Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Author Spotight: Linda Andrews – Complicating Romances Through Technology

Written By: Tracy - Jun• 07•11

Today’s author spotlight is with Linda Andrews. Linda is the author of science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance. When she’s not devising new and complicated problems for her characters to overcome on the course to true love, she works as a biologist. For her novel Hiding Space, she put that knowledge of biology to good use in devising an inter-species romance between a human and an alien.

You write both paranormal romance and science fiction. Do you attempt to write stories in both genres at once, or do you keep them separate?

l write only one story at a time. Apparently, my characters need space to mature and refuse to allow outsiders in. If l do think of a story idea while I’m in the midst of writing a story, I use a notebook to jot down notes. I used to use sticky notes but I’d find them everywhere but not when l wanted them. So now l carry around two notebooks–one for thoughts on my current WIP and another just for ideas.

How do you avoid cross-pollination of the tropes?

Although l don’t write in multiple genres at the same time, l can bounce from Sci-Fi to historical because it’s the characters that drive the story. So once l have them down, they know the world they live and move in. This is probably the hardest part for me, trusting the characters to tell the story the way they want to. I’m in awe of writers who can tell their characters what to do. Mine just shut up and l get writers block.

As for writing in multiple genres, l find the elements are the same for all genre fiction writing–plot, characterization, conflict and world building. Since l read the genres l write, l subconsciously know the expectations. l just have to remember that because l know it, so do my characters. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Since apparently I have trust issues.

Your novel Hiding Spaces involves an inter-species romance between two alien races. Where did you get the inspiration for this story?

Inter-species romance is a staple plot line, the problem l had was figuring out how they could actually reproduce. Carl Sagan once said that humans had a better chance of mating with petunia than extraterrestrials because at least humans evolved on the same planet. As a biologist, it was important for me to present a reasonable means for a species with 25 chromosomes to mate with us (who have only 23). Oddly enough, it ended up being the key to genetic memory and opened up a huge can of space worms. Of course being that it was a SciFi story, l used technology to overcome the problem. Naturally the use of said technology gave rise to other problems.

How did you create the universe?

l didn’t create the universe so don’t send me your complaints. But seriously, l used the idea of convergent evolution to explain why my aliens looked human. Most of the technology is current technology leap-frogged several generations. I did add my own special twists based a technologically advance society that holds tightly to their spiritual beliefs. For example, my aliens have a weapon that can disrupt the energy of the soul, scattering it, thus killing the body without leaving a mark. They can also step out of their body and kill their enemies. But the blending of their spiritual beliefs and technology have also brought them to the point of extinction. In multiple ways. The biggest was based on the idea held by some on Earth that an egg fertilized outside the body (i.e. test tube babies) would have no soul.

The book is available on kindle. How difficult did you find it to make the book available through Kindle? Did you do the conversion yourself? Has the book been well received?

Almost all my books are available in electronic print and I target my marketing almost exclusively toward an online community. Fortunately, it suits my personality and allows me to reach a much broader audience.

All four of the publishing houses I am currently with have done the conversions to the multiple formats available both electronically and print. All my books and short stories have been well received. Well, maybe not, but I haven’t heard anything to the contrary:-)

How does promoting a book for Kindle differ from promoting a book in print?

I think promotion is the same for all books. It’s just a matter of how much time and money you want to spend. Certainly you want to have a website offering information and buy links, but finding readers and interacting with them (without hounding them to buy your book) is the greatest promotion an author can do.

Your book Gillian puts jack the ripper into the wild west. What kind of research did you do to prepare for this book?

The idea came from a little known theory that an American doctor was Jack the Ripper. The doctor’s return to New York occurred at the same time the murders stopped and he was held by the NYPD until Scotland Yard detectives could arrive to question him. The doctor later disappeared into the American West. So was born an idea for a story. The rest was research, research, and more research. Some of the tidbits I found like the flood that wiped out Yuma and the wild camels just begged to be worked into the story.

Did you study the Ripper crimes in London?

Confession time. I’m a bit of a Jack the Ripper groupie. I will read and watch anything on the Whitechapel Murders. So I’ve been studying them all my life.

