AUTHOR: Tricia Andersen
Birth date: 10/30/73
Where are you from: I am from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
A little about your self `ie your education, Family, life etc: I am married to my best friend, Brian, and we have three children, Jake, Jon and Ali. I graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Kirkwood Community College with an Associate of Arts in Communications Media/Journalism.
Along with being an author, I am a mixed martial artist, a track and field coach (I throw discus, shot, javelin and hammer too). I also sew, read and chase my kids when they are busy.
Tell us your latest book news? My latest novel Breaking the Silence, book two in the Hard Drive Series, is releasing September 17th!
When and why did you begin writing? I’ve been writing since I can remember. My mom has little four sentence stories I wrote in preschool. Writing is natural to me. It relaxes me.
When did you consider yourself an Author? In a way I still don’t. I am just doing what I love and sharing it with whoever will read it.
What inspired you to write your first book? My first book was a children’s book named The Peculiar Princess. It’s now published with Beau Coup Publishing. I wrote it because my two sons weren’t much like the kids they played with so they were teased and thought of as odd. I wondered what it would be like if they had a little sister just like them and that was the beginning of The Peculiar Princess. The funny thing is that four years after I wrote it, my daughter was born!
Do you have a specific writing style? Not particularly. I just write.
How did you come up with the titles? The Hard Drive Series is named after the gym I actually train in (the gym in the book is named after my gym). Breaking the Cycle was named from the disorder discussed in the book, Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Breaking the Silence was named in conjunction with the first book coupled with the fact the heroine is deaf.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I got to partner with the organization Operation First Response in Breaking the Silence. I would love my readers to learn of the incredible things they do.
How much of the book is realistic? It’s actually very realistic. Breaking the Silence is set in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Quite a bit of it is set in a MMA gym much like the one I belong to.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? The gym scenes in Breaking the Silence are based on what I’ve learned. The relationships between the characters are much like those I have with my friends. And, for the first time in my writing career, one of my characters are based on someone I know.
What books have most influenced your life most? Well, first off the Bible. From there a lot of the books that have influenced me are children’s books – If You Give a Mouse A Cookie, Guess How Much I Love You. The lessons that are taught in children’s book work just as well for adults.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Karen Marie Moning. I love both her Highlander series and her Fever series. I love how she just writes what is on her mind especially in the Fever series. She lets her heroine just have random thoughts like in real life.
What book are you reading now? I’m between books. Next is either His Leading Lady by Jean Joachim or Tempted by the Cowboy by Sandy Sullivan.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Oh, there are quite a few that have peaked my interest. I wish I had more time!
What are your current projects? I am currently working on the third book of the Hard Drive Series. This one is Mark’s book and he is itching for me to tell his story. I am also slowly working on my Steampunk romance.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members:
Do you see writing as a career? I do. It’s not right now (still have my day job) but I do hope soon that it is.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Nope. I love this book. It is my favorite. I got to collaborate with people I respect greatly and love a lot. It was wonderful from the word go.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My Mom is an incredible writer. She started reading to me when I was a baby. I got my love of writing and reading from her.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The weekend finally arrived, but it was no break for Avery. She still had her early Saturday morning class to attend. She trudged down the steps wearily. Of all the times for the air conditioning to go out, this was the worst by far. The ninety-degree day seeped into the building, making the rooms hot and stagnant. Every last person in the classroom was drenched in sweat. Even for one class, it was unbearable.
Her face brightened as she stepped out the door and found Rico in his Jeep waiting for her. She nearly ran for the vehicle. Dropping her backpack on the floor, she climbed in beside him.
He looked at her concerned. Are you all right?
No air. I baked for the last hour.
Do you still want to do something?
Yes. You are the highlight of my day.
Where do you want to go?
Rico thought for a moment then grinned. I know the perfect place. But you are going to want to bundle up.
It is the middle of summer. Where are you taking me?
You will see.
Rico drove her home then waited in the Jeep for her to get clothes. Apparently, he wasn’t about to push his luck with Lindsay.
He then stopped at his place. Instead of having her wait in the car, he escorted her inside. His apartment was a loft in an old, renovated warehouse, complete with the freight elevators. It was sparsely decorated with a leather sofa and chair. It was the typical guy’s apartment.
There were several MMA magazines scattered on the end tables. He must really be into mixed martial arts.
It only took a moment for Rico to come out of his bedroom changed. Instead of the shorts and T-shirt he had worn before, he now had on a pair of jeans and a snug fitting Henley that accented his muscles. She swallowed back a moan. She hadn’t thought he could get any hotter.
He smiled. Ready?
Yes. Avery took his outstretched hand in hers. She waited as he locked the door then walked with him to the elevator.
