Friday, December 27, 2013

Q & A with Andrea R. Cooper!



1. Tell us about your newest release.

Viking Fire is a historical romance with a touch of magic. Kaireen is the spoiled daughter of Laird Liannon. She is forced into an arranged marriage with her enemy, a Viking. And a handsome, cocky one at that. Bram, is the charming Viking who loves Kaireen and must win her heart. But is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?
There is also a traitor in Kaireen’s clan, who frames them for a rival laird’s death, she and Bram must find a way to escape the unforeseen darkness.
I wrote this story learning that Lauchlin or Lochlann was the Gaelic word for Viking. Since my grandmother’s maiden name was McLauchlin, I thought it would make an interesting story of how a Viking came to marry a stubborn Celtic girl. Even though my ancestry is Scottish, not Irish (as far as I know), but the magic and appeal of Ireland made me have the setting there instead.

2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

I had such fun writing this story, especially the banter between Kaireen and Bram. My favorite scene is when Kaireen wants to take her bath in private (during the dark ages, it was common for people to take baths together in a large wooden barrel). When she stumbles upon Bram freshly bathed.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always wanted to be a storyteller. When I was a child, I would make up characters and plots. Then my friends and I would act them out. I started writing poetry when I was fourteen until my early twenties. However, it was not until my early thirties that writing down my characters and their stories grabbed ahold of me.

4. What is a typical writing day like?

I mostly write at night, after the kids are in bed. During the day, I’m a stay-at-home mom to a four year old and a thirteen month old. Therefore, I juggle being a fulltime mommy with emails, facebook, twitter, etc. during the day, and write at night. Although, if I could survive on less than four hours of sleep, I would get so much more writing done J

5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?

Until recently, I had to write in a linear pattern. I don’t outline, but I know pieces and how a book will end. However, a few of my novels fizzled out after a hundred pages. I dug one out for a contest and changed my tactic. I skipped ahead to the ending and wrote it. Then I backtracked and figured out how to get from where I had left off to the end. I may have to do this with more of my novels.

6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?

That authors use beta readers - a lot. I never had a beta reader until I started working on Son of Dragons, Book Two in The Garnet Dagger trilogy. They are invaluable to a writer and wish I had found mine years ago and before my first two books were published.

7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

For my historical romances, Julie Garwood influenced me. I loved how she mixed history with humor. My fantasy / paranormal romances were influenced by Terry Goodkind. Reading excellent stories by many authors inspired me to write stories I love reading…and maybe a few others would love them too. My husband also inspires me. If he says something sounds interesting or reads well, then I know I’ve done a great job.

8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?

My family supports me and are wonderful fans. My husband listens to my highs and lows, and I can even brainstorm with him when I’m working on a new project.

9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

I love Zumba. Doing it two-three times a week along with weight-training helped me lose forty pounds before I got pregnant with my daughter. Now I’m lucky if I can squeeze it in once a week. I’m an avid reader, when I have the time. I love fantasy, paranormal, historical, or anything with magic. Finally, I’m a video gamer. Give me a hack-n-slash magic user dungeon crawler game and then don’t expect me to remember you’re here J

10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

I am working on revisions to Son of Dragons, Book Two of The Garnet Dagger trilogy. I also have several novels that I wrote years ago that I want to make changes to – i.e. taking Native American historical romances and adding a paranormal side.

11. How can readers connect with you online?

Author Website: www.AndreaRCooper.com




The Garnet Dagger Blurb: Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human…but what if the victim is Elvin?
Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure. 

Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and his world will die.

When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?

Excerpt 



I’ve known death. For over half a millennia, I escorted many to death at the end of my sword. In the eyes of the dying, I watched it shroud them. Foolishly, I thought many more eras would pass before death came for me. It came so swiftly that I could not run; I could not escape. At a village, dressed in human clothes, I took in everything. 

I delayed my return to my people as I watched human jugglers bounce torches and knifes. It was autumn equinox and the festivities would continue well into the night. Children laughed as they chased each other. A trail of leaves from their costumes twirled after them. It was dark when I reached the forest. 

I hiked slower than my normal speed, so as not to startle whatever human called out. My leather boots crunched upon dried, diseased leaves and bark. Horrified, I glanced up. Branches twisted around each other to suffocating. Lifeless limbs cracked in the wind. Flesh of the trees sloughed off in layers, exposing its bones. Gashes hollowed out chunks of warmth. Fragments of leaves clung to finger tips, marking sepulchers of the dying trees. Trees mourned with wails like splitting wood, and I brought my hands over my ears. I must flee before I became infected, they told me. Flee before the stain of this defilement creeps into you, they warned. Trees spoke to my kind, always had. Yet these trees were in such agony of death that I could not breathe. Felt as though my lungs had folded in on themselves, like a moth unable to break loose from its cocoon. 



Buy Links:
The Garnet Dagger Amazon: http://goo.gl/rMEJ59
The Garnet Dagger B & N: http://goo.gl/Qp5i6A
The Garnet Dagger iTunes: http://goo.gl/s1Cugp
Viking Fire Amazon: http://goo.gl/71VAsf
Viking Fire B & N: http://goo.gl/EvBxwf
Viking Fire iTunes: http://goo.gl/fQuKBd





Author Bio: 


Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels. 

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).
Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba. 

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

10 comments:

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you so much for having me today. I hope everyone had an amazing holiday. Now to prepare for New Years!

Melissa Keir said...

Hi Andrea. I love the idea of what ifs that happen to writers. You took something real and turned it into a story. All the best on your future releases!

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Great interview!! I tweeted.

Andrea Cooper said...

Melissa,

Thank you. Glad you were able to stop by.

Andrea Cooper said...

Ella,

Thank you. :)
I appreciate it.

Joanna Lloyd said...

Enjoyed reading your answers to the questions. Found it interesting that you decided what would happen at the end of a story and then worked out how to get there. Might try that one :-). And love your books...waiting for sequel to Garnet Dagger!

andrea said...

Joanna,
Thank you. I'm thrilled you enjoyed The Garnet Dagger. All the best.

Andrea Cooper said...

Joanna,

I'm thrilled you love my books. Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

Sheri Fredricks said...

Best wishes for a happy New Year, Andrea! Kudos on being able to write at night. For me, that's when my family finds their second wind.

Liza O'Connor said...

Andrea, we should have met as kids. I was telling stories even before I could write. However, since I constantly swore my stories were true, I got a bad rep as a liar.

Seriously, why should I have to tell someone a 15 foot tall tarantula ate a brother isn't true?