The real life setting of Gypsy Hunted – plus Pronoun closing

Hi everyone
Below and above are some photos of my recent visit to the real life setting of Gypsy Hunted book 1. For those of you that have read it, you’ll see its pretty close as far as setting goes to the first and second chapters, where all the action happens 🙂

It was actually a thrill visiting Lygon Street, I hadn’t revisited since I wrote the book in 2014, and I actually found the section of the long street, as I remembered it from twenty years ago!  It is a park, and I found a sign listing the name of the park and took a photo for posterity.

Bit of background, I walked through this actual area 20 years ago or more, when I was on a first date, which turned out to be an abysmal failure

But I still remember the feeling walking through darkened parks and streets to get back to his car, and it wasn’t exactly happy happy joy joy.

I have a competition as you’ll see on my facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/authorandreadrew/

Just answer the question and possibly win a signed paperback copy!

Now, onto the next topic.  Pronoun is closing!

Most authors were shocked by this as we didn’t see it coming.  What it means though unfortunately is that I had to cancel the pre order of Thousand Cuts, I had little choice.

A Thousand Cuts was due for release July 2018, and pronoun recently announced their closure as of 15 Jan 2018, and so my pre order, published via pronoun, had to be cancelled.

If you ordered a copy, please let me know as amazon doesn’t tell me who actually pre-ordered it, although they do tell me how many were purchased.

My email is andrea (at) andreadrewauthor.com

Cheers!

 

 

I finally shot a gun…

Finally my author friends and I got to experience gun shooting.  We’re in Australia, so we headed off to Melbourne Gun Club to try out shooting with a 12 gage shot gun, with clay targets.

Took me a couple of tries (six) before I killed some clay, and as those of you more knowledgeable than me will see from the video at first, I wasn’t holding it correctly, only later did I lean into it.  Then it worked!

IMG_6557.MOV (1)

Shikhari Connection – A snippet (3000 words)

Shikhari Connection

Definition of Shikhari – noun, plural shikaris.

  1. (in India) a person who hunts big game, especially a professional guide or hunter.

