Sunday, July 26, 2009

Angie Roberts of Bungalow Productions

"Many people who grow up in small towns can’t wait to leave them. Angie, on the other hand, grew up in the city and couldn’t wait to find a small town to settle into.” Angie Roberts from Crawfordsville, Indiana is visiting us today at Writers In Business.

Angie is the owner of Bungalow Productions which offers research, writing and design services. She is a writer and marketing professional with 20 years of experience. Angie’s clients include Purdue University, Riley Children’s Foundation, Indy’s Child magazine and Indianapolis Pet Quarterly.

~You certainly wear a lot of hats in your work day! Can you tell us approximately how much time you spend on each service you offer? Are they split fairly equally or do your clients request more writing than research, for example?

I currently work about 4-5 hours per day, and spend about half that time in writing-related activities. The other half I spend doing lesson plans and grading papers for my adjunct faculty position at at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. I teach public speaking, interpersonal communication, critical thinking, college skills, and English composition. I also do some design and Web site development. When I first created my business, I thought I would do more marketing consulting. However, there just didn't seem to be much of a market for that where I live. I was mainly targeting small businesses that didn't have marketing people on staff. But many didn't seem to have the money for my services, or they didn't see the need for them. At any rate, thanks to the old Work At Home Moms writers' list, I decided to do some magazine writing. Eventually, that experience led me to get some steady work from organizations that had writers on staff, but needed freelance help. That is really where the bulk of my work comes from these days.

~ Your education includes an MA in public relations, and a BS in journalism and English. What is one class you have taken which you consider as a must-have for writers?

In terms of classes I would recommend, I would say English. I started out just as a journalism major, but the journalism department really encouraged us to have another major so that we would have something to write about. I was bored in my journalism classes, but as an Honors College student, I took quite a few English classes and absolutely loved them. I picked up the English major the middle of my junior year. I told my parents that I needed the English major to get a good job when I graduated; that really wasn't true, but I do believe the English classes made me a much better writer. They honed my critical thinking abilities and also gave me something to write about -- people.

I love literature. I don't like to write fiction, but many of my nonfiction stories have a narrative bent. Last fall, I really got to hone those skills when I wrote a book for the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. The book was a history of the school in honor of its 50th anniversary this year. One of my writer friends said that she liked how I didn't make it sound so academic; there was a narrative flow to the book.

~ What writing groups are you a member of and what benefits do you gain from those connections?

I am a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the Association for Women in Communications. I joined NASW because I was on their free e-mail freelance writers' list for several years and was receiving really great advice from really smart, well-educated people. Occasionally I meet these people in real life; most of the time I just get good advice.

As far as AWC, I joined that because we have a chapter in Lafayette, Indiana, near where I live. I used to be on the board, but I resigned recently because I'm too busy. Even attending the meetings, though, is great for networking; many of my clients attend as well, and I've also met some new colleagues and gained new clients through the group.

To learn more about Angie’s business, please visit her at