Please welcome Linda Grimes to the blog today! Linda is the author of the brand new fantasy, In a Fix, and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her new book, travel, and of course, adult beverages (and she loves Outlander as much as I do.)
Linda, you taught high school English for a time and also have a bit of a theater background! What made you decide to take the plunge and write a novel? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
Well, it wasn’t so much a plunge as it was sticking my toes in the water s-l-o-w-l-y at first. I’ve always made up stories in my head, and eventually I started to write them down. Wrote one novel over a period of several years—mostly a hobby, just to see if I could do it, and to keep me sane as I was raising kids—and put it away for a while to get some distance from it before revising it. I knew enough to realize it was not ready go out into the world.
While I was waiting, I saw the name “Ciel” on a license plate, and decided to keep myself occupied by writing another kind of book—a lighter, funnier read. At first it was only to amuse myself, but then I really liked it, and figured I’d shop it around instead of the first one.
Your brand new fantasy, In a Fix, just came out! Will you tell us a bit about it?
Ciel Halligan is an “aura adaptor”—a kind of human chameleon—whose job entails fixing other people’s problems for them. As them. If you need something done that you don’t feel like you can handle yourself, she’ll go in an do it for you. For a hefty fee, of course. She’s a helpful sort, but she does have to eat. Oh, and she’s not nearly as good at fixing her own problems as she as fixing other people’s.
What do you love most about writing fantasy?
I love that anything is possible in fantasy. No limits, as long as you keep it real within the parameters you set up for your world. Wouldn’t it be great if real life worked like that?
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
Books, of course. Other writers inspire me to be better. Diana Gabaldon, Vicki Pettersson, Jim Butcher, Harlan Coben … so many. But I’m also influenced by life in general, and by everyone I meet. Anything that goes in my ears or eyes is likely to be rearranged somehow, and spit out onto the page.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
A Kindle full of all the books I’ve been way too busy to read these past few weeks—can’t wait to get to them! Including Patty Blount’s Send, Diane Henders’ Never Say Spy, Kristen Callihan’s Firelight, Maria Zannini’s Mistress of the Stone, and a whole bunch of others. I’m afraid reading is one thing that’s getting shoved to the back burner while I’m in the throes of my first book launch.
If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
Probably Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. It was magic that first time. I still love to reread it, but that first-time excitement was unbeatable.
In your bio, it says you’ve spent time in Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, and France. Do you have a favorite destination?
Sweden. It’s in my blood (my mom is Swedish). Give me some pickled herring and some chokladbiskvier (chocolate pastry to die for) and I’m in heaven.
If you could pack your bags and travel somewhere you haven’t been tomorrow, where would you go?
Oh, that’s a tough one! So many places I’d love to see. Hmm. Maybe I’d go with New Zealand. If it’s half as gorgeous as it looks in the LOTR movies, it would be worth the trip to the other side of the world, even though I’m not overly fond of flying.
I noticed that a martini glass is featured prominently on your site. Do you have a favorite adult beverage?
Well, I do love a good martini (as you probably guessed), but my absolute favorite adult beverage is a Manhattan. With two cherries. Yum!
Other than travel, when you manage to carve out free time for yourself, how do you like to spend it?
I wish I could say something like Roller Derby or drag racing. Alas, that would be a bigger fantasy than my books. Sounds boring, but I love hanging out at home with my honey. Especially when he cooks for me.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
Well, I’d like to share a Manhattan with you and your readers, but since that’s not feasible I’ll just tell you Quick Fix (Book 2 of the series) is coming out next July. And Tor is going to release a mass market paperback version of In a Fix right before then, in June 2013. Meanwhile, I’ll be busy working on Book 3.
About In a Fix:
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.