Your patience during the craziness of this last week has been rewarded, as today in the chaotic insanity of kc dyer central, we are featuring a shot at the give-away of a marvellous new book!
Author Linda Grimes has made her mark in the last few years as a novelist with a tremendous sense of fun. Just scroll down this post and look at that smile! Doesn’t it contain all kinds of naughty? If it weren’t for the continent between us, I would have spent a lot of time in her company, but as it is, we’ve had to be friends from afar. I’m so delighted to share her new book with you today.
Linda’s first book IN A FIX was brought to us by TOR publishing, and introduced Ciel Helligan, an aura-borrowing beauty who will steal your heart as fast as your wallet. Linda followed that one up with QUICK FIX, the fun-filled sequel. And now to complete the big three, Ciel’s back with THE BIG FIX, in which Ciel continues to use her chameleon-esque abilities to help out her clients. Bring on the fun!
kc: Let’s start with Ciel, the star of the ‘In A Fix’ series. How do you pronounce her name? [I’m working on a series where the protag’s name is Ceilidh — rhymes with Daily, dontcha know — so I get the question a lot myself.] And how much fun is it to write such a cool character?
LG: Ciel is pronounced like the animal—seal. Unless you’re giving it the French pronunciation, in which case it’s “see-ell.” But my character has Americanized it, and “seal” is how it’s pronounced in the audio books. And I’m glad you think Ciel is cool! She’s a blast to write, that’s for sure. Really keeps me on my toes.
kc: She’s on HER toes a lot, too! Did you have an inspiration for Ciel? Where did she come from?
LG: Ciel popped into my head when I saw the name on a vanity license plate while taking my son back to college after a break. First I just thought, what a cool name! Then, by the time I got back home, she had taken up residence in my head and wouldn’t stop talking to me. (That’s not as crazy as it sounds. Or maybe it is. In my experience, writers do tend to skew toward the wack-a-doo end of the spectrum. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.) When she told me about her special ability, I thought, hmm…this sounds like it could be a book. Turns out it was a whole series.
kc: I’m so glad it is! Care to explain the conceit behind the borrowing of auras? How does Ciel manage this little bit of magic?
LG: Here, I’ll let Ciel explain it: “My job is made possible by a genetic quirk that allows me to adapt my aura into an exact copy of another person’s. No, it’s not shape-shifting, which is a crock, by the way. Give me a break. Shape-shifting on a biomolecular level? Directed cell morphology—the actual physical changing of tissue—takes time, and lots of it. It wouldn’t be practical. Aura adaptors deal in energy. Much faster…” (from In a Fix)
So, basically, it’s a mutation in her DNA. All living things emit energy. It’s just that most of us haven’t inherited the ability to alter it, the way Ciel and other aura adaptors have.
kc: Ha! I love it. So, what are YOU reading right now? Do you have a favourite genre to read — or write — in?
LG: Honestly? (And I swear I’m not just saying this to suck up.) I downloaded FINDING FRASER and I can already tell it going to be just my cup of spiked tea.
I read every genre imaginable, but I have to admit I’m partial to mysteries and romances, especially when there’s a touch (or a hefty dose) of humor involved.
As for writing, I’m drawn to humorous (apparently I’m a smartass) with a paranormal twist. But I can get serious on occasion. I haven’t had anything dark and heavy published yet, but who knows what the future might hold? Perhaps a badder, murkier Linda. Bwah-ha-hah! (Okay, yeah, I couldn’t quite type that with a straight face. My dark side might need some work.)
kc: Dark side? Who needs it when we can enjoy your — what did you call it? — your wack-a-doo! Anyway, can you tell us how the process of writing a series has been for you? Do you plan ahead or are you a seat-of-the-pantser? And where do you plan to go next? Can you give us a hint of what’s to come?
LG: I’m loving writing the series! Frankly, a whole lot more than I thought I would when I first realized there was going to be more than one book. It’s been great fun following these characters through more than one adventure, getting to know them better over time. They do keep startling me, which is essential for me as a writer. If I’m not being surprised by my characters, I find it’s way too easy to get distracted by other things, important things, like doing laundry or rearranging my underwear drawer.
At first I was a total pantser. I trailed after Ciel in my head, and typed whatever she—fueled by my way-too-fertile imagination—told me to. As I get further into the series, I find a bit more planning can prevent headaches down the line come editing time, but I always try to leave room for happenstance. (See above with regard to surprises. Unexpected scenes are the best!)
