Today, we'll be interviewing Andrea Cooper, author of Garnet Dagger and Viking Fire, on the blog.
So let's give a warm welcome to Andrea
*clapping in the background*
Okay let's get this show started then.
1. What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always thought of myself as a storyteller. The idea of becoming a write did not happen until years later. As early as I can remember about when I was in second grade, my friends would come up to be at recess and ask what we were going to play that day. I created the characters and plot. I even thought up Space Vampires, hey—don’t laugh, to a 2nd grader it was awesome.
Again, in Elementary school, I remember having a writing assignment about being an inanimate object. I wrote about a piece of chalk stuffed in a box then scrapped as it came out. That was the first time I remember receiving an A on an English paper. Still, I didn’t think to become a writer.
When I was fourteen, I wrote poetry. I don’t remember what started that trend, but it lasted until my early twenties. Then I went through a dry spell and didn’t writing anything. I still thought up characters and their stories, but I had no one to ‘play’ their parts. In my early thirties, I tossed a historical romance book across the room, because to me, it was illogical that a Viking would give up his religion for another without justification. I thought I could write a better story, so I tried. And haven’t stopped writing since.
2. You wrote a historical romance and a paranormal romance. The two are (literally) leagues apart and I am sure come with their own set of challenges. What would you say was challenging about writing both genres?
My two novels have similarities, the paranormal is set in a fantasy/ medieval world and my historical takes place during the Viking era. The differences are that The Garnet Dagger, my paranormal, is full of magic, mythical creatures, and paranormal, while Viking Fire, historical romance, only has a touch of magic.
The challenges were to be as historically accurate as possible in Viking Fire. The paranormal novel had more freedom, but still had to be believable.
3. On that note which book did you enjoy writing more? Do you have a favorite?? (I am evil enough to make you pick a favorite)
You are evil to make me pick a favorite…LOL. I enjoyed writing The Garnet Dagger more. Only because of the freedom of writing a fantasy/ paranormal novel and not only was the first of that genre I had ever written, and it was my debut published novel. I enjoyed writing the story so much that I wrote two more in this series: Son of Dragons and War of Darkness before Garnet was published.
4. How about a favorite character? Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
Another hard question. I had the most fun writing Celeste from The Garnet Dagger because of her quick-wit and spunk despite what she had gone through. I love the way she and Brock bantered with each other.
With all that behind us, I think it’s time we got to know you better.
What’s your favorite genre?
Fantasy Romance (it’s got the best of both and my favorite genres merged into one)
The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. It was the first fantasy series I read and opened up this wonderful world that was taboo growing up (I wasn’t even allowed to watch Disney movies).
What do you do when you’re not writing or reading??
Taking care of my two younger kids, playing hack-n-slash and dungeon crawler games, and dancing in Zumba.
TV shows you’re obsessed with?
There are many wonderful shows out now. My favorites are Witches of East End, Sleepy Hallow, Game of Thrones, Dracula (the season started off slow, but it’s better), Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and Reign.
I’d like to end this interview by ending with the age-old question.
Do you have any projects planned for the future?
Yes. I am revising Son of Dragons, Book 2 in The Garnet Dagger series, and doing major rewrites for Book 3 War of Darkness. I am also working on a YA Paranormal Romance and adding in a paranormal element to a Native American Historical Romance trilogy I wrote years ago. There are a few new projects vying for next place as well.
Thank you so much for joining us on the blog Andrea!!
Thank you for having me! All the best.
About the Author:
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.
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Viking Fire Excerpt:
Chapter One Ireland 856 CE (condensed)
“I renounce Father for this.” Kaireen threw the elderberry gown.
“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes. “It’s a wonder one of the clim has not scolded you from your hearth for such talk.”
“No, curse Father for a fool.” She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.
Her bare feet brushed against the stone floor.
“You know your da arranged a marriage within a season.” Elva smirked.
Kaireen shook her head. “To another land holder,” and waved a hand in disgust, “not t-this heathen. Twice they raided our land in the last month alone. Now father wants me as wife to one of them?” She clenched her fists. “No, I will not marry this Viking.”
Elva smiled, reminding Kaireen of the rumors of her handmaid’s uncanny foresight. Whispers of Elva making strange things happen and often blamed as the cause of Kaireen’s stubborn refusal to behave as a laird’s daughter should.
“You’ve not seen him yet.” Elva wiggled her brows.
“So?” Kaireen shrugged. “I would like to never see him.”
“Well then, would you not like to know if you have a handsome husband or not?” She waited for her response, but Kaireen scowled. Elva chuckled. “I would rather get a good look at him now than the morning after.”
Kaireen’s ears heated. “I am not marrying.” She shook her head for emphasis. “So there will be no morning, nor night, nor wedding.”
“If he is handsome, I may fight you for him.” Elva smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes.
“Welcome to him either way.” Kaireen laughed.
Check out Rashika's review for Viking Fire here
The Garnet Dagger Excerpt:
Chapter One (condensed)
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.
Check out Paulina's review for The Garnet Dagger here