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Linda Andrews lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, three children and a menagerie of domesticated animals. While she started writing a decade ago, she always used her stories to escape the redundancy of her day job as a scientist and never thought to actually combine her love of fiction and science. DOH! After that Homer Simpson moment, she allowed the two halves of her brain to talk to each other. The journeys she's embarked on since then are dark, twisted and occasionally violent, but never predictable.
Louise: Linda, welcome to my blog! I’m so excited you could join me for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Linda: I've been submitting stories to be published since last century. Seriously not the century that gave us corsets and hoop skirts, but the most recent one. I actually started writing in 1997 and submitted my first story in 1999. I got my first contract in 2001 with Zumaya Publications. My husband encourages everything I do (for good or bad) but it was my dad who made me want to be a writer and get published. He wrote a Mickey Spillane type mystery when I was a kid but never did anything with it.
Louise: Please tell us a little about your new release The Syn-En Solution.
Linda: I think the blurb says it best:
A woman from the past.
A cyborg with no future.
They have every reason to mistrust each other but one: survival.
When Nell Stafford passed out it was 2012. When she wakes up naked aboard a starship it's 2138, and she's surrounded by the Syn-En: synthetically-enhanced soldiers with a grudge against humans like her. She doesn't know where she is or what's happened, only that her life has been destroyed and everyone she's ever known is dead.
Their leader Beijing York has just discovered his people's creators--humans--have betrayed them. They were promised freedom and equality in exchange for settling a newly discovered planet at the other side of a wormhole. But the Syn-En have outlived their usefulness.
The offer was a trick.
The wormhole has collapsed, and now both Nell and the Syn-En are trapped far from Earth to face almost certain death.
Bei has lost his future, and Nell has lost her past.
But Nell gained something in her 120-year sleep; somehow, she knows everything the Syn-En need to survive. Now she must convince Bei and his people to trust her--as soon as she learns to trust the mysterious intelligence.
Louise: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Linda: My characters arrive fully formed. In fact, I can't write the book until they all show up and some of them are slower than others:-) Of course, that isn't to say that I know everything about them and they have on occasion surprised me. My job as the writer is to shut up and write what they show me.
Louise: Isn't that the truth and they get testy if we don't listen. LOL How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits to share?
Linda: Everything I read is research in one way or another. It just gets filed away inside my head or jotted down into a notebook until finally, the characters arrive to tell a story. I did find a really unique disk that contained tens of thousands of documents compiled by NASA about space exploration. It include space craft design and tons of other stuff that I haven't quite gotten to.
Louise: It's amazing what we find. I found a FBI publication on the profile for serial killers - in pdf, yup I downloaded it! What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
Linda: I can't plot. If I do, my story fairy gets miffed and sends the characters into another realm, never to be heard from again. I consider my writing a form of possession and as long as I do as I'm told then the only rewrites I do involve clarity of sentences and that evil grammar stuff:-) Of course, I'm a bit of a control freak so there's always a bit of a battle on the page.
Louise: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?
Linda: I don't think I could write full time. EVER. I find being creative exhausting and tapping into all that emotion to pour it onto the page plum wears me out. So I usually write in the evenings when I get off work and try to do a bit on the weekends. I'm a morning person so my writing isn't as productive as it could be. During the day, I'm an organic chemist (but I have a microbiology background). I love benchwork and am reluctant to give it up.
Louise: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.
Linda: No ritual. Although I do love to have music, which I tune out as I write.
Louise: Describe a typical writing day for you.
Linda: After work and dinner, I plop my butt in the chair and tell the story fairy we're open for business. Frankly the butt-in-chair part is the hardest part. I really do have control issues.
Louise: Even though we have an office, I found myself placing my butt on our comfy sofa to write. Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?
Linda: Right now, I'm finishing up the second part to my apocalyptic novel, Redaction. There will be two more books in the series to carry me through to the end of the year then I'll return to the Syn-En and we'll visit another planet in Syn-En: Registration.
Louise: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?
Linda: I'm a bit of a book slut. I'll open up my ipad for anyone and my favorite author depends on my mood and what I need to escape reality.
Louise: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
Linda: I love watching Star Trek reruns but I always noticed that I like the ones set on the planet better than the ones just on the ship. So tell me, are you are planet or ship kind of person?
Louise: I agree I liked seeing the different planets . Good question for our commenters. Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?
Readers, I'll give away a free ebook of The Syn-En Solution to one commenter. So tell me, are you are planet or ship kind of person if you watch Star Trek? Not required but would be fun to see which you like better. Oh, and please leave your email addy or Twitter handle so we can easily contact you. Thanks!
Nell is in for a culture shock:
"Is that what you call it?" Nell planted two feet on his knees and shoved away from him. His hold on her breasts remained strong and her action tore at her chest. Pain overloaded her nervous system and static crackled inside her head. The only way she could escape would be if she gave herself a rather excruciating mastectomy. Panting through the sensation, Nell stopped struggling and hung limply between her captors. "Cause from where I stand, you're copping a feel."
Ignoring her sarcasm, the man focused on her chest. A burst of yellow light filled the room, highlighting the caduceus tattooed on his forehead. "You may feel a mild discomfort as the probes enter your skin."
Nell struggled to reconcile the caduceus with her current treatment. Why would a man with a medical insignia torture her? Unless he wasn't out to harm her. Hadn't the Grace Jones wannabe said Nell would get along with a bang? A stabbing pain flared up her chest, then a burning filled her veins
like an IV running too fast. Cold air stung her teeth as she inhaled.
"Mild! That hurts like an infected hangnail. Why didn't you give me some sort of local anesthetic to numb the area?"
"It would have reacted with the peroxides." His grip on her breasts loosened, but his attention didn't waver from the damaged skin. "I do not believe you would survive the explosion. You are quite fragile."
Nell snorted. Fragile people didn't survive the pandemic of 2010 or the North American invasion that followed. She was a survivor, yet somehow she sensed that someone had changed the rules, if not the game entirely. "That woman injected something in my breasts to make them explode?"
The doctor nodded. "A peroxide and a catalyst, that when mixed together create a very powerful bomb."
Nell pulled her legs closer to her body, wanting desperately to cover
herself or to fall asleep and wake up safe in her bed. "That's just
His gray eyes narrowed a fraction. "You want me to believe you're from over a century ago come forward in time to save us?"
"I don't expect you to believe it." Nell gulped as hysteria threatened to bubble out of her. She set her hand over his, knowing she wouldn't be able to stop him if he decided to strangle her but determined to try anyway.
"Honestly, I'm having a hard time thinking of this as anything other than a dream."
"Do you have proof?"
She snorted. "Where exactly would I put it?"
Soft as a caress, his gaze skimmed down and then up her body. "There are places."
Nell squeezed her legs together. "There better not be!"
His lips twitched. "Shang'hai found a data recorder on your life pod."
Feeling cold air against her teeth, Nell clicked her mouth shut. He deliberately let her think he planned a body cavity search. Should she take it as proof of a sense of humor or sadistic streak? She forced the
thoughts aside. "Shang'hai? You're talking about the pink haired woman who left with the box, right?"
"Well good. Then I hope we both get answers about how I got here."
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