#

Gypsy

It’s not every day your niece gets stuck in purgatory, but on this particular Thursday afternoon a trip to an unknown place, between lives, to save her life didn’t exactly come up on my radar.
How could it? I’m selectively telepathic not a damn circus fortune teller.
Most women are mesmerised by store front windows due to the retail delights contained within, but in my case, the three ten foot tall shimmery bars reflected in the glass, pushed their energy out, demanded my attention but, I pushed them out of my mind, focussing instead on my niece Renee.
In my defence, until that point all visions involved people, usually dead although sometimes the living so the sparkling bars offered no reference point, seemingly random and weird.
Scheduled for a minor procedure the next day, I figured the time to discuss the unspoken issue Renee kept from me had come, or at least try and coax it out of her. Yeah, I know she’s nineteen now and entitled to her privacy, but its pretty hard to keep secrets when you share the inside of your mind with each other. She’d relegated a portion of her mind to a dark hidden cupboard, and only she knew its contents, which got me curious.
Plus maybe it would distract both of us from surgery the next day, a tonsillectomy so no biggie, but surgery all the same.
“When did you think you’d spill your guts then?” I said, a deliberate attempt to keep things light, which worked better with her, or had during her early teenage years anyway.
“I’m entitled to my privacy aren’t I? I’m not a little girl any more.” Renee said, flicking her hair back over her shoulder and pursing her lips deliberataely.
“Most people are yeah, but we’re not most people.”
“Okay you win that one, but it’s not something I want to talk about.” She concentrated on her shoes, a brand new pair of shiny black boots. I knew how much she loved them, reflected in the price she paid. We’d gone shopping for them together.
“That means its either sex, money or somewhere in between.” She rewarded my direct comment with a sly smile. “You can only keep it from me for so long you know, then you’ll run out of energy.”
She frowned, assuming her usual expression which meant I’m thinking, leave me the hell alone. Fat chance.
“it’s not exactly sex, but….I’m a bit confused.”
‘By what? Some guy at university? Get in line”
“It’s my bestie, Janie. I’ve known her since uni started but it feels like a lot longer.” Renee twirled a lock of hair behind her ear and chewed on he lip.
“I’m glad you’ve got a bestie, I wouldn’t want to through my teenage years again.”
She stopped walking abruptly, and turned toward me, taking a moment to come out from the veil of long dark shiny hair. “I think I’ve got feelings for her and its totally not normal. Is it?”
I laughed in relief. She hadn’t committed a crime or contemplated some elaborate eloping ritual. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t laugh” Renee eyes had filled, and intensity shone from them. “It’s just if you’re thinking there’s a normal in the world to measure yourself against, you’ll be looking for a while.” I wrapped my arms around her, and hugged her gently, before letting to go to take another look at her. Tears had blossomed, spilling over the rims of her eyes. “Oh honey, there’s so many ways to judge someone. Kindness, ability to help, generosity, by the time I get down to what someone does with their private points, well I give up.”
She smiled through the waterworks. “Thanks, I guess.”
“Look, I understand where you’re coming from. Coming out as gay can mean life becomes more difficult than being straight, but I think you’re jumping the gun here. Being attracted to someone you’re close to can happen. How does Janie feel?”
“No idea. It’s the last thing I want to ask her about.” We began walking again, with my right arm around her shoulders.
“It’s okay, my advice for what its worth, is to play it by ear for now. You’re smart, it’ll work out in the end, I promise.”
“I hope so.” She said. “Can we not tell Mum yet? Until I’m sure?”
“Course we can” I said, although keeping a secret like that from my sister would hang between us like a water filled bubble. It could burst at any moment. It hadn’t exactly been smooth sailing between us but thankfully at the moment peace reigned supreme.“Besides” I said, thinking it over as I spoke “I’m no expert on relationships, me and Connor have been together more than four years and I still can’t pick a date.”
She laughed, a beautiful sound like a clear crystal bell. “Why the hell not? Most women would jump at the excuse for a wedding. Are you sure you’re actually female?”
“Yeah, last time I checked.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“I don’t know I said, changing the rhythm of my steps to dodge a leaking fire hydrant, water gushing onto the footpath “Best guess is the idea of respectability. I’m not exactly known for my conservatism. Rebellion maybe, Connor reckons I’m a rebel without a clue. Charmer isn’t he?”
“He’s all right as far as old guys go.”
I swatted her playfully “Easy on the old” I said. “The pomp and ceremony doesn’t exactly thrill me either. All those eyes on me as I walk down the aisle doesn’t exactly thrill me.”
“So go to a registry office. Come on Gypsy, it’s a no brainer!”
Out of the mouths of babes. I filed it in the too hard basket for later, but forgot in the mad panic of the phone call from my sister Leah the next day.
“Gypsy, come now!” Leah’s voice wailed, a keening stricken sound that stripped the marrow off my bones. Oh god, Renee, No, please not Renee, I pleaded anything but that.
I ran to my car and started it up with hands shaking so hard I almost couldn’t get the damn key in the ignition. I made it into the hospital somehow, and sped to Leah’s side, and all walls collapsed as she clung on to me, a drowning woman hanging on to a life raft.
“Find her Gypsy, go get her, for god’s sake.”
In the flurry of my sister’s grief and nurses walking to and from her nieces bed to check on her vital signs what seemed like every few seconds, I’d almost forgotten about the warning I’d ignored. It was my fault, she should have known better. Don’t cry Gypsy, I warned myself, stay strong, they both need you. But it ended up like not opening Pandora’s box, the more I willed myself not to do it, the harder the waterfall of pent up grief, remorse, regret, a mish mash of emotion, and the shared memories. Not now, not like this, never like this.