Rico weaved from one interstate to the other until they were in Saint Paul. The entire time, he held her hand in his. He parked the car in front of a large, concrete building lined with windows.
Ice skating? she signed
He laughed. You wanted to be cool.
That is true. But I can’t do this.
He frowned. Why not?
I can’t ice skate.
You do not know how?
I do. When I was young, I was very good at it. But I cannot do it now.
Because you are deaf?
He smirked at her. I did not realize that you ice skate with your ears.
That is not funny, Rico.
Come on, Avery. We’ll have fun. I promise I will not let you fall.
She gazed at him as he grinned at her. Her eyes wandered over his chiseled physique. He certainly could keep his word. She sighed as she hopped out of the passenger seat and turned back to him. All right. Let’s go.
Absolutely! Rico jumped out with her and raced around the vehicle to take her hand. He pulled her close and wrapped his arm around her waist as they strolled in.
Rico paid their admission as Avery slipped into the restroom to change into her lightweight sweater and jeans. She watched his eyes wander over her head to toe as a smile spread across his face. He certainly seemed pleased. He took both pairs of skates the attendant offered before following her to a bench. Then, they tugged on their skates and, carefully stepping on the thick, black mat on the floor, they made their way out to the ice.
They skated around the rink laughing, sometimes hand in hand, sometimes trying awkwardly to race each other. Avery hadn’t been ice skating in years, not since she’d lost her hearing. It had ended up on the virtual list of activities she stubbornly believed she could no longer do. Rico had proved to her she could.
She gazed up to him as he smiled at her. He certainly was turning out to be her hero. Not that she needed one. She didn’t. But it was definitely nice to have one, just in case.
They were so wrapped up in each other, neither of them noticed the little boys that flew between them until it was too late. The last one hooked his skate with Avery’s. She was off her feet in a split second. She clenched her eyes in anticipation of the cold impact on her butt. Instead, two strong arms kept her from falling. Her eyes fluttered open, and she glanced around.
Rico had caught her just as he’d promised. Her eyes locked with his sapphire blue ones. She wanted to protest, to joke just how cliché this was. Here he was, cradling her in his arms after saving her from falling, his lips dangerously close to hers. They must have looked like they belonged on the front of a romance novel. But her breath caught in her throat as she clung to him, her gaze drifting to his mouth.
She gasped as he gathered her closer and softly kissed her. Her fingers buried into his hair as he deepened it, his lips parting hers as his tongue slowly grazed across her teeth then tangled with hers. Their eyes met for a moment as the kiss broke. Avery fought against her breath coming out in ragged gasps, but it was no use. So, that’s what kissing Rico Choate is like. It was light years better than she had imagined.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Getting started. I am a huge procrastinator and spend way too much time on Facebook. But once I get started it’s hard to stop.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Karen Marie Moning. I love how she lets her characters have random thoughts. The stories aren’t perfectly structured.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? No. The furthest I’ve gone is to Ohio for the Readers/Authors Get Together. But I love to travel so the more I can do the better!
Who designed the covers? My Hard Drive Series is designed by H.N. Sieverding. She does an amazing job! The photos are taken by Courtney Johnson of Cojo’s Photography. My models are actual fighters (and friends of mine!).
What was the hardest part of writing your books? Getting started. Once I get started I have a hard time stopping.
Did you learn anything from writing your books? When I was researching MMA for Breaking the Cycle, I took classes in kickboxing. It was awesome because it helped me understand mixed martial arts and I was able to identify with my heroes better.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t ever give up. Keep writing.
Do your have anything specific you would like to say to your readers? Thank you so much. Because of you I get to do what I love. And I hope you love my characters as much as do. Thank you.
Do your remember the first book you ever read? Little Monster Goes To Work. I think I still have it.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies? I am a mixed martial artist. I started while researching Breaking the Cycle. I also coach track and field, sew, read and chase my kids around.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching? I love watching Castle, NCIS, Big Bang Theory. For movies I love The Knights Tale, Shakespeare in Love, Real Steel and all the Harry Potter movies.
Favorite foods / Colors/ Music: Spaghetti, Chocolate Chip cookies, Chicken Fingers, Frosted Flakes/ I love all colors/ I love listening to all sorts of music from Classical to Heavy Metal but I tend to lean towards Hard Rock.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done? I don’t know. I am also currently an Office Manager so I’ll say run an office.
Do you have a blog/website? If so please share your links. www.triciaandersen.com and www.insidethiswritersmind.com
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Please share those links also. www.facebook.com/t.l.andersenauthor, www.twitter.com/triciaandersen, www.pinterest.com/tricialandersen