Friday, February 27, 2015

Interview and Giveaway: Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed

What inspired you to become an author?

My grandmother was a writer, so it was just something that was always a viable option. I actually don’t know how people who didn’t grow up with a writer ever got around to it. I also feel the same way about people who don’t patronize their local library.

Do you write in different genres? 

Oh yes. I think genre writing is the best writing. I love to combine them and smash them together, even if only a trace of one bleeds into the other. It’s lots of fun.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write? 

So many! It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, because it is very mood based. Some days I want to write a mystery, other days a sci-fi, and still others horror. And on other days, I want to throw them all in a blender and see what happens.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? 

Usually they’re the last thing I pick, because I am so terrible at them.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Life is short, and some risks are worth taking.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? 

Some, but so coated in fiction I think they’d be impossible to recognize. And that’s a good thing in the case of the first character to die on page, as he is based loosely on a person I do not like.

What books/authors have influenced your life? 

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas are huge influences on me, but you probably never would have guessed that. So are the works of Raymond Chandler and Joseph Hansen. I think if I started listing all the books that influenced my life, the list might not stop.

What books are in your to read pile? 

So many! I’ll just pick the top three. This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet, The Hitman Cometh by Edward Kendrick, and Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects? 

I’m writing a Holden spin-off of the Infected series, and a supervillain love story. And I have a lot of other things in the works.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?  

(This is from the supervillain story, currently titled Hearts of Darkness)

Not for the first time, Kaede wondered what would happen if he decided to burn everything down. Just set it all on fire.
He wouldn't, Fleur De Lis was a great restaurant, but sometimes he wondered what his father's limit was. Would he find a way to bail him out of everything? It wasn't a boundaries thing, he wasn't a child craving them, he was just curious if there was a line he couldn't cross. Maybe when your dad was a super-villain, you just got used to the evil after a while.
Even though he was currently attending university under a fake identity, his father still made sure enough people knew he had some kind of connection that he was always treated like a VIP. Kaede found it awkward and tiresome, although he knew he shouldn't complain about superior service. But the elitism of it all did bother him.
Currently, he was the only lone diner in the VIP section. There were two couples, one older and one younger, although they were a study in contrasts. The older couple looked like a long time married folks out for an anniversary dinner, while the younger couple was a guy with slicked back hair and a thousand dollar suit, and a fancy coifed woman whom he was willing to bet was a working girl. A high class one to be sure, but still a hooker. What kind of douchebag was that guy? Was he living out some kind of Pretty Woman fantasy? He was probably a stockbroker or something like that. Kaede hated him on principal.
Otherwise, the VIP section was empty. They had faint piano music and two waiters all to themselves. The rest of the place, the noisier, more crowded part of the restaurant, was separated by a doorway that most people probably didn't know existed. You entered and exited through a private door, so you never had to associate with the riff raff. Kaede wondered if his dad liked this, and that's why he insisted on him getting the same treatment.

His soup arrived, and he shared polite smiles with the waiter, who was handsome enough, if on the short side. Was he gay? Kaede may have been the son of a super-villain, but he had no gaydar at all, and his father never invented a thing that could do that for him. Or had he? He should ask, if he ever saw him again.
He might not. Kaede sporadically saw his father, and with little warning. It had been that way his entire life. Because so many people wanted to kill his dad or blackmail him into working for them, Kaede was a target from day one. So his father kept him moving, with new lives on new continents with new names and new guardians, most of which were professional nannies. His father hadn't raised him in any respect, and he had no idea who his mother was. Every time Kaede asked, he got a different name. Since his father worked so much with cloning, he did wonder if he was his clone and not actually a son, in spite of their different names. He knew there were rumors, but Kaede also knew better than to expect any real answers from his brilliant but certifiably crazy father. 
He tucked into his soup, which was decent enough, but he found himself craving the excellent hot and sour soup he found at this Chinese place downtown. It was probably home to more than a few health code violations, but the hot and sour soup was excellent, and abundant with tofu and mushrooms. Even though he was enjoying this fancier concoction, he knew he'd probably stop after dinner to  get a bowl of the cheaper hot and sour stuff. Although his father often insisted that the more expensive the better as far as food and booze were concerned, that simply wasn't true. Well, at least not all the time.
Kaede was finally trying his wine, which he'd been letting breathe, when he heard the distant sound of breaking glass.
It wasn't someone dropping a glass. This was a solider sound, heavier, and it seemed to be out in the public part of the restaurant. Now it was possible a bottle of wine or a particularly loaded platter hit the floor, but Kaede had developed something of a sixth sense for trouble. It was possible that was an actual thing his father gengineered in him, but he'd never said.
Kaede had slipped down, beneath the table, when the inner door of the VIP section slammed open, and bullets started flying. He heard brief, aborted screams, and he was really sorry for the other diners. Well, okay, only the older couple and the working girl. Wall Street boy could eat a bag of dicks.
“We know you're here, Hayashi!” a man bellowed, as the sounds of gunshots still rung in Kaede's ears. “We'll burn this place down if we hafta! Show yourself!”

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

I am so bad at titles. If there is a class on learning how to title things, I need it.