###

Connors interview

Connor

The spectacles perched on the fat underneath the sweaty torturer’s eyes, so high that they gave him a gleefully psychotic appearance, a dictator about to emit a hysterical laugh at learning of some pain inflicted upon ex-detectives wanting to get back into the force, grasping at straws, or in this case, the straws of a regular pay packet.
As his sausage like fingers encased the door handle and it clicked closed sharply, the room closed in on me, and I gained some understanding of the thinking behind the desperate eyes of abandoned dogs at the pound, terror-stricken, pleading and hopeful of rescue.
The bone-coloured walls of the interview room, packed with stuffed filing cabinets and a desk jammed between them offered barely a glimmer of hope. The chair swayed, and I prayed it would hold my weight for at least the next few minutes until I could talk my way out of there. A chair falling apart mid job interview would be far too prophetic for my liking, after three years as a private investigator.
Could the interviewer smell the desperation, or did he smile smugly because he knew he’d never have to chase after criminals or attempt to get sense out of drug addled criminals?
As he waddled across to his desk, my attention followed his sweaty form, struggling to take a breath. Rubber necking at his humiliation, I knew I shouldn’t stare, but as every rubber necker knew, car crashes were a double edged sword and this man gave the impression of a car crash waiting to happen; etiquette and safety demanded drivers keep their eyes on the road, but the fascination of seeing carnage meant voyeurs slowed progress for everyone.
The man, who’d introduced himself as Will Mathers when he greeted me at reception, filled with the self importance that came from secure long term bureaucratic employment, reached the desk and squeezed into the narrow space between the desk and the office chair. The frayed leather belt cut into his waist, the fabric where he’d tucked his shirt in stretched to capacity.
Mr. Mathers leaned back in the chair. “What made you return to the force?” he said, shuffling through papers, probably looking for the interview script powers that be insisted he recite.
The front right corner of the interview desk had fallen apart so the disintegration showed, and small particles appeared to make a regular, if rather flaky appearance. When I’d entered and sat as instructed, I’d shaken the mans wet fish of a hand noticing the lack of strength in his passive damp fingers. My father Harry, a jaded cop himself, had always told my brother Dan and I we could test the character of a man by the type of handshake, and based on first impressions, the fish didn’t exactly swim upstream.
I glanced down at the card he’d handed me proudly, Senior Human Resource Officer for the Victorian Police department. William Matthers had been employed either for his bean counting ability or tendency to say “Yes Sir” as ordered, rather than agility or fitness. I wondered if he’d been moved to a desk job once the pounds piled on, a sad state of affairs capable of blunting any man’s once noble goals.
I’d delayed committing the words to air for far too long knew, and the tubster knew it. “I lost a lucrative contract with an insurance, plus my son in law Ryan Sheehan’s been well…encouraging me to come back into the folder for more than a year now. So when an opening came up at my old station…”
“Yes,I understand” he said, but how in hells name could he? Sounded like a ‘but’ perched on the tip of his tongue, and while I’m sure many would accuse me of cynicism, judging by the flicker of the corners of his mouth, I wondered if he enjoyed the power play. He fiddled with a silver pen. “As your brother in law told you, there is an opening within the branch you were a part of at Carlton, within the Homicide and major crimes unit, however due to budget restrictions, there won’t be any pay increments due for more than twelve months.”
I paused, stunned. The room stood still. The pen pusher stared back at me, a deer in the headlights. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of losing my cool. I stared out the window, thirteen floors up, an attempt to distract myself. Office dwellers, scurried across the scorched pavement, ant like in their mission to get whatever meangingful task office workers were given. Hopefully Will Mather’s wasn’t concealing a magnifying glass in his desk drawer.
“What about the media reporting the increases in funding for police? Don’t detectives with a decades service and exceptional close rate count for something?” I’d brushed aside my reasons for leaving the force originally, politics. “I take it you’ve read my record?”
“I have, your case close is unusually high.”
He couldn’t say what he thought, particularly as a Human Resources drone. Not unusual for a detective with an unfair advantage.
Did anyone say Sentinel?
See this pissed me off. The idea that occasionally seeing visions from the dead, and a unique ability to cut a spirit connection particularly as a protection mechanism; made me greater not lesser than other cops. After years of pushing my ability aside, and minimising my own strength and power, I’d had enough.
I sensed it, the unspoken accusation; a Sentinel doesn’t have to do the hard graft. What a load of bullshit. I only used it where appropriate and it didn’t mean I hadn’t worked my arse off to close cases, including walking into an undercover operation with a blown cover, stakeouts in rain sleet and frost, being spat, kicked, punched and sprayed with my own pepper spray.
You didn’t get promoted without hard work, and any winds of dissension were ignored. Better get used to it though if I were heading back to my old station, although hopefully I’d earned enough respect that snickers would be nipped in the bud pretty damn fast.
“You’re a tremendendous asset, but we just don’t have the funds to pay you what you may have been used to as an investigator” A pretty little lie. He’d been worded up, most likely the Chief of Police that had suspended me years ago, probably pissed it got overturned.
“Heard any talk about my record Mr. Mathers” I said, what the hell, I knew his creative abilities probably ran to failing to answer the question but I’d enjoy watching him squirm, even if only for a few seconds.
He wouldn’t look at me, suddenly fascinated by the pile of papers front and centre of his desk. “Of course not, all placements are based purely on merit.”
Yeah right. Was that a sneer that moved across the inverviewer’s sweaty upper lip?
“Some things stay the same” I muttered. My ventriloquist skills came in handy not just was a party trick.
Will Mathers sat forward to learn his forearms on the desk, pushing back his seat to allow room for his ample stomach, which pushed against the desk with alarming pressure. “Excuse me?”
“A touch of nostalgia, nothing more” I said rubbing my hands across my face. I had neither the time nor the energy to take him on. Let him roll around in his own little bubble.
“Alternatively, there is a place within the Academy, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that your knowledge would be put to good use there. You’d be contributing to the next generation of police men and women.”
And maybe Will Mathers could lead the next generation of administrators in eating donuts, one bite at a time.
“Thanks but I think I’d rather be part of operational duty” said Connor. Languishing behind a desk at the Academy, a slow decay would be torture.
“Do I have the job or not? What’s the process from here?” I tried not to look at my interviewer too long. I couldn’t shake the idea that he might explode, like something out of a monty python farce. I bit my lip.
“You’ll get an email in the next few days. As you might remember it can take some time for the administrative wheels to turn. You’ll need to be set up again in the system as a sworn member, a week or two perhaps.” He frowned, and picked up a pile of papers, tapping it against the the desk. His chair squeaked in protest as he pushed his bulk up from the seat and leaned across the desk for another limp handshake.
“We’ll be in touch very soon” he said and leaned his right hand on the top edge of the door.
“Okay thank you for your time” I said. His smugness, irked, but no need to be rude, the guy probably had no idea he rubbed me up the wrong way, just doing his job. Besides, I had a regular pay packet, which had been the aim, no matter how crap the pay. I walked through the maze of corridors back out to reception, where I nodded and smiled at the receptionist, waiting outside the lift doors, pushing the button to wait for what usually was an eternity for them to arrive. The police budget didn’t run to upgrades or maintenance to the lift either.
The text message had landed without a murmur, simply an unobtrusive almost apologetic ping,a clear bell, demanding my attention. I swiped the screen. As the lift doors slid open with a quiet swish, I thumbed the text.
“Renee won’t wake up. Bad. Please help.”
Usually I’d tell her to call for an ambulance, but considering Renee Gypsy’s nineteen year old niece lay on a hospital bed after a somewhat routine operation to have her tonsils removed, I wasn’t sure what I could do to help. Other than be by Gypsy’s side of course, which was exactly what I had planned.
Gypsy had told me a few days before that Renee would be at Pinewood Private Hospital. Leah, Renee’s sister had apparently got herself into a lather about it, worrying about her daughter, while Renee herself seemed fairly cool calm and collected about the whole thing.
Two grown women anxious to the point of hysteria, just what I needed. Just when I thought we’d put those days behind us, the days of lurching from one disaster to another. Some things never change.

