TQ: Writing quirks! What are some of yours?
Linda: Hmm. I do like it to be very quiet when I write—I'm not one of those writers who makes a soundtrack for each book. Not that I don't love music, mind you. It's just that I tend to get too engrossed in listening to it to actually write any words. Silence around me helps me hear the story better.
That, and I like to eat Hershey's Kisses while I'm writing…um, "frisky," shall we say?...scenes. I find chocolate very inspirational.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Linda: Oh, wow. I have way too many favorites to compile a complete list, but just off the top of my head I adore Diana Gabaldon, Vicki Pettersson, Harlan Coben, Jim Butcher, Kristan Higgins, Joanna Bourne, Susan Elizabeth Phillips … man, this list could go on and on.
Each and every author I've ever read has influenced me in some way. Even the bad ones. (No, I will not list those. Do I look like an idiot to you? Wait … don't answer that.) The ones I don't care for at least show me what not to do.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Linda: Complete pantser. I've tried to plot—it seems like it should be easier—but I fail utterly at it. My subconscious demands free rein, and stubbornly refuses to cooperate if I plan things in advance.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Linda: Lately, the most challenging thing is combining writing the next books while launching the first one. Marketing takes a whole different mindset than writing, and it's more time-consuming than I ever dreamed. Good thing it's so much fun!
TQ: Describe In a Fix in 140 characters or less.
Linda: I like what Kirkus said about it in their review: "Bright, fizzy, sexy and amusing—the perfect antidote to an attack of post-summer blues."
The "fizzy" part reminds me of champagne, and my main character, Ciel, has a few notable experiences with champagne, so I think it's appropriate.
TQ: What inspired you to write In a Fix?
Linda: A vanity license plate I saw while driving along the Fairfax County Parkway. I saw the name "Ciel," and the story bloomed in my mind. (Seriously. That's how it happened. I wouldn't lie to you about something like that.)
TQ: What sort of research did you do for In a Fix?
Linda: I did a lot of what I call "You-search." In other words, YouTube was my friend. It helped me capture the feel of the places I haven't been. And lots of search engine action went into verifying the details—everything from medieval clothing to modern private jets, bird-watching to wedding dresses. Oh, and guns and knives and spiders and … well, you get the idea.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Linda: Ciel was the easiest. She just started talking and wouldn't shut up. I didn't really have to "make up" anything about her—she just was. The most difficult write was probably Mark, the CIA agent Ciel has been crushing on for years. It was tough to show him being as overbearingly protective as he is without making the reader want to slug him on Ciel's behalf. *grin*
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in In a Fix?
Linda: One involves a jumpy gerbil and one involves wearing champagne glasses. And that's all I'm at liberty to divulge.
TQ: What's next?
Linda: Quick Fix—the second book in the series—is due out in July 2013.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Linda: Thanks for having me! It's been fun.
In a Fix
In a Fix
Tom Doherty Associates / Tor Books, September 4, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she's able to take on her clients' appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don't want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.
This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable...that is, until Ciel's island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client's about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.
Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she's been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client's intended.
Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.
Website : Twitter : Goodreads