Your biography says that you live in a haunted house. Can you tell me a bit about your haunted house? How is it haunted? What is the story behind your ghosts? Have you seen them?

We sold our haunted house eight years ago. But while we lived there we had multiple experiences. It started with the dogs. They refused to go across the middle of the kitchen floor. They’d only cross at the sides and even that was a dead run to get out the doggie door. Things would disappear then reappear on the entertainment unit (too high for our kids to reach at the time). When I was pregnant with my children, my husband and I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling someone watching us. Sure enough, we’d open our eyes and see someone standing in the doorway. Neither of us told the other of the experiences until later. When I was pregnant with my son, who we’d been told was a girl, we came home late one night and thought a guy had broken into the house. Nothing was disturbed when we finally got inside but the dogs were cowering under the bed.

And then there was the time when my husband got up to check on a noise. He went into the living room. I heard him talking to someone, so I asked who he was talking to when he came back. He thought he’d been talking to me.

Our children always complained about the shadow people in their bedroom and our youngest would talk to them while in her crib.

The people we sold the house to would have their TV set turn on in the middle of the night, then the volume would spike to the highest setting. If that weren’t enough, their pots and pans would be piled in the center of the kitchen tripping them on the way to turn off the TV. Neighbors reported lights switching on and off when no one was home.

Several of your paranormal romances have characters from the same family. Could you tell me a little more about the Dugan family, and how they play into each book?

The Dugans are a family that lives in the magical town of Holly, deep in the forests of Eastern Arizona. Holly is a branch office of the North Pole and take care of feeding Santa’s flying reindeer–you see, he has to get a fresh team every time zone so he can travel the world in one night. The Dugans are tinkers–they fix things. And while they are steeped in magic, they are also cursed by it. When the Dugan men meet their match, the lights of the village go out.

In the Christmas Village, Cade Dugan match ends up being a bit of a love jaded Scrooge. So now he not only has to convince her in true love, but also renew her belief in the Christmas spirit.

I may have watched Nightmare Before Christmas one too many times before writing Some Enchanted Autumn. To the inhabitants of the Halloween town of Holly, the Dugan name is synonymous with the Boogeyman. Not an easy thing for Nick Dugan to swallow when he’s used to being the good guy. While the two holidays engage in friendly hazing, their pasts are much darker and we get the truth on the Dugan curse.

What is your most recent release?

Hiding Space is my most recent release. But I also have two sequels due out this summer.

Animosity occurs on the planet Terrill and features flying purple cats, pterodactyl-like birds, red foliage and silver skies. The enemy also wields the Inviz, tiny creatures that are dismantling all life on the planet.

Fiona, Gillian Grey’s younger sister, travels to Victorian London to search for her missing aunt and uncle. She brings along her dead finance who is determined to find a replacement so he can rest in peace. His matchmaking efforts are anything but peaceful for Fiona.

Which book is your favorite?

Although I think Animosity is the best thing I’ve ever written, Dancing in the Kitchen is my favorite. My hero, Alistair, is a wizard yet his is socially inept. Worse, he comes across as a beta male while trying to woo the heroine away from her dreamy alpha hero. Of course, there’s magic, superstitions and a talking cat to make certain things go his way in the end.

Which one were you most excited to work on?

I’m always most excited to work on the one I haven’t written.:-) Writing is hard work, but dreaming of possibilities is very easy and enjoyable.

Where can my readers find you on the internet? Where can they find your books?

Readers can find me at my website www.lindaandrews.net, facebook: http://www.facebook.com/linda.andrews2, twitter, and my blog at www.lindaandrews.wordpress.com

 

My website had links to all my books and short stories, but you should also be able to find them at amazon, barnesandnoble.com, and fictionwise.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for having me today, Tracy.

  2. Hiding Space sounds like a great read. I love stories where the science is believable and with your background, it sounds like this would be one of those.

  3. Excellent interview, Linda! Wo, I didn’t know all that about you and your books sound soooo creative. Honestly, I am in awe.

    Great questions, Tracy. You really know how to get to the interesting stuff 🙂

  4. Kim Watters says:

    Great interview Linda. I had no idea about the haunted house. So glad it’s not the one you live in now! It still amazes me how you can write across genres like that. Keep up the good work.