 

 

 

The Sentinel has Risen…

The Sentinel has Risen! Just 0.99 for a limited time

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

I’ve come a long way in this journey. I’m especially proud and excited that the first book in the second series (Reardon Files) is now released (27th November) and selling well with some gratifying reviews.  sentinel-rising-e

A bit of background: I’d always been afraid of publishing, figuring trolls would jump on my first attempt at fiction, despite being a commercial writer for 20 years.  It’s scary baring your soul and showing it to the world and asking them to pay you to read it.

I’d dreamed about doing so for most of my life, so in October 2014 I published my first title Gypsy Hunted.  Yeah, the trolls came, but I survived (thanks to my other half, the lovely Steve).  He showed me that even some of the greatest writers got bad reviews from faceless strangers so suppressing the desire to hide under the desk and never write again, I kept going. The result was three more books.

This one is special though.  I wanted Connor to come out of the shadows as a main character, and in this series he has.  He’s an ex cop, disillusioned with bureaucracy  and struggling with not only his supernatural abilities, but the darkness within himself.  It’s his first criminal case since becoming a private investigator, and he’ll need every ounce of reserve of strength and persistence to find the murderer.

Here’s a sneak peak of Sentinel Rising: (Just 0.99 until 1 December!)

andrea-drew-fb-banner

Chapter 1

Valentine’s Day

He hadn’t meant to kill the love of his life. As he stared at the lifeless form, a mess of tangled limbs on the soft carpet, a chill seeped up his spine, through his veins, and deep into the marrow of his bones.

