And I’m delighted to be here, Sharon. Thanks so much for having me.
Andrea likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK. She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit. Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC. She now divides her time between the city and the shore and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards. Lawless Love, a short story, came out Sept. 4th as part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series. Three more books are in various stages of progress!
Andrea, what made you decide to be an author?
You know, I don’t think you “decide” to become an author. I think if you write, and enjoy writing, then the natural progression is to try to have that writing published, and become an author. It’s not an occupation you ‘fall into,’ nor do you wake up one morning and say, “Gee, it would be fun to become an author. Think I’ll try that out.” I’ve just always written—stories, poems, essays. So here I am.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
Actually, the answer is probably the same to both questions: the solitary life. I like ‘best’ being in charge of my own work, being able to arrange my day about my work the way I want, and not having to deal with interruptions should I so choose. What I like least is being responsible for it all and not having colleagues to chat with at the water-cooler, or confer with when I have a problem. I’ve had some great editors but they don’t come in until later so I’m talking about the initial stages here.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
In so many ways! It’s what we’ve gleaned from our lives that we put into our books, no matter what time period we write about or whether it’s paranormal or contemporary or faeries, what we see and learn each day comes out in the personalities of our characters, their little quirky traits, their thoughts, the way they appear and so on. And the stories we relate also come from our experiences, even if they are transformed and unrecognizable.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?
Absolutely, all the time. My characters dictate their own dialogue, I think. It happens with all my books J
You’ve written four novels and are working on a fifth. What’s your favorite time management tip?
I have none, sorry. Time management is in the hands of the gods with me. Two of my books are still on an editor’s desk, the publisher dictates when a book gets out, the editor dictates edits, doctors dictate how long I spend waiting in their office and so on. Time management is a huge headache.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?
Totally organic, though I do know the beginning and the end and have markers for the route. I make a lot of notes and then off I go…
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
Believe in yourself or no one else will.
Do you have a theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it?
I’m a big country and western fan but I don’t play music while writing, otherwise I’d be singing along and dancing around and not getting anything done.
Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.
Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong. He’s never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he’s followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers…but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?
How about an excerpt from Lawless Love?
Lacey thought of fluttering her eyelashes, but it was such a silly thing to do. How could women act like that? She just looked up at the marshal and waited, the possibilities turning over in her mind, flitting through her head but never settling.
“You wanna tell me what really happened now so we can try to sort this matter? All I can do is promise I’ll do everything in my power to sort it for you, but I cain’t help you less’n you tell the truth. You tell me lies and make me look a dang fool, there’s nothin’ I can do. You understand that?”
Along with the tiniest nod, she clasped her hands together. She looked up at Dylan Kane and saw kindness in that face, a face she could so easily have loved had things been different. She could sense the heat radiating from his body and knew if she touched his chest, a strength would exist where his heart beat. If she ran her hand down his arms, she would find that same strength in his muscle. How she wanted those arms around her! All her life, it seemed, she had looked after herself, cared for her brother, struggled to make a home for the two of them. What would it have been like if Morgan had not…
“Lacey?” Dylan’s soft voice brought her back from her reveries. “You ready to tell the truth?” With one gentle finger, he lifted her chin so their gazes met for a moment before they each stepped back from the brink of something neither could control. “Lacey?” he repeated.
“Yes, I’m ready.”
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
Twitter: @andidowning https://twitter.com/AndiDowning
Andrea, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.
Well, thanks again for having me here, Sharon. I’ve enjoyed this interview immensely.