Right now I’m waiting for my editorial letter on book four (ALL FIXED UP), which is the next one out. (Not sure of the exact release date yet. More than likely about a year from now.) That’s the last Ciel Halligan book I currently have under contract, but I do have a few other things simmering in the back of my mind—a fluffy contemporary rom-com, a high-stakes thriller, and a paranormal suspense, all starting to demand some attention. We’ll see which one wins out.
kc: Oh, man — I can’t wait to see what does! So, I’ve been talking to Indie and hybrid authors lately. Can you tell me a bit about working with Tor? What’s your favourite part of the publication process — apart from writing the book, of course!
LG: It’s been a good experience working with Tor. My editor is fantastic—I think she loves Ciel and the crew as much as I do, and really gets the characters. I like the partnership aspect of having someone on my side who is invested in making my books the best they can be.
That said, I haven’t ruled out going hybrid someday. I have some writer buddies who’ve done well on that route to publication. Honestly, it’s an exciting time to be a writer—so many new opportunities are now available to those willing to work hard to make their publishing dreams come true.
My favorite part of the process? Darn. You already preempted what I was going to say. I’m such a nerd. I’d rather hole up in my writing cave and play in my fictive worlds than do anything else. Hmm. I know! How about editing? Rewriting is almost as much fun as writing something in the first place. More, sometimes.
You didn’t ask, but if you want to know my least favorite part, it’s the waiting. (This is probably more of a problem for traditionally published authors than indie authors, who have more control over when things get done.) There are loooong stretches of waiting, punctuated by everything happening at once. Which can get your heart racing at times, and not in the good, wow-that’s-a-hot-guy kind of way. But the main thing is getting the books out there and connecting with readers, because, to me, a book isn’t complete without that communication. It’s like baking a cake. You can mix together all the ingredients, but until you bake it in the oven (i.e., let people read it), it’s not done.
kc: Hmmm. Great analogy. So, do you have a preferred format for your books? E-book vs paperback?
Not really. I love all the formats. Whatever suits the individual reader is good for me. That said, THE BIG FIX is my first to come out in hardcover, which is kind of exciting.
For reading, nowadays I absolutely adore my Kindle. It’s so light! This comes in really handy when you’re trying to read, say, one of Diana Gabaldon’s books in bed. Drop one of those on your head and you might give yourself a concussion. Plus, you can change the font size on an e-reader, as well as carry hundreds of books with you when you travel, which I love.
kc: What’s your favourite review one of your stories has received?
LG: There’s one I remember because it made me laugh so much. It was on Goodreads, a 5-star review of IN A FIX. All it said was “An awesome read. I’m surprised.” Surprised? Still makes me giggle.
kc: Hahhaha! That is kinda funny. But nice, too. Surprised in a GOOD way, right? How about you? Can you name a favourite author?
LG: Well, if there’s anyone left out there who hasn’t read Diana Gabaldon yet, I say hie thee to a bookstore and get OUTLANDER asap. That’s my go-to rec for anyone who asks, because it covers just about every genre you could possibly want. For people who are terrified of “big books” (yes, they actually exist *grin*), and prefer a quicker diversion, I have a lot of fun with Kristan Higgins (humorous and moving romances), Harlan Coben (edge-of-your-seat mystery/suspense), and Vicki Pettersson (who rocks UF, paranormal romance, and now even thrillers with her soon-to-be-released SWERVE).
kc: Oh, I am SO excited for SWERVE, I can’t tell you. I LOVE Vicki Pettersson’s books. I think maybe we share the same tastes, Linda, as FINDING FRASER is a wee bit of an homage to your other favourite author. =)
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on THE BIG FIX and your writing life with us today, Linda Grimes! If you want to pick up THE BIG FIX, you can find it right HERE.
Here’s Linda’s bio:
Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they’d have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity’s sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait” to hook a man for a lifetime. Grimes is the author of IN A FIX, QUICK FIX and THE BIG FIX.
If you’d like to find out more about Linda Grimes, you can find her HERE.
And here’s the fun part! Want a chance to win a copy of THE BIG FIX? Just share this post on your Facebook page or retweet it on Twitter. On Monday, I’ll announce a winner!
Thanks again, Linda for joining me today. And best of luck with your edits on ALL FIXED UP. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!