Please welcome Linda Grimes, author of the new release QUICK FIX (Ciel Halligan Series, #2)(Tor Books, August 2013):
Linda Grimes is the author of In a Fix and Quick Fix, the first two books of Tor’s light urban fantasy series featuring aura adaptor Ciel Halligan. She currently resides in northern Virginia with her husband and a host of imaginary people who fuel her writing.
Ciel Halligan, an aura adaptor with a chameleon-like ability to step into the lives of her clients and fix their problems for them—as them—is working a job at the National Zoo with her maybe-sort-of boyfriend, Billy, and his ten-year-old sister, Molly. It’s supposed to be a quick fix, giving her time to decide if it’s wise to pursue the romantic relationship her charming scoundrel of a best friend wants, or if she should give longtime crush and CIA agent Mark Fielding a chance to step up to the plate. But the quick fix gets complicated when Molly accidentally takes on the aura of a baby orangutan—which isn’t supposed to be possible—and then deadly when Ciel tries to figure out who’s been experimenting on Molly and why someone is trying to frame Billy for murder. Can Ciel fix Molly and keep Billy out of jail long enough figure out if he’s the guy for her?
I met Linda through the The Debutante Ball blog – Linda was a member of the debut class of 2012, and I’m a soon-to-be-departing member of 2013’s debutante class. Linda visited the blog last year to talk about her debut novel, IN A FIX, and I’m delighted to have her back today to talk about the sequel, QUICK FIX!
And so, with no further ado, on with the questions!
According to your website bio, you spent a semester studying in Stockholm. What prompted you to study abroad, and why did you choose that city for your studies?
My mom is Swedish—born and raised in Stockholm—and I have relatives there. My junior year of college seemed like the ideal time to get in touch with my Viking roots. So, yes, my roots really are blond. 😉
What inspired you to write a series involving an aura adapter who can “become” a person other than herself?
Well, to tell you the truth, Ciel just sort of showed up in my head with her ability as an integral part of her. I knew right off the bat that she liked to help people. What better way to do that than to become them and fix their problems as them? So much simpler than doling out advice and waiting for it to be ignored.
In your new novel, QUICK FIX, aura-adapter Ciel must not only fix a client’s problems but uncover the truth behind a young aura-adapter’s ability to shift into animal forms as well as human ones. What prompted you to expand the series in this interesting direction?
What makes you think I had a choice? *grin* I was just minding my own business, writing a scene set at the National Zoo (because I happen to like the National Zoo), when Billy’s little sister Molly touched an orangutan. Voila! Orange happened.
I actually tried to fight it at first—it didn’t go with the “rules” of my aura-adapting world—but, as usual when it comes to arguing with my plotting muse, I lost. “Molly-O” was too strong for me.
My theory is, my subconscious likes to write me into awkward corners so it can laugh as I scramble to write myself out of them. It’s sadistic that way.
What do you find most challenging about writing a series?
I’m drafting the third book now, and finding it rather challenging to work in the necessary back story without being so repetitive that I risk boring the readers who’ve already read the first two. Also, I have to make sure I don’t, in a sudden burst of creativity, contradict something I’ve established as fact in the previous books. Continuity can be a real…um, witch. (What’s this blog rated, anyway?)
Reversing that question: what do you enjoy most about series writing?
Getting to spend more time with these characters. I’ve become really attached to them—I know it will be a sad day for me when it’s time to leave them behind.
Do you have a favorite scene from QUICK FIX? If so, and if you can tell us about it without giving away any spoilers, what makes it stand out for you?
Gosh, it’s hard to choose just one favorite—I had fun with so many of them. I am rather fond of the “Come as You Aren’t Party” scene—there’s a lot going on there, with people switching auras all over the place. It was a real challenge to write.
What is the last book you read, and why did you read it?
WITCH, by Barbara Michaels (aka Barbara Mertz and Elizabeth Peters), who died recently. I was so saddened to hear of her passing. I wanted to reread something by her as a remembrance of all the hours of reading pleasure she’s provided me over the years. WITCH holds up incredibly well.
Where do you write? Do you have a favorite place to work?
I do most of my writing in our den, on my laptop. Since it’s a laptop, it’s easy to pick it up and move someplace else—like the living room or the deck—if I want a change of scenery.
What is your favorite movie, and why?
It’s tough to narrow it down, but I do love Galaxy Quest—it’s sooo funny. Plus, it appeals to the Star Trek nerd in me.
Do you have any upcoming signings or readings?
My “launch” event will be at the Barnes & Noble at Tysons Corner, a big mall in McLean, VA. Here’s a link to the event page, if anyone is interested in more info:
If you’re in the neighborhood, I’d love to see you there!
And now, the speed round:
Beef, chicken, or fish?
Tattoos or hair dye?
Hair dye. But only the temporary kind. I have commitment issues when it comes to my hair.
Beer, lemonade, or scotch?
Um, bourbon? Preferably mixed with sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters, and garnished with two cherries. (Why, yes, that would make it a Manhattan.)
For breakfast: eggs, waffles, or oatmeal?
Eggs in the summer, oatmeal in the winter. (Or cold cereal any day I’m feeling too lazy to cook.)
Thank you for inviting me to share your blog space today, Susan!
Thank you, Linda, for visiting! It was fun to have you back!