He missed her so much, his darling Lauren. The love of his life, mother to his only child. How could she betray him? After all they’d been through, how could their life together be forgotten and dismissed as if none of it had ever happened? The secret conversations, the gossip, the problems solved together, the whispered moments before they drifted off to sleep—none of it mattered anymore.  The loving Lauren he’d known had been caring and affectionate.  Not the cold unfeeling bitch from hell that had screeched like an animal, told him he had no say in her life or in their child’s life.  When had she become uninterested in what he had to say?

When he had tried to explain why they should stay together, her eyes had glazed over and shifted to her computer, to a picture on the wall, to the clothes he was wearing, but never to his face, never to meet his gaze.

Her bright blue eyes had no longer reflected anything.  She’d moved on a long time ago and taken her soul with her. He hadn’t realised how screwed up and selfish she had become until their final confrontation.

He hadn’t meant to kill her, but now she lay still next to the filing cabinet where she had hit her head. She was gone forever and never coming back.  At first, he’d tried to wake her up. He’d told her he was sorry, and that he never should have yelled at her like that or pushed her. When she hadn’t responded, he’d gone into panic mode, wrapping her in a sheet he’d pulled from the bed. But then he’d had no idea what to do with her body. He had knelt beside her, brushing her hair and removing the smeared makeup from under her unseeing eyes. Then the rush of what he’d done strangled him, closing his throat and filling him as he bellowed her name.

The immediacy of the moment, the reality of it hurt, ears ringing and the reverberations in the room pushing back at him.  The loss of all he held dear, everything that truly mattered to him had been taken as if it never existed.  He should have controlled himself better, and positively should never have pushed her so hard she fell backwards and hit her head on the corner of the cabinet.  A fierce dark beast had possessed him, burned its way inside his ribcage somehow, demanding to be heard, to be avenged, to win.

Now he’d lost, really lost. There would be no coming back from this. The emptiness wouldn’t leave, his chest a brittle shell of nothingness, like the dead animals he saw by the side of the road before they’d been splattered to a pulp, their fur matted and blowing in the back wind from each passing car.  He almost wanted the searing pain back, the fury, something to reassure him he still retained some essence that made him human.

He pulled the sheet over her face and lifted her in his arms.  She was heavy.  He held her there, swaying for a few seconds, suffering under the weight, wishing for more pain to ease his guilt, penance for a crime that could never be repaid.

The clock beside the bed said 11.49pm.  It was Sunday night, so few people would be on the roads.  The neighbours pretty much kept to themselves, and no lights from the local industrial estate were twinkling in the distance. No one would see them.

He carried her out to his car, pressed the automatic unlocking device on his keys, and laid her carefully in the boot.  He wished he had a pillow to put underneath her head, but she’d be safe for now.

He opened the passenger door and climbed in, and then started up the ignition.  They had both loved it out here, and sometimes they’d sit at their favourite look out spot on the cliff, gazing out to the coast, surrounded by the city lights below them.  There were still some reminders of civilization but not enough to distract them. He would take her there now. She would be happy with Wilson’s Point as her final resting place.

Sweat prickled up his arms.  He pushed down on the button to his right and the pane of glass from the driver’s side window disappeared with a whir.  Memories pushed their way in: their first meeting, the first time they made love, and the first time they’d planned a future as they lay in bed, their feet intertwined.

He didn’t know how long he drove, but eventually he recognised the turnoff for their special spot.  As he stepped out of the car, the bright moon watched over him, lighting the area for the task ahead.  It had to be done quickly.  Opening the back of the car, he reached over for the shovel, and walked eight steps to a low hanging tree.  Testing the ground for softness, he found the perfect place for Lauren to rest a couple of metres away where tree roots weren’t poking through the earth.

He began to dig, tentatively initially. Then he thought about Lauren waiting in the back of the car, sleeping inside her pink sheet.  He dug harder, the hole small at first, and then he lengthened it until there was enough room for her to rest in.  Droplets of sweat formed on his spine, and then gathered into a trickle. He put down the shovel and returned to the car.  Placing one arm under the back of her knees and the other just under her shoulders, he heaved her into his arms.   At five foot four, she’d never been a big woman and, at that moment, he was thankful for her slender figure.

He trudged over to the hole and squatted down to lay her in it.

“Goodbye, darling. I’m so sorry,” he whispered.  “Forgive me, please.  I’ll never forget you.”

He began shoveling dirt from the pile beside the hole to cover her.  Once done, he patted the area down as best he could, brushed the dirt off his hands, and got back into the car for the return trip to Melbourne.

