Before I welcome my guest today, I have to share the awesome exciting news!!!!! Musetracker Jenn is a Golden Heart Finalist in the Historical Category with Moonlit Sea. So us Musetrackers all had virtual champagne yesterday and are still feeling it. So cool Jenn. Mega Congrats!!!!
Today, I am thrilled to welcome Vivi Andrews, author of the paranormal romantic comedy The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant released by Samhain Publishing, and now available in ebook, to be released in print in the Tickle My Fantasy Anthology this winter. Vivi is a member of my local RWA chapter and when I heard the title of her novella, I knew I had to interview her! I want to know more!
So welcome to Mustracks Vivi. Can you share with us the story of “the Call”, the “email” or how you broke through into publishing?
Two years ago I knew nothing about e-publishing. Then I went to a conference (Moonlight & Magnolias ’07) where I met another aspiring author (now one of my best friends) who’d just had a novella selected for a Samhain Anthology. At her urging, I did some research into the e-pub model. It seemed like a great way to break into publishing and learn the ropes, but I didn’t think the manuscripts I had written to that point (single title contemporary capers) would play to the strengths of the e-pub market where erotic or paranormal romances seemed to dominate.
That spring, Samhain posted a submission call for a paranormal romantic comedy anthology. I had never written paranormal or pure comedy (though I wove some laughs into all my books), but I loved reading it and I decided to give it a shot. I wrote The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant to the parameters of the submission call, submitted it, and then wrote it off as a fun exercise, never expecting it to turn into anything. When I got the email asking me to be part of the anthology, I looked at the subject line in my inbox and thought, “Looks like I got my rejection today.” Then I opened it. It took a while for the shock to wear off and the screaming and dancing to commence.
That is such an inspiring story! Obviously you know a thing or two about writing. Can you tell us what the story of the Ghost Shrink (et al) is about?
Lucy Cartwright sees dead people… naked dead people. It’s bad enough to be sexually frustrated, but as a medium, it means until Lucy gets some, she’s doomed to nightly visitations by newly-dead wanna-be-Cassanovas without the bodies to back up their bumbling attempts at seduction.
When PI Jake Cox arrives on her doorstep, Lucy thinks her dry spell is at and end. But as much as he would love to be her personal gigolo, Jake has been sent to keep her from getting laid until a particular horny phantom – and key witness in his mob investigation – pays her a visit. Jake has to keep his hands off of Lucy long enough to get the job done… or the lonely, geeky ghost of a murdered mob accountant could rip a hole in the fabric of the universe.
I HAVE to read this! Where did you get the ideas for this story?
I have no idea where my ideas come from – the muse, the girls in the basement, whatever you want to call it – but I remember reading the submission call for the anthology asking for funny stories about “vampires, werewolves, ghosts…” and thinking that vamps had been done to death (pun intended). J Ghosts seemed fresh, but how I could make ghosts sexy and funny? They don’t have bodies, after all, so how sexy can they be? From there it was a short leap to the Larrinator – one of my dweeby, sexually overeager ghosts.
Larrinator? Let me say this again! I HAVE to read this. What series of words would best characterize your writing style or tone?
Fun and funny (I hope). Sexy and sassy.
How does funny translate in this story? Well “Larrinator” is obviously funny. Anything else?
How does the funny come across? I’m a big fan of turning up the volume on the ridiculous. Whether it’s stripping poltergeists threatening the end of the world or a clever turn of phrase that startles a laugh out of my reader, I am always looking for something unexpected to get that laugh (or chortle, chuckle, or just a little smile).
Do you have any idea why you write so funny?
I write the stories that I like to read, and I am an eclectic reader. I thrive on variety. Not all of my books are laugh riots. My second release drops the goof-ball factor and turns up the heat, but I’ll be back to humor again after that with the follow-up to The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant.
Can you describe the pace of this story, is it a fast/edge-of- your-seat kind of story or more the kind of book you just want to bury yourself in for hours?
The Ghost Shrink (et al) is definitely a fast read – partially because it’s so short, but also because it keeps bouncing along at a rapid clip, hopefully keeping the reader turning those pages and smiling the whole way.
You do have me hooked so far! And what kind of heroine do you have and how does she relate to the hero.
Lucy is the Girl Next Door who just happens to talk to dead people. She’s a born talker which helps with the ghost therapy, but when she’s nervous, she babbles. And, boy, does Jake Cox ever make her nervous – in the best possible way. He flips every switch she has.
What kind of hero is Jake and how does she relate to the heroine?
Luckily, Jake is finds the babbling endearing and is more charmed by her the more flustered she gets. He’s definitely an Alpha male – hardwired to take charge of any situation and take on the bad guys, both living and deceased.
That sounds like a lot of fun. What do you think readers will get out of your story?
I hope my readers come away from The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant with a smile, but there is also a deeper message. Beneath the ridiculousness is a reminder to live life to the fullest. Go after your dreams and take life in big bites, so you won’t have any regrets to complain to a ghost shrink about.
Very wise! Can you share with us your writing schedule?
I don’t have a set writing time of day. It gets done whenever I can squeeze it in around my fulltime day job. Luckily I’m good at squeezing. Even before I got published, I got in the habit of setting deadlines for myself – words per week, books per year. The deadlines kept me on track and encouraged me to treat my writing like a job, rather than a hobby.
I am with you there. Deadlines are essential to get any writing done. Do you have any more projects in the work?
Yes! Serengeti Heat, my sexy lion-shifter novella, will be released July 2009 from Samhain. And for readers who prefer laughs over steam, the next installment of the Karmic Consultants series, The Ghost Exterminator: A Love Story, is coming along just as fast as my little fingers can type it.
A shifter story, that is quite a change from comedy. You are very versatile! If readers want to know more about you and your writing, where on the web can they find you?
Thank you, Marie-Claude, for interviewing me! Good luck in the American Title Contest!
Thank you Vivi!
(people can vote at: http://www.romantictimes.com/news_amtitle3.php )
And if you are like I am, dying to get your hands on The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant you can your copy from Samhain Publishing here:
and beware it does come with the following warning:
Warning: This book contains cheesy pick-up lines, amateur stripteases, and voyeuristic intentions – all by dead men. And the living behave just as badly…
Sounds like my kind of books!