original, I know, but it was a family decision. I wanted to name him Scruffy McScraggles and got outvoted. I remember how great he was at fetching things and how much he loved to swim. We would play hide and seek and whomever was searching got Jack on their team. I think he cheated.
Thanks, Angela! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you for having me! Please invite your readers to visit http://BackyardFarmingGuide.com for free downloadable resources, and cool giveaways during launch week.
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