###

It had been so long since Connor Reardon got a late-night call—more than two years, in fact.  In a previous life, he’d accepted the calls at ungodly hours as par for the course. It was always one dispatcher or another, telling him in a bored tone there had been another murder and he needed to get his butt to the crime scene.  Eventually he’d quit in disgust, tired of the red tape and politics from the brass.

When he’d initially awoke, jolted from sleep by the sudden noise, he’d been in the middle of a bizarre vision, one in which his brother was still alive, and his nephew hadn’t been incarcerated for killing a detective.

Fat chance.

He opened his eyes and let them adjust to the dim light from the window. The still form of his fiancé, Gypsy Shields lay to his right. It would take more than a ringing telephone to wake her. His phone continued to buzz its way across the dark laminated top of his bedside table. He dragged his left arm from beneath the covers to find the lamp.  The phone screen cast a glow, and he sat up in bed.  Finding the lamp, he flicked the switch and grabbed the phone.  He stared at the screen, which said 11.49pm.

Had someone died? Where the hell was the fire?

 

sentinel-rising-e

How this Author got started…plus my best release yet…

sentinel-rising-release-party

It struck me recently that while we’ve been carrying on this merry dance, I’m not sure if my readers know of the journey (an oft used phrased but relevant here) and how I got here.

So to that end, here are some Q and As sent to my new Virtual Assistant/Author PA.

Q1. what are you working on now?
A. Shikhari Connection, book two in the Reardon Files series. I’m excited about this one because it delves more into the paranormal, and I’ve created a new world of my own creation “The Etherworld” where the two characters me (and based on feedback) and my readers love, Gypsy and Connor battle supernatural creatures to save the life of Renee, Gypsy’s niece. I think I’m finally ready to take on the more fantasy side of urban fantasy for this one. I was originally fascinated by beings that could be either guides or hunters between worlds, depending on the being. I did some research and found the ancient Indian word “Shikhari” for a hunter or guide, used usually when hunting animals

Q2. when will your next book be out?
A. Ask me that when I’m not exhausted from a full-time business, three children, a busy writing business and promoting and editing like the wind on Sentinel Rising which I hope will be my most successful release yet. Seriously though, I hope it will be sooner rather than later, although while I’m editing and promoting there seems to be little left in the tank to write, brain dead takes over. I’m hoping for Feb or March 2017 for a complete first draft when I’ll put it up on pre-order and stress myself out with deadlines yet again 

Q3. Where do you get your inspiration?
A. Not sure to be honest. I’ve always had an active imagination and my mum tells me I was reading at 18 months which sounds wild to me. I very much agree with the comment from my author idol, Stephen King. He says that ideas are like a sieve, the sand goes through the sieve but the good ideas that stick around become a novel. That’s exactly how it happens for me, I know this because my first novel I gave up on and didn’t finish, the idea didn’t stick around long enough to sustain my interest to finish it, so I figured readers would be bored too. Thank goodness that title never saw the light of day. Some of the best ideas happen while I’m not writing, especially when I’m either in the shower or doing housework. Don’t think that means I’m going to do either of those things more though okay?

Q4. Do you write full time or have a day job?
A. I wish I wrote full time but I have a very busy day job, so my hobbies are pretty much sleeping and reading, in that order sometimes. Like many authors, I dream of earning enough from author royalties that I can write books a lot faster than I do now. Writing supernatural suspense thrillers is my favourite kind of playtime.

Q5. how long did it take you to write the book?
A. This one (Sentinel Rising) took me a bit longer than the other four. I spent 4-6 times longer plotting this one out as its more of a mystery where the bad guy isn’t revealed to the end, (I read a lot of mysteries and crime books) which was a lot trickier, but I wanted to give it a go. First draft took me six months off and on, as looking back I think I doubted myself a bit more due to a slight shift in genre and viewpoint. I’m confident the extra time spent means for a better book though. The reviews will tell me if my confidence was misplaced.

Q6. What inspired you to write it?
A. I really wanted Connor Reardon to have his own series. It felt at times in series 1 that he was stifled in Gypsy’s shadow, and I wanted him to break out on his own for the first book of his own series, and he’s definitely done that. I love mystery novels, and love the suspense, so wanted to try that with my own brand of supernatural/psychic/awesome abilities thrown in, so this was my first go at that. I’m proud of finishing it, if truth be told.

