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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interview with Andrea Speed

Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown?
Seattle. I love the proximity to mountains, forests, oceans, and urban areas, as well as how wonderfully weird we are.

Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

Infected: Life After Death is the third book in the Infected series for Dreamspinner, and it picks up with the continuing adventures of lion virus infected detective Roan McKichan as he struggles to move on after a tragic incident. Like just about everyone else, he stumbles and flails about as he tries to adjust to his new reality. But it's not a complete downer, as he finds a way to have some fun and solves some mysteries in a way that only he can. There will be a fourth book in the series too, Infected: Freefall, although release date is TBA. (Probably around the end of the year, though.)
Also, out in October through Dreamspinner, I have a novella coming out called The Little Death. It's a Chandler homage, about alcoholic tough guy private dick Jake Falconer, and how the search for a homme fatale's sexy missing brother gets him in deep trouble.  I also have a fantasy novel called Strange Angels in the works for Riptide Publishing.

Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?

Oh yes. Some of the mystery subplots in the Infected series have basis in real cases I've read about, but with fictional spins. Not always, but sometimes I come across something and think “How weird would that be if …?”

   Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing? Mostly just finding the time to   write everything I want to write.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out? Read as much as you can, and write as much as you can. If you don't make time to read, that's just as bad as not writing.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it? I've been pretty lucky, it doesn't happen to me very often. I do have advice for it, but it sounds counter-intuitive: write yourself out of it. Write a review, a blog post, fanfiction, it doesn't matter, just write something. Often you can jump start your way out of it. If that doesn't help, getting out of your head for a while, such as going to a movie or just chilling out, can help sometimes too. I find I get lots of ideas while taking a bath. Don't ask me why, I can't explain it, I just do.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers? A good vocabulary and an open mind.

Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content? I don't. I'm not exactly known for erotic descriptions yet, but I feel like censoring yourself right out of the gate can never be a good thing. If what you've written makes you uncomfortable that's another thing, and it's fine to rewrite it or edit it out entirely. But I just don't believe restricting yourself first thing is very good.

Here's an excerpt from my short, Pretty Monsters, which is available now at Riptide Publishing:

The first time the hell vortex opened in the Quick-Mart parking lot, Josh very seriously considered quitting his job. But all that came out of it was a lizard guy, and all it did was amble inside, buy a bag of chips, and leave. All the monsters, while ugly, seemed nicer than his late-night human customers, and Mr. Kwon offered him hazard pay, so he stayed on.
Besides, it wasn’t all bad on the night shift. For instance, right now he was looking forward to the return of Hot Guy.
Of course it was a super hot night, still eighty degrees around midnight, and the air conditioner had to pick now to die. Josh peeled off his polyester work smock and put his nametag on his t-shirt, hoping Mr. Kwon wouldn’t suddenly show up and demand he put it back on. It breathed like a trash bag.
His latest customer was an obviously stoned guy buying a wheelbarrow full of snacks. Not only were his eyes glassy and red, but he reeked of pot smoke, making Josh wonder if he’d spilled the bong water. Pot Guy left and someone else came in. Josh leaned over the checkout counter, hopeful, but it wasn’t Hot Guy, just a lizard guy.
“Guy” in a generic, gender free sense of the word, of course, because Josh had no idea how to tell if they were male or female. Maybe they didn’t even have genders. He didn’t know how to ask without being a rude bastard, and there was a chance he wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.
The lizard guys were all tall, and this one was no exception, at least six foot five and so broad across the shoulders it could barely fit in the aisle. They had all your basic equipment—two arms, two legs, a recognizable face—but their mouths were huge, they had no nose, and their scaled skin ranged in color from moss green to primer gray. This one was a kind of greenish-gray, like his roommate that time he got food poisoning.
Like all lizard guys, this one had a weird gait because its feet were huge, with six long toes that almost looked like fingers . . . which was extra weird because their hands were always small and had just four stubby fingers. They looked like they’d been put together by a five year old with a bad sense of proportion.
They also made such a racket you could hear them all the way from the back room. It reminded him of his first Craigslist roommate, Barry, who couldn’t do anything, even open the damn curtains, without making several decibels of needless noise. For the brief time they’d shared a place, Josh had been convinced Barry was hiding a megaphone to fart into just for effect.
Thwak-thwak-thwak echoed in the shop as Lizard Guy waddle-stomped down the aisle, making a beeline for the Fritos display. It grabbed two bags and turned back, waddle-stomping to the register.
Pretty Monsters, the first story in the Josh of the Damned series, can be purchased at Riptide: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/pretty-monsters-josh-damned-1
The second installment, Peek-A-Boo, is available for pre-order at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/peek-boo-josh-damned-2
Don't forget to give us links to your website etc.


andys said...

Thanks for the interview! I should add that Infected: Freefall is out November 25th! (Yes, the date totally blindsided me.)

booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed the interview; it was a great read.

I'm glad there will be more installments to this series coming out soon.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

joder said...

Great sounding excerpt. And thanks too for the info on a release date. I'll be marking it down.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Bookwyrm369 said...

Great post! I have Pretty Monsters, just have to find the time to read it :-)

smaccall AT comcast.net

Loveless3173 said...

Great Interview!
Haha... the cover for Peek-A-Boo shocked me!! lol...
Really looking forward to Pretty Monsters and it's sequels!

arella3173_loveless @ yahoo.com

Sarah said...

Andrea loved pretty monsters but u are a tease can I have peek a boo now please :-P

Sarah S


-Maria- said...

In Dreamspinner's web you can see the new of Infected ^_^ I find it today.

Adara said...

I can't wait for more Infected. I love that series! =)