Today’s guest is the multi-talented, Andrea Speed.  Andrea is going to tell us a bit about herself and her work.  So sit back and check reality at the door, because it’s going to get tested.

Author Profile: Andrea Speed

1)     Tell us about yourself – be as specific or vague about personal details as you feel comfortable – where do you reside, age, family, pets etc

I sprung for the inner thigh of Zeus’s cousin twice removed, and it’s been downhill ever since.

2)    Do you have a day job besides writing and if so – what?

If I told you, I’d have to kill you. So please fill out the attached paperwork absolving me of blame, and I’ll get back to you.

3)    You’ve written many books and different types, what got you started writing?ClosetCapersLG

I really don’t know. It feels like I’ve always done it. My grandmother was a writer, and my father is an inveterate liar, and those things seemed to predispose me to making stuff up. Being a nerd on top of this didn’t help at all.

4)    Josh of the Damned has a new book out, what’s he up to?

It may or may not be the end of the road for Josh. The Quik-Mart Corporation are more determined than ever to open up in the Hell dimension, and Medusa, ruler of that dimension, is determined to have Josh stop it before it causes the barrier between dimensions to fall. But considering he’s just a convenience store night clerk, what exactly can he do about it? But he’s going to have to find a way if he wants to save Earth. All that for minimum wage! He deserves a raise.

5)    In my youth I used to read several different comic books, you work with comic books, tell me more.

Well, I review them from time to time, and I’ve interviewed creators. I haven’t done any per se, except I’ve written a couple of forwards. (For the fabulous Bomb Queen: Dirty Bomb and Diary of A Catering Whore.) Comic writing is much like script writing, and it’s a different beast I’ve never mastered. I also have some very good friends in comics. We’re all writers and creators.

6)    We all have favorite books what’s yours? Is there a writer or writers who inspired you to write or whose writing style you look up to?

Hmm. Wow. That’s a tough one. I usually like the next one I have out the best. I like scenes and passages almost more than entire books, because I can always pick out something that, in retrospect, I didn’t like or shouldn’t have done. I should like Infected: Freefall best because it won me a Rainbow Award, but I suppose I have a soft spot for Infected: Shift, mainly because it all goes to hell near the end, we finally see Roan just totally lose it, and the frightening ramifications of that. Also, despite that, he’s still not the most dangerous thing in that house, because Holden’s there, and he wants revenge. It’s a true pick your poison moment for the poor bastard bad guys. Although I really don’t feel sorry for them at all.

7)    Do you have a favorite character from your books? If so who?

Oh, I kind of love them and occasionally hate them all in good measure, but I suppose I’d be lying if I didn’t admit Roan was a favorite of mine. We both have migraines and astonishingly poor taste in music … and, some would say, a remarkably similar shitty attitude.

8)    Did getting your first book contract change your outlook on writing?

Yes. It made me think I could actually do it, which I still wonder about at times. But publishing does give you a certain sense of validation.

InfectedShiftFS9)    Have you ever self published anything?  If you have, how does it differ from having a publisher buy your work?

Briefly, yes. Infected and a horror story I still really love, Alone With The Dead. It differs in the fact that the publisher paid an advance for my work. But there were other benefits too, notably the editing, which helped make for a better end product.

10) Marketing – yes, I said that dirty word. Talking about your approach to ‘selling’ your book and this impacts your writing?

Well, I’m the wrong person to ask, as I’m terrible at selling my own work. So it has no impact at all because I can’t do it.

11) Do you ever model characters after people you know? Looks? Personality? Life events?

Oh yes. There are bits and pieces of myself and people I know in nearly every main character and some minor characters too. I don’t physically base any character on an actual person, though, as that way leads trouble. And I’ve used a few real life events and bits sprinkled throughout, but with tiny tweaks so that hopefully the people they happened to or who contributed to it in some way won’t recognize themselves and sue my ass.

12) If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Oh, Douglas Adams. I bet he’d be good for some wisdom and a few laughs. And isn’t that really the best you could hope for?

13) Do you like to travel?  Do you ever go places and find inspiration for a new story in a new place?

I love to travel, but circumstances and finances have kept me from doing so. Luckily, inspiration can come from anywhere.

14) If you could meet any of your characters who would it be? Paris would be a blast. I don’t think he’d take what I did to him personally either, which is good for me. Although Doug, Josh’s stoner roommate, would probably be good to just hang around with, although I imagine he’s a very cheap date.

15) What’s next for you? After how well received this is, what can all your anxious fans expect next?