Q7. what was the hardest part about writing it?
Writing from Connor’s point of view, a man, and also not switching viewpoints. All of the earlier books were told in multiple viewpoints and some in first person. For this title, I wanted to write in a similar style to some of my favourite authors namely Michael Connelly, Ray Bradbury and Ian Rankin and in the process hopefully entice some blokes to read my books! I’m not sure if I’ve succeeded in understand and writing from a male private investigator/ex cops point of view, hopefully once some men read it they’ll let me know.

Q8. how long have you been writing?
A. As long as I can remember. My first ‘published’ title in the strictest sense of the word happened in primary school at the age of 7. I named it ‘the Owl that couldn’t Twit Twoo’ I couldn’t remember the word for Hoot but now I remember I hadn’t come across that word in any books at that age. Then I took a long time off due to being told by a parent that I’d starve if I became a writer so didn’t start my own copy writing business until my first child was born in 1998. In 2013 I wrote my first non-fiction book, as writing fiction and baring my soul was still too scary. I tried a novel in 2013, but didn’t finish it (crappy idea that didn’t have enough juice to carry me through to completion) but in 2014, got together with a friend, and the idea for Gypsy Hunted (which started as a short story) got me through 63,000 of my first novel. Woo hoo! I haven’t looked back from there.
Q9. do you listen to music when you write? if so what?
A. Occasionally although I get distracted by lyrics when I’m writing words, the two opposing forces of words clash and mingle and interrupt my flow. The Lord of the Rings sound tracks, or another one called “Where civilization lay” is inspiring too.

Q10. what snack do you eat while writing?
A. Salt and vinegar pringles or Pork Krackles in a pack, sold at my local Woolies store, but they discontinued the line and stopped selling them recently. If I had the time or the inclination, I’d start an online petition to get them back!

Q11. do you have a playlist for you book?
A. Yes, for series one it’s on you tube and my blog (search for Crime fiction playlist Andrea drew). Each song applies to a scene from each of those books that stood out to me. My latest favourite is Black Betty by Spider Bait as in this book I loved the idea of Connor being a bit more edgy, he was just so well behaved in the first series. So, he traded in his Australian Ford Falcon, his “company” car as a detective, and bought a hotted up muscle car, a black 1970s Australian charger. What a beast. Usually I prefer music with no lyrics when I’m writing so film and music soundtracks, but if I’m writing an emotional scene ‘The Pretender’ by the Foo Fighters always fires me up.
Q12. who did you base your characters after?
A. They start as my ideal character with some personality trait or element I love. For example, with Gypsy I wrote the abilities I wish I had, in a situation where she raced against the clock to find a killer and save her own life. CoBuy Sentinel Rising herennor of course was and is the ideal man, but I’ve written him for five books now and he’s asserted himself and become his own person now. I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing about these characters, they are so dear to me and almost as real and dear to me as my own family, embarrassing as that might be to admit. Sometimes I remember the scenes in my book so much, and get lost in there, that I forget about real life, and don’t remember what was happening at the time I wrote them, only the life I lived through my books!

Crime Author playlist

Although I haven’t written fiction for nearly three weeks, I’m getting there. After losing my father in law suddenly from a heart attack combined with my own health scare (I still get to write those books rattling around in my head), life went from chaos to insanity.

I’m now settling back into the mundane, and while yes my house still looks like the junkies have moved in (why clean today when the kids will turn it into a shit hole tomorrow?)

I am now approaching a point where I’m ready to get the final scenes of my next book down on the page, with renewed interest.

In the meantime, I’ve finally created my own playlist to keep me going, and thought you might enjoy it. I’ve categorised it below according to which songs suit either scenes from a particular book, or an interesting character. Here they are:

1. Gypsy, after an argument with Connor in book 2 Gypsy Cradle

2. Connor, after leaving St Kilda Road headquarters and receiving notice of his suspension

3. Aaron, after abducting his first victim (Gypsy Hunted)

4. Connor, once he realises he has doubted Gypsy (Gypsy Cradle):

5. Gypsy, after waking from a vision in Gypsy Curse:

6. Tiran, after Aaron has stormed out in book 1 Gypsy Hunted:

To view the playlist of some of the songs I played while writing the Gypsy Medium Series:


Enjoy!

T Minus 21 days and counting – Day 1 – My 21 day novel writing challenge

I first read books by Chris Fox months ago, as a somewhat withdrawn Kboards forum member.
His books Lifetime Writing Habit, 5,000 words per hour and Write to Market resonated with me.

I dreamed of achieving what he had but something always held me back. I now realise that was fear, a pathetic excuse for an emotion.

