Friday, September 2, 2011

Interview with our very own Linda Andrews

I’d like to welcome our very own guest today, Linda Andrews. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Fiona. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Fiona is the story of an American heiress who receives a telegram from her aunt and uncle requesting help speaking with the dead. Fiona accompanied by the spirit of her dead fiancé sets off to England. She arrives only to find her aunt and uncle missing after a shipwreck. Hoping to find clues to their disappearance, she has to enter London Society during the Season. Unfortunately, matchmakers and fortune hunters keep getting in her way. Enter Kingslea a destitute Earl whose past has given him a deep aversion to American heiresses and an even bigger one to the Duke of August. The very man who may be threatening Fiona's life.

Fiona is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Well, I thought and thought and thought and then my editor just named the book after the lead character because she didn't like what I'd thought up.:-)

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I love ghost stories and the Victorian Era. And really there's no place that screams Victorian more than London. When I was doing my research, I discovered that many American Heiresses paddled across the pond in search of buying an English title. So what would happen if an American heiress traveled to London and had to enter Society, but everyone was determined to win her and her fortune? How would she survive the treachery and keep her reputation intact with only the ghost of her fiancé to protect her. And even he is determined to win her a husband.

What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?

I didn't really do a lot of research on ghosts for this book because it is a genuine interest of mine. But I love to visit ghost hunters website and love to follow Urban legends.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I loved to write Kingslea. He is in many ways a bit of an homage to Sherlock Holmes who donned fabulous disguises to blend in with his surroundings and get information. Of course, he is quite vexed when Fiona sees through each one.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

I'm not sure how I develop my characters. I'm pretty sure I just wait on the literary street corner until they come by and start talking to me. It is when I'm writing and they do/say/or act a certain way that I write it down. Habits, favorite phrases and mannerisms usually help the reader define the character and also gives a good indication of what they're thinking versus what they're saying. The Victorian era was quite constraining for American Misses, and Fiona is a departure in that she went into business, is willing to speak her mind (even if it offends some) and has an opinion. She is her parents' daughter although she fights to conform to Societies expectations. Kingslea is also bound by rules he doesn't like. He was a second son and never expected to inherit, but he fell in love with an American Heiress who threw him over for a bigger title. Now, he's determined work (Good heavens, the scandal!) except he deals in secrets of the nobility which puts him right in Fiona's path.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?
I have maps and charts of Victorian London, but I pretty much used the one that actually existed. Only the ghosts have been added, although I think England has it's share naturally (or supernaturally, if you want to get technical).

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

I grew up reading Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and MM Kaye. Lately I've been downloading a lot of indie authors and finding gems, but for the big names I always pick up Amanda Quick, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood and lately I found Gail Carringer.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I really don't know what is effective or not. I just keep trying different things and hoping something sticks.

What do we have to look forward next?

Animosity is also out this month. It is a SciFi Romance set on another planet. Here's the blurb: Commander Brongill of DaHap and his Earthling wife, Alderina of Rutgers, crash onto a planet he never wanted to see again: His home world of Terrill. War has ravaged the landscape for more than a thousand years and both sides are still fighting to the death. While Ally’s children and Brongill’s crew have been taken prisoner by the defiant Neitz, Brongill and Ally are captured by the fanatical Isfer. Both sides demand, Brongill fulfill the Prophecy of Ages and vanquish their enemies once and for all.

For the sake of Ally’s children and his crew, Brongill is determined to forge his own destiny and unite the two sides in peace. But can he overcome centuries of hatred before the last habitable zones of Terrill are destroyed? For underground lurks an enemy with its own agenda: To see everything and everyone on Terrill erased forever.

Next year, I'll have the last of the Grey sisters out. This time I traveled to Egypt!

Thanks, Linda!

To celebrate her book release, Linda is offering a free ebook of Fiona to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal."

All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house?

Check out author’s website at


Anonymous said...

Good morning Linda. Thanks for joining us today. Did you already raid the chocolate closet or do I need to grab it away from the kittens? Fiona sounds wonderful. I love the idea of the ghost of her fiance. Where did you get that idea from? You're a very prolific writer. With a job and family, how do you find the time? Inquiring minds want to know. :) Enjoy your day!

Linda Andrews said...

Hi Kim,

Thanks for having me. No I haven't gotten to the chocolate but I could certainly use some. I can write so much because my kids are older and off doing their own thing without me, plus I don't watch much TV. In my 4 hour writing block, between games, I can write 14-24 pages.

I got the idea for Fiona from the fact that I don't believe the dead really leave us and they're there if we need them.

Alexis Walker said...

Hi Linda, I love that your characters just start talking to you. Mine do that too. What I find so amazing about you is that your characters come from everywhere! They could be from outer space or Victorian England or anywhere in between! Do they all meander around in your brain or do you have different doors for them like in the movie Monsters Inc.?

Arizona Authors Association said...

Great interview, Linda. Enlightening. I also believe the dead do not leave us that easily and hang around, mainly if they have emotional attachments to the living. Enjoyed the other books in the same vein. Can't wait to read this one.

Linda Andrews said...

Thanks Vijaya, I appreciate the compliment.

Alexis--when a character is ready he/she/it starts talking. So sometimes I get an alien in my Victorian. I very politely tell them it isn't there time yet and they need to sit quietly in the corner of my mind until I finish my current WIP.

Guess what? they actually listen. Sometimes, especially when I'm finishing a book, I'll have multiple characters from multiple books. Currently, I'm booking brain space for October, when this book will be done. I'll write down all the ideas and the characterization but just like in evolution only the fittest survive to fill the next book.

Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Linda, it's so cool that even the ghost wants to find her a True Love -- Fiona doesn't stand a chance!

Na said...

Congratulations on the release of Fiona! I like the concept for your book a lot. I have always been fascinated by ghost stories and the Victorian era but don't think I have ever come across these two elements together. It makes for a very interesting combination.

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Sorry I'm late, Linda, but it was wonderful to learn more about your new book! Love the cover too!