Q&A with Linda Grimes

1. Tell us about the main character, Ciel Halligan.
Ciel is an aura adaptor—a human chameleon. (Which is kind of like a regular chameleon, only without the freakishly long tongue or the bulging, independently moving eyes.) She's young, struggling for her independence in an over-protective family, and more than a tad stubborn. I think of her as trying to rip off the "training wheels" in life, and of course having her share of falls while she finds her balance.

2. Would you want to be an aura adapter? Why or Why not?
Well, it would be a great party trick, that's for sure. Who wouldn't want to spend the occasional day as a fawned-over celebrity? Or maybe your ex's new SO, just to exact a little revenge. But I'll bet it would get old filling in for people the way Ciel does. I mean, what if they want you to go PTA meetings for them, or ask their bosses for raises? Ugh. Not so much fun then.

3. What sort of Starbucks coffee would Ciel order?
In the morning, black and strong. Later in the day, a Salted Caramel Mocha with lots of whipped cream.

4. What was your favorite chapter to write? Why?
I don't think I can narrow it down to an absolute favorite, but I have to admit I'm awfully fond of the final chapter. There's just something about seeing Ciel squirm in all that satin and lace that tickles my funny bone. (Yeah, I'm cruel to my characters.)

5. How many books do you have planned for this series?
I'm working on Book 3 now (just turned Quick Fix it to my editor not long ago), and after that I'll take it one book at a time. I don't think there'll be any shortage of trouble for Ciel to get into—she's always whispering some harebrained idea in my ear.

6. Who is your favorite author?
This is always a tough question for someone who loves to read all kinds of books, the way I do.  If pressed, though, I'll go with Diana Gabaldon, because her books encompass so much of what I love—adventure, history, mystery, a touch of paranormal, and an all-consuming love. Every time I reread her Outlander series, I am more convinced than ever of her writerly genius.

7. Do you have any interesting writing habits or quirks?
I like to type my first draft with my toes. It forces me to slow down and really think about what I'm writing.
(Okay, that's totally not true. But it is way more interesting than "I have to be well-rested when I write, and I like it quiet," don't you think?)

8. What is the last book that you've read?
GETTING DUMPED (Part 2), by Tawna Fenske. It's put out by Coliloquy, and is "active fiction," meaning the reader actually has a say in what happens to the characters. It's for e-readers only, and the reader gives feedback at several points in the novel (which is sent back to the publisher via the e-reader). Based on what the majority of readers want to have happen, the author goes in that direction for the next installment.
Fenske is a master at humor and romance, and I love being able to control part of the outcome of the book. It's just plain loads of fun!

9. Are you an early riser or a night owl?
I am an early riser now. Back in my college and theater days, I was a complete night owl, but my biorhythms seem to have shifted. Along with a few other things.

10. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I guess it would be a total cliché to say "read," huh? But that's what I really like to do when I'm not writing. Also, I enjoy watching long-running TV series on DVD—without commercials—with my husband at my side. It gives me a break from having to, yannoh, think.


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