Monday, February 27, 2012

Interview with Jessica Andersen

Can you tell us 3 things about you that we can't find on the internet?

Hm… Okay, here goes.
1.       I love snakes, go “eek” at spiders, and hate ticks and bitey flies.
2.       I’ve only done karaoke once in my life. I sang ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ … very, very badly.
3.       I used to do Civil War reenactments. I played a prostitute.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
I used to write at all hours, seven days a week, whatever it took to get the job done. Meeting and marrying my One And Only has changed that over the past couple of years, though. I’m now much better about writing during working hours and taking weekends off to do fun family stuff. Oddly enough, though my actual writing hours are down, my productivity is way up. Guess he’s inspiring in the romance department ;-)
What made you want to become an author?

In grad school, I saw people who were passionate about science in a way that I hadn’t ever been, and I asked myself what I was actually passionate about. What did I want to talk about during lunch, after hours, on the weekends? I realized the two things that had been constants in my life were horses and romance novels. So I quit the lab, took a job as a riding instructor, and set out to see if I could make it as a romance novelist!

If you could write with any author dead or alive who would it be and why?

Alas, I’m not somebody who writes well with others. A good friend and I once tried to brainstorm a story to write together, and we came to the conclusion that our characters hated each other, and we would probably kill each other if we tried to co-write something. I think it takes a special kind of creative brain to share the creative process, and I ain’t got it!

Can you tell us a little about you April release Magic Unchained?

In MAGIC UNCHAINED, Cara Liu must earn her place as the leader of the winikin, but her powerful feelings for Nightkeeper Sven could jeopardize the balance right when the winikin must become warriors to help the magi fight their increasingly powerful enemies. Sven tries to keep his distance given their troubled past, but when they are betrayed by one of their own, he can no longer deny the attraction. Their searing chemistry—and the danger—increases as they race to locate a hidden cave that could hold the key to resurrecting the Nightkeepers’ strongest ancestor. But their growing feelings face the ultimate test when the winikin army faces an unimaginable threat and Sven is called on to make the hardest choice of his life.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Here’s a little excerpt from Magic Unchained for you and your readers!

Cara saw Zane shove Lora to safety and turn back for her, but the beast was too close, too fast. She could hear it right behind her, could feel the jarring thud of its feet through the worn soles of her boots and smell its rotting stench. Her body tensed for pain, and incredulity flared at the knowledge that she wasn’t going to make it. She glanced back just in time to see the huge creature rock onto its haunches, preparing to spring, and—
Cara, get down!” The words came from the other side of her, in a deep voice that jolted her like lightning.
Before she could react, a gray-and-buff blur raced past with a bloodcurdling howl of rage, and the hard, heavy weight of a man’s body slammed into her, knocking her out of the demon’s path and taking her to the ground. Her rescuer wrapped his arms around her and rolled them as they hit, so he took the brunt and cushioned her fall.
There was sudden warmth, solid muscle, and the yielding press of a man’s body. And not just any man: She caught rapid-fire impressions of sun-bleached hair against deeply tanned skin, stormy blue eyes, and an air of wildness that defied the high-tech armband and warrior’s garb. Their legs tangled, and when they stopped rolling, he was on top of her with his hips planted firmly between her thighs. Instead of untangling himself, he reared up over her on one arm and lifted the other to summon first a shield and then a huge fireball, and although her brain was struggling to catch up, her soul already knew exactly what was going on.
Sven,” she whispered, frozen with the shock of seeing him again after so long.
He looked grimmer and more tired than he had a few months earlier, when he’d taken off for the south. There were new stress lines cut alongside his aristocratic nose and wide, slashing cheekbones, and his old trademark surfer’s ponytail was a grown-out military brush cut now, gone shaggy and adding to the sense of some wild creature contained within human form. He wore close-fitting armor and the Kevlar-impregnated black-on-black of a Nightkeeper, and he was all warrior as his eyes went to where an enormous gray-and-buff coyote—his bonded familiar, Mac—was fighting with the huge black demon.
Leave it!” he ordered. Mac quickly tore away and leaped back, and Sven unleashed his deadly fireball.
Hiss-boom! Instantly engulfed in flames, the demon-dog reared back with a horrible, unearthly howl. A terrible stench filled the air as it struggled in its death throes. The other animals too were dead and dying, making Cara suddenly aware that the rest of the magi had arrived, and were tightening around the winikin in a protective ring as the creatures melted to stinking black puddles. After a moment, even those faded and disappeared, leaving silence behind.
Dead. Silence.
As her pulse pounded in her ears, she thought crazily that it was the kind of utter quiet that came in the aftermath of a disaster that didn’t cause any actual casualties but had come damn close, to the point where everyone sort of sat there for a second, thinking, What the hell just happened?
But although that was the question that ought to be going through her head, her mind had blanked. All she could do was stare at Sven as he levered himself off her and rose to his feet with a loose-limbed grace that sharply defined the muscles under his tight black clothing, making her entirely aware of his body, and the imprint it had left on her own.
There was a low whine and the scuff of paws on dirt as Mac trotted over to stand beside him, then looked at her with his pale green, human-seeming eyes gleaming, his ears pricked and his plumed tail wagging in wide sweeps. Sven and the coyote made a formidable pair, and the sight tightened her throat. It had been a long six months since they had gone down to Mexico to head up the Nightkeepers’ efforts to contain the spread of the xombi virus—an infection that was part magic, part disease, and thoroughly vile. She had worried about them, especially when the reports from the southern front had grown increasingly grim. But her relief that they were home safe caromed off resentment that she hadn’t gotten any word beyond the official reports, nothing personal, nothing that acknowledged her and Sven’s connection. He’d promised to help her . . . and then he’d taken off without a word. Which was just Sven, and shouldn’t have surprised her.
It had, though, and that was why, as irritation won out over relief, she summoned a flip smile she knew would annoy him, and said, “Hey, welcome back. Did you miss me?”
That was a laugh, of course, because Sven made it his business never to miss anyone.


  1. Why is it that the part of #3 that surprises me is that they had prostitutes at the reenactment and not that you played one??? ;0)

    I'm looking forward to Sven's story. He's been there all along, quietly helping, occasionally messing up, but for the most part keeping to his self, making us wonder (and fantasize) about him. And Cara sounds just like the type of heroine we could all cheer for and secretly wish we were her.

  2. I can't wait for the next book in the series. I know I'll have to fight my husband for it--so I can read it first. Marian

  3. OMG...a prostitute? *files away neatly in the back of her mind*




  4. I thought the same thing when I read prostitute! This is by far the funnest interview I have done! Thank you Jessica