Over the last four months, and in the last month in particular, my copywriting business took a turn for the better. Income levels were at their highest point in more than 18 months. I stretched my writing muscles and got more done in a day than I’d previously allowed myself to believe possible.

So of course at the end of April, after checking my stats for the month, I began to entertain the wild idea that writing a novel a month could be possible for me.

So I started by writing a list of benefits to writing prolifically, one that was relevant to me and our family.
There were no down sides other than a schedule from hell and waking up with the birds but the benefits were endless. Plus it was only for 12 months right? How hard could it be?

Something inside me clicked three days ago last Friday and I decided I’d go for it.
Has it been uncomfortable?
Of course it has.

Am I excited?
You betcha.

I’ve started posting my word counts on facebook in a bid to make myself accountable. I mentioned to one of my friends Amanda, that all would be revealed in a blog post.

So here it is.
2000 words of fiction each and every day for the next 365 days. I’m cheating a bit in that I’ve already written 20,000 words of my current work in progress as yet untitled. But its taken me since January 1 to the end of April to get this far.

Enough is enough.

Excuse my shaking camera aka my mobile phone. I’m still getting the hang of this video lark, but I promise by tomorrow there’ll be no more distracting shakes.

The excitement has gone to my head, and it seems, my hands….
My 21 day finish this novel already challenge – and my 365 day writing challenge

Calling all Beta Readers!

Hey everyone
Yeah I know I’ve been hidden amongst the undergrowth that is writing life, with not a blog post to be found,but I’m back.
Why? How come? What gives love?
Well, actually its the manuscript I’m working on. I’ve got quite a bit to say about this one. I’m struggling with a few things. As the first book in the second series I have no clue about the title. Originally this was going to be the Sentinel series but the name for book 1 of series 2 changes daily.

Why?

Well this one is more of a mystery. The reader won’t know who did it until the very end. The loose ends will tie up then.

There’s also some paranormal in it, but not until the reader is into the first third of the book. So now at the 20K mark, the paranormal side of it is only just coming into play.

I love writing paranormal so right now I’m not sure whether to scrap the first 20K and start again, rewrite it, or go with another story idea.

So I’m hoping my lovely beta readers will pick the first third of the book apart.
It isn’t polished or edited yet.
I do however want to know the following (I really do)
a) Is this story boring compared to the Gypsy Series (this one is told by Connor Gypsy’s now husband)
b) What do you like about the story so far? What do you want to see more of?
c) What doesn’t work for you?

I have the first 20K in PDF, kindle and epub format so if you’d like to read it, and can get feedback to me back in a week, please email me back and I’ll send it through.

Yes the story is unfinished so you’ll be left hanging. If you think you can handle it, please let me know 🙂

Cover reveal for book 4 Gypsy Curse

After much toing and froing, seeking feedback from authors (who weren’t wowed with initial efforts but made some great suggestions) I’m reasonable confident this one will do the job.

It fits in with the general branding of earlier books, strong colours,  images that create the right impression and communicate the story without giving too much away.

Here it is.  Ta da!andreadrew-72dpi-1500x2000 (1) Curse cover

 

 

A word a day keeps the crazies away

Writing really does keep me sane, and keeps the shit away. That was made so real to me this week. Between a legal case from hell that I was sure I would win and lost excellently, and trying to help someone who’d been on anti-depressants for a while and then going round the bend myself, I pretty much hit rock bottom yesterday. I cried like a bullied little girl.

I’d always thought I was tougher, a hard bitch, but obviously not.
You see, I hadn’t written, or edited (even worse) for over a week. Too busy on spinning the wheel that is earning money, only to pay bills. That had to come first. So I thought. Funny how I get in ruts like that and its tough to get out of. Only things like a bastard magistrate and real estate agent from the boys club can jolt me out sometimes.
No editor or writing meant my happiness suffered. Big time.
Still has if I’m really honest.

Writing gives me a ray of hope, that gem, that bit of sunlight to look forward to each day. I know I’m getting deep today, but I don’t care. It’s my new blog strategy (for today anyway) tell the honest raw truth, and hopefully someone somewhere will understand. Or I might help someone, even better.

Then to top it all off I got my first crap review for a book that had 6 five star reviews previously. Obviously I’m more sensitive than I care to admit.
That’s why I write I guesss. I hope its why you do too.
So write, if you’re miserable, write. You’ll feel better I promise. Who knows, someday you could turn it into a best seller!