Who designed the cover of your latest book? 

Anne Cain has done all the Infected covers, and she is fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better artist.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Keep at it. Don’t stop. A rejection just means the story isn’t right for those people. It might be right for someone else.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book? 

I make soundtracks for all my stories, whether people want them or not. 

Infected: Prey
Infected Series
Book One
Andrea Speed

Genre: Gay mystery/urban fantasy

Publisher: DSP Publications

ISBN: 163216325X

Number of pages: 376
Word Count: 152,000

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Book Description:

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

Available at    DSP Publications     Amazon


HE was on his third beer of the evening when he thought he heard a noise in the backyard.
Hank DeSilvo scowled and looked out the window over the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes. He could see nothing but darkness, and maybe a bit of reflected light from the television. This was probably a bad time to remember the back porch light had blown out two days ago, and he’d forgotten to replace it.
Not that it mattered. The only light currently in the house was coming from the television, and as long as he ignored it, he developed enough night vision to make out a shape moving in the back garden. Or was it the wind moving a shrub? Kind of hard to say.
He slammed his can down with an annoyed grunt. It was probably the Hindles’ stupid ass dog again, shitting all over the place and tearing through his garbage. He hated that fucking thing, some ugly Rottweiler mix they insisted was a “friendly” dog, and yet it always had a look in its flat, black eyes that was just this side of rabid. They never leashed the damn thing either, and apparently his yard destruction was “cute.” He was just about out of this fucking place and that damn thing had to make a final appearance. And it was final all right; he was going to make damn sure of that.
He went back to the living room, glancing at the game as he walked past—it was a fucking damn boring game anyway—and got his shotgun from the cabinet. It was illegal as all hell, a sawed-off thirty ought six with the barrels cut so short you could have stowed it under a jacket, but the barrels had been filed down expertly; it wasn’t just the rough work of a desperate amateur but the sign of a pro. Which was why, when they’d searched the drug mule’s truck and he’d found it wedged under the front seat, he hid it in his trunk and didn’t report finding it. It wouldn’t have added that much to the mule’s sentence; he already had enough rock in his glove compartment to put him away for the rest of his pointless life, especially if it was his “third strike” (and it was, no surprise there), and he doubted the guy was so stupid that he’d actually ask why he wasn’t charged with owning an illegally modified weapon. Yeah, he was dumb; you had to be dumb if you were speeding and had a few thousand in rock in the car, as well as being obviously stoned yourself. But asking after that was a special kind of stupid, the kind only politicians and people on reality television ever seemed to crest.
He cracked open the gun and made sure he had some shells loaded in it before snapping it shut again with a sharp flick of his wrist. Man that felt good. This was a real man’s weapon, made him feel a foot taller and made of pure muscle, and he knew why that meth fuckhead was carrying it around with him. A weapon like this was a real god-killer; it made you feel invincible.
It was pure overkill, of course. The Hindles’ dog was fairly big, and yet one shot from this gun would rip it in half clean down the middle, as well as make a boom loud enough to set off every car alarm on the block. But what the fuck did he care? He was an ex-cop; he’d say the dog charged him, and on his property he could shoot the fucking thing if he wanted. He’d swap out the sawed-off for his Remington before they arrived. Ballistics wouldn’t match, but by the time they proved that, he’d be long gone. Good-bye, shit-hole city; hello, tropical paradise. It was just a shame that it took him this long to collect.
He stood at the back door for a moment, cradling the shotgun gently, and let his eyes get adjusted to the dark before going out onto the concrete patio. He had a mini Maglite with him with a red lens over the bulb, so if there was something he needed to see he could twist it on without losing his night vision. Not that he needed to make a direct hit; even if he just winged the dog, he’d probably rip half its face off, maybe a leg.
First step off the patio his foot squelched in something; it felt too liquid to be shit, but the smell that hit him was meaty, redolent of shit and offal and God knew what else. Had that fucking dog already strewn his garbage about? Goddamn it.
Holding the shotgun in one arm, he turned on the flashlight and looked down at what he’d stepped in.
At first it looked like a puddle, which didn’t make sense since it hadn’t rained in a week, and the thought that it was dog piss was dismissed since it was dark, and dog piss wasn’t usually black. Or was that red-black? Swinging the light outwards, he saw greasy, ropey strands that couldn’t have come from his garbage can, and then a big hunk of raw, bloody meat like a lamb shank… only it was too long and thin to be a shank, too dark, and ended in a paw.
It was a Rottweiler leg.
Someone—something—had dismembered the Hindles’ psychotic dog and spread about a third of it all over his backyard. He saw the leg, which was the biggest piece, an assortment of internal organs, loops of intestines laid out like fallen party streamers, and lots of blood. But where was the other two thirds of the dog?
The hair stood up on the back of his neck, and he knew he had to get the fuck inside now. But as he turned, shotgun at the ready and braced against his hip, he saw the flash of white teeth in the dim moonlight, and his brain sent out the impulse to pull the trigger.
He didn’t have time to wonder why it never happened as the teeth ripped open his throat.

About the Author:

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you - framed!)

In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

Twitter: @aspeed

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