Well, Infected: Undertow will be out this summer, and I should have a fantasy novel called Strange Angels from Riptide Publishing out later this year. It’s a weird one, my first attempt at a full on fantasy novel, and … well, I’ll just swear now I’ve never dropped acid. No one will believe me after the book’s released. Also, I have a bit of warped genre flash fic coming out in Fireside Magazine, although I’m not sure of the release date yet, and I have a story coming out in the Make A Play daily dose anthology for Dreamspinner Press. I’m also working on a couple of other things, but I can’t comment on them, as I feel like I’ll jinx them.

Oh, and I’ll be taking part in an M/M writer’s meet up in Seattle on September 14th, along with a whole bunch of other m/m writers. More info is here: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/102681-gay-romance-northwest-meet-up—-sept-14-2013—-seattle

Thank you for coming on my humble little site.

Andy

Blurb

image001Josh Of The Damned:#2 Triple Play

Josh Caplan thought he’d solved his home office problem and stopped the Quik-Mart Corporation from expanding into hell, but it turns out a guardian’s work is never done. Medusa has plans for him, and she’s not the only one.

What’s a poor night clerk to do when he’s besieged on all sides by deluded vampire slayers, angry zombies, crazy gods, and the most terrifying enemy of all: a dickish CEO?

To survive this, Josh will have to do more than just rely on his necromancer boss, his hot vampire boyfriend, and his yeti stalker. This time, he’ll have to find his own inner hero to save the day.

Buy Links:

Riptide

Amazon

Excerpt

There was an odd sort of comfort in just not worrying that you were about to die. Well, sort of.

Josh went home in the morning, certain he’d get a phone call about not bothering to come in for work tonight, that his last check would be mailed to him, but he was so unconcerned about it all that he just brushed his teeth and went to bed. So this was the end of his short career at the Quik-Mart—so what? There were plenty more low-income, no-hope jobs in the sea. Besides, he couldn’t have let those company guys through the portal, or reality would have imploded and everyone would have been killed. He’d picked the lesser of two evils.

When he woke up to find Doug on the couch, smoking a bowl and watching American Dad, his roommate told him there’d been no calls for him. Weird. Did it really take that long to get a message back to the home office? Or were they up to something? Since the portal didn’t open until nightfall, the home office was limited in what they could do during the day. He was sure this was some mix-up, but he got dressed and headed to the bus stop anyway.

Cindy, the early evening clerk, was finishing her shift when he showed up, and the Quik-Mart looked the same as always. She had no message for him, so he started working as normal, wondering if they were going to fire him mid-shift. Or maybe they’d be coming back with more guys this time? Not that it would help them. Bobo could probably crush the entire army, and with Colin helping, he could do it in half the time.

Colin showed up with the first lizard customer of the evening, although they weren’t together (well, as far as he could tell). Colin had a weird look on his face, one Josh figured was either worry or an upset stomach. Did vampires get indigestion?

Colin came up to the counter and pulled something out from his coat. It looked kind of like an iPad, only it was way thinner, black, and when Colin gave it to him, Josh discovered it was lighter than most paperbacks. Whoa, was there an Apple iHell now? “This some new kind of tablet?”

Colin shrugged and shook his head, sending a mixed message. “Medusa wanted to talk to you.” His expression was grave.

“So, what? This a new way to knock me out?” As Josh inspected the tablet for some hidden Taser nodes, the screen popped to life, and even though it was riddled with interference lines, he could see the brass figure of Medusa sitting behind her desk, wearing those same glasses as before, her hair rippling around her like it was caught in its own private windstorm, her lips so red it made her mouth look bloody. Her suit today looked to be an almost violent blue.

“Colin told me what an excellent job you did yesterday,” she said, her voice coming out staticky, but clear enough that the lizard in the chip aisle jumped and almost dropped his bag of Ruffles. So they all knew what she sounded like, huh? Maybe she broadcasted end-of-year messages, like the Queen or Lady Gaga.

“Um, oh. Well, he deserves credit, too. Him and Bobo. The Quik-Mart guys would have ignored me if they hadn’t been there.”

She smiled, but it seemed predatory. Her lipstick probably wasn’t helping. “Everybody received their due credit. As it is, Josh, I could use an agent who can work in your dimension regardless of whether the vortex is open or not. I’d say you passed the first test with flying colors.”

“Um, huh?” He kind of knew what she was saying, but he couldn’t quite believe it. Was this whole thing—from Medusa tasking him to stop the home office, to the stupid parking lot battle—a test?

“How would you like to work for me?”

Josh looked at Colin, but he stared back blankly, his expression giving nothing away. “Umm . . . do I have a choice?”

Her grin grew wide enough that it nearly threatened to split her face in half, and her snakes quivered like they were waving goodbye. Or laughing at him. “What do you think?”

Oh shit. Not until this moment had the job of burger flipper ever seemed so damn good.