Frequently Asked Questions
You ask it, I'll answer it. Questions on writing, about the books or about being Alaskan. I grew up there, so it's normal to me, but in my experience as soon as people hear "Alaska," they forget all about my stripping poltergeists and zero in on the frozen north.
About the Books
1) Do your books need to be read in order? Each novel & novella is capable of standing alone, but characters from early books do make appearances in later stories in each series. If you want to avoid all spoilers and read them chronologically, the recommended reading order is as follows. (Starred titles not yet released.)
The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant (#1, novella)
A Cop & A Feel (#5, short story)
The Ghost Exterminator: A Love Story (#2, novel)
Finder's Keeper (#6, novel)
The Sexorcist (#3, novel)
The Naked Detective (#4, novella)
Naughty Karma (#7, novel)
2) When are you going to write more shapeshifter stories? Now! Lone Pine Pride is a sexy new shape-shifter series in the world of the Serengeti Shifters (and there will be cameos from Three Rocks lions as the series progresses!). The first novella, Jaguar's Kiss, releases in June 2014, with full length novels to follow in September (Taming the Lion) and Febuary 2015 (Hawk's Revenge).
3) Are you going to write more Karmic Consultants books? I do not currently have plans to write any more Karmic Consultants books. That said, I do *love* that series and I may circle back to it (two years ago I was convinced I was done with shifters...). I sometimes play with the idea of a Karmic Christmas. If the Christmas miracle occurs and I write it, you'll hear about it here first.
4) How sexy and/or explicit are your books? I write at a variety of heat levels. On each book's webpage here at Casa Andrews there is a heat level indicator to help readers find the ones that best suit their tastes.
Heat Level Guidelines: (Yes, I used salsa ratings. Cuz that's how I roll.)
Mild(ish): The most tame books I write. Some "salty" language will be used and there will be references to love-making, but no fully actuated love-scenes on the page. (Ex. A Cop & A Feel)
Medium-Hot: Most of my books fall into this category. Adult language, strongly sensual love-scenes on the page, but the focus is still strongly on the romance. (Ex. The Ghost Exterminator)
Hot: More adult language, more focus on the sexytimes, more explicit and detailed language. (Ex. Serengeti Sunrise)
Extra-Spicy: Turn up the heat. Explicit language, mild kink, fully developed and detailed love scenes, strongly focused on the frankly sexual. (Ex. Serengeti Storm)
1) Why do you write? It's an addiction. I have to get my fix or I start to twitch.
2) Where do you get your ideas? Darned if I know. I'm just glad they keep coming. What's that one about gift horses?
3) What do you like to read? Everything. I don't have a To-Be-Read pile, I have a To-Be-Read bookcase. There aren't enough hours in the day (which is why I often substitute reading for sleep). Some of my favorites are listed over on the Recommended Reading Page.
4) Do you really want to write a romance about duct tape? Yep. I fully believe all problems can be solved with duct tape - even romantic ones. It's an Alaskan thing.
Growing Up Alaskan
1) Is it cold there? Yes. (Several different people have asked me each of these questions. Honest.)
Admittedly, this question isn't as silly as it sounds. There are parts of Alaska (e.g. Ketchikan on the southeast panhandle) where the weather is more similar to Seattle than the Arctic Circle. I'm from Anchorage where it does get pretty cold, but no worse than, say, Chicago in January. The main difference is that our winter lasts a really looooong time (Sept-May). There are parts of Alaska where the winters are much worse than the lower-48, but I've never been to Barrow in February, so I can't comment. It would be like someone in Dallas commenting on winters in Minneapolis. Alaska is a big state.
2) Do you live in an igloo? You betcha. Split level igloo with a two dog-sled garage. (People really do ask this and I always hope that the question is about as serious as my answer.)
3) Are there really six months of light and six months of darkness? This one always makes me laugh. I can't help but think of an enormous switch being thrown in September and March to turn the lights on and off over Alaska.
In Anchorage, we get up to 20 hours of daylight around the summer solstice, but the sun never gets very far below the horizon so there is a permanent twilight between midnight and four a.m. In December, we will have as few as six hours of daylight and the sun never gets very high in the sky so the day has sort of a pale quality to it. And that's just in Anchorage - which is in the southern part of the state. It's even more extreme up north.
A lot of people who transplant from the lower-48 have a hard time getting used to the light/darkness. There is seasonal depression related to both the lack of light and the lack of darkness. Luckily, it never affected me. Having grown up there, that's my definition of normal. Winters are cold and dark. Summers are warm (relatively) and bright.
4) Do they really pay you to live there? Yep. No, really, they do. I swear. It's called the Permanent Fund Dividend. Each Alaskan gets a share of the State of Alaska oil revenue. A check goes out every fall to residents and the amount varies based on how the Fund did over the last few years. It helped put me through college. Yay, oil!
5) Did you drive that here? (Referring to my car with its Alaskan license plates-which has been spotted in every state except Hawaii, Florida, Maine, Vermont & New Hampshire.) Unfortunately, my fabulous little car is neither amphibious nor can it fly. Yet. In the mean time, I drive. I've only met two people who refused to believe Alaska really is connected. (Hint: You go through Canada. We are not an island in a box next to Hawaii.)
6) Is it true there are four men to every woman in the state? I haven't looked up the statistics lately, but this one is sort of true and false. TRUE: Men in Alaska do outnumber the women by a lot, BUT most of those extra guys are working on oil wells, military bases, or so far in the bush (read as "backwoods country") that they aren't accessible to the lonely ladies who actually outnumber the men in more urban areas.
When in doubt, remember my favorite Alaskan bumper sticker: Alaskan Men - the Odds are Good, but